If you're anything like most folks, the thought of staying indoors, bundled up in layers of wool, sipping a cup of hot beverage, and munching on a snack or two sounds like a great way to spend those long, cold winter days with family and friends. But doing all of that in front of a blazing fireplace lends a certain charm to the atmosphere that very few combinations can beat.
Wood burning is as ancient as when nomadic tribes camped around bonfires to stay warm and prepare dinner, but that's not to say it doesn't hold relevance in today's society. Persons who live in the countryside (or as close to nature as they dare to) have had to rely on firewood as a source of fuel for keeping the house warm for quite a while. And that's not even considering other folks who would prefer to stay off the national energy grid, or households looking for a cheaper source of heat other than natural gas and heating oil.
Whatever the reason may be, in today's article, we would take a much deeper look into some of the benefits you can get from burning firewood this winter.
Choose Seasoned Wood
Trees that grow to become massive giants in the forest didn't get that big just from sunlight and good wishes. They burrow their roots deep into the soil to take up the necessary nutrients - and water - that they need to survive and grow tall. It's therefore not surprising that when such a tree is felled down, it's still going to contain all the water used to sustain itself to that size (the bigger they get, the more water they store). If you have any plans on using such wood as firewood, it needs to be properly seasoned before you burn it. That's why it's important to allow the wood to stay for as long as necessary during the curing period.
As a rule of thumb, it's not advisable to burn firewood that has a high moisture content, so as to prevent soot - and smoke - buildup. One of the ways you can know if a piece of wood has a low moisture content that is suitable for burning (asides from using a portable moisture tester to confirm that the moisture content is 20% or less) is if you can visibly see cracks at the ends of split woods.
Green wood has a high moisture content, and burning it is never a good idea because it:
- smolders extremely slowly;
- leaves thick creosote build ups on chimneys;
- and encourages mold to grow which can negatively affect the air quality in your home.
When Burning Wood, Take Into Account Various Tree Species
When cut, split, and burned, many of the trees we commonly find in our region can serve as an excellent source of fuel. However, there's more to choosing suitable firewood for burning during winter than just picking up whatever piece of wood you find lying on the forest floor.
Aside from the fact that your wood needs time to reduce its moisture content till it's dry enough to be burnt without giving off much smoke (we refer to this length of time as the "curing period"), it's also extremely important to know what kind - or in this case "specie" - of tree you'd be using as firewood during the winter. Generally speaking, the amount of time needed for the wood you intend to use during winter to fully cure and season will increase (in direct proportion) with its weight.
However, when hardwoods like hickory and oak are prepared for burning and have had time to season, they will ignite tremendously hot fires that last for a very long time. And that's the kind of wood you should consider stacking up to use ahead of the long, cold winter nights. Some of the best tree species for producing wood that burns hot and for a long time, making them ideal for keeping warm in the winter, include:
- Black Locust
- White Ash
Even though lighter woods burn much faster, they can serve as kindling and can be burnt alongside hardwoods for a richer heating experience.
Knowing Wood Measurements Is Important
Unless you're a regular firewood buyer, there are certain terms you'd likely be unfamiliar with when you hear them being used by wood sales reps. For example, only experienced firewood buyers know that cords are not only used in tying wood together, but are also a unit of measurement for buying firewood.
Wood is arranged in "stacks", and a stack of firewood measuring approximately 4'x4'x8' in size, makes up a "cord" of firewood which is about 128 cubic feet. Of course, for this measurement to hold, the wood must be properly stacked, meaning that there should be no loose log in the pile.
Another common term used in measuring firewood is the "rick", which is roughly equal to one-third of the quantity of wood in a " cord". If you're a heavy firewood user during winter and you have a space large enough to store wood in good condition, it would make better sense, in the long run, to buy your firewood in "cords" as it's more economical.
Where To Buy Firewood For Winter In Australia?
Now that you have a pretty good idea of what to look out for when buying firewood in preparation for winter, you should only buy wood that has been expertly cut and cured, and only from trusted firewood vendors around you.
But why go through that stress looking for a reputable firewood vendor near you when you can easily reach out to us here at Australian Firewood?
We deliver any quantity of firewood, anywhere within Australia. All you've got to do is sit back, place your order, and watch our trucks roll into the driveway with your firewood in tow.
Contact Us Here to get started!