The Importance of Properly Seasoned Wood
Ensuring safe wintertime enjoyment of your fireplace or wood stove is among the reasons to understand the importance of properly seasoned wood. The definition of seasoned wood is firewood with a low moisture content of 25% or below, and it is the only thing you should burn in your wood-burning fireplace or stove. Read on to find out why it’s important to burn only properly seasoned wood as well as tips for storing firewood, measuring moisture content, and sizing up how dry it is.
What Kind of Firewood Should be Burned in Your Fireplace?
Hardwoods and softwoods are the two basic types of firewood, and it is okay to burn either type if the wood is seasoned. It’s good to know the attributes of the firewood you are burning. For instance, softwoods burn quickly and do not leave glowing coals behind.
If you want a fast-burning fire that cools down rapidly, softwoods are an excellent choice. On the other hand, if the weather is very cold outside and you want a long-lasting, warm, cozy fire, hardwoods are the best fuel for your fireplace.
Whichever wood type you burn, make sure it is properly seasoned wood. Otherwise, most of the fire’s energy will go toward burning out the moisture. Major New Hampshire hardwoods that are moderately easy to dry and split include birch, maple, ash, and beech. For a prolonged burn and firewood that develops good coals, oak and hickory are the best hardwoods. Softwoods that dry and split easily and are ideal for use as kindling as well as quick-burning fires in New Hampshire include pine, spruce, hemlock, and aspen.
Tips for Buying Seasoned Wood
The best way to ensure that firewood is properly seasoned is to use a moisture meter. These are currently available on Amazon at various price points, including several at about $25 or less. The devices are easy to use, and they can quickly tell you if the firewood is at the ideal moisture level of 15% to 25% tops. Because of the importance of properly seasoned wood, a moisture meter is a great investment. If a moisture meter is not on hand, you may be able to accurately size up the wood’s moisture content, anyway.
The goal is to avoid green wood, which usually looks relatively fresh cut on the ends. Well-seasoned firewood is darkened on the ends and has splits and cracks. The weight of the firewood is another factor. Green wood is very heavy because of the moisture inside. Properly seasoned firewood is somewhat light. You can also use sound to determine moisture content in firewood. If you strike two pieces of properly seasoned firewood together, it makes a ‘clunk’ sound. You will hear a dull thud if you strike two pieces of green wood together.
Tips for Seasoning Firewood
When you chop your own firewood, you will need to stack and store it for 6 to 12 months before it is ready for use. The amount of time required depends on the type of wood and how well you protect the wood from precipitation. The idea is to expose as much of the surface area of the firewood to the wind and sun as possible while also shielding the wood from rainfall.
Contact Chimney Sweep Pros for Creosote Removal
With every wood fire you burn, a combustion byproduct known as creosote is deposited inside your chimney liner. Creosote is highly flammable. It is often the cause of hazardous chimney fires, and creosote will obstruct the chimney if routine chimney cleaning is neglected. When you burn green firewood, the amount of smoke produced increases, and some is likely to billow into your home. The inefficient burning of fresh- cut wood increases the amount of creosote buildup.
This is another top reason for the importance of properly seasoned wood. Creosote removal is also one of the reasons many homeowners and business owners in Central New Hampshire contact Fire N’ Stone for chimney services.
Our trained, insured, and certified chimney technicians provide high-quality chimney services backed by a guarantee. Visit our full-service Fire N’ Stone showroom at 539 Laconia Rd., Tilton, NH, where you can see custom stone fireplace and chimney displays and much more. You can also contact us online or call 603-293-4040 to book an appointment today.