If you want to burn better fires this winter, it helps to know how to pick out the best firewood for your fuel supply. The right type of firewood can produce longer-lasting fires that produce more heat and burn more cleanly, which is why it is so important to know what to look for when you are shopping for firewood. For over 25 years, All Seasons Chimney has provided the Hudson Valley region with superior professional chimney maintenance, repair, and installation services, and we want our customers to enjoy the best fires possible. We would like to share with you some tips on how to pick the right firewood for your fireplace this winter.
Look for firewood that has been properly seasoned.
Although this may sound like you should ask the firewood dealer if salt and pepper were used on the wood, properly seasoned firewood means that the wood has been allowed to dry for at least six months after it was cut. Freshly cut wood can contain as much as 45 percent water, but seasoned firewood should only have a moisture content that is between 20 and 25 percent. When wood has just been cut, its moisture content causes it to not burn as warmly as seasoned wood burns because it uses up its energy-burning off the water inside the wood.
Seasoned firewood is typically lightweight with darkened and cracked ends.
To ensure that your firewood has had sufficient drying time after it was cut, you can look for certain characteristics of properly seasoned wood when you are firewood shopping. Not only is seasoned wood lighter than freshly cut firewood, but it also has darkened ends with visible splits and cracks, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). You can also test your firewood by striking two pieces together to hear what sound it makes. Seasoned firewood will make a clunking sound, while freshly cut wood will make a dull, thudding noise.
Seasoning is more important than the type of species of wood.
The CSIA recommends that homeowners worry more about whether or not the firewood has been seasoned than what type of species the wood may be. It is true that harder woods like oak and birch burn longer than softer woods like cedar and pine, but less dense seasoned wood like elm can be great firewood, although you will have to burn more of it.
When you only burn seasoned firewood, you can enjoy warmer fires that last longer and burn cleaner. Contact us today at All Seasons Chimney to schedule an appointment for your annual professional chimney maintenance services to get your chimney ready for winter. We are here for all of your professional chimney maintenance, repair, and installation needs.