Smart advice on buying firewood

July 29, 2015

Using wood as fuel can be an energy and cost saving move, but finding the right quality of firewood to burn is essential. These tips will help your supply stay dry and burn more efficiently.

Smart advice on buying firewood

How to spot high quality firewood.

  • A good load of firewood should comprise of only sound heartwood that is free of bark. There should be no sapwood or rotten wood, as these inhibit burning.
  • The drier the wood, the better. Moist wood not only produces less heat but makes a smoky fire and contributes to soot accumulation in chimneys.
  • Identify air-dried wood by looking for radial splits in the ends of the logs. You can also tell if it's dry by striking two pieces of the wood together. It should give a cracking sound. The wood is too moist if it sounds like a muffled thud.
  • Consider ordering the winter wood supply early in the summer because you need to allow for the time it takes for hardwood to dry out sufficiently. It's also more cost effective.

The right way to stack

The importance of dry wood can't be overstated. Here's how to properly stack firewood to make sure your wood will be dry when you need it.

  •  Place the logs on a dry base and pile them crossways to allow proper air circulation.
  • Cut the timber to the smallest convenient size and stack it, if possible, in a well-aired shed.
  • Drying times are greatly influenced by the size of the log:
    -- Hardwood in large diameter logs (more than 30 centimetres or one foot in diameter) may require several years to dry to the preferred 20 percent moisture content.
    -- Softwood logs cut to the same diameter, although naturally more moist to begin with, dry out in a quarter of the time.

Buying the right wood and stacking it correctly can help maintain your wood supply longer and help it burn more efficiently saving you time and money.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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