381-8 Old Riverhead Road

Westhampton Beach, NY

Tel. 631-998-0780

Hours: Mon. - Fri. 9am to 5pm / Sat. By Appointment / Sun. Closed

The Importance of Well Seasoned Firewood


Weather experts have predicted this upcoming winter to be as frigid as last year’s record breaking winter, and this has everyone thinking ahead about keeping warm. For some people, staying warm inside the house involves lighting a toasty fire in the fireplace or wood stove. However, burning a fire requires having the right fuel, and if the fireplace burns wood, that means stocking up on the best firewood.

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Prior to deciding on the species of tree to burn in the fireplace, the most important aspect of the firewood is actually its dryness. Dry firewood has completed the “seasoning” process in which it has been stored out of the elements and allowed to dry for an amount of time specific to the variety of wood. Lightweight wood may only need about six months to season, while the densest woods could take up to two years.

Do your best to avoid firewood that has been stored outside because it has not had a chance to season. The water content in this wood is most likely very high, which results in cool smoky fires. When the wood contains a lot of water, the fire expends a lot of energy boiling the water away, and this produces less heat, creates more smoke, and costs you money in poor fuel efficiency. In the end, the firewood also burns incompletely.

Incompletely burned firewood leads to the production of creosote. This thick, tarry material first leaves the fire in a hot, vaporized form, but as it travels up the chimney, it cools and clings to the chimney walls. Over time, creosote can build up to the point of closing up the chimney completely, which can cause a backup of harmful gases like carbon monoxide into the home. Creosote is also highly flammable, so a stray ember in a creosote-filled chimney could result in a devastating house fire. Luckily, you can avoid all of this with regular chimney sweeps and by only burning well seasoned wood.

Once you have found the right wood with the longest seasoning time, you have to take it home and decide how to store it. The most ideal way to store firewood is to keep it indoors and uncovered. Storing the wood indoors protects it from rain and snow, which keeps it dry. Seasoned wood, especially, absorbs water very readily because of its dryness, so keeping it out of the elements is vital. Leaving the wood uncovered also permits any trapped water to evaporate. Completely wrapping the wood in a tarp can lead to trapped moisture and an increased water content. If storing the wood inside is not an option, you can store it outside, but be sure to cover the top of the stack. Any kind of water proof “roof” works well in an outdoor storage situation, such as a sheet of aluminum siding. Leave the sides of the wood stack open, so air can flow through to keep it dry.

If you have any questions about choosing or storing your firewood, get in touch with your local chimney and fireplace specialist. For an expert in the Westhampton Beach, New York area, contact Beach Stove and Fireplace.



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Our Location

Beach Stove and Fireplace is located on Old Riverhead Road between Montauk Highway and Sunrise Highway. From Sunrise Highway take exit 63 south, travel 1.2 miles and turn right at the 381 complex (just north of Gabreski Airport)