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Buying The Best Firewood

Best Firewood Image - Lake Norman NC - SirVent ChimneyWhen it comes to building and maintaining great fires, picking out the right fuel is a vital step. Using seasoned wood can make all the difference in creating a fire that burns more efficiently. Well-seasoned wood means less toxins, cleaner burns, and less creosote build-up. All of these things not only make your fireplace experience more enjoyable, but keep your home and family safer, as well.

Don’t let smoking issues, chimney fires, and more ruin your holiday season. Read up on these tips for picking out the best fuel possible, so you can get the most out of all your fires this winter.

Check Out The Ends

When sorting through a woodpile, keep an eye out for wood that is short in length and split at the ends. The ends will also be darker in color and will not look as fresh. All of these indicate that more surface area has been exposed to the sun for a longer period of time.

Fresh cut wood can contain a lot of water. The ideal piece of wood will have dried out for over 6 months to ensure as much moisture as possible is gone before going on the burn pile. That’s why these signs are ones you definitely want to consider, the next time you pick out firewood!

Note The Weight

If wood has been given enough time to dry out, it will weigh less. If the wood feels dense and heavy, then there is still too much water inside, and it needs some more time in the sun. Two lightweight pieces will make a clear clunk-ing noise when you hit them together – another great sign of well-seasoned wood!

Store Your Own

The most obvious way to ensure you get the best fuel possible is to store your own firewood. A little time and effort will allow you some great fires this winter, and you won’t have to pay a thing!

If this sounds like the best option for you, make sure that your wood is protected from rain, snow, or any other types of moisture. Your pile will also need good air circulation to ensure the drying process goes smoothly. The CSIA recommends a shed with a roof, open sides, and lots of sun exposure. A classic wood pile works, too, just make sure you are taking the appropriate steps to protect it when the weather gets bad.

If you are ready to start building hotter, cleaner fires that start with ease, take the time to pick out the best wood logs that you can find. Not only will this heighten efficiency, but it will lower the risk of chimney fires and minimizes the likelihood of inhaling smoke and harmful toxins.

For more advice on this subject or anything else chimney or fireplace related, turn to the experts at SirVent Chimney and Venting Service. Our staff is CSIA trained and certified, and we are excited about helping you out! Give us a call today!

Proper Firewood Procedures

There are a few factors to consider when selecting and preparing firewood for your burning season. It may seem like any wood (or anything that will burn) should do the trick for starting and maintaining a safe fire, but this is not the case. Following certain guidelines will help your fire burn as efficiently as possible, saving you time and money, as well as ensure your family’s safety.

Proper Firewood Storage - Lake Norman NC

Moisture Content

The less amount of moisture in a piece of firewood, the better it will burn. If you cut your own wood, allow it six months to one year to dry out before putting it to use. When you attempt to build a fire with freshly cut wood, a lot of energy will be spent drying it out before it properly lights. In the end, this will cause the fire to produce much less heat than it normally would have and will cause the newly created acidic water to remain in your chimney.

If you are purchasing wood, look out for these signs that will show it has been well-seasoned and is okay to use in your fire at home.

  • Short in length: If a log is cut into short lengths, there is more wood exposed, allowing more surface area for the sun to hit and dry out. This enables the drying process to move quicker and increases the chance that the wood is ready for use.
  • Darkened ends: Darker wood indicates that it is not freshly cut and has been sitting for some time, assuring you that it is well-seasoned.
  • Cracks: If a piece of wood is cracked, there are more opportunities for sunlight to get in and dry out any excess moisture.
  • Lightweight: Fresh cut wood tends to be fairly heavy, as the water still remains inside of it. Try to get lighter weight wood, as this will indicate that it has been seasoned and is ready for use.

Storing Firewood

The best way to ensure that your wood is properly seasoned and that you are not getting scammed into purchasing wood that is not efficient for burning is to season it yourself. Follow these storage tips to keep your fuel in the best possible condition.

  • 20 percent moisture: Aim for a moisture level of 20 percent or lower. There are moisture meters designed to help you check this. Simply put it in a split piece of wood and see how it reads.
  • Cut it short and split it: Cut the wood so that it will fit properly in your fireplace when you go to use it. Then, split the wood. Both of these steps make it easier to store and allow the wood more of an opportunity to dry out before your burning season begins.
  • Store off the ground: Try to keep your wood pile at least six inches off of the ground to reduce the amount of moisture it is exposed to. This way, your entire stack will stay dry, rather than just the top portion.