It is prevalent to use wood as a source of fuel in households. Wood is very efficient and lights fast, especially if it meets the requirement of seasoning. You can use wood as a source of fuel in your home or during camping. It produces fire and heat, which keeps you warm and enable you to see in the dark.
Whichever the situation, you should always keep in mind that not every piece of timber is ideal for producing fuel. There are different types of wood available, but some are toxic when burnt. If you are new in this sector, it is essential to learn about the different kinds of wood available and which ones are ideal for burning. Another thing to consider is to know the available firewood in your area.
Check where to buy firewood and inspect what are the types of woods they are selling. You don’t want to buy timber that will put you and your loved ones in danger. The cost of firewood is measured per cord. It’s essential also to know how much is a cord of firewood so you can do a comparison of prices.
Not all wood sellers will be genuine enough to advise you against buying a particular wood. Unseasoned timber is very dangerous and should not be anywhere near your fireplace. That’s why you need to know how to dry firewood fast so you can make sure that it is safe before burning it. Also, some types of timber release toxic gases when burned. This is extremely dangerous to you and your family.
To protect them, you have to take time to understand what are the best firewood to burn and the types of wood you should steer away from. You don’t want to ruin your family’s health with lung disease. Below are some of the wood that shouldn’t be burned in your fireplace.
Greenwood is also referred to as unseasoned wood. Usually, when a tree is cut, the timber requires some time for it to season. This could take a long time, even up to two years depending on the type of tree. The greenwood needs time to dry and lose its moisture content for it to be considered safe for burning. Besides, unseasoned wood tends to emit a lot of smoke which accumulates, forming creosote which is harmful in the long term.
The creosote may accumulate and stick in the sides of the chimney, and this may cause them to trigger a chimney fire if ignited. Greenwood is also very inefficient because it is hard to light and will require you to keep maintaining the fire all the time. It is important that you use seasoned wood in your fireplace. What is seasoned firewood and how you’ll be able to know if it is already good to burn?
To determine seasoned firewood, you need to confirm that the wood has cracks on the edges, has a dull color, loose bark and lacks a strong sappy smell. If you are new to this and need some help in determining seasoned wood and unseasoned wood, it is good to consult with the seller. As much as you will consult, it is wise to have some basic knowledge on how to season firewood so you can do it by yourself and to avoid being exploited for your ignorance.
Chemically Treated Wood
The other thing you need to steer clear from is chemically treated wood. It is okay to burn some remnants from the nearby construction, but wood that has been treated with chemicals is a bad idea. Some of the available chemically treated wood include the pressure-treated lumber which usually has perforations on the surface and some red-brown color. The reason you need to avoid this type of wood is that pressure-treated wood usually contains chemicals that, when burnt is harmful to the environment. Plywood should also be avoided because once burned, it becomes toxic. The glue that is usually used for laminating the layers of wood in plywood is hazardous and should not be in your fireplace. Apart from plywood and pressure-treated lumber, you also need to avoid burning wood that has been painted or coated with any synthetic coating. This is for the sake of protecting you and your loved ones from the potential toxic emissions that result from burning these materials.
It might seem funny but where do most households take their Christmas trees after the festive season? Most people opt to burn the Christmas tree in their fireplace. This is very dangerous. These Christmas trees have a lot of dry needles that cause it to catch and spread the fire quickly. Also, the tree has a lot of sap which is extremely flammable. Too much sap causes the wood to produce a lot of smoke which accumulates in the chimney and form creosote which is hazardous. Besides, the flammable sap can explode and cause more harm than you even anticipated. If you are used to burning your Christmas tree, you need to stop doing it. You don’t want to ruin your chimney or hurt any of your family members.
Have you heard of oleander? These are shrubs that are considered to be extremely toxic. You will mostly find them thriving in mild, frost-free climates. If you don’t know about oleanders, you might use them as fuel yet they are perilous. Oleanders are very beautiful, and this might trick you into using them as your source of fuel. Due to their toxicity, you should never burn your food over oleanders. It should not be burnt whatsoever. The smoke that it releases may put your health and that of your family at risk.
You also need to watch out on any wood that is covered with vines. These are usually dangerous trees. An example of this is the poison ivy or the poison sumac. If you are not sure about it, avoid any tree that has the name “Poison” on it. This is because the poison usually emits an irritant oil urushiol into the smoke making the smoke to be toxic. If you happen to breathe the smoke emitted from burning poison ivy or sumac, you are at risk of getting a severe respiratory infection as well as lung irritation. Ensure you are incredibly keen on the type of wood you choose so that you don’t end up using any poisonous material in your own home.
If you have a fireplace in your home, it is your responsibility to ensure that whatever goes into it is not dangerous to your health. Some wood will release toxic chemicals which, when inhaled may cause you and your loved one to contract severe respiratory problems that could have been avoided. If you don’t know which wood shouldn’t be near your fireplace, read the article above.