September and the cooler
temperatures of fall are nearly here, and homeowners nationwide will soon begin
enjoying the warmth and beauty provided by their homes’ fireplaces.
The following tips for
selecting the right kind of firewood this season will help homeowners save
money and avoid potentially dangerous chimney conditions.
Seek out well-seasoned wood.
Well-seasoned logs were cut at least 6 months prior to your purchase date,
providing ample time for excess water and moisture to evaporate. Seasoned wood
typically has a moisture content of 20%. Fresh cut wood can be nearly 50%
water. It’s clear which logs will burn more efficiently, providing more heat
for longer. Plus dryer wood is less likely to cause the dangerous build up of
creosote on your chimney walls, which can be a fire hazard if not seasonally
cleaned by a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep®.
The meter doesn’t lie. If
there is any doubt as to the dryness of the wood you want to purchase, think
about investing in a moisture meter. Available at just about any home
improvement or hardware store, a meter can quickly indicate the moisture
content of a log and save you the trouble of purchasing lower quality wood.
Apply the smack test.
If you don’t have access to a moisture meter, try the smack test. When you
strike two pieces of wood together, the sound they make is a good indicator of
whether they are ready for your fireplace. A clear, ringing “clunk” sound means
the wood that you plan to purchase is seasoned and a good investment. If you
can only muster a dull “thud” when smacking two pieces of firewood together, it
is probably best to leave those logs at the store.
Track your firewood’s travels.
In many states, firewood can only be sold in the county where it was cut,
because officials are trying to reduce the spread of invasive pests like the
ash borer and pine bark beetles. So while it may not have traveled far to get
to your local store for sale, how
firewood has been stored prior to purchase makes a big difference. Ask the
seller how and where the wood was stored in recent months, and if you get any
indication that has been exposed to the elements – like rain and snow – it’s
probably better to take a pass. The best firewood has been stored off the
ground in a dry and well-ventilated shed or other enclosure.
Choose hardwoods first.
While all species of wood will work just fine in your fireplace, seasoned
hardwoods, because they are denser, will burn hotter and longer, keeping you
warmer and saving you money on the purchase of additional wood.
more information about selecting proper firewood or to locate a CSIA Certified
Chimney Sweep®, visit www.csia.org and click on the
Homeowner Resources tab.
This press release is presented without editing for
your information. GRIT does not recommend, approve or endorse the products
and/or services offered. You should use your own judgment and evaluate products
and services carefully before deciding to purchase.