Once your dream fireplace is a part of your home, you can rest easy that you’re ready for winter, right? This may be wrong. Depending on the type of system you have, you need to make sure you have the correct fuel to stay warm this season.
If you have a wood fireplace, insert, or stove, you need to have a store of wood for winter. Running low on firewood part-way through the cold season can be a recipe for disaster (and cold holidays). Make sure you’re ready by preparing now.
- Properly Seasoned Firewood
You should only burn properly seasoned firewood in your wood-burning fireplace. This wood has been cut and stored to dry until it is ready to burn. When a tree is cut down it can be filled with 50 to 75 percent water. In order to burn cleanly, it should have less than 20 percent water content. You can tell wood is ready to burn by checking for dull coloring, a hallow sound when hit together, the bark will pull away from the wood, and the wood will be lighter.
- Buying Seasoned Firewood
If you need firewood for this season now, there is no time to let it season. You need to find a local source for seasoned firewood. You can check out the place to make sure you get what you pay for and that the wood is ready for use.
- Storing Firewood
You may not have a good way to store the firewood, especially if you’re just getting started with a wood-burning stove or fireplace. If you don’t have a wood shed, then stacking the wood under a tarp will work. Stacking the wood on a bed of gravel will help keep the firewood out of standing water, and stacking it loosely will keep air circulating, keeping the wood dry.
The Problem with Green Wood
Do not burn green wood, even if you’re desperate. There is always a way to find seasoned firewood. Burning green wood is bad for your chimney system, bad for the environment, and hard on your lungs. The moisture in green wood causes it to burn incompletely, leading to more creosote and soot in the chimney system, as well as an increase in smoke and particulate pollution. When you burn green wood, you have to burn two to three times as much in order to reach the same temperature as seasoned firewood. This is a waste of money and time. It will also mean that you need more chimney sweeps and inspections to clean away the excess soot and creosote.
The Cozy Flame
The Cozy Flame sells and installs the best wood-burning stoves, inserts, and fireplaces, but even the best products on the market will only work as well as the fuel you burn in them. Protect your family, your investment, and your comfort by preparing for winter now.