As a homeowner, there are a lot of things you can do to keep your fireplace clean, efficient, and safe for regular use. Scheduling inspections and cleanings is a necessary step to take, as well as having a professional address needed repairs. These appointments are easy to set up with a simple phone call and only need to be done once or twice a year.

But what about all that time in between?

pile of firewood for winterWhen creosote builds up in a chimney, there is a heightened risk of chimney fires. Extra build-up can also cause a lack of proper air flow and smoke back-up. All of these things endanger your home and family, which is why taking the proper steps to avoid them is so important. You can significantly slow the rate at which harmful substances accumulate by burning properly seasoned wood in your fireplace.

Buy A Moisture Meter

The most effective way to know you are burning the best fuel possible is by purchasing a moisture meter. You can typically find these for around $40 and they make picking out firewood a whole lot easier!

The facts are that any wood with over 20% moisture will burn much less efficiently. The only way to get a true reading is by using a moisture meter to test it out. The more water your firewood contains, the more energy it will use up, trying to get all of that moisture out. This results in harder to light fires, less heat, and more toxins flowing into your chimney and home.

Keep your home and family safer by investing in a moisture meter today.

Other Ways To Identify Seasoned Wood

There are other ways to recognize good fuel, should you find yourself without the proper tools for doing so. Educate yourself on some of these tips for differentiating between seasoned and unseasoned wood, then keep a close eye on what you buy throughout the future.

  • Examine the ends. Well-seasoned wood will have splits or cracks on either side and is typically darker in color. This means that more of the wood was exposed, thus allowing it to dry out quicker and more efficiently.
  • Note the weight. If the wood is lower in weight, then it is likely to be well-seasoned. The heavier it is, the more moisture it still retains, so try to find the lightest options available.
  • Listen to the wood. You can tell a lot about a log by how it sounds. Clunk two pieces of wood together to see how high or low-pitched the resulting noise is. A clear, higher-sounding clunk indicates your wood is good to go. A duller thud means it needs more time to dry out.

Winston’s Chimney Service provides dependable care for a variety of chimney needs. Check out our website today to see our extensive list of services and be sure to call in one of our experts for your annual inspection before the cold weather sets in. We look forward to working with you!

Winston's Chimney Service
11301 Industrial Road
Manassas, VA 20109