Tips on Storing and Burning Firewood

Proper firewood storage and selection can have a huge impact on your fire

Proper firewood storage and selection can have a huge impact on your fire

As winter is quickly approaching, it is time to prepare your firewood supply for the season, if you have not already. For successful, safe, convenient, and efficient wood burning, a plentiful supply of good quality firewood is the key. At Chim Cheree, The Chimney Specialists, we love educating our customers on the best wood-burning procedures and practices, and we have gathered a few tips from the non-profit Wood Heat Organization about storing and burning firewood that we would like to share with you to help you fully enjoy your fireplace this season.

Some species of wood are better than others

Although all species of trees are made of the same chemicals, denser wood species make the best firewood. Oak, ash, maple, and hickory will burn longer as well as produce hotter coals. However, many hardwoods are rare, protected as endangered species, or hard to find, depending on where you live. The Wood Heat Organization lists wood species from hardest to softest, and besides those already mentioned, ironwood, elm, beech, and birch are also good types of dense wood. For the coldest months of the year, you should definitely have firewood from these species in your supply. Conversely, you can use softer species of wood like poplar, pine, and spruce in the fall and spring because they burn quicker, make heat control easier, and do not overheat your home.

Most crucial characteristic of quality firewood

All wood contains moisture, and wet wood can be both difficult and hazardous to burn. Properly drying and seasoning wood lowers the moisture content to 15 to 20%, making it easier to burn. You will also be able to burn your wood fuel more efficiently when it is correctly seasoned. Burning wet, green wood also leads to overly smoky fires and an excessive amount of creosote accumulated on your chimney walls. Creosote is highly hazardous as it is extremely flammable. Large buildups of creosote in your chimney can ignite dangerous chimney fires.

Stacking and Storing your firewood

Many reliable chimney industry sources like the Chimney Institute of America (CSIA) recommend you allow your wood to season and dry for at least six months to be sure it has a low enough moisture content to make sure it burns efficiently. Storing your firewood over the summer allows nature to help the drying process.. The most important thing to remember when storing firewood is to keep it off the ground to keep ground moisture from seeping back into your wood. Stack the wood in a criss-cross manner, and alternate patterns per level as you stack the logs. This creates more stable wood piles and free movement of aid in seasoning.

If you have not already secured your firewood supply for the upcoming winter, contact Chim Cheree, The Chimney Specialists. We can recommend local firewood dealers who sell properly seasoned wood.

By David Kline | Tagged with: Tags: , , |