One important thing to know about using your chimney is how to pick the correct firewood. After all, wet, green firewood will not only burn inefficiently, but it will also contribute to a buildup of creosote. For those that need a refresher, creosote is the highly flammable substance that is emitted from burning fires that burn at too low a temperature. If you have a buildup of creosote, it is very highly recommended that you get it cleaned immediately to reduce the risk of chimney fire.
When choosing firewood, stay away from resinous wood. This type of wood burns with heavy smoke, which naturally emits a higher volume of creosote. Besides the fire hazards associated with creosote, it’s buildup can also damage the masonry in the chimney which can be a very expensive repair. Also, never use scrap wood, like from a construction site. These woods tend to be coated in chemicals that are designed to preserve the wood, but are harmful when breathed by humans. The wood that you do want to use are hardwoods like oak, hickory, maple and ash. These woods burn much cleaner.
Make sure you season your firewood for several months before use. This will ensure that the wood is dry and free from moisture. You will also need to make sure the wood is covered in a dry place. As we stated above, wet wood will not burn as well, and emits creosote. If you don’t have a dry place under a deck to place the wood, try a waterproof tarp.
If you will follow these tips when choosing your firewood, you will make sure that once the winter comes along, you can safely use your fireplace and chimney. This is an easy way to keep your family and your home safe from preventable fires.