Cooler weather is starting to arrive in the Hudson Valley! That means it is time to make sure that your firewood supply is ready for winter. Did you realize that when you burn the right type of wood, you can increase the energy efficiency of your masonry fireplace? If you try to burn freshly cut wood, your chimney and fireplace will not work as well. This is because burning wet wood can cause problems, including smoke blowing back into your home. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and All Seasons Chimney recommend only burning firewood that has been properly seasoned, or dried. We would like to tell you more about seasoned firewood. In addition, why it is so important for you to burn this type of fuel this fireplace season!
Wood contains about 40 percent water. Therefore, a fire that is built with freshly cut firewood wastes a lot of its energy burning off that moisture. The majority of the heat produced by this fire escapes out of the chimney. This can lead to you having to turn up the thermostat just to stay comfortable. Seasoned firewood has been allowed to dry for at least six months after being cut. Due to this, it allows this type of wood to provide more heat for less money!
How can I tell if the firewood has been properly seasoned when buying wood?
With dark ends and visible splits and cracks, seasoned firewood is much more lightweight than freshly cut (or green) wood. You can also tell by banging two pieces of wood together. If you hear a clunking sound, it is most likely seasoned. When you bang pieces of green wood together, you will hear a dull thudding sound. Do you really want to be sure the wood is seasoned? If so, you can buy a moisture meter for about $20 at your local hardware store. You will want to only buy wood with a moisture content of 20 to 25 percent.
How should I store seasoned firewood?
It is crucial that you store your seasoned firewood off the ground to keep it from absorbing moisture. Don’t have a storage shed? No worries! You can stack the wood on top of pallets, concrete blocks, or gravel. Cover the top of your wood stacks with a tarp, and make sure the sides are open to allow air to circulate freely. This helps to keep your seasoned firewood dry.
If you want warmer fires that last longer, you should only burn seasoned firewood. Contact us at All Seasons Chimney to find out more tips on how to increase the energy efficiency of your chimney and fireplace!