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 woodheat.org 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.” (woodheat.org)
Learn To Distinguish A Dry Piece Of Firewood
Woodheat.org gives us six ways to judge firewood moisture, presented in order of most to least effective:
- Split a piece of wood. If the exposed surface feels damp, the wood is too wet to burn.
- If in doubt, burn some. Dry wood ignites and burns easily; wet wood is hard to light and hisses in the fire.
- 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.
- The wood tends to darken from white or cream color to grey or yellow as it dries.
- Two dry pieces banged together sound hollow; wet pieces sound solid and dull.
- Dry wood weighs much less than wet wood.