Cold temps are in our future here in Northern Illinois – so if you are in the  Barrington area you may be considering turning to your fireplace to keep your home warm this winter.

We checked out to check their top tips:

Successful Wood Burning

Make sure that your firewood is clean and dry, selecting wet pieces may result in a headache rather than a relaxing experience. Wet firewood may burn inefficiently and deposit creosote that can fuel a dangerous chimney fire.

Once you have purchased your firewood, store it in a dry place, this is key to a successful, efficient and safe wood burning experience.


How much firewood do you anticipate needing and what is a cord?

“The cord is the standard unit of measurement for firewood. A cord measures 4 x 4 x 8 feet. Some people insist that wood must only be sold in 4 x 4 x 8 foot units, or full cords. But this is impractical because almost no one burns four foot firewood.

As a result, many dealers sell fractions of cords, often called “face cords”, “stove cords” or “furnace cords”, which are piles of wood 4 feet high and 8 feet long and as wide as the length of the individual pieces, usually between 12 and 20 inches.” (

Learn To Distinguish A Dry Piece Of Firewood gives us six ways to judge firewood moisture, presented in order of most to least effective:

  1. Split a piece of wood. If the exposed surface feels damp, the wood is too wet to burn.
  2. If in doubt, burn some. Dry wood ignites and burns easily; wet wood is hard to light and hisses in the fire.
  3. Checks or cracks in the end grain can be an indication of dryness, but may not be a reliable indicator. Some wet wood has checks and some dry wood has no checks.
  4. The wood tends to darken from white or cream color to grey or yellow as it dries.
  5. Two dry pieces banged together sound hollow; wet pieces sound solid and dull.
  6. Dry wood weighs much less than wet wood.