It’s the perfect time of year to stay in on a cold winter’s night and cozy up to a fire. Maybe you’ve never thought about it, but the firewood you use can make for an enjoyable experience or a possible dangerous one. The type of wood you use and how to properly store it is a big factor in determining how efficiently your system is working. Advanced Chimney Sweeps of Marietta Georgia wants you to be aware of the importance of selecting and storing the right type of wood for a safe and comfortable wood-burning season.
What to Avoid
After cut, wood typically takes six to nine months or more to dry out. Burning wood before it’s time is not only inefficient and ineffective, it can also produce excessive amounts of smoke that can be harmful to your health. Green wood delivers less heat and produces more creosote build up in your chimney creating a potential fire hazard. The EPA recommends using a moisture meter when purchasing firewood with a moisture content showing at 20% or below.
What to Look For
Seasoned wood is essentially wood that is allowed to dry before it is burned. Once the wood is cut to length, it is optimal to split it and allow for sun and wind exposure during the months it takes to dry out. Upon viewing, seasoned wood may be splintered at the ends to indicate lack of moisture. A sound test can also be conducted by knocking two pieces of wood together. Dried wood makes a higher pitched clinking sound where green wood makes a dull subdued sound indicating moisture.
How to Store Your Firewood
It is ideal to store firewood in a specific shed where it is covered by a roof but exposed on the sides to allow for proper air flow to promote drying until it is seasoned. After, it is safe to store a covered pile off of the ground away from direct contact with buildings.