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Tips for Properly Storing Firewood

While the first fire of the fall is months away, if you cut and prepare your own firewood, you are likely hard at work readying fuel for next winter’s fires. You alsoTips For Properly Storing Firewood- Indianapolis IN- Your Chimney Sweep INC-w800-h597 likely know that there’s a lot more to preparing firewood than cutting down trees. There are several steps you should take to properly season and store your firewood to create the best firewood for your fireplace or woodstove.

Cut and split your firewood to the right size.

One advantage to cutting your own firewood is that you can cut it to the proper length for your fireplace or woodstove. Ideally, firewood should be three inches shorter than the width of your firebox. Once it is cut to length, logs should be split to a width of 6 inches or less.

Stack wood in a single layer, where it is exposed to light and wind.

Wood needs to be properly seasoned before it is fit for a fireplace. That means the moisture content of the wood should be less than 20 percent. To achieve that, wood needs to be exposed to wind and sun to evaporate the moisture out. Stack the wood loosely in a single layer. Wood should be left uncovered while it is seasoning.

Season firewood for at least one season.

It takes at least one season of drying for wood to be seasoned and ready for the fireplace. You will be able to tell if wood is seasoned if it is lighter, dull gray in color, slightly cracked and if it makes a hollow thumping noise when struck together.

Save enough space.

While seasoning firewood can be stacked nearly anywhere in the yard or field, you will need to have space to store your properly seasoned firewood for the winter. A wood-burning home uses three cords of wood or more each winter, which takes up a lot of space.

Store seasoned firewood off the ground and covered.

Seasoned firewood should be stacked off the ground, and it should be covered to prevent it from absorbing additional moisture. A covered woodshed or porch is ideal, but wood can be stacked outside on a wood stacker or atop a base of pallets and then covered securely with tarps. Never store firewood against your house or in your house, as that can introduce bugs and other pests to your home. Make sure wood stays dry to prevent the growth of mold, which can go airborne when burned, posing a health hazard.

Properly seasoned and stored firewood is crucial for keeping your fireplace or woodstove burning efficiently and cleanly. Without it, you won’t realize the maximum heat output from your fireplace, and you will cause flammable creosote to build up quickly in your fireplace. You will be able to tell if your firewood has been properly seasoned and stored when you burn it — Dry wood will let off the pleasant crackling sound associated with a traditional fireplace fire, while wet firewood will hiss and steam.

By Joe Sauter on June 11th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Make sure your firewood is properly stored

You know the importance of properly seasoned firewood: It allows your fires to burn hot and efficiently, returning as much heat as possible to your home and reducing the amount of creosote the builds up in your chimney. Improperly stored wood also is susceptible to mold growth, which can infest your home when you bring the wood inside. If you take the time to properly season you firewood or make sure to purchase properly seasoned wood, that work is going to waste if you’re not properly storing your firewood during the winter.

When determining how best to store your firewood for the winter, there are a few factors to consider.

How much space the wood will require

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The amount of wood needed to burn fires all winter can take up a considerable amount of space. The average home with a woodstove burns three cords of wood each winter. Each cord of wood takes up 128 cubic feet, or an area that is four feet deep, four feet tall and 8 feet long.

When determining where to store your firewood, you’ll first need to determine how much space it will take. Do you burn the average three cords of wood, or do you burn fires less frequently? Do you purchase all of your wood at once, or do you purchase one cord at a time, as needed? Make sure you select a space to store your wood that will suit your wood-burning and purchasing habits.

The ideal conditions for storing wood

Once you’ve determined the area you’ll need to accommodate your firewood, you’ll need to find an ideal space for that wood. First, the wood should be stored away from your house, as firewood stores adjacent to a home can introduce pests like termites. That means you should never store more than a day’s worth of wood in your garage or home.

Wood ideally should be stored in a protected area, like a barn or a woodshed. If that’s not possible, keep your wood at least six inches off of the ground with wood pallets or a firewood stacker. The woodpile should be at least partially covered with a tarp. If the wood does get wet, make sure you dry it out thoroughly before attempting to burn it.

Knowing if wood is dry enough to burn

You’ll be able to tell if your wood is dry enough to burn in a few ways. Wet wood will feel heavier than dry wood. If you bang two logs together and hear a heavy thud, you’ll know your wood is wet. Once you start a fire, you’ll instantly be able to tell if your wood is properly dry. Wet wood will be difficult to ignite, and once lit, it will let off a hissing noise and heavy, blue smoke.

Dry firewood is a matter of safety. Make sure you follow our guidelines for properly storing your seasoned firewood to make sure that you’re burning hot, clean, efficient fires this winter.

By Joe Sauter on January 29th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment