Signs of Seasoned Firewood – Buy Now For Fall

There are several signs of well seasoned firewood. Learn more here!

There are several signs of well seasoned firewood. Learn more here!

When the weather starts to cool down and heaters start to click on those of us with wood burning fireplaces start getting ready to enjoy the warmth of a crackling wood fire. Most fireplace owners understand the importance of having a yearly chimney inspection and cleaning performed but a surprising number of them still don’t understand the importance of choosing the right kind of firewood. If you’re burning wet, green, or improperly seasoned wood it can be undoing all the work your chimney sweep has done and will make your fires less efficient and less enjoyable as well.

What Is Seasoned Firewood?

Seasoned firewood is wood that has been cut more than a year and stored in a cool dry place to allow for the majority of the moisture and saps to evaporate. If the wood was cut over a year ago but not stored properly it is not properly seasoned wood. The point of allowing wood to season is to let it become as dry as possible. This decreases the production of creosote and other byproducts that are created during combustion. If you burn green or wet wood in a fireplace these byproducts will be deposited on the inside of your chimney as the smoke rises up the flue and cools. These byproducts are organic material so they are flammable. If enough creosote builds up on the inside of your chimney it can cause a dangerous chimney fire.

How Can I Tell If The Firewood I’m Buying Is Seasoned Properly?

The easiest way to ensure that your wood is properly seasoned is to season it yourself. Buy it a year in advance and store it in a cool dry place away from rain and snow. Do not store wood under a tarp to keep it safe from precipitation because it can prevent the moisture that is already in the wood from properly escaping, especially if this tarp sits in direct sunlight.

Of course if you don’t have the space or resources to properly store and season your own wood there are some tell-tale signs that you count on to ensure that the wood you are purchasing has been seasoned.

The Bark

If wood has been seasoned the bark will begin to lose its hold on the wood and may have fallen off all together. If there is still bark it should be completely dry and (depending on the type of tree it came from) may be crumbling off to the touch.

The Coloration

The ends of a piece of seasoned wood are usually darker in color and will have begun to develop cracks. These are not cracks from the process of splitting or cutting the wood but rather cracks that have formed during the drying process.

The Sound

If you knock 2 pieces of seasoned wood together at the ends they should produce a slightly hollow-sounding “thunk” sound as opposed to green or wet wood which will be very solid and not produce that particular sound.

Burning the proper fuel is part of the responsible operation of your wood burning appliance. When it comes to the safety and efficiency of your appliance it can make all the difference. If you ever have questions about your wood supply or the appliance it is being used in contact Pozzi Chimney Sweep! We’re here to help!