Screen Shot 2015 04 08 at 11.09.28 PM 300x225 When It Comes to Firewood, Spring is the Best Time to Think about Winter

Photo Credit: Prince George Air Improvement Roundtable

Start Seasoning Your Wood Now

It might seem antithetical to think about next winter just as the days are getting warmer and the flowers are beginning to bloom, but when it comes to firewood, early spring is the best time to cut and stack it so it has enough time to dry for the colder months next year. Drying, also known as ‘seasoning,’ your wood takes about 6-12 months (depending on the type of wood and climate), which is essential for efficient smoke-free wood burning that doesn’t hurt our air or your wallet.

Here are some of the symptoms of poor performance related to wet firewood:
• difficulty getting a fire going and keeping it burning well,
• smoky fires with little flame,
• dirty glass,
• rapid creosote buildup in the chimney,
• low heat output,
• the smell of smoke in the house,
• short burn times,
• excessive fuel consumption, and
• blue-gray smoke from the chimney.

Be sure to chop your wood so it is uniform in size and fits your burning appliance. Doing so shortly after it’s been cut is an important measure for preventing mould growth, which can lead to health problems when it builds up in indoors. Stacking your pile so it gets adequate sun and wind exposure will help season your wood, so that by the time fall rolls around, it will have 20% or less moisture content. Check to make sure the cut ends have cracks or use a moisture metre to make sure.

Burning only clean wood (never burn painted or treated wood, driftwood or glossy magazines) and ensuring it’s properly seasoned, along with maintaining your EPA or CSA approved wood-burning appliance, and regularly cleaning your chimney go a long way to prevent smoke emissions, which are harmful to human health and visually impact our airshed. Smoke is also a sign of an inefficient use of resources and a waste of your money. You’ll burn up to 25% less wood if it’s properly seasoned and it will be a pleasure to use!

The Sea to Sky Clean Air Society is committed to helping people who heat their homes with wood do so efficiently and smoke-free, so we’re handing out free moisture metres, wood totes, pile covers, and Burn Smart DVDs to obvious wood burners throughout the region. These items were generously provided by the Ministry of Environment. We’re also connecting with wood suppliers to ensure they have the right tools and knowledge for selling properly seasoned wood. These actions are supported by our Burning and Smoke Control Strategic Framework, a stakeholder-lead plan aimed at reducing area emissions such as household wood-burning. SSCAS also has a few $250 rebates left to support people who are swapping out their old smoky appliance and replacing it with a certified clean-burning model. Questions? Please contact: seatoskycleanair”at” For more information about any of our emissions reduction programs, please check out the “What We Do Section” of our website.