To have the best burn and less chimney residue you should choose only properly seasoned wood. This is wood that has been cut, split, stacked, and stored for at least six months prior to burning. The storage time can be less for softer woods with less moisture content, and can be more for harder woods. Though it can be a lot of work to cut your own wood, and a hassle to buy it, you want to only burn seasoned wood in your fireplace, stove, or insert.
In Northern California it can be difficult to find seasoned firewood because we are deep into burning season. If you are seeking a local source for your firewood there are a few things to keep in mind:
Measure the Stack
The guy parked on the side of the road with a truckload of wood may not have a cord of wood, but may charge you for one. A cord is 128 cubic feet of tightly stacked wood, usually measuring 4ft x 4ft x 8ft. When you consider this type of purchase, make sure that you take into account wheel wells, spare tires, or gas cans that may be contributing to the size.
Check that it’s Seasoned
You can look at the wood to tell if it’s seasoned. Seasoned wood is gray in color, cracks at the cut ends, pulls away from the bark. Two pieces of seasoned wood hit together will produce a hollow sound. The wood is to wet to burn if it produces a dull sound! This also applies to your own firewood stock.
Check the Price
Do not pay too much for your cord of wood. If you can, check online and social media or several local sources to compare prices in the area. Don’t pay a good price for a loose stack of wood. Piled wood can have up to 60% less wood than a good stack.
Check the Wood Type
It’s not just about the dry, seasoned wood. The type of wood affects the way your fire burns. A cord of a hard wood like oak will have as many BTUs as a cord of pine or fir because it is a denser wood. Softer woods burn twice as fast as a hard wood. Both types of wood are good for burning if properly seasoned, but you’ll need twice as much softer wood to produce the same amount of heat as a hard wood.
At White Glove we know that firewood matters. You can talk to one of our fireplace experts today.