When it comes to your fireplace, not all wood is created equal. For optimal fireplace efficiency, easy way to light your fireplace and safer fires inside your fireplace that lead to less creosote buildup, you need to burn properly seasoned firewood. Seasoned firewood is the best, and the optimal wood has water content that is less than 20 percent.
Reasons to use seasoned firewood in your fireplace
Properly seasoned firewood has been given adequate time to dry after being chopped down. Firewood that is not properly seasoned contains too high of a water content. Because of the excess moisture in the wood, it is more difficult to light. It also burns at a lower temperature because the fire expends energy as the water evaporates out, while also creating excess smoke. Additionally, because of the cooler temperature and excess of smoke, unseasoned firewood lead to a faster buildup of creosote within your chimney. This can increase your home’s risk of a chimney fire.
Steps to prepare the best seasoned firewood
To make sure your firewood has been properly seasoned, there are several steps you should take. First, you need to cut your logs to the appropriate length for your fireplace. Typically, firewood is about 16 inches in length, but if you are cutting your own firewood, logs should be 3 inches shorter than your fireplace’s firebox. Then, you need to split the firewood to the desired thickness. The recommended thickness for most wood-burning fireplaces and heating stoves is 6 inches. You might consider splitting to different widths to provide kindling.
Next, you need to pile wood in a single row. It’s time to let your firewood sit and dry. Stack wood in a single row in an area that allows it to be exposed to both sun and wind. Some people leave the wood uncovered, while others prefer to cover it with a tarp to protect it from rain and snow.
Finally, you need to leave the wood alone for about six months. When properly cut, split and stacked, it takes wood about six months to be properly seasoned You’ll be able to tell your wood is properly seasoned because it will be darker in color and feature cracks. Logs feel light for their size, and two pieces that are knocked together will make a hollow drum sound. This is when you know you have the most perfectly seasoned firewood for you fireplace! Once wood has been properly seasoned, you will want to cover it with a tarp to protect it from the elements so it stays dry.
At Environmental Chimney Service, we offer more than just tips for how to get the best firewood. We offer chimney inspections, chimney cleaning, chimney repairs, and more, and we can’t wait to help restore you fireplace back to its former glory. Give us a call at 828-243-0098, our team is here for you!