When our staff at All American Chimney Service is asked by our customers what is okay to burn in their fireplaces, our answer is simple: only burn seasoned firewood. This type of wood is the best choice for long-lasting, warm fires that burn cleanly. As for paper and other trash, although you might think it would not hurt to burn this in your fireplace from time to time, it can actually be dangerous to do so. We would like to tell you more about seasoned firewood and why it is the only thing you should burn in your fireplace this fall.

What exactly is seasoned firewood?

This type of wood has been allowed to dry for at least six months after it has been cut. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), freshly cut wood has a moisture content of up to 45 percent, but properly seasoned wood should only be 20 to 25 percent water. Drier wood is much easier to start, and it produces longer, cleaner, and warmer fires than green wood. The reason for this has to do with the amount of energy that is used by a fire to get rid of the water inside the wood before it can burn. Not only does this result in smokier fires, but it also creates the right environment for an accelerated development of creosote inside your chimney.

How can I be sure the firewood I buy is properly seasoned?

If you do not already have a trusted firewood dealer, you can ask for recommendations from family, friends, and our staff at All American Chimney Services for the best place to buy firewood in your area. You can also look for darkened and cracked ends when shopping for wood. Seasoned firewood is also lightweight and makes a clunking sound when hit together. To make sure your firewood stays dry, you should store it off the ground in a sunny location.

Why is it so dangerous to burn paper or trash in my fireplace?

Many people think it is okay to burn wrapping paper in their fireplaces during the holidays, but you should never burn any type of paper because of the risk of flash fires. This type of accidental fire spreads quickly and can become out of control in seconds. You should also never burn painted or any other type of treated wood in your fireplace because the chemicals used could release arsenic and other kinds of toxic fumes inside your home.

When you know what to burn in your fireplace, you can enjoy warmer, cleaner, safer, and longer-lasting fires. Contact us at All American Chimney Service to schedule your annual professional chimney maintenance services to get your fireplace ready for fall.