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How to burn wood chips

Updated February 21, 2017

Wood chips are an alternative to burning logs to heat homes and buildings. The advantage to burning wood chips rather than logs is that the chips burn almost entirely, leaving very little ash or residue. In order to burn wood chips, the building must be equipped with a wood-burning stove or a fireplace. Wood chips are available for purchase at lumber mills, or you can create your own wood chips by inserting limbs into a chipping machine.

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  1. Remove foliage from tree limbs and insert the limbs into a wood chipper to make wood chips. Make the chips in the spring and allow them to dry over the summer in order to properly season them. Store the wood chips inside a garage or on a raised platform of concrete blocks outdoors. Cover the wood chips with a loose tarp.

  2. Lay a 1/2-inch layer of newspaper in the bottom of the wood-burning stove or fireplace.

  3. Place one shovel full of wood chips on top of the newspaper and arrange them into a single, even layer. Make sure there are spaces in between the wood chips so that air can circulate to start the fire.

  4. Roll up one or two rolls of newspaper and tie them with a piece of twine. Place the two rolls of newspaper on top of the wood chips.

  5. Strike a long-handled match and light the rolled up newspaper on top of the chips. If you are using a wood stove, close the door of the stove and press the "on" button.

  6. Add one or two more shovels of wood chips once the fire produces a good burn, which should take no longer than five minutes. Add one shovelful at a time and allow the fire to recover before adding the second shovel of wood chips.

  7. Tip

    You will need to add more wood chips sooner than you would logs since they chips burn faster.


    Do not put wood chips into a pellet stove unless the manufacturer's instructions allow it.

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Things You'll Need

  • Limbs
  • Wood chipper
  • Concrete blocks
  • Tarp
  • Wood-burning stove
  • Newspaper
  • Long-handled match
  • Shovel
  • Twine

About the Author

Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.

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