Trust me. I learned this lesson the hard way.
Our first year on Randlett, I couldn’t wait for the fall so we could get the fireplace going on NFL Sundays. We had just moved from a drafty condo with no fireplace, so the idea of a warm fire and Brady throwing for 500 yards every Sunday really appealed to me. Then I made what will forever be known as “el tres mistakes.”
1.) I waited until September to order firewood. Rookie move. The wood had no time to dry in the cool, wet air. Wood takes about 3-4 months to dry, or less in the summer.
2.) I trusted the guy when he told me the wood was “seasoned.” Big mistake. The wood was cut like yesterday. It’s very easy to tell fresh from seasoned firewood: fresh wood is lighter in color and is heavy. (Newly cut wood can retain about 50% more water than seasoned wood.) Good luck starting a fire with wet wood. It’s smokey and hisses.
3.) I ordered an entire cord of firewood. I must have been reading Game of Thrones and thought winter was coming. A cord is A LOT of wood. A 1/2 cord will get you through the winter — maybe two.
Here’s what I learned: order seasoned firewood in the summer. It’s cheaper this time of year and if it shows up fresh, you still have a few months to dry it. If the wood arrives fresh, call and ask for a refund. 1/2 cord of wood (oak, maple, ash) can be purchased for about $225.