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How to Prepare Your Kindling for Winter

If you want to ensure a great fireside season, it’s best to take the steps necessary to prepare your kindling for winter. Fires may date back to the caveman days but building a good fire still doesn’t come automatically. Certain knowledge is needed–for instance, the three components required to get a fire started are oxygen, heat, and fuel. Though fuel is essential, many have never considered how to prepare kindling for winter. The following are helpful tips for kindling and for tinder, which is typically used in the first step toward getting a fire started.

Fireplace Tinder, walker texasTypes of Tinder

Tinder is a component of fire-building that ignites easily and sets the kindling on fire. Tinder produces the first smolder and flames. Newspaper is likely the most common source of tinder. Bits of egg carton, paper towels, and dryer lint are also highly flammable and work well as tinder. The dryer lint isn’t always successful because its flammability depends on the type of thread inside the lint. Some synthetic materials don’t ignite well.

A good way to build up a supply of tinder is by storing a mix of cotton balls with Vaseline petroleum jelly. Vaseline is flammable and makes a great source of tinder, burning longer than is usually expected.

Preparing Kindling for Winter

The preparation of kindling is similar to preparing logs for winter. Kindling is made with small twigs, small branches, and firewood that has been chopped into much smaller pieces. Kindling must dry out, the same as logs. Green wood is not a good source to be used for fires at all because it is too full of moisture. Logs and kindling need to be dried out so that moisture is down to 20% or less before burning them.

Most people are aware that a woodpile intended to be used in a fireplace or woodstove needs to be more than a pile of logs thrown together. Wood should be stacked in a manner that allows air and sun to get to the wood. The bottom row of wood, experts recommend, should be off of the ground.

Getting kindling dried out for winter will look different from a stack of wood, but storing it in a dry place (at least 3 feet away from the home) is important so that, when the time comes, it burns well. If twigs and branches thrown in a fire are green, they will smoke and contribute to a messy chimney. So, only dried kindling should be used.

None of the wood for fires should be stored directly against your home because it could attract bugs and become a gateway for insects into your home, including termites.

fireplace safety, Conroe TexasWood for Kindling

There are only two types of kindling and wood logs that should be used in fireplaces and wood stoves and those are seasoned hardwoods and seasoned softwoods. The wood should not be “treated” in any way because chemicals used in the treatment process cause the fumes to be toxic.

Contact Guardian Chimney Sweeps Today

If you live in the Conroe TX or greater Houston area, contact Guardian Chimney Sweeps for chimney inspections, chimney sweeping, chimney repairs, chimney maintenance, and chimney cleaning. We help to ensure the safe use of your fireplace and chimney. Before starting that first fire of the season, make sure that there has been an inspection since the previous winter. Of course, always use seasoned firewood and kindling as well as the tinder of your choice. Call Guardian Chimney Sweeps today at (936) 271-9781 in Conroe and at (713) 401-2011 in Houston.