While storing firewood may seem to be as simple as stacking what logs you can find, it truly is much more complicated of a process. That said, by following some simple steps you can get the best, properly seasoned firewood for your home’s fireplace. Here’s how to properly season firewood.
First, it’s important to know why properly seasoned firewood is important. Seasoning firewood ensures most of the moisture and sap in the wood has dried up. Once properly dried, or seasoned, firewood burns hotter, lights up faster, and produces minimal pollutants which lead to creosote build-up.
Not just any wood you find will be a good candidate for burning in your wood-burning fireplace. Hardwoods (deciduous trees) are best for long, steady burns and softwoods (conifer trees) burn faster so are best for starting up fires. Some good ways to find firewood, if you want to season it yourself, will be to keep an eye out on Facebook for free wood or to let your family and friends know you’re in need.
As a Maryland fireplace installation service, we’ve learned a few tricks over the years to make chopping wood easier. First, if you’re about to chop a large load of wood; consider renting power equipment to help ease the task (or recruit friends). Also, when cutting wood to size keep around a piece of wood which fits your stove perfectly and cut all piece to its size—otherwise you’ll end up with wood which doesn’t fit your stove.
When stacking firewood, you will first need a dedicated wood rack to keep your firewood off the ground. Here’s a good DIY Firewood rack plan from Popular Mechanics if you need one. Place your firewood rack in an area where the sun can hit it and the wind can dry it out. It’s also recommended that you place the rack in an area close to your home but not against anything wood (to prevent bugs from damaging standing structures).
While it may seem counter-intuitive; there’s no need to cover your wood with a tarp year round. We suggest placing a tarp over it during the rainiest seasons but if you know you’re about to have a dry spell then take the tarp off to speed up to the drying process. Leave the wood to dry out and just sit for at least 6 months (for softwood) and up to two years for some hardwoods. This will ensure all the moisture has left and it is ready for burning.
For more information on seasoning firewood for your fireplace or wood stove, or for any help with installing or servicing a wood burning fireplace or stove, get in touch with Fireside Stone & Patio today. As a Maryland fireplace installation service, Fireside Stone & Patio can get an affordable wood-burning fire feature quickly and efficiently. For a free consultation, give Fireside Stone & Patio a call at 410-203-2876 or fill out the form on our website today!