As the temperature drops and the cozy allure of a crackling fire beckons, it’s essential to ensure that your wood-burning experience is both enjoyable and safe. A common question that gets asked is, what happens if you burn wood that isn’t dry? In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the reasons behind why wood should be dry and explore the various implications of burning damp wood in your fireplace. From fire hazards and reduced efficiency to potential health risks, the impact of burning wet wood extends beyond mere inconvenience.
1. Burning wet wood.
Damp timber can contain as much as 100% moisture, effectively making it more water than actual wood. Don’t burn wet wood, as the process of heating up the excess water before the wood ignites is not ideal. This process delays the fire from reaching the required temperature needed for efficient burning.
2. Fire Hazard.
When you are burning wet wood, you will notice it produces a lot more smoke than dry wood, this smoke and moisture is creating a build-up of creosote in your flue, this creosote clogs your flue and can turn into a fire hazard if not cleaned and maintained.
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3. Less Efficient.
If your burning wet wood, then your fireplace is working overtime. You are not getting the most efficient performance you could be getting. You will notice a huge difference when you burn dry wood, the firebox glows hot, the glass stays clean and there is less smoke. You can even hear a difference in the burning, with dry wood you will get that crackling fire sound and the wet wood will be more of a sizzling steaming sound.
4. Health Hazard.
Burning wet wood may also be dangerous to your health by producing extra smoke and particles into the air.
Top tips for drying wood…
- Split wood into the right size for you wood heater, cut in spring or summer for next winter.
- Keep wood stack raised up off the ground.
- Store wood undercover especially in the winter
- Stack firewood in a single row so the sun and breeze can draw the moisture out the cut ends
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