Many homeowners assume that you can use any type of wood in their fireplace, but this is actually not the case. Properly purchasing, storing, and preparing firewood is crucial to keep your fireplace operating safely and efficiently. Fortunately, Wright’s Hearth, Heat & Home is here to educate Arden, NC area homeowners about choosing the right firewood. Read below to learn more, then give us a call at (828) 687-9002 to schedule an appointment!

How do I Choose the Right Firewood? - Asheville NC - Wright's Hearth, Heat & HomePurchasing Firewood

Purchasing the correct firewood is very important. Firewood is classified into hardwoods and softwoods, and each type of wood offers a different burning experience. Hardwood generally burns longer and produces more heat, making it a more desirable option. However, it may not be readily available depending on your location. Hardwoods include oak, birch, and ash while softwoods include cedar, pine, and larch.

Regardless of the wood’s density, it must be dry and well seasoned to properly burn. This type of wood burns the most efficiently and creates the most pleasant fireplace experience. Wet wood does not burn as well and may create creosote. Creosote is a highly flammable tar-like substance that is a byproduct of burning wood. Over time, it builds up in your flue, fireplace, and chimney. Even a small amount of creosote is a fire hazard, but fortunately, it can be removed with an annual chimney sweeping and inspection. Wright’s offers a variety of chimney services that can keep your chimney clear of any creosote! Certain types of softwood may also create more creosote and tar buildup.

There are also certain types of firewood to avoid purchasing. Do not purchase wood that is wet, green, non-local, treated or painted, or driftwood because they will smoke and burn inefficiently. Additionally, they may exposure homeowners to harmful pathogens and chemicals.

Storing Firewood

Firewood must be properly stored to burn efficiently. Preferably, it is stacked in a dry open area outdoors that gets a lot of sunlight and wind. Exposure to sunlight and wind helps eliminate any excess moisture. It should be covered with a tarp to keep it dry and protect from any rain or humidity. Additionally, the wood must be carefully stacked so it does not topple or fall over. Wood should “season” for at least six months before burning, but this varies depending on the specific type. Hardwood dries slower than softwood, so it may take longer. Be sure to research the ideal drying time for whatever type of wood you choose to purchase.

Prepping Firewood

Firewood must be the proper size before burning. If it is too big, it will take too long to ignite and burn. This not only wastes wood but also the valuable time of the homeowners. Firewood is sold and measured in cords. A cord measures 1.2 m x 1.2 m x 2.4 m, or 4 ft. x 4 ft. x 8 ft., but pieces this long are never used for home burning. The most common length for burning wood in your home is 16 in. or 400 mm, but other lengths are satisfactory.

If your firewood is too long, you must cut it before burning but be sure to follow necessary safety precautions. Chopping firewood can be dangerous, as a piece of flying shrapnel could cause serious damage to anybody in proximity. Protect your eyes, head, and ears with a helmet or safety goggles and ear protectors. You should also wear proper clothing such as a long sleeve shirt or jacket, jeans, and boots. Many also wear gloves and a vest for extra protection.

Schedule an Appointment Today!

You’re ready to light a fire now that you know how to buy, store, and prepare your wood! For any other fireplace needs and chimney services in the Arden, NC area, be sure to call Wright’s today! We sell wood fireplaces, stoves, and inserts from the industry’s most trusted brands such as Vermont Castings, Regency, and more. Call (828) 687-9002 or schedule an appointment online today!