How to economize on briquettes and fire wood

November 3, 2007 at 11:16 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments
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Our flat has neither a radiator nor a central heating. All it’s got is a wood stove*) in the main room – none in the kitchen, bathroom or living room. We’re using wood briquettes at the moment which we bought from the previous tenant – but we’ll have to stock up pretty soon. I guess we’ll have charcoal briquettes then as well, and maybe some beech wood [Buchenholz] for a nice flame.

Wood briquettes burn relatively nice as well, but if they get too much air they are also eaten away by the flames like nothing else. A friend from Cologne told me her trick to economize on briquettes: Before she leaves the house or goes to bed, she takes a few pages from a newspaper, soaks them with water and wraps them around the briquette before she puts it in.

I started using this technique. I put in the last briquette last night half past eleven, and when I checked this morning at half past ten, I still had a few glowing embers [Glut] in the oven. Wow! Of course it doesn’t give off a tremendous amount of heat, but prevents the temperatures from dropping too drastically. And it’s also easier to start a new fire from embers.

*) By the way: It was not that easy to figure out which English word was the thing I needed.
oven – Ofen {m}
stove – Ofen {m}
wood stove – Kohleofen {m}
furnace – Ofen, Hochofen {m}
kiln – Ofen, Brennofen {m}
cooker [Br.] – Ofen, Herd {m}
reefer [sl.] – Ofen (drugs)


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  1. All in all a good idea.
    But please avoid using too much water.
    Otherwise your oven could explode like a bomb.

  2. Oh! I didn’t know that. How?

  3. Too much heat + too much water = far too much steam and pressure.

    But I think that won´t happen to you, since you don´t have an oven that heatens the water for a central heating, do you?

    In case the water in the central heating freezes and the oven can´t let off steam in another way the pressure will encrease as happened here:

  4. Sheesh! Thank God the oven in question is just a regular one, i.e. not connected to any water or heating system. you put in wood, the stove gets warm and will hopefully be warm enough to heat up the room, too.

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