As the colder months arrive and the thought of a crackling fire in the fireplace becomes irresistible, the choice of firewood takes center stage in ensuring a fireplace experience that is not only visually captivating but also efficient and environmentally conscious. The importance of using seasoned firewood cannot be overstated, as its impact extends beyond mere aesthetics.
What is Seasoned Wood?
Typically, seasoned wood undergoes a drying period of at least 6-12 months in a dry environment, shielded from rain, snow, or ice moisture. Storing the wood covered and elevated from the ground is crucial during this process. When discerning between non-seasoned and seasoned wood, distinct differences become evident. Non-seasoned wood emits a damp, fresh scent, possesses greater weight and a denser sound, and exhibits a greenish hue beneath its bark. On the contrary, seasoned wood is notably lighter, with its moisture content significantly reduced. The bark either easily peels off or is no longer attached, and when tapping the pieces, seasoned wood produces a hollow sound, setting it apart from its non-seasoned counterpart. Along with these time-tested methods, we highly recommend the use of a quality moisture meter. FLAME-TECH® recommends burning wood with a moisture content under 20%. Using a moisture meter takes the guesswork out!
Benefits of Seasoned Wood
Here are a few reasons seasoned wood is the best option for excellent firewood. Whether you are heating your home or enjoying the ambiance of a nice fire on the weekend or for a holiday gathering, using seasoned firewood is your best bet.
Easy to Light
Moisture needs more energy to be burned, so it can take longer to start a fire. Seasoned firewood is dried out and, therefore, easier to ignite. This makes lighting your firewood easier and more effective. For those families who burn wood to heat their home, seasoned wood is much more convenient.
Insufficiently hot fires contribute to the accumulation of creosote, a highly flammable substance. The creosote buildup poses a severe fire hazard, potentially igniting unexpectedly, putting you, your family, and your home at risk. Beyond the immediate danger, burning unseasoned wood produces by-products like creosote and carbon monoxide. It’s worth noting that unseasoned wood also fosters the growth of mold, a recognized health hazard. When burned, this mold is dispersed throughout your home, adding a layer of risk to the consequences of using improperly seasoned wood.
Wet wood increases smoke and soot emissions during the initial combustion phases, and gasification occurs, releasing harmful pollutants. These emissions not only tarnish the glass in front of your fireplace and the bricks surrounding it but also contribute to environmental strain. Opting for dry wood enhances the visual appeal of your fireplace and minimizes the environmental impact of releasing pollutants during the burning process.
Fresh-cut, unseasoned firewood has a moisture content of 60%, which can cut your burning efficiency by 50%. When the moisture is removed from the wood, it will increase the heating efficiency of a wood-burning stove. This is because if water is in the wood, some heat energy created by burning is used to remove the water rather than heating your home. FLAME-TECH® recommends burning wood with a moisture content under 20%.
Contact FLAME-TECH® Today
FLAME-TECH® is your source for decades of experience in the fireplace industry. We are a one-source solution for all your fireplace needs, offering design and conversion services and service and repair to help you enjoy the warm comfort of a glowing fire. Serving select areas of Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, FLAME-TECH® is certified by the National Fireplace Institute® (NFI) and trained by the industry’s leading hearth manufacturers.