Although some people believe the key to burning the best wood fires is using a certain species of wood, the reality is using firewood that has been sufficiently seasoned, or dried, after it has been cut. Properly seasoned wood will give you cleaner, safer, and longer lasting fires because the fire does not have to waste so much energy burning out the moisture as it does with freshly cut green wood. A fire burning green wood can lead to an overproduction of smoke and creosote, which can be harmful to your chimney. Wood naturally contains a lot of water. Green wood can have a moisture content of 40 percent. Allowing your wood to dry out for at least six months will reduce that content by half. To help you perfect your firewood seasoning and storing skills, Hudson Chimney would like to tell you a few tips so that you can have the best firewood to be able to enjoy warm and clean fires this winter.
Split the wood.
If you are able to cut your own firewood, you should split each piece so that air will be able to get to every side of the wood. This will speed up the drying process. You want to ensure each piece of wood is no longer than six inches so that it will fit inside your fireplace or stove. If you buy your firewood, you can split it at home yourself if it has not already been split. To make this job easier, Firewood For Life recommends using a sharp splitting axe or a hydraulic wood splitter.
Choose the right location for storing your wood.
For the sake of convenience, you want to pick a spot that is close to your home. Even more importantly, you should choose a location that gets full sun to take advantage of its heat. The sun is a great help in drying out the moisture, and the moisture will evaporate much more quickly in the sun.
Stack the wood elevated off the ground.
Storing your firewood directly on the ground will slow down the drying time because the wood will absorb even more moisture from the earth. If you do not have a storage shed, you can use pallets as a platform for storing. A storage rack is another good idea. Stack the wood in a criss cross pattern will help the air be able to circulate better around your firewood.
Cover the top.
If you have a storage shed, you want to be sure it is not completely enclosed by walls. Air circulation is very important for seasoning firewood as it helps to evaporate the moisture. If you do not have a storage shed, you can cover your supply with a tarp or a fireplace cover to protect it from rain. Ensure that the sides are open so that moisture is not trapped inside your stacks of wood.
After you have stacked and stored your firewood, all you need to do is wait for at least six months for properly seasoned firewood. Contact us at Hudson Chimney for even more firewood tips, along with any of your fireplace and chimney needs.