If you have a wood burning chimney, your chimney contractor might have told you that you need to burn seasoned wood in order to prevent creosote deposition. Seasoned wood is wood that has been cut into logs, stacked and allowed to dry for at least 6 months. The aim of seasoning wood is to remove as much moisture from the wood as possible. When the wood is cut for the first time, it has a water content of between 40% and 50%. After seasoning only 10-20% moisture is left. Removal of moisture allows the wood to burn fast, hotter and produce less smoke.
How to tell that wood has been properly seasoned
If you have trees growing in your homestead you can cut them and season the wood but if you don’t have trees you should buy the wood from your local home improvement store. To make easy money, it’s common for some business people to try to sell you unseasoned wood. To be on the safe side you should take your time to find out if the wood is seasoned. Here are the features that you should look out for:
Weight: Since the moisture would have evaporated, you should expect the wood to be much lighter than freshly cut wood. If the wood that you have is heavy, it’s most definitely unseasoned thus you should stay away from it.
Appearance: How does the wood look like? According to chimney inspection professionals, seasoned wood has darker, split, and cracked ends. This is because the moisture would have evaporated. You should stay away from wood with solid ends.
Sound: This is probably the easiest way of knowing whether the wood is seasoned. If it is seasoned, it will give a hollow “clunk” but if it isn’t, it will make a hard “thud.”
Tips to consider when burning seasoned wood
Seasoned wood is great as it burns hotter and results to minimal creosote deposition. When burning the wood, be cautious of the amount of wood that you use. As rule of thumb, avoid using too much wood that will block air flow thus resulting in a lot of smoke. When there is a lot of smoke, more creosote is deposited thus you are forced to regularly undertake chimney cleaning.
Another thing that you should do is avoid burning painted, pretreated, or prefabricated wood as it contains protectants and sealants that release toxic chemicals into the air thus putting your health and that of your loved ones at risk.
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