This is the best time of year to grab your favorite blanket and curl up in front of a roaring fire. To ensure your fireplace warms your home throughout the winter months, it’s important to choose the best firewood possible. Here are a few easy tips and tricks to keep in mind when you’re making your selection.
The first rule in firewood shopping is that well-seasoned is better. Why? According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, it contains significantly less water than fresh cut wood. Less water means that your fire will burn hotter and cause less mess in your chimney.
When choosing your firewood, find out how long ago the wood was cut. Water can survive for a long time under the surface, so it’s important to select logs that were cut no less than six months prior. If this information is not available, there are a few ways you can test it yourself.
In addition to feeling dryer on the surface, seasoned firewood will feel much lighter. If you’re able to select from a large stock, try to purchase the lighter pieces. Pick up two pieces and knock them together. Well-seasoned wood will make a hard, crisp knock. A dull thud usually indicates excess moisture.
If premium hardwoods aren’t available, less dense types like elm and soft maple should be easy to find. These lighter woods are also great for kindling fires during warmer evenings when you don’t need as much heat.
Click here to read more about the differences between gas and wood-burning fireplaces.