Would you like your wood-burning fireplace to burn cleaner and work more efficiently this winter? Having an excellent supply of seasoned firewood is the best way to make this happen. What is seasoned firewood? Simply put, this type of firewood has been thoroughly dried. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends using seasoned firewood because trying to burn a fire with wet wood can cause issues with smoke and smells as well as accelerate the accumulation of flammable creosote on the inner walls of your chimney. You may see this type of firewood for sale, but, unless you know and trust the vendor, the only way to be sure your firewood supply has been properly seasoned is to do it yourself. American Chimney & Masonry would like to give you some tips on how you can season your own firewood supply to be prepared to heat your home more effectively this winter.

Seasoned Firewood - Portland OR - American Chimney For easier storage, cut each piece of firewood to the same length.

To figure out the right length, think about the size of your firebox. For optimum stacking, your pieces of firewood should be cut to within at least three inches less than the length or width of the firebox.

Have each piece of firewood split before stacking.

When you split the wood before you stack it, the drying process is improved because more of the wood is exposed to the air.

Periodically measure the amount of moisture in the firewood.

Before you start drying it, take note of the moisture content in the wood with a moisture meter that you can find in a hardware store for under $30. Each month, you can see how well you are seasoning your firewood by checking and recording the moisture content. Properly seasoned firewood should have a moisture content of 20% or less.

Use a criss-cross pattern when stacking the wood.

To promote better air circulation and faster drying, stack the wood in alternate directions in a criss-cross pattern.

Store your firewood off the ground.

You do not want the bottom of your wood pile to get wet and absorb moisture, so you may want to build a storage structure to stack the wood at least six inches away from the ground.

Keep the top of the pile covered.

If you do decide to build a storage structure for your firewood, include a roof. If building a shed is not possible, cover your wood pile with a tarp. To keep the tarp from possibly trapping moisture inside, allow the sides to be uncovered. On warm, sunny days, you can remove the tarp to let the sun help dry your wood faster.

Want more firewood seasoning tips? Contact American Chimney & Masonry  to ask our expert staff for our own wood-burning suggestions.

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Located right here in Portland, Oregon, our chimney sweep technicians provide the best in chimney cleaning, fireplace installation and dryer vent care in the Greater Portland-Metro area. From North Portland down to Tualatin and Oregon City in the south, from Pleasant Valley in the east to Beaverton and Sherwood in the west – when it comes to your chimney, fireplace and vents, we hope you’ll call American Chimney & Masonry!

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