Do you know how to stop a chiminea from smoking? This is a question many people need to answer because they can get a fire started only to feel as if they are overwhelmed with smoke. With too much smoke, you can no longer enjoy the warmth a chiminea offers, and you can even get distracted with your relaxation or bonding moments with friends and family.
This is hardly something you want to happen to you. No worries because several key points can make a difference when it comes to controlling the smoke output from your fire pit. But before we go to these tips, you must know how to use a chiminea.
Why You Get Smoke in the First Place
You will get smoke coming from your chiminea because you are using natural resources for the fire. There are smokeless fuel options out there, but we will look into those later on.
Let’s begin by exploring the reasons why you have excessive smoke coming from your chiminea. There are generally two explanations as to why there is too much smoke, so it should be easy to deal with the problem.
Reason 1: You Have Wet Wood
The first reason is that you have wet wood. If you are burning wet wood, it will generate less heat than dry wood, which affects its burning ability.
When wet, the heat burns off the water, and that creates steam which mixes with the smoke from the fire, leading to the chiminea smoking more than it normally does.
Also, burning wet wood could be more dangerous to your health. The more smoke produced, the greater the number of pollutants and microscopic particles are thrown into the air for you to breathe in.
Burning wet wood is more serious than many realize. It can cause negative effects both short-term and long-term to stoves, fireplaces, and yes, to chimineas. As indicated above, it becomes more struggling to produce fire and thus creating more smoke. This can result in creosote build-up, which can be very unpleasant, especially inside your home. When there is too much creosote, it will be really hard to clean the stoves, fireplaces, and even chimineas.
Avoid using wet wood, and you will automatically stop a chiminea from smoking as much as it would have otherwise been doing.
Reason 2: The Wood Is Unseasoned
Another reason is that the wood you are burning is unseasoned. This is because unseasoned wood also contains a lot of water. You then have the same problem as you did with wood left out in the rain for some time as it’s going to create that steam and throw that up into the air as chiminea smoke.
How to Stop a Chiminea Smoking
You want to enjoy your outdoor fireplaces without worrying about them being able to create unnecessary smoke. It ruins your entire experience and makes it difficult to relax and enjoy the calming atmosphere that it should be creating.
However, there are clear ways to counteract this issue. No matter how you do it, it is essential you know how to light a chiminea when you start using it.
Tip 1: Use Dry Wood
One of the obvious tips is to use dry wood. Burning dry wood means you do not have the same water being turned into steam and throwing up more smoke. Also, it does burn more easily, so you will need less burning wood to create the same amount of heat while also generating less smoke.
Now, you can either purchase dry wood or allow it to dry out on its own. However, this takes some time, and you need adequate storage, so look for dry wood options from various stores to make life easier for yourself.
Tip 2: Use Seasoned Wood
Another tip, which also makes so much sense, is to use seasoned wood. That too will have less water in the wood, so you won’t get all of that unwanted smoke when you fire up your clay chiminea.
Tip 3: Consider Fire Logs
Consider using fire logs that have a reduced moisture content and are designed for use in a chiminea. Not only will they be easier to burn, but they will also last for longer.
Also, don’t worry about the heat that will be generated in the flame created by a fire log. Those flames will still be leaping up as this fuel source is perfect for a chiminea without it being able to produce too much smoke.
Tip 4: Keep Your Chiminea Sheltered
As water is a regular problem, it makes sense for you to keep your chiminea sheltered to prevent water from getting into the chamber. Remember, you will be throwing in some dry logs, so you don’t want to put them into the wet sand to create a fire.
Do this while it’s in use as well, or you will start to develop a few problems as chimineas produce varying amounts of smoke depending on the fuel and the conditions.
Tip 5: Keep Your Chiminea Clean
Make sure you keep your chiminea clean to prevent excess smoking. Many fuels will leave remnants in the chamber, and before you put in new wood, you want to remove that debris to then create as little smoke as possible.
Clean out the ash, and replace the sand or gravel base before you try to light your chiminea to stay warm when sitting in your garden at night.
Tip 6: Avoid Facing the Wind
To prevent your chiminea from smoking too much, make sure you don’t have your chiminea facing the wind. The wind will blow the flame all over the place, producing more smoke as a result. This ties in with the idea of keeping your chiminea sheltered from drizzle if you wish to stop it from producing a lot more smoke.
Avoiding facing it in the direction the wind blows will make a real difference in stopping your chiminea from smoking too much.
Tip 7: Don’t Burn Leaves
People look at the foliage and think, well, it’s like wood and paper, so that will be a wonderful way to get your chiminea up and running.
Well, if you thought that was the case, then stop what you are doing.
Don’t burn leaves or foliage. Never use it as kindling. Leaves and foliage will have a higher water content, and they also contain natural gas, which will change the amount of smoke produced by your chiminea.
Tip 8: Only Use Charcoal for Cooking
You should use the best woods possible in your chiminea, and only use charcoal if you will be cooking in your chiminea. Also, it’s often best to use charcoal in a metal chiminea as well.
Charcoal burns at a different temperature, and while it does produce an adequate amount of smoke for cooking, it can be a bit over the top for evenings sitting around the chiminea.
Tip 9: Don’t Use as Much Tinder
You need kindling to get things going with your chiminea, but if you use too much tinder, then even the best wood is going to produce too much smoke.
The best approach here is to burn a small amount to get the fire going and then gradually add a small amount at a time. Yes, it won’t be smoke-free, but you can work your way up to having a larger fire without the amount of smoke also increasing.
Tip 10: Look After Your Chiminea
You also need to maintain your chiminea regularly if you wish to stop a chiminea from producing too much smoke. We mentioned earlier that you must clean it out, and when doing so, look to see if it has to be sealed once again. The heat from fire pits can cause cracking, and this can let in more moisture leading to the chamber becoming slightly damp.
If this happens, then reseal the chiminea before you try to get those flames burning once again.
Tip 11: Learn Everything About Wood for Chiminea
If we can jump back to the best wood to stop your chiminea from smoking, then the right wood will be slightly harder. Softwoods burn faster, but please don’t use them. Yes, they will light, but at the same time, they produce less heat in the fire than harder wood.
If they burn faster, then the fire will generate more smoke as a result.
Enjoying Your Chimnea
As you can see, to stop a chiminea from smoking too much and creating that smell in the air, you need to care for your chiminea and burn hardwood rather than soft wood.
This is pretty much the same advice you would get with any fire pit on the market. To stop chiminea smoking, you only have to follow a few simple steps, and the problem should become a thing of the past.
You want to avoid having a dirty flame, which means old ash and material is in there, and if you don’t feel like learning all about wood, then use a smokeless fuel option to make life easier.
And that is how to stop a chiminea from smoking too much. There’s nothing difficult, and you can then enjoy your wood-burning stove in the comfort of your own home.