Soon it will be time to use your fireplace or wood stove. Newly chopped firewood contains approximately 60% of water, and sometimes even more. This causes the wood to burn less efficiently. You should always use and burn seasoned wood. You need to season the wood first in order to allow the water to dry out until the moisture is around 20% or less. Then, it is ready for burning. Seasoning firewood means letting the water content of the wood evaporate. Drying firewood will make it burn easily, safely and efficiently. Burning unseasoned, wet or partially seasoned wood is dangerous. It can cause creosote, a natural by-product of  burning wood and is a combustible, to build up on the chimney flue liner and cause a chimney fire. It takes time before the wood gets fully dried. Here are some helpful hints:

* Pile the wood properly.Put a base under to keep the wood off the ground and to avoid soil moisture.

*Put a space between the wood stack and the wall to maintain air flow. Air flow can help speed up the drying process.

*Cover the stack to keep rain and snow off the woodpile, but allow air circulation and moisture release.

*Place your woodpile in a location where it can get the most possible sunlight throughout the day.

It can take up to a full year to thoroughly season a pile of wood.

How do I know if my firewood is ready to burn?

Knowing if your seasoned firewood is ready to burn can be a difficult thing if you are not experienced. Luckily for us, there are moisture meters that can help us determine just how much moisture content is present in a piece of wood.

Remember to always call your  certified chimney sweep professional to sweep and inspect your chimney flue. Creosote can restrict the draft, corrode the metal and or terra cotta flue liner, cause foul odors and lower the efficiency of the system.