Wish to enjoy Maine winters while keeping your indoors warm and cozy? The key is to use seasoned firewood for home heating.
It’s no secret that winters in Maine can be rather harsh. But what is relatively unknown to many is the art of surviving them. As you start preparing for the upcoming cold season, it goes without saying that inspecting your fireplace and stocking up on firewood are likely to be on the top of your to-do list.
However, before you go on chopping your backyard trees or start looking for firewood providers in Maine, remember this one cardinal rule.
When it comes to the traditional wood-burning stove or fireplace, the type of firewood you choose is of the utmost importance. This is because it has a major impact on the quality of fire. This, in turn, affects the indoor temperature you wish to maintain.
Using the wrong wood will not only fail to keep your house warm but it can also be hazardous for your health.
Seasoned firewood has many benefits that make it the ultimate choice for keeping a Maine home cozy and comfortable.
What Is Seasoned Firewood?
Seasoned firewood refers to any type of wood that has been left out to dry for a long period of time. Unlike regular wood, seasoned wood pieces are cut in a specific manner and then stacked and stored in a way that allows natural moisture to escape.
Generally, wood that is seasoned properly means that it has been drying under the sun for at least six months. Premium quality seasoned wood is usually air-dried for a minimum of one year.
Why Seasoned Firewood Is Best for Home Heating
Here are the top 5 reasons why smart Mainers rely on seasoned firewood to ensure that their home stays their safe haven while the cold winds rage on outside.
1. Guaranteed to Burn
Regular firewood also called unseasoned or ‘green’ firewood is considerably moist. As a result, it takes a long time to ignite and even longer to start producing heat.
Seasoned firewood, on the other hand, does not give you these troubles.
Because it has been specifically dried to get rid of the moisture trapped in the tree cells and sap, seasoned firewood burns more easily than its unseasoned counterpart.
Its low moisture content (about 10% to 15%) allows you to get the fire started almost instantly. Just light the tinder and hallelujah!
The logs are crackling with warmth and you can snuggle up on the sofa without the fear of the fire dying down unexpectedly.
2. Safety in Burning
It sure is mesmerizing to gaze at the glowing embers and the flames dancing in the fireplace. But this extremely satisfying experience can soon turn into a nightmare if you continue burning wet wood.
The culprit is creosote, a type of chemical released when wood burns. Creosote should be one of the top concerns for anyone and everyone using conventional wood stoves.
This black, tar-like residue not only damages the chimney lining but can also start a chimney or a rooftop fire as it is highly flammable.
The production of creosote is directly proportional to the amount of moisture in the wood. This means you can prevent the buildup of creosote simply by switching to dry wood.
This reduces the risk associated with chimney fires and helps keep your home safe.
3. Cleaner than Regular Wood
Compared to freshly cut wood, seasoned firewood is a lot cleaner as all insects, bugs, and molds are eliminated.
Moreover, dried wood burns cleanly as well. That is, it releases little to virtually no smoke or other pollutants when set ablaze.
On the contrary, moist firewood produces a significant amount of smoke and soot when it is burnt. This happens because of a process called gasification that occurs as soon as you light wet wood on fire. This is basically the stage at which the volatile gases and other potentially harmful substances in the wood start combusting.
Gasification can stain the glass door, walls, or bricks of your fireplace, giving it an unkempt and ugly look.
With seasoned firewood, you can rest assured that such a problem won’t arise.
Since it is clean, seasoned firewood can be easily stored inside. You won’t have to trek outside in the cold to get more logs to keep the fire going.
Also, less creosote means your chimney stays clean for longer. So, you don’t need to worry about fireplace maintenance every now and then.
5. Energy Efficient
Easy to combust, safer to burn, and convenient to store. You must have probably realized by now why seasoned firewood is the single best option for heating Maine homes.
However, what most homeowners are really sold on is the high heat value that it provides.
Seasoned firewood generates up to 35% more heat as compared to freshly cut wood.
The science behind this energy efficiency is simple. When you burn moist wood, a significant amount of the heat that is produced is utilized in removing the water rather than heating the room. Wood with just 40% moisture content is known to reduce the heat output by almost 50%.
A typical piece of unseasoned wood has an average of around 60% water, which means you will be collecting and combusting a large number of logs and still not get the warmth you seek.
However, when using seasoned firewood, your place will remain nice and toasty all evening.
Where Can You Get Seasoned Firewood in Maine?
Several Mainers season firewood on their own properties and you may consider doing it too. However, keep in mind that it can turn out to be quite challenging and somewhat tiresome for many people. Plus, it’s a time-consuming process and not always feasible in most scenarios.
Whether you need seasoned firewood on an urgent basis or wish to pre-order for the winter season, it’s better to buy it from a professional company.
High quality seasoned, dry split firewood is available by the cord or half cord at Groundhog Property Services LLC.