Drying Firewood, why it's important to know about seasoning firewood.
Drying firewood is important because burning seasoned wood is the key to a good fire. Dry wood produces the most heat, starts easily and is better for your chimney.
When firewood is not seasoned properly many problems arise.
First and foremost, fires will be hard to light and keep lit. Do you really have time to fiddle with the woodstove all day? That's an aggravation most people don't need.
Secondly, wood only begins to burn after the moisture is gone. Wet wood gives off less heat because a lot of the energy from the fire is spent removing the excess moisture from the wood. Don't waste energy drying firewood while it's burning in your woodstove or fireplace.
Last but not least, creosote will build up much faster in your chimney when you burn wet wood. This will put you at much greater risk for a chimney fire. This is a potentially dangerous situation that should be avoided.
Bottom line-you'd have to be a fool to want to burn wet wood.
Rules of Drying Wood
Cut your wood early
It's best to cut your firewood trees at least a year in advance. If you are trying to burn wood 4 months after cutting it, you're being a little unrealistic. A good rule of thumb is to always be a year ahead. If you can't be a full year ahead, you should at least cut your trees in the spring or early summer to give them a good 6-8 months to season.
Click here to learn how to cut firewood.
Process the wood as soon as possible
Cut the wood into firewood lengths and split it as soon as possible. This will accelerate the drying process significantly.
As soon as the wood is processed,it is important to stack it to ensure that it dries in a timely manner. As I have said before, seasoning firewood is paramount in proper burning.
Click Here to learn about proper stacking methods.
Just add air and sunlight
Allow air circulation and sunlight to reach the firewood. Covering your firewood with a tarp is not the best idea when trying to season firewood. Let the sun shine down and the air circulate around the firewood. The best way to do this is to stack the firewood in an area where the sun will shine.
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