How to Choose the Right Firewood

Thanks to Clean Sweep for this episode of Tips from the Pros about choosing firewood.

How to Choose the Right Firewood

While warm fires are the last thing you want burning in your house in the summer heat, fall and brisk winter nights are right around the corner. When cooler days come around, you should start by cleaning out your fireplace and getting a chimney inspection. Once your chimney has been prepped, you need to choose the right firewood.

Clean Sweep choosing firewood

Dry Firewood is the Best Firewood

As a general rule of thumb, remember that dry firewood is the best firewood. Wood is filled with small tubes that run water from the roots below the ground into the trunk and branches. When the wood is cut, those tubes will still have moisture in them. Wood that is wet, or that has not been allowed to dry enough will not burn cleanly. Instead, the heat from the fire will work to dry out the wood, which wastes fuel. The smoke and emissions from freshly cut timber also cause more pollution. Dry, seasoned firewood is the best for building a clean fire.

Choosing the Right Firewood

If you purchase your firewood from a retail store instead of chopping it down on your own, here’s what you need to know to select the best wood:

  • Store firewood in a dry, well-ventilated area. If you store things outdoors, keep firewood somewhere that does not get flooded and cover it with a tarp.
  • Choose wood that is gray in color. When wood is older and dried out, it naturally fades to a gray tone.
  • Knock logs together before you purchase them. If the logs sound hollow, it’s a sign that the moisture content is low.
  • The lightest logs are the ones with the least water inside. The same is true for logs with cracked ends.

There is more to quality firewood than just choosing a log that is dry. You should also select logs that are dense. Oak trees and hickory trees make great firewood because the logs burn for long periods of time without producing too much smoke. Softer woods, like aspen and pine, will burn quickly and make more smoke.

If you purchase wood from a distributor, you will be purchasing it by the cord. A cord is 128 cubic feet of wood, and it is 8 feet long, 4 feet deep and 4 feet tall. One cord can get many families through the winter, but if you need less wood, you might be able to buy a face cord, which is 8 feet long, 4 feet high and only as deep as the length of each log.

You Can Rely on Clean Sweep Maryland

Call Clean Sweep Maryland today at 410-558-1111 for professional chimney sweep, dryer vent cleaning and gutter cleaning services designed to keep your home in wonderful condition and your family safe.

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