Storing firewood properly is essential for a warm and cozy home during the winter months. The firewood should be kept in a dry and well-ventilated location away from your home, stacked in a crisscross or perpendicular pattern, and covered with a protective covering that allows the wood to breathe. The curing process takes several months, and the ideal moisture content for firewood is between 20% to 25%. It is not recommended to store firewood indoors, burn wet firewood, or stack the woodpile directly on the ground. Following these tips ensures you have dry and ready-to-use wood for your fireplace, wood stove, or fire pit.
How to Store Firewood to Keep It Dry and Ready to Use
Keeping firewood dry and ready to use is essential for a warm and cozy home during the winter months. Whether you have a fireplace, wood stove, or a fire pit in your backyard, storing your firewood properly is vital to ensure it stays dry and ready to burn. Here are some tips on how to store firewood:
Choose a dry and well-ventilated location to store your firewood. Avoid damp and shady areas that may result in mold or fungi growth on your firewood. A covered area with walls on three sides and an open front can provide adequate shelter for your firewood. Keep the woodpile away from your home to avoid any fire hazards.
Stack your firewood in a crisscross or perpendicular pattern to allow proper air circulation. This technique allows the wood to dry more efficiently, keeps the woodpile stable, and prevents it from toppling over. Another essential stacking tip is to ensure that the woodpile is not too high as it may cause the bottom layers to compress, making it difficult for air to circulate. A good rule of thumb is to stack the firewood no higher than four feet.
Covering Your Firewood
Use a protective covering to shield your firewood from precipitation, including snow and rain. A tarp or plastic sheet can serve as an inexpensive cover. Ensure the cover extends beyond the woodpile’s edges to keep the wood dry. However, it is essential to let the firewood breathe by keeping the sides or ends of the cover open to allow air to circulate.
Curing firewood involves allowing freshly cut wood to dry and removes excess moisture that inhibits combustion. The curing process takes several months, depending on the type of wood and weather conditions. The ideal moisture content for firewood is between 20% to 25%. Use a moisture meter to determine the wood’s moisture content and ensure its readiness for burning.
Q. What type of wood is best for firewood?
A. Hardwoods such as oak, maple, and ash are the best types of wood for burning. They produce more heat and burn for longer periods than softwoods like pine and spruce.
Q. How much firewood do I need for winter?
A. The amount of firewood you need depends on several factors, including the size of your home and the number of times you use the fireplace or woodstove. A general rule of thumb is a half cord per month for an average-sized home.
Q. Can I store firewood indoors?
A. Storing firewood indoors is not recommended as it may bring pests into your home and result in mold and fungi growth. However, you can keep a small amount of firewood indoors for immediate use.
Q. Can I burn wet firewood?
A. Burning wet firewood can be challenging, inefficient, and result in more smoke. Wet firewood also produces less heat and can cause creosote buildup in your chimney. Ensure your firewood is dry before burning it.
Q. Can a woodpile attract termites?
A. A woodpile can attract termites. However, by storing the woodpile properly and away from your home, you can reduce the risk of termite infestation. Also, avoid stacking your firewood directly on the ground, as it can provide a nesting ground for insects.
Storing firewood is a crucial step to ensure that you have dry and ready-to-use wood for your fireplace, wood stove, or fire pit. Proper storage techniques help prevent mold, fungi growth, and insect infestation while allowing the wood to dry sufficiently for combustion. Choose a dry and well-ventilated location, stack the wood properly, cover it with a protective covering, and allow the wood to cure for months before burning it. With these tips, you can enjoy a warm and cozy home during the cold months.