When you have a traditional wood-burning fireplace, one of the most important things you need to do in the last days of summer is to get your firewood supply ready for colder weather. Not only should you consider how much wood you will need to last through the winter, but you should also carefully choose the type of wood you are buying. You may not realize this, but the right type of firewood makes a huge difference in how well your chimney and fireplace system will work. At Blue Ridge Chimney Service, we want our customers to safely enjoy the best wood fires possible. As the premier provider of professional chimney maintenance, repair, and installation services in the Shenandoah Valley, we work hard to ensure the chimneys in the area are functioning as safely and efficiently as possible, and we would like to tell you more about the best kind of firewood to burn in your fireplace.

Only burn firewood that has been properly seasoned.

When buying firewood, you should look for seasoned firewood, which has been allowed to dry for at least six months after being cut. Even though all wood contains water, the seasoning process reduces the moisture content from 45 to 20 percent. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends only burning seasoned firewood because the water must be gone before the wood can burn. When you burn freshly cut wood, so much of the energy of the fire is spent burning off the excess water, and this results in less heat being provided to your home.

Seasoned firewood produces warmer, cleaner, and longer lasting fires.

Only burning this type of firewood is a smart decision to make because it will save you money on your heating costs and on your chimney maintenance and repair bills. When you burn wet (or “green”) wood, you are at a greater risk of problems with smoke and odor. This can also lead to a larger accumulation of creosote on the inner walls of your chimney, which is a leading cause of chimney fires.

Ask your family, friends, and neighbors for recommendations of firewood dealers.

If you are unsure of where to buy properly seasoned firewood in your area, do not hesitate to ask for references to good dealers. You can also purchase a moisture reader for around 20 dollars from a hardware store that will make firewood shopping extremely simple. Once you have bought your seasoned wood, make sure you are storing it outside off the ground to keep it as dry as possible. If you do not have a covered firewood storage shed, you can stack the wood on concrete blocks, pallets, or even gravel. Cover the top with a tarp to protect the wood from rainwater, but keep the sides open to allow air to circulate freely.

For the best fires this winter, only burn seasoned firewood in your fireplace. Blue Ridge Chimney Services is here to help you get the most out of your chimney system. Contact us for all of your professional chimney maintenance, repair, and installation needs.