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When putting wood in your fireplace, you need to be sure that you choose the best wood for burning. Wood that is not correct can cause unnecessary buildup of creosote on the lining of the chimney. Creosote is quite flammable, and excessive amounts of it are likely to cause a fire in your chimney. Taking care to use and maintain your fireplace properly will ensure that you and you’re family get many years of safe enjoyment out of your chimney and fireplace.

Fire Safe Chimney Sweep - Firewood StackThe first thing to determine when choosing wood is whether it is hardwood or softwood. Woods like Ash, Beech, Oak, and hickory are considered hardwood, whereas poplar, spruce, and pine are soft. The reason softwood is not good for your fireplace is because of the heat at which it burns. Since it burns at a relatively low heat level, not as much of the fuel gets burned up. The remaining deposits turn into creosote. Hardwood, however, burns at great heat, and for much longer.

Next, you need to make sure the firewood is properly seasoned. This process involves removing the moisture from wood to get a more efficient burn. There are two main ways this gets done. First, the traditional way is to stack the wood, and let it dry underneath a cover of some sort for anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. This can also involve pulling the cover off from time to time to allow more sun. Second, kiln-drying is a relatively newer way to season wood that is able to remove much more moisture. Also, it save a lot of time, because kiln-dried wood can be ready to burn in as little as 72 hours.

By making a good choice with your firewood, you are going to make sure that you are safely enjoying the fireplace in your home. Remember, owning a chimney is a big responsibility, and understanding that will keep you and your family safe. If you ever have any questions about firewood, or any other chimney related topic, don’t hesitate to contact us.