Do you depend on firewood for heat or for the ambiance of a crackling fireplace? I so, you are probably moving through your wood pile this January. Sometimes it’s difficult to gauge the amount of wood you might use during a season. However, it’s important to make sure you have enough to do the job.
Properly Seasoned Wood
You should only burn properly seasoned wood in your fireplace, wood insert, or stove. This means the wood has been cut, split, and set aside to dry for at least six months before it’s burned. Wood cut from a living tree can contain up to 100% moisture. Optimum burning wood should have no more than 15-20% moisture. This moisture is trapped in tubes inside the trunk of the tree and will escape faster if the logs are cut and split.
Cutting Your Own Wood
If you have your own property to cut your own trees, then you’re all set to get started now. If you have a multitude of trees, don’t be quick to cut anything you see. There are certain types of trees that work best for firewood. Hard woods like hickory, oak, and maple provide the best and longest burn. Softer woods like spruce, poplar, and pine burn faster. The hard wood can take up to a year to become seasoned, while softer wood can take six months.
So, what if you don’t have your own forest to cut firewood? Simple. You can probably find a local supplier through a simple web search or by word of mouth. When you find a supplier you should visit the location before making your purchase. This is in order to make sure you’re getting the right wood, and that its properly seasoned. Some signs that your wood is dry enough to burn is that:
- it grays in color
- begins to crack and pull away from the bark
- sounds hollow when hit together
If you visit the supplier and are happy with the wood available, you should make sure you are happy with the price! Most suppliers sell wood by the cord. This is a wood tightly stacked and measures 4ft x 4ft x 8ft. Avoid paying too much for a cord of wood by looking it over before paying. Most suppliers should welcome your visit. In addition, should allow you to look at the stack and test the wood before buying it.
Storing Your Firewood
Many homeowners choose to store their firewood in a wood shed, but such a building would have to be quite large to hold several cords of wood (the average four person family burns 5-8 cords per winter). To let your wood season you can actually find a space to stack it and simply let it sit. For added protection, in especially wet climates, you can cover the top with a tarp. Afterwards, place the stack on gravel or sand bedding to help the water runoff.
To learn more about selecting, splitting, storing, and stacking firewood you can talk with a professional at your convenience. New Buck Chimney Services are your chimney experts, and we know what wood burns the best. Contact New Buck Chimney Services online or call us today!