FUEL: WOOD LOGS
The moisture content of fire wood influences the heat efficiency of a fire. The higher the moisture content of the wood, the less heat efficient a fire becomes.
Moisture content also plays a role in the formation of slag in the flue system. The higher the moisture content of the wood, the faster slag build up would take place in the flue system.
Always make sure that the woods you use are from a sustainable source. Only wood used from a sustainable source could be considered as carbon neutral. Were possible utilize alien species fire wood in support of programs like the Working for water program, a sustainable initiative creating employment to the poor and having positive impacts on the environment.
THE UPSIDE DOWN FIRE PRINCIPLE
Why the upside down fire?
1. To rapidly heat up your flue pipe in order to create a natural draw as soon as possible, thereby reducing the possiblility of smoke ingress into the ambience.
2. To reduce harmful emissions by only lighting a small quantity of fuel at the top of the wood pile.
The principle at work here is that as the bottom logs heat up and start to release their volatiles. There is enough heat and flame above to ignite them. Otherwise, those first gases driven out of the wood travel unburned up the stack condensing out the highly-flammable creosote onto flue walls and spewing particulate matter into the environment.
Creosote burns as hot as coal, so its escape from the firebox is a loss of potential heat for the house.
In the upside down fire, all creosote burns up in the stove or fireplace.
Refueling is not as critical a process as the initial lighting of the fire. Add more wood when the crib of glowing coals falls in on itself.
As long as you have a good bed of coals, the firebox will be hot enough to heat up and ignite fresh fuel. This makes a dramatic difference in conventional fireplaces producing a long clean burn and usually solving any start-up smoking problems.
A upside down fire produces little or no smoke. Presto.
there is a drastic reduction of particulate matter released into the air and virtually no creosote builds up on flue walls to pose a fire hazard.
BUILDING THE UPSIDE DOWN FIRE:
Step 1 – The Larger Logs First
You start by placing the largest logs side by side. Try to get them as tight together as possible. The goal here is to not leave a space for the ashes to fall through. The tighter the bottom logs are placed together the longer and better your fire will burn.
Step 2 – The Medium Sized Wood
On the next layer(s) you put the logs that are a bit smaller or burn easier. The idea is that the easier it is to burn the higher on the pile it goes
Finally the stuff that is easiest to burn goes on the very top. Kindling & Tinder.
Step 3 – Starting The Upside Down Fire
Place your eco-firelighters on top of the kindling and light.
The layers will burn in phases creating ashes which will start to pile up on the next level to burn and once there’s enough ashes on it that level it will ignite, then that will repeat again onto the next hardest thing to burn. The secret to this whole method is to have the ashes resting on the next level generating enough heat to ignite that level.