* A common question asked is "WHAT'S
THE BEST FIREWOOD"?
Oak and Madrone are a top notch hardwood and most commonly
sold by local firewood companies, here in Santa Cruz County.
No matter what your choice of firewood is, the most important
thing is that it be dried properly (seasoned). One to two
years is enough time to drive out most of the moisture.
* The best way to get seasoned wood is to
BUY THIS YEARS WOOD FOR NEXT YEAR! Wood sellers will often
tell you that even though this wood was split this year, it
will be just fine. Except in the cases of fir or pine, that
is not true. Look for gray, or darkened, brittle wood that
has a lot of cracks in the inner rings. Seasoned wood looks
gray, or dark and dingy because it has been sitting in the
sun, drying for a while. Unseasoned wood has the fresh clean
look of new lumber at a building supply store and has that
same fresh look on the onside when it's split.
* A FIREWOOD MOISTURE METER is a good investment
for anyone who is not sure of the moister content in their
firewood. This device works by inserting it's sharp metal
prongs into the end of cut pieces. A reading of 15% or less
moister is best. However 15% -18% is acceptable. (Moisture
meters are available for purchase on-line.)
Signs that your firewood is not dry enough:
o The wood is hard to ignite.
o The wood hisses and sizzles while burning.
o The fire produces more smoke than heat.
* There are two types of Firewood: HARDWOOD
and SOFTWOOD. Hardwoods tend to give more heat and less smoke,
while Softwoods like Douglas-fir, Cypress, Juniper and Spruce
make excellent kindling. It is NOT recommended that you burn
large amounts of Softwoods because they create more smoke
and creosote which could lead to a devastating chimney fire.
* A cord of firewood measures 4 feet deep
X 4 feet high X 8 feet long, or any configuration that equals
128 CUBIC FEET.
* Larger firewood companies have a tendency
to be a little more expensive, but usually offer trouble free