Imagine driving by a lumberyard and saw acres of chopped firewood Summer Tips for Storing Wood IMG- Fort Wayne, IN- Old Smokeys Fireplace & Chimneybasking in the sun. It’s a postcard-perfect scene of cords of wood cut from timber. And it is a splendid demonstration of seasoning wood for optimum burning in the fall and winter.

Even though summer is upon us, selecting and seasoning firewood now will bring benefits next fall and winter. Using seasoned firewood will improve the performance of your fireplace or stove. It is not too early to begin seasoning your firewood. In fact, you need all the time (and then some) between now and heating season to properly season your firewood.

As our name indicates, Old Smokey’s Fireplace & Chimney knows about wood and how to burn it. With more than 30 years of satisfying customers in northeast Indiana, northwest Ohio, and midsouth Michigan, we are proud to serve you. Call 260-424-0009 or 800-876-6539, or schedule an appointment online for any issues related to fireplaces, hearths, chimneys — and firewood.

What exactly is meant by “seasoned firewood”?

Seasoning your firewood means drying it out, and not via industrial-strength hair dryers! It takes time.

Seasoned firewood has about 20 percent moisture content. It has several important characteristics and features that affect combustion. For one thing, seasoned firewood tends to light more easily, and it burns more readily and efficiently. When it burns, there’s less creosote buildup and less smoke.

Your choice of the type of seasoned firewood also affects the quality and type of fire you have in your fireplace or stove. It is wise to use hardwoods such as oak, hickory, and elm because hardwoods produce a longer-lasting fire.

How do you season firewood? Picture the scene at that lumberyard. Stack it and dry it for at least six months before you burn it in your fireplace or wood-burning stove. Many people like to season their firewood for a full year. Some say you can season firewood in only three months, but that’s pushing the limit.

Sun and wind are you strongest allies when it comes to seasoning your firewood. Knowing that, pile your chopped firewood in a place where the sun’s rays can warm it and the wind can blow. Space the rows enough apart so that sun and wind can do their work. Consider putting the wood on a raised platform.

Old Smokey’s suggests you take full advantage of the drying effects of wind and sun by leaving the wood fully exposed during the day. If the forecast calls for clear weather, you might leave the wood open and uncovered in the daytime. If there’s a chance of rain, you can cover it.

But time is your biggest factor in seasoning wood, even more than wind and sun. Allowing ample time for firewood seasoning is your greatest assurance of success. It’s sort of a reversal of marinating. Both require time and patience.

The professionals at Old Smokey’s are eager to share their experiences, and those of our many customers over the years, regarding firewood seasoning. We enjoy the crackling conversation — in any season.