Helpful Firewood Facts

You may not think there’s anything to it, but the firewood you choose and the way you store your firewood can affect your appliance and partially determine how much soot and creosote buildup you’ll have on your flue liner at the end of the burn season. Here are some tips on what to look for when choosing your firewood, why it’s important that the wood be seasoned, and how you should store your firewood. If you have any questions, please let us know!

What Is Seasoned Wood & Why Is It Better Than Green Wood?

It’s only natural that wood contain some water, but the water content in fresh or green wood differs from that of seasoned wood. Fresh-cut wood will consist of about 45% water, while seasoned wood water content sits at about 20-25%. Why does water content matter? Good question! Well, in order to burn well, wood needs to be free of most of that moisture. This is achieved by “seasoning” the wood. If wood is green instead of seasoned, you’ll spend those moments by the fireside waiting for the fire and heat to burn the moisture out so the wood will stay lit and burn properly. In other words, you won’t be enjoying a blazing hot, roaring fire – but you will have all that acidic moisture depositing itself on your flue walls. So whether you’re buying your firewood or you’re chopping it down yourself, keep that in mind.

How Is Wood Seasoned?

Quite simply, to be properly seasoned, firewood should be cut to length at least 6 months before you plan to use it and stored in the sunlight and out of water’s path. The wind and sun will help remove the moisture inside of the wood. Tip: Splitting your wood will help it dry out even faster.

What Should I Look For When Buying Firewood?

When buying firewood, check for dark ends and cracks and splits within the wood. These are usually signs of properly seasoned wood. Seasoned wood is also typically lighter weight than fresh wood (because a lot of the moisture has been removed). Fresh wood may even still have the sap seeping out in some areas, so look the wood over really well. The best way, of course, to make sure you have properly seasoned wood when you’re ready to build that fire is to buy your wood 6 months in advance and store it properly.

How Should I Store My Firewood?

If you don’t keep your firewood protected against rain and snow, that seasoned wood won’t stay seasoned for long! It will quickly take on moisture and leave you back at square one. To prevent this, make sure your wood is kept in a wood shed or in a wood pile. If you opt for a wood pile, make sure your firewood is covered with a tarp on inclement weather days, and remove the tarp on sunny days to allow the wood to continue drying out.

When moving wood closer to the house so it’s easily accessible when you’re ready to build a fire, be sure to only keep enough for a few days so you aren’t inviting termites to come make a little home right near your home.

If you have any questions about firewood, please give us a call at 844-338-9223 – we’re here to help!

Our FAQs include information about what to do if you discover Chimney Swifts in your chimney, so check it out.