Did you realize that you can optimize your fireplace just by burning the right wood? Using local seasoned firewood burns cleaner and more efficiently. Seasoned firewood is wood that has been dried properly over a period of at least six months. Burning freshly-cut wet wood can create problems such as large creosote buildups and smoke and odor issues. Buying local firewood is equally important because moving firewood can cause infestations of tree-killing insects and diseases that could destroy forests, property values, and cost large amounts of money to control. At Old Hat Chimney Service, we are often asked how to choose the best firewood. We thought it would be helpful to you to share with you some tips on buying local seasoned firewood.
Follow State Advisories and Laws and Buy Local Firewood
According to Don’t Move Firewood, a website dedicated to the importance of using local firewood, the Georgia Forestry Commission, Georgia State Parks, and Georgia Department of Natural Resources advise that campers and travelers within Georgia should buy and use locally harvested firewood to prevent the spread of tree-killing insects within the state. Out of state visitors should leave their own firewood at home. DeKalb and Fulton Counties have even stricter laws against moving firewood out of these counties to prevent the further spread of the emerald ash boxer, a federally quarantined pest.
Seasoned Firewood Is Crucial for Effective and Efficient Burning.
All firewood contains moisture; however, seasoned firewood has been dried out to have a 20-26% moisture content as compared to freshly-cut wood that has a moisture content of up to 45%. When you try to burn wet firewood, the heat produced by combustion has to dry out the wood before it can burn, and this wastes a lot of energy. This means less heat for your home and a large production of acidic water in the form of creosote deposited in your chimney. Seasoned wood, on the other hand, is easier to start, gives out more heat, and burns cleaner.
Always Check to See if the Wood Is Properly Seasoned.
A few things you can do to be sure your firewood you are buying is dry enough to burn include looking at the end grain for cracks, although this is not the best indicator. Look at the color of the wood as dried wood tends to turn gray or yellow. Bang two pieces of wood together; dry wood should make a hollow sound. Finally, dry wood weighs less than wet wood.
Stack and Store Your Firewood Properly to Keep It Dry.
Stack the wood off the ground to keep it from getting wet and growing mold. The wood should be stacked in crisscrossed layers to form a pillar at each end of your wood pile. The ideal storage place is a wood shed with a floor and a roof but no sides. This allows the warm winds to flow through while the wood is protected from rain and snow.
Have more questions about buying local seasoned firewood? Contact Old Hat Chimney Service to ask our expert staff.