When looking to buy firewood for your fireplace, it is important to take note of whether it has been thoroughly seasoned or dried. The reason, of course, is that wood with too much moisture left in it will not burn as hot. If you are using wet, or “green”, wood, your fire will not burn as efficiently as it should. This will not only cause you to have to buy wood more often, but this wood will also emit much more of the flammable substance creosote. Keeping creosote off your chimney liner is an important aspect of chimney fire prevention.

Here are some good things to look for when deciding whether your firewood is dry enough:

  • Understand what it is you are buying. Make sure you know the difference between hardwoods and softwoods. This can help you better understand moisture content.
  • What color is the wood? Dried wood should have a grayish color to it.
  • How easily does the bark come off the wood? Dried wood will shed its bark easily. In some cases, by the time it gets to you, it may have already fallen off.
  • Are there checks in the wood? These are the cracks on the ends of the individual wood pieces. Dried wood has ample evidence of this cracking.
  • How does it feel to the touch? Wood that isn’t dry enough will often feel damp to the touch. Make sure it feels dry.

Owning a chimney comes with a lot of responsibility. Of course you need to have it regularly inspected and cleaned, but you also need to make sure your fuel is the proper type. A chimney fire does not discriminate. Whether you are unaware of the dangers of wet wood or not, a fire can break out if you aren’t paying attention. If you ever have any questions about whether a particular type of wood is safe for use, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be very happy to make sure you and your family have the best information.