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Firewood Tips and Best Bets

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Do you burn firewood? Here is a list of best-burning wood firewood to use as well as firewood tips.

Did you know that one cord of wood burned as firewood provides the heat equivalent to that produced by burning 200 to 250 gallons of heating oil, depending on the type of hardwood you are using?

Here is a list of hardwoods in descending order of heat value:

  • Elm, rock
  • Hickory, shagbark
  • Oak, white
  • Hickory, butternut
  • Beech
  • Oak, red
  • Birch, yellow
  • Elm, red
  • Ash, white
  • Elm, white
  • Mesquite
  • Hop hornbeam
  • Locust, black

Firewood Tips

  • Freshly cut wood contains up to 50 percent moisture and must be seasoned to 20 to 25 percent moisture content before burning. Wood containing more than 25 percent moisture is wet, or green, and should never be burned in a fireplace or wood stove.
  • Wet wood is easier to split than dry wood.
  • Wood must be split into pieces and stacked out of the rain for at least six months to season properly.
  • If steam bubbles and hisses out of the end grain as the firewood heats up on the fire, the wood is wet, or green, and needs to be seasoned longer before burning.
  • Well-seasoned firewood generally has darkened ends with visible cracks or splits. It is relatively lightweight and makes a sharp, distinctive "clink" when two pieces strike each other.
  • Limit the amount of pine you burn. It's a resinous softwood.

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