Choosing the Proper Firewood For Your Fireplace
Selecting the right wood to burn in your home is important to your overall chimney health. Subtle changes like the woods moisture, how it was stored and more can impact your chimney and also your indoor air quality. To keep these both in check, we recommend using seasoned, dry, locally sourced wood. Check out our tips below to make sure your chimney stays healthy and in safe working order by choosing the proper firewood for your home.
What is Seasoned wood?
- Seasoned wood is wood that has been drying throughout the year and is ready to burn. Moisture content will be 15-25%.
What is green wood?
- Green wood is freshly cut wood that should not be burned until the season after so it can have time to properly dry. Moisture content will be over 25%.
What type of wood should I buy?
- If you are buying wood for the upcoming season, you should be purchasing seasoned wood. If you are planning ahead for the year, you can by green wood and allow it to dry for the year. It’s worth choosing the proper firewood to keep your chimney healthy.
How much moisture should there be in the wood?
- Moisture content should be between 15-25%. Moisture content higher than this will not burn well and will produce sticky black creosote. Creosote buildup will deteriorate your flue and may cause a chimney fire and will require more regular sweeping.
How do I know the moisture content of my wood?
- To determine the moisture content of your wood you can purchase a moisture meter online or from a local hardware store. You will take the biggest piece of wood from the pile, split it down the middle and use the moisture meter on the inside of the split wood. If it is not between 15-25% it should not be burned or paid for as seasoned wood.
Where should I store my wood?
- Ideally you should store your wood inside to keep it dry and ready to burn. If it cannot be kept inside you should cover it with a water proof covering. If it is outside and covered; towards the end of the pile, you may notice it is really damp from all the moisture on the ground and may be harder to burn.
Where should I stack my wood?
- You should stack your wood in a place that is easily accessible and won’t pose a risk for a fire. Stacking your wood close to the exterior of the chimney may be a fire hazard as hot embers could come down from the top of the chimney, if they chimney is not properly cleaned or is being misused.