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Burn Properly Seasoned Wood This Holiday Season

Enjoying time together in front of a roaring fire is a part of the holiday traditions for many families. This year, ensure you are getting the most out of your fireplace by burning only seasoned firewood. Enjoying time together in front of a roaring fire is a part of the holiday traditions for many families. This year, ensure you are getting the most out of your fireplace by burning only seasoned firewood.

What is seasoned wood?

Seasoned firewood is wood that has been cut into logs, stacked, and left exposed to the elements to dry. The seasoning process typically takes a minimum of six months. Seasoning wood can last for up to a year or longer. Importantly, the seasoning process removes moisture from the wood. Fresh cut firewood, also known as green wood, has a moisture content of as high as 50%. This much water in the wood makes it difficult to burn; green wood is hard to ignite, burns at a low temperature, produces more smoke, and can create more creosote in the flue.
Seasoning the wood can reduce the moisture content to between 10 and 20 percent. Seasoned wood is the best choice for use in indoor residential fireplaces; the low moisture content allows the wood to ignite faster, burn hotter, and create less creosote.

What wood is best for my fireplace?

Although seasoned wood is always the best choice for indoor fireplaces, there are a number of different types of firewood. While the kind of firewood you choose to use often comes down to personal preference. Trial and error can help you find the perfect wood for your home.

– Hardwoods. Hardwoods are dense, heavy woods with leaves that change colors with the seasons. Maple, oak, ash, and birch are all popular varieties of hardwoods. Hardwoods are often the most popular for use in indoor fireplaces; in addition to being inexpensive and readily available in most areas, hardwoods create fires that burn at high temperatures and produce little smoke. – Softwoods. Softwoods are made from trees with needle leaves that stay on year round, such as firs, evergreens, and pines. Softwoods are known for their fragrant smoke and their ability to ignite quickly; because of this, softwoods are often used as kindling or aromatics in larger fires. However, because they produce larger amounts of smoke and burn at lower temperatures, they may not be ideal as a primary wood source.

What not to burn

During the holidays, it can be tempting to use the fireplace as a way to dispose of wrapping paper, boxes, and other packing materials. However, burning these things in an indoor fire can quickly lead to disaster. Paper products can ignite quickly to create a burst of flame; while this can be useful when lighting a fire, adding large amounts of paper to a burn can quickly cause it to get out of control. Likewise, burning printed wrapping paper can release toxic chemicals from dyes and inks into the air.

This year, get the most out of your fireplace by choosing seasoned firewood. For more information on how firewood choice can affect your fireplace, contact Clean Sweeps of Michigan today.