Firewood, did you know that the first metal wood stove was invented in the sixteenth century but didn’t actually become common for at least another 200 years? Now, wood stoves are popular pieces used for efficient heating and aesthetically pleasing additions to homes, van conversions, and even some businesses.
We’ve created this ultimate guide to firewood, to help you get the most of what you tin use it for. We’ll cover everything from picking the right kind of wood to storing it properly. So, keep reading for some useful tips you’ll want for the next time you get ready to relax by the fire.
Get to Know Your Firewood
There are two main types of firewood. They are hardwoods and softwoods. The best firewood is a mix of both because they burn at different rates.
Softwoods tend to catch fire quickly and provide hot, fast-burning flames whilst hardwoods smoulder longer and provide a more steady heat. Some people even use fruit woods, which are a type of hardwood, for smoking meats because of the unique flavour it imparts.
The four most popular types of hardwoods used for firewood are oak, beech, ash. Other options include hornbeam and alder and others.
The most popular type of softwood used for firewood is pine, but other options include cedar, fir, juniper, spruce, and cypress. Softwoods have a lower density than hardwoods and don’t produce as many BTUs.
More to Know
While there are two main categories of wood, there are three main types of firewood. They consist of:
- Green Firewood
- Seasoned Logs
- Kiln Dried Wood
We’re going to talk about the first two later as we explain how to choose the right type of wood for your needs so we’ll discuss what dry kiln logs are and why they’re useful.
Kiln dried hardwood logs are a type of firewood that has been dried in a kiln. The process of drying firewood in a kiln removes the moisture from the wood more quickly and efficiently than air drying. This means that the firewood is less likely to rot, mold, or mildew and will burn more efficiently.
Kiln dried hardwood is also easier to light because it has a lower moisture content. This is a great option compared to seasoned logs because seasoning can take one to three years, or longer because it’s a natural process.
Another benefit to kiln dried logs is that the drying process helps to keep away those pesky pests and insects. Another thing is that this type of firewood requires significantly less space to stack in comparison to seasoned wood.
Types of Fire Wood and How to Pick the Right Kind
So, you’re ready to start up your fire-pit or find the perfect options for your wood stove but you don’t know where to start. There are some things that you can pay attention to, to help guide your decision. Let’s take a look:
Seasoned firewood is wood that’s been cut and allowed to dry for at least six months. The water content should be below 20 percent although this can range to very high water content. You can tell if firewood is seasoned by checking the ends of the logs. If they’re cracked or splitting, that’s a good sign.
Avoid Green Firewood
Green firewood is wood that hasn’t had a chance to dry out and still has a high amount of moisture content. it can often contain more than 60 percent of water and it hasn’t fully dried out just yet. Basically, green firewood is freshly cut wood and it’s filled with sap.
Sap is just another term for water here. It’s not as effective as seasoned firewood because it doesn’t burn as hot or produce as many flames. Since we know this, we know that it will smoke badly once lit.
It also produces more smoke than necessary as well as creosote, which can build up in your chimney and cause a fire that you didn’t plan on starting.
Creosote, by the way, is the leading cause of chimney fires. It, unfortunately, is responsible for the loss of thousands of houses each year. It would be in your best interest to avoid green firewood altogether.
Pick the Right Size Firewood
The best firewood is between 18 and 25 inches long. That’s because it’s the perfect size for most fireplaces and wood stoves. It also fits nicely into firewood racks.
Avoid Treated Firewood
Treated firewood is wood that’s been treated with chemicals to make it last longer. However, these chemicals can be toxic when burned, so it’s best to avoid this option.
This is especially good advice if you plan to use your fire to roast marshmallows and other goodies. The chemicals in this wood are extremely dangerous and can irritate your lungs, as well as your skin, and eyes. The rule of thumb here is to keep it far from your fireplace.
Are Certain Kinds Better for Some Applications?
Here’s the thing, different types of wood are better for certain applications than others. For example, if you’re planning on using your firewood for cooking, beech, oak, or alder are perfect options. Hardwoods like oak and beech will give off more heat than softwoods like pine.
This is because hardwoods have a lower sap content, which means they burn hotter and longer. Softwoods, on the other hand, have a higher sap content, which makes them great for kindling but not so great for long-term fires.
There is a lot to consider and sometimes the deciding factor will be flavour. If you want something that will burn for a long time, any hardwood would do. A few examples would be:
So, if you’re looking to use your firewood for cooking or heating, it’s best to go with hardwoods. But, if you’re just looking to use it for decoration or to build a fire for roasting marshmallows, hornbeam will work just fine.
How Should You Store It?
Once you’ve picked the right firewood, it’s time to store it properly and yes there is a certain way you’ll want to store your firewood to keep it dry, well-preserved, and clear from catching fire and spreading to other areas if this does happen. Here are some tips:
Always Make Sure You’re Storing Firewood off the Ground
Storing firewood off the ground helps prevent moisture from seeping in and rot from setting in. You can use a firewood rack or build your own storage unit or buy firewood in crates.
Covering the wood with a tarp would suffice. However, even though putting a tarp on top of the firewood is suggested to protect it from rainfall, it’d be a good idea to put the wood on top of one as well.
A tarp not only helps to keep moisture out but also shields the wood a bit to help prevents bugs from getting in. The thing is though, your firewood should always be stored outdoors. This means that bugs will get into it but that won’t affect how the wood burns.
Keep the Wood Away From Your Home
Not keeping the wood away from your home could pose a fire hazard and no one wants that. So, for you that are wondering if you can, or if you should store your firewood in your garage, the short answer is no.
You don’t want firewood too close to your home because, in the incident of a fire, all of the wood could cause the blaze to spread faster, and also make it harder to put out.
Use Firewood Right Away
If you have any firewood that’s more than a year old, use it right away. After a year, firewood starts to lose its potency and doesn’t burn as well.
Get The Wood You Need
Timports complete timber solutions, give you a wide selection of timber, wood fuels, and kindling. After all, the company is a top trusted supplier of wood and wood fuel.
Whether you’re preparing for summertime pig roasts, endless campfires with marshmallows, or preparing for winter, Timports has the firewood options you need. If you want high quality, fast delivery, and a wide selection, you’ve come to the right place.