When you have a wood-burning fireplace, knowing the best ways to burn wood makes a big difference in the quality of your fires. Not only does the type of build make a difference, but the kind of firewood you use is a major factor for successfully burning wood. If you want to enjoy long-lasting and clean-burning fires, you should only be burning seasoned firewood. At Owens Chimney Systems, we cannot stress the importance of seasoned wood to our customers enough. If you do not know what seasoned firewood is, you are not alone as we are frequently asked to explain this term. We would like to tell you all about seasoned firewood to help you burn the best wood fires possible.
While it may sound like the wood has been flavored, in this case “seasoned” actually means “dried.” According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), all wood contains moisture. Almost half of the weight of freshly cut wood is water, with a 45 percent moisture content. Properly seasoned firewood should have no more than a moisture content of 25 percent.
How do you season firewood?
To sufficiently dry firewood, it should be stored for at least six months after it has been cut. If you cut and store your own firewood, you need to get started on the seasoning process soon to have good firewood for the fall. Be sure to store the wood off of the ground, where it can be exposed to more moisture. The sun and the wind will do most of the drying job for you. If you want to cover your firewood stacks with a tarp to protect it from rain, you can, but ensure the sides of the tarp are open to let air circulate between the stacks of wood.
Why should I only burn seasoned firewood?
When you try to burn wet wood, you can experience smoking problems, odor issues, and an increase in the production of creosote, a hazardously flammable compound. You also will not get as much heat from the fire because most of the fire’s energy will be spent drying out the wood so it can burn. When you burn seasoned firewood, you should be able to easily ignite a fire. You will also see a reduction in the amount of creosote that is produced from these fires because dried wood burns much more cleanly. Even better, a fire built with seasoned firewood will provide more heat with less smoke.
Can I buy seasoned firewood?
Ask your friends and family for their recommendations of a reputable local firewood dealer you can trust to sell you wood that has been properly seasoned. You can also purchase a moisture meter to measure the water content before you buy the wood.
Want to know more tips on successfully burning wood? Contact us at Owens Chimney Systems to learn more about seasoned firewood, along with some other recommendations.