The Starks told everyone winter was coming, and boy, did it ever. The Polar Vortex that froze almost the entire country sent fireplaces burning across America 24/7. Naturally, this created a sudden demand for more wood and fuel to keep the cold at bay, but there are a few techniques to keep the flames alive for as long as possible.
- First, stop stoking the fire. Poking the fire increases soot and releases trapped heat up the smokestack instead of into your home.
- Add a wet log after you have a good blaze going. This increases the humidity in the room and causes the wood to burn slower.
- Softer and less expensive woods should be burned first. Hardwoods come after a fire is set because the heat from an already burning fire causes the log to expand and burn brighter.
- To prevent heat loss, bank the burning logs toward the center of the fireplace, while leaving a hole in the middle of the pile. This allows the heat to spread outward, and into the room instead of upward and out the chimney.
There are more useful things you can do to get more heat from wood, and you should do everything you could to manage your resources, just in case anything like the last winter happens again.