Everyone that burns regular fires knows that choosing fire wood is very important. The three basic things to know are type, size and age. The type of wood you burn is important. Most people tell me that they never burn pine and thatís great but pine isnít necessarily as bad as most people think. If properly dried, pine will burn very hot and produces little creosote. I recommend good, small, dry pieces of pine for starting fires. Poplar is very common in this area. Like pine, poplar burns hot and fast. Poplar is okay to burn in a closed wood stove but I donít recommend it in an open fireplace as it ďpopsĒ and frequently throws burning coals out into room. The best wood as most people know is hardwoods such as oak, hickory, etc. Hardwoods have a good, clean and long burn. Next thing you should consider is size of the wood. Lenghth will depend on size of your stove or fireplace. The most common problem I find with peoples firewood is its split to large. The larger the firewood, the worse it will burn. Very large pieces will just smolder which causes creosote build up and smoke backing problems. Wood should be split in a way that when stacked, air can circulate well around them. Another very important factor is age of wood. Most people know that firewood should be seasoned, but do you really know what that is? Every guy that sells firewood will tell you that it is seasoned but I bet less than 50% of the time it actually is. Wood that came from a tree that died three years ago but was split last month is not seasoned. Wood that was split four months ago and left out in the rain is not seasoned. My definition of seasoned wood is wood that has been split to firewood sized pieces and stacked in a dry place for at least six months. Remember these three things when choosing your firewood and you will have better, cleaner fires. For more information visit www.southernchimneysweep.com
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