What is Seasoned firewood and The Dangers of Using Unseasoned Firewood

Everyone wants to feel the warmth coming from the fireplace during the winter season. The nights are cold, and the mornings are not bearable. Having a fireplace is an advantage you only need to throw some wood to create fire for your family. You also need to make sure you have the best firewood to burn to enjoy the winter season.

The common problem nowadays is some people don’t know how to season firewood. They don’t understand that not every piece of timber is fit as fuel. It is essential to ensure that the chimney is protected and that any wood you use is well seasoned. Unseasoned wood is very dangerous and should not be found anywhere near your fireplace.

Seasoned wood is usually easy to determine because it exhibits characteristics such as dull colors and lightweight. Seasoned firewood will also have cracks at the edges and have a loose bark. Unseasoned wood, on the other hand, will be heavier, have a brighter color, and have a firm bark. Unseasoned lumber, which is also referred to as green wood, will be moist and have a sappy smell. Being able to distinguish the two will help you determine the right type of wood to use at home. Below are some of the dangers of using unseasoned wood in your fireplace.

Formation Of Creosote

If you are planning to buy firewood instead, you need to learn how to identify what is seasoned firewood from unseasoned wood. Unseasoned wood contains a high moisture content, and this explains their green color and heaviness. When you burn this wet wood, the water vapor released combines with the other gases ascending into the chimney. Remember that as the wet wood burns, it emits other pollutants into the atmosphere. Once this combination finds its way into the chimney, they form something called creosote. 

Creosote is a tarlike material and is flammable, hence it can cause chimney fires, which tend to be small and unnoticeable. The creosote affects your heating system and limits the exit of exhaust from your home. The accumulated tarlike substance is very acidic and causes corrosion in the long run. Since you will not always have the time or money to inspect your chimney, the effects may get worse by the day. 

A chimney fire is hazardous and especially when it gets you off guard. It may result in immense loss and may cost you a lot of money to clean or replace the chimney. Also, note that if the creosote happens to block the chimney, it may cause harmful emissions such as soot, tar, and carbon monoxide to find their way back into the house instead of getting out. This may contribute to severe respiratory complications. If you don’t have the time to season a fire ask around where to buy firewood.

Low Heat

Since unseasoned wood contains a lot of moisture, it is not efficient when it comes to producing enough heat. Because the wood was not given ample time to dry, when you set the wood on the fire, the greenwood will use most of its energy trying to remove the moisture from the wet wood as opposed to warming your house. How to dry firewood fast may hard and time-consuming and will have a great result.

Unseasoned wood usually burns at a lower temperature because most of the heat is being directed towards evaporating the water present in the wood. The result of this is that you will need more firewood to produce the same amount of heat. Due to little emission of heat, your house remains chilly most of the time. It is a waste of resources, time, and money because you don’t benefit from the fire as you would have if the wood was adequately seasoned. Also, you must know how to store firewood outside since it will be one of the factors of having great season firewood.

To avoid wasting your time, energy, and resources, you should use seasoned lumber because it has little or no water, which makes it hot enough. The best firewood doesn’t spend its energy trying to get rid of the moisture hence, it provides the needed warmth. You also need to note that the low heat emission causes the chimney to cool off, allowing condensation to take place. This results in the formation of a flaky residue that may block the vent. 


The other characteristic of unseasoned wood is that it produces a large amount of smoke. When you burn the wood, the fire tries to evaporate the water that is present in the wood. The smoke, therefore, contains a dense cloud of water vapor, which causes respiratory tract irritation when inhaled.

This smoke that is also emitted contains creosote that is considered dangerous. The creosote occurs as a result of the wood not burning completely, and because the heat being emitted is not enough, the tar-like substance accumulates in the chimney. The smoke which tends to harm you and your loved one when inhaled is considered a pollutant. This is why adequate ventilation is essential when you have a fireplace because it helps to remove the toxic substances away from the air you are breathing. You should also have firewood storage to keep the quality of the firewood.

Ways To Minimize The Effects Of Unseasoned Wood

Since anyone can become a victim of the effects of unseasoned wood, it is good to know several measures you can take to minimize the impact. The first step you need to take is to ensure that you only use seasoned wood to burn. To ensure this, always inspect the wood before putting them inside the fireplace. Wood is safe to use if it has gray colors, has cracks on the edges, and is very light. 

Most of the common questions are what is the best firewood to use. Some people end up being victims because they don’t know how to identify unseasoned wood when they are purchasing. A well-seasoned wood generally has a water content of 25% and below. Also, if you are using coal, see to it that it is from a licensed coal merchant. You want to protect your family and yourself from the toxic chemicals that are produced from using the wrong type of fuel. Also, you need to inspect your chimney every year. 

If you cannot do it, get professionals to do it. It helps because the residue that usually accumulates is removed, allowing free exit of the emissions, including carbon monoxide. Lastly, see to it that the vents responsible for aeration are not blocked. 

Burning unseasoned wood is dangerous to your health and general wellbeing. It results in respiratory problems from the toxic chemicals being emitted, causes waste of resources, and the formation of creosote. It is essential to learn how to season firewood fast and take the necessary measures to ensure you use the right wood to burn. You can also ask around how much is a cord of firewood if you don’t have the time to season it.