ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – As Texas winds begin to take on a chill, fireplaces all across the Big Country are being lit. Some of which are burning firewood provided by Mr. Allan Haught, who says there’s more to heating your home during the winter months than you might think.

Haught began selling firewood in 1977, his hot commodity initially was a byproduct of his family landscaping business.

“The slow season for landscape work is the winter and so, we would always store the wood and sell it in the winter, so it’d be aging all year long,” Haught explained.

The age of a log is a key component in good Firewood, and Haught’s handy tip for first time buyers. Steer clear of younger, ‘green’ wood.

“Number one, it’s hard to light; and number two, it burns a lot slower and creates a whole lot more smoke that can get back into the house,” Haught said. “And it produces more creosote that can gum up the chimney and can be a fire hazard.”

When it comes to wood selection, age isn’t the only parameter to consider. Each type of wood can react differently, and you’ll want to consider how you’d like to build your fire.

“Ash and mesquite, and pecan, we get here locally, and the oak is the only one that’s hard to find here, so we have to order it from Goldthwaite,” listed Haught.

Where Mesquite burns fast and hot, which can damage your fireplace more quickly, woods like oak or pecan burn more evenly and for longer. Although many consider mesquite to be an acquired scent.

“Oak and pecan and ash have a real pleasant odor, and if you get a little bit back in the house, it’s not near as irritating – especially if some of the family has allergies,” advised Haught.

For many, February 2021 was their first time utilizing a fireplace. Haught told KTAB/KRBC he saw a spike in sales around that time, and even gave some wood away to families in need. Ever since, he said folks have been buying earlier.

“Normally, it would start when we got the first cold front in maybe October. But after the hard storm we had (referring to the February 2021 freeze), people buy well in advance,” Haught said. “Our firewood sales start as early as August.”

No matter what type of wood you buy, Haught said he advises customers to know before they go. Look into how much you might need, and make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. Home Depot and others have in depth firewood buying guides.

“I think it’s important for customers to research how many cubic feet are real chord of wood,” Haught said.

A chord of wood should be 128 cubic feet, or 64 in a half cord like the ones on Haught’s land. Smaller quantities are also available for those making more limited use of their fires.