To make getting your home ready for Winter a little easier, Lekto Wood Fuels has put together a handy checklist to help make the big Winter 2020 kick-off a little less stressful:
- Inspect your chimney for birds, bird nests, squirrels any other rodents (remove them if it's safe to do so)
- Order a chimney sweep. It would be best if you had a chimney sweep at least once a year, but definitely before the wood fuel burning season. It is essential to make sure there is no build-up of soot and creosote, which can make your chimney more susceptible to fire.
- You can read more about best practise when it comes to taking care of your chimney here: 'Everything You Need To Know About Hiring A Chimney Sweep'
- Inspect the outside our your wood burner and flue. Can you see any cracks in the mortar? If so, you might need to hire a professional to fix it before you start using it.
- Make sure you have enough wood fuel for your winter usage needs plus about 25% extra. If you are suddenly facing a colder winter (there was snow last year), you'll be ready for it. Any extra wood will not be wasted; you can use it next year or for your spring BBQ. As far as getting your home ready for Winter is concerned, this is perhaps the most essential point for households that rely on wood burners.
- Have a look around your stove and clear away any ignitable items from anywhere in front of the multi-fuel burner. Free newspapers, old take - away menus, dried out flowers and family memorabilia. Sometimes people use their burners to store all kinds of items during the summer, but you want to make sure that anything like that has been removed before you lit your burner.
Now when you have finished inspecting your burner, and it's ready for the first fire of the year, don't forget to warm up chimney flue. The best method to do so is the top-down fire lighting method, so make sure you're familiar with what it is and how to do it properly. You're almost done getting your home Winter ready. The chimney is swept and bird-proofed, no cracks in the mortar or flammables next to it, you have stocked up on Lekto Wood Fuels' products, and you are about to light up your burner… but which material is the best?
Many people suggest using old magazines or newspapers to help start a fire, but is it actually good for your burner? In short - no. Newspapers back in the day used far fewer chemicals and better quality ink added to them. Have you noticed if you keep one of the free newspapers you get on the bus or the tube in your hands for too long your fingers will be covered in ink? The same thing will happen to your chimney flue, and if you have glass doors on your burner, they will turn black too. As their name suggests, Lekto Natural Firelighters are 100% natural with no chemicals added, and they burn for up to 10 minutes, which is more than enough time to really get a fire going. You will only need to use 1 or 2 at a time, so a box of them will last you all winter.
Image by @semi_in_suburbia