How to stop a chiminea smoking?
Does your chiminea smoke too much and do you want to know how to stop a chiminea smoking?
A chiminea is a wonderful way to stay warm on a cool evening, regardless of the season. However, for some people, it’s not as relaxing as they would want because they have a chiminea smoking too much.
Although they have specifically designed chimeneas to control smoke output, while still allowing you to use a variety of different fuels, they can still smoke too much. So how do you stop a chiminea smoking?
Two of the most effective ways of reducing the amount of chiminea smoke is to use a smokeless fuel and to keep your chiminea in a place where it’s sheltered from any strong winds. Doing these two things, as we will explain later, should dramatically reduce the amount of smoke your chimineas produce.
We completely appreciate that black or foul-smelling smoke can make any evening miserable, and it is even more frustrating when it is coming from a device that isn’t meant to produce a lot of smoke, to begin with.
Why does my chiminea smoke so much?
The main reason chimineas smoke is due to the fuel being either too wet or unseasoned. It can also be due to the wind direction and strength.
Below you’ll find further information on why your chiminea may be smoking and the best ways to stop a chiminea from smoking.
Main ways to stop your chiminea smoking
If you’re wondering how to stop a chiminea smoking read on and we will give you a few hints and tips to help you, your friends and family enjoy your evenings more.
Use a smokeless fuel
As we mentioned previously, many fuels will just produce more smoke than others. If you pick up a piece of damp wood that has been sitting out in the rain this could easily contain over 50% water. Meaning if you place it into your chiminea, the fire is going to have to burn off all the water before it ever produces a high level of heat. The result will be much less efficient use of the fuel and a lot more smoke being produced.
Some people use smokeless fire logs that have been cured to ensure that they only hold 10 to 20% moisture. They produce little to no smoke and they burn cleanly.
You can also use a smokeless fuel such as hexamine tablets, charcoal, coke or anthracite.
Keep your Chiminea sheltered from the wind
So many people struggle with smoking chimeneas even when they use well-seasoned firewood or smokeless fuel and they simply don’t understand why.
The next step is to check that your chiminea is not facing into the wind as this will automatically increase the amount of smoke that the device produces. The extra wind increases the speed at which the fuel burns. This not only makes it smoke more than normal but also makes it more expensive to run. Depending on where you live the vast majority of the wind blows from a westerly direction. Now, this may not be true for every region but if you keep your chiminea facing in an easterly direction (or away from the prevailing winds), it should reduce the amount of smoke that it produces. You could also consider investing in some form of windbreak that will reduce the amount of air passing into the chiminea or place your chiminea in a location where it is out of the wind.
How to Stop a Chiminea smoking too much?
Apart from the two major solutions mentioned above, if you are intent on spending your evenings sitting around your chiminea, but you have no desire to deal with too much smoke, there are some other steps you can take to stop chiminea smoking too much.
Dont burn unseasoned or wet wood
One of the first things you need to do is stop burning fuel that contains a high level of water. Think about it when you put a hot pan full of water on the stove, it will eventually produce steam. If you put a wet log or wet wood in a chiminea or even add a little water to it expect this to produce smoke.
Don’t burn leaves
Leaves can produce large amounts of smoke so make sure there are none in your chiminea.
Avoid adding any of the following
Turf and twigs will just quickly smolder in your fire, creating a smelly and dark smoke.
Avoid adding too much tinder
Tinder is obviously very useful for getting any fire started, but that’s all you should ever use it for. Adding more once the fire has established itself is just going to create unnecessary smoke. Find out more about how to light your chiminea safely.
Regularly clean your chiminea
Any residue that sticks to the inside of your chiminea can cause a dirty flame, and this can give off a lot of smoke and also make starting any fire much more difficult. Purchasing a stick wire brush and cleaning your chiminea regularly will make your goal of avoiding smoke easier.
Hard wood for burning, softwood for kindling
This is a simple but effective rule to follow: only burn hardwood in your chiminea and use softwood to start your fire. Softwoods burn faster and much cooler than hardwood, and as a result, creates a lot more smoke.
The best wood for Chimineas is dry wood
The amount of smoke that a fire produces is determined primarily by the fuel that is just burning. So if you burn immature or unseasoned woods in your chiminea, these will produce more smoke than you want. You should always let the new wood you cut or purchase properly cure and dry out before you ever burn it. Finding a place for your wood to dry for at least 12 months before you burn it is a good plan.
Thankfully, you don’t have to be an expert in sourcing lumber to get your hands on high quality seasoned wood at a reasonable price. Ask anyone in your local area and they’ll be able to point you toward a supplier or a market or you can easily source dry wood for your chiminea. Once you do this, you should have more than enough dry wood in supply to help you keep you warm at night.
The best wood to burn in a Chiminea
After considering using a smokeless fuel ensuring your using dry wood and facing your chiminea away from the wind the next step is to choose a fuel that naturally produces less smoke. One thing you really need to know is what to burn in a chiminea. Here are some of the best woods to work with.
- Beech – Beech is a great source of firewood that burns well. The only issue with beech is that it takes longer than other woods to season due to its higher moisture content.
- Cedar – Cedar lasts a long time and produce a good amount of heat.
- Pear – Pear burns slowly and provides a reasonable amount of heat. It is similar to apple and produces a pleasant smell although the flames are disappointing compared to other woods.
- Sycamore – Sycamore is a great source of wood fuel. It burns well, offers a moderate amount of heat, and has good flame.
- Ash – Ash is one of the best woods in the UK to burn. It produces a low amount of smoke and a good amount of heat and a nice flame. Ash, however, is in shorter supply due to ash dieback.
- Oak – Oak is considered to be one of the best burning woods. It burns slowly, offers a large amount of heat and has a beautiful flame.
- Apple – Apple wood is similar to pear in that it burns slowly with reasonable heat and fruity smell although the flame is disappointing.
- Cherry – Cherry is a lovely slow-burning wood that produces a good heat and a lovely smell.
We consider everything listed above a hardwood and will be more expensive to buy, but they also give off really delightful scents and are pretty much smoke-free.
If you would like to explore our extensive range of chimineas, please visit our shop.