How to Season Firewood and Why It’s Important

One of the most important things to remember when burning a fire this winter is to burn the proper fuel. Gas fireplaces should only burn gas. Pellet stoves and fireplaces should only burn pellets. Wood-burning appliances should only burn properly-seasoned wood. Never light leaves, trash, or clothes in your fireplace.

Properly-Seasoned WoodFinding properly seasoned firewood.

Wood is wet when freshly cut–full of water that was keeping the tree alive. Wood will not burn properly unless the water content is less than 30 percent and this can only happen over time. First, cut wood to length. Then stack it loosely in a pile to take in wind and sun for a period of 3 to 6 months. Once it is adequately dried–or seasoned–it will be easier to split for firewood. You can tell your firewood is properly seasoned when:
-the exterior is gray in color
-the wood is light weight
-cracks form at the edge and near the bark
-two pieces hit together make a dull sound

How to Store Firewood

Many homeowners choose to leave their firewood in a stack to dry, and others chose to cover it with a tarp or a shed. The only wrong way to store the wood is in a tight stack or enclosed inside a shed. Without sunlight and airflow, the firewood will take twice as long to dry–if it dries at all.

How you decide to store your firewood may make the mess more manageable, and may even make it fun. You can design and build your own wood shed, wood boxes, and shelters to best store your wood, and help it to season well.

Purchasing Firewood

This late into fall, the odds are, you already have firewood that is dry and stored. If not, there are still options for you. You can purchase seasoned firewood from a local supplier. Make sure that if you’re purchasing firewood, you’re getting what you pay for. Understand the difference between a rank and a cord of wood, how much it should cost, and how long it might last you. Keep in mind that if you buy firewood by the truckload, the truck bed loses space due to wheel wells and other tools or items in the truck bed. It is also important that you see the firewood before you make the purchase so that you can determine if it’s properly seasoned or not.

Types of Wood

The type of wood you decide to burn in your fireplace may determine how long your firewood supply will last. Harder woods will burn longer, but not as hot. Softer woods burn hotter, but faster. Many homeowners will burn harder woods overnight so that the fire lasts longer. You may find that your wood supply, whether from your own forest or your supplier, is made up of harder woods or softer. It is still good firewood as long as it’s properly seasoned, and the fireplace or stove is used properly.

Don’t cut corners when it comes to your firewood. Your safety and the efficiency of your fire can depend on it.

Wet, or green, wood can cause a smoky and inefficient fire. If you’ve changed your firewood type and are burning proper fires and using the system properly, but the fire is still smoky, you may need to call a professional. Brickliners is a phone call away and can check out your fireplace before winter. Call 802-872-0123 today or schedule online.

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