Wednesday, October 23 2013
Finding the Best Firewood for your Heating Needs
When it comes to using your fireplace. It is easy to become eager to start using it and burn whatever wood you can find lying around in the backyard. However, using the right fireplace fuel source is very important. The right type of fireplace wood allows you to create long lasting fires that will heat your home all winter long. All fireplace wood is not created equal. The two largest categories of firewood are seasoned or unseasoned. This commonly refers to both the age and moisture level of the wood.
Unseasoned wood could be thought of as coming right off the branch and into your home. This type of wood will burn, but there is an issue that will affect the quality of your fireplace experience. This type of wood has a lot of internal moisture. This can come from the sap and water that is still present within the wood. Using this type of wood will usually create a shorter burning and lower temperature fire.
Seasoned wood is wood that has been cut, and stacked with an emphasis on air flow. This allows the wood to become completely dried. Ideally, wood should have a gray look, and be almost bone white on the inside. This means that the wood is completely dry and will burn very effectively. It is important to note that this drying process is not quick. Wood should be dried for at least one year. Because of that, when buying firewood, you should be looking to buy a year ahead of time. If you are buying wood from this year's cut to burn this season, then you will be burning unseasoned, wet wood.
In addition to the age and dryness of the wood, the tree type from where the wood originates is important. Dry woods and hard woods both have their merits when it comes to heat, fire longevity, and fragrance. To give you an idea of wood burning temperature, here is a table from the Consumer Energy Center outlining the BTU output of different types of wood. Check out the list and see what would be the best for your fireplace needs. Then, check out the different fireplace repair and upgrade options offered at Chicago Fireplace & Chimney!
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