What You Don’t Know About Firewood Choices Can Hurt You

Seasoned firewood

In areas where winters are long and cold, many homeowners are looking for ways to reduce their utility bills. Some homeowners insulate their doors and windows, others pile on the blankets and turn down the thermostats. One of the most common solutions is to change the heat source in the home, with the installation of a fireplace or coal burner.

Burning firewood is more environmentally-friendly than burning coal, releasing no more greenhouse gasses than would be emitted if the wood were left to rot. Choosing the right firewood is crucial to heating your house efficiently. Be sure to burn seasoned firewood that has been left out to cure for at least six months. Seasoned firewood burns more efficiently than green wood because there is less water that needs to evaporate before the wood can burn.

When purchasing wood for your fireplace, look for hardwoods, such as maple, oak, and birch. Hardwoods burn longer than softwoods, and at higher temperatures. Avoid burning large quantities of pine, spruce, or cypress. Woods such as these with high resin content release creosote, which can build up in your chimney and cause a fire. Regular chimney cleaning and inspection can help you prevent chimney fires.

Burning wood isn’t the only way it can help lower utility bills. Preventive landscaping practices can also save you money. Utilizing tree-heavy landscaping designs will allow trees to block wind and shade the house, lowering the necessity of both heat and air conditioning. Well-maintained trees prevent soil erosion and can also increase a home’s resale value, in case you decide to move away in the future.

While it may seem like spring is a distant memory, it will arrive sooner than you think. Use the warm weather to nurture new trees and install a wood stove while there is no snow on the ground. Order your winter supply of wood in the spring so that it has time to cure before you need it. By taking these steps, you and your home will be well-prepared to stay warm and save money all winter long.

Leave a Reply