Cutting your own firewood is definitely not an easy job, and you will get hot and sweaty, but doesn’t it feel great to go out, get a little muscle burn, and store up enough firewood to get you through a long winter of burning fires in your fireplace? But even if you buy your firewood, it’s important to know how to go about storing that firewood so that effort or money spent doesn’t go to waste.
Get Your Firewood Early In the Season
When you’re building a fire, it’s important to use wood that has been properly seasoned to get the best burn for your money. And the very best way to know that you have well-seasoned (dried) wood is to buy or cut your firewood early in the spring so that you know that it has had several months to dry out.
It’s important to know how to stack wood so that it dries right. First, even though it may be tempting to pile your firewood right next to the house, this isn’t such a good idea. Wood piles are attractive places for insects and animals to inhabit, and if there’s one thing you don’t want, it’s to have those insects and animals close to your house in the middle of the winter, just waiting for an opportunity to sneak in. If you really can’t shake the idea of keeping your woodpile close to the house, don’t keep more than a two week supply there at any given time. According to Home Guides, at least 30 feet from your home is a safe distance for wood storage.
It is also important to keep your woodpile dry.
To leave your firewood laying on the wet ground is asking for it to become moldy and bug infested. To alleviate this problem, try stacking your woodpile under a canopy or roof, or in between trees. Using a wood pallet to keep the wood off the wet ground is another useful idea. Even using a tarp – loosely placed over your woodpile – will help keep your pile dry, but be sure that you leave it loose so that air can get through to help with the drying process.
How to Stack Firewood
It’s important to stack your firewood in a way that allows air to flow through so that moisture doesn’t easily enter the wood. Firewood-for-life recommends stacking the first layer of wood side by side, tightly enough to keep the woodpile stable, but not so tightly that air can’t flow freely. Stack your firewood bark-side-up on the upside of the pile and bark-side-down on the ground side to take advantage of the natural water barrier that tree bark provides.
Why is this Important?
Stacking and storing your firewood properly is important because dry wood will burn hotter and cleaner than damp wood. This not only helps cut down on smoke output, but it will also burn hotter, and both these things will help cut down on creosote build-up, which will help reduce the chance of chimney fire. Another way to ensure a safe, clean burn is to set up yearly inspections and cleanings with certified chimney inspectors and sweeps, like the qualified professionals at Old Dominion Chimneys. Give them a call today!