Helpful Tips for Efficiently Burning Firewood

Proper storage of firewood goes a long way toward an efficient fire. Learn more tips here!

Proper storage of firewood goes a long way toward an efficient fire. Learn more tips here!

At Pozzi Chimney Sweep, we like to inform our customers on the best ways to use their fireplaces, including wood burning tips. Burning wood correctly significantly improves the efficiency of your fireplace and stove and increases the life of your chimney and heating appliance. The US Environmental Protection Agency has developed a program, Burn Wise, to teach the public proper wood burning practices to protect your home, your health, and the air we all breathe. Our staff at Pozzi Chimney Sweep would like to share with you some of the EPA’s wood burning tips to help you use your fireplace and stove responsibly.


• Only use seasoned wood as firewood. To season your firewood, you should store in outside over the summer and let it dry for at least six months after the wood has been cut. To know if the wood has been properly seasoned, it should be darker, have cracks in the end grain, and give a hollow sound when knocked into another piece of wood.
• Use a moisture meter to check the moisture percentage of your firewood. Look for wood that has a moisture content of 20% or less as that is the best wood to burn.
• Store firewood outside. You should neatly stack your firewood off of the ground to keep moisture from seeping in through the bottom. Also, be sure your firewood is covered, either under a wood shed or covered with a tarp.
• Start your fires with newspaper and dry kindling. You can also have one of our certified technicians at Pozzi Chimney Sweep install a natural gas or propane lighter in your fireplace.
• Remove ashes to keep the air flowing properly. Clean out the ashes from your firebox on a regular basis and store these ashes outside in a metal, lidded container.


•Keep all flammable household items away from the fireplace. Curtains, newspaper, books, and furniture can all catch on fire if placed too closely to the fireplace.
•Never start a fire with kerosene, gasoline, or charcoal starter. As mentioned above, only use newspaper and dry kindling to start a fire.
•Never use unseasoned, freshly-cut wood as firewood. Trying to start a fire with wet wood is close to impossible, and it can cause hazardous issues such as a rapid development of large creosote deposits.
•If you use manufactured logs, ensure they are made from 100 percent compressed sawdust.  Never use logs made from wax in a fireplace insert of wood-burning stove.
•Keep the screens of your fireplace closed. You should only open the screens to load in wood or to stoke a lit fire.
•Always build hot fires.A smoldering fire is neither safe nor efficient.
•Keep a fire extinguisher ready.You never know when you may need to put out a fire that has become out-of-control.

Looking for more wood burning tips? Contact Pozzi Chimney Sweep today to ask us for more advice.