Seasoning firewood is an important step in maintaining your chimney properly. If the wood is wet, for instance, it is going to produce more dangerous creosote. Creosote, of course, is a leading cause of chimney fires, and must be removed regularly. You will also lose a lot of the potential heat as much of the potential energy will be used to drive out the moisture from the wood instead of providing heat for your home. It is very important for folks to choose not only dry firewood, but also the right firewood. This is because not all firewood burns the same, and you want to make sure you are burning safely in your chimney.
It is important to remember that freshly chopped firewood contains a lot of moisture. They are plants, after all, and they hold on to water for their nutrition. As firewood, though, this is a big problem. So, when you are looking to season your firewood, follow these steps:
- Chop the wood down to shorter bits, and season it outdoors.
- Stack the wood in a way that keeps it off the ground, and away from a wall.
- Allow space between the stack of wood and whatever wall you have set it up against. This lets air move around the wood pile.
- You will want the top of the wood to be covered in order to keep the wood dry. However, the sides need to be uncovered to allow air flow.
- If your wood has bark, stack the wood with the bark on the bottom. Because bark acts as a natural cover, this will also help the wood to dry faster.
You will find that the duration of seasoning will vary depending on the type of wood. Deciduous trees, if cut down in the winter, dry quickly because the sap has gone down to the roots. For the most part, soft woods like pine will take around 6 months to season. Hard woods, like oak, can take up to a year.
Keep these things in mind when putting wood into your fireplace. Choosing wisely will help produce more heat and keep your chimney functioning properly and safely.