By now, you should know that adequately seasoned firewood burns better. You’re going to have a much easier time lighting that fire if the wood has been nicely dried out. But it’s more important than that. You should think twice before burning unseasoned wood in your fireplace, because it increases your rate of creosote build-up. It’s not just an issue of convenience, but an issue of safety. Here’s how you can inspect your wood to make sure it’s properly seasoned.
The more seasoned a piece of firewood is, the lighter it will become. This is because the seasoning process occurs as moisture draws out of the wood. You should quite easily be able to pick up a piece of seasoned firewood with one arm. If you find yourself having to use your second arm due to its weight, that’s a classic sign it could use some more time to dry out.
Another one of the best ways to verify that your firewood has been properly seasoned is by examining its color. Thoroughly dried-out wood has a grayish, almost silvery tinge to it. Un-seasoned wood, on the other hand, will look mostly brown, and potentially even green. But if it looks nice and gray, there’s a good chance it’s safe to go in your fireplace.
Next, you can try using sound. Take one piece of your firewood and hit it with another. If your wood needs more time to season, you will notice a heavy thud. Properly seasoned wood, on the other hand, will bounce off of the other with a hollow sound.
Additionally, if you notice that you left a dent in the firewood while doing this test, that’s another sign it needs more time to season. As wood dries out, it becomes harder.
For our final test without specialized equipment, just go ahead and give your firewood a light. Remember that seasoned firewood is more flammable than the green stuff. If you notice it’s especially difficult to light, this is a red flag. But you should be on the look-out for excess smoke once it’s finally burning, as this is yet another sign of firewood that could use more time to cure.
If you want to make absolutely sure your firewood has reached a proper level of dryness, you could always buy a moisture meter. These can be purchased relatively cheaply at your local hardware store. Well-seasoned firewood should have a moisture level below 20 percent on your meter.
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Champion Chimneys, Inc. is a fully licensed, bonded and insured chimney service company that has served customers in Baltimore County, Howard County, and Anne Arundel County, Maryland since 2001. Our team is trained and certified by Certified Chimney Professionals, Inc. (CCP, Inc.). Courteous service is our trademark, and our crews arrive on time in uniform, driving fully equipped trucks. We specialize in all aspects of your chimney system. Whether you need chimney and flue cleaning service or a full chimney rebuild or inspection, contact us at 443-Chimney today and let us fix all your chimney problems. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.