Have you ever noticed that sometimes your fireplace is really smokey, even after your chimney has been cleaned? Have you ever thought that your fire just isn’t burning as hot? Do you have trouble getting a fire started? If you’ve had any of these issues, it’s not your appliance but most likely the wood you are using wood. At Northeastern Fireplace and Design, we want to tell you how to properly season your firewood so that it can burn hot and clean.
Seasoning your firewood
So, what does it mean to season your firewood? Seasoning is the process of cutting, stacking, and drying your firewood for at least six months, to prepare it for burning for your fire. All types of firewood, both hardwoods and softwoods, need to be properly seasoned before they are used in your fireplace. Fresh cut wood contains about 45% moisture. When moisture levels are high, your firewood is harder to light and won’t burn as hot as seasoned firewood.
Since it isn’t burning as hot, it doesn’t burn off all the chemicals in wood. The chemicals cause smoke and is stuck on the inner wall of your chimney in the form of creosote. Unseasoned wood also has a tendency to pop, which can launch hot embers into your living area. Seasoned firewood should have a moisture content of 20 % – 25 %. It burns hotter and causes less smoke. It is also more energy efficient, meaning you’ll use less wood, which saves you time, energy and money.
How do I prepare my firewood?
Seasoning your firewood is fairly easy. If you have larger logs, the first thing you want to do is split them. Split logs tend to season better and quicker. Next, try to stack your wood a little off the ground. Leaving some area between your firewood stack and the ground protects your wood from moisture and allows for air movement. Some people use pallets or a pile of rocks to keep their wood piles off the ground. You should also put a tarp on the top of your firewood, leaving the sides of your stack open. This helps to prevent too much rain from your firewood.
There are a few ways to tell if your firewood is ready to burn. You should check the firewood for cracked ends, as seasoned wood tends to have them. Your firewood will make a dull hollow noise when thudded against another piece of wood. Seasoned wood is less dense than unseasoned wood, so it should feel lighter.
At Northeastern Fireplace and Design, we want you to have the best fire experience possible. If you have any questions regarding how to prepare your firewood, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (518)-767-9314 or stop by and talk to us today!