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With winter fast approaching, it is time to load up your woodshed with wood for the fireplace. If you have never bought wood before, or have bought it only to find you did not get what you paid for, we have some tips to make this season a bit more successful for you.

Only use the proper firewood in your fireplace Image - Charleston SC - Ashbusters Chimney Service

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Only Deal With Reputable Dealers – if you are driving down the highway and see a cardboard sign that says, “Firewood for Sale – Cheap,” what do you really expect to get? Joe Smith by the road has more than likely chopped the wood down that week and you will have no recourse whatsoever if you buy from him. Find actual licensed dealers in your area if you are going to purchase wood.

Know Your Woods – check the wood before loading it up. While most dealers are honest, sometimes cheaper and quick burning wood, such as pine, will find its way into a chord of oak. Not only are you getting a lower quality of wood, but these types of wood will also generate more creosote buildup in your chimney.

Check Your Supply – do you know how much wood is actually in a chord of wood? For visual purposes, a chord of wood is equal to a stack that is 4’x8’x4′. This is a 128 cubic foot of wood. In addition to verifying you are getting the proper amount, make sure the wood is seasoned properly. It should not be fresh wood, but wood that has been aged for at least a year. The perfect firewood will show signs of age with a graying color and the logs will already show signs of splitting.

Buying firewood is something you will get better at as time passes. If you received subpar wood last season, you are already making better decision by researching how to buy wood properly. Just follow these tips and you have a much better chance of being able to build a great fire with the perfect firewood every time.