It’s October in Central Oregon, and the first autumn wisps of wood smoke curling from Bend-area chimneys was visible several weeks ago. If you’ve never heated with a wood stove before, there’s something you should know. It’s a secret we share with our customers to help them:
- Save money
- Heat more efficiently
- Keep their chimneys clean longer
The secret is simple: “Burn dry wood.”
What Constitutes “Dry” Wood?
For wood to be considered dry, or well-seasoned, it should register a moisture reading of under 12%. It usually takes about a year for green wood to cure to the desired level – provided it is stored under a tarp or otherwise protected from rain & snow. If you’re unsure when your wood supply was cut, you can easily test its moisture content with the aid of a digital moisture meter.
Why is burning well-cured wood so important? It’s simple science: the heat energy from burning wood does not start to heat your room until the water has been evaporated from your stove. Consider the fact that there’s about a pint of water, give or take, in an average sized well-cured piece of firewood. This water must be converted to steam & sent up your chimney before the business of heating can begin. So burning wet wood is a lot like sending dollars up the chimney.
Not to mention the fact wet wood clogs up your chimney. While a yearly chimney cleaning is usually all that’s necessary when burning seasoned wood, 3-4 cleanings may be needed if burning wet wood.
So, for low maintenance, high heat, and a long-lasting & happy relationship with your wood stove, remember Fireside’s simple secret: Burn dry wood!