With summer a mere memory, fall has stepped in and taken over. Stunning reds, golds, and yellows decorate the landscapes, and crisp winds have everyone bundling up in their favorite fall jackets. In addition to raking leaves and sipping hot apple cider, homeowners are also looking ahead to heating their homes for the next several months. Many homes utilize wood-burning appliances like stoves and fireplaces. To make use of these units, it is crucial to have an ample supply of firewood fuel.
For a lot of homeowners, purchasing firewood is a hassle. They are faced with questions like where to buy the firewood, how much will they need to make it through the season, and what types of wood should they burn. Upon making all of these decisions, the next step is figuring out the best way to store the firewood.
If you chose to buy seasoned firewood, the wood has had a significant amount of time to dry, so all you need to do is keep it dry before you burn it. However, seasoned firewood is often sold at a premium because it is dry and ready to burn. For that reason, many choose to purchase “green” firewood, which simply means it was freshly cut and extraordinarily wet. Storing this green firewood properly is vital to burning a hot and safe fire this season.
The first step is to keep it far from your home. While thirty feet away is ideal, just store it as far as you can based on the space you have. The rodents, termites and other bugs that live in it may begin infesting your home if you store the wood too close. Avoid this risk entirely by simple keeping the wood farther away.
Next, stack your wood off the ground to allow air to flow under it and help it dry faster. You can do this easily with a wood pallet or by placing 2 x 4 boards on the ground before stacking the wood.
Covering your wood is vital to helping it dry before burning, especially in rainy Seattle. Try to keep the sides as open to air flow as you can to encourage quick drying, but always keep the top of the stack covered. Good covering options are plastic tarps and metal roofing sheets.
After a few months of being allowed to dry like this, you can have your own seasoned firewood without having to pay extra for it. Experts recommend burning wood that is only 20 percent moisture or less. This means only 10 percent of the weight of the wood is due to water. To measure this, look at the end of the wood to look for quarter inch “check,” or cracks. You may also opt to invest in a moisture reader that measures the moisture level just below the surface of the log. Burning an overly wet log results in a cooler fire, as some energy goes toward boiling away the water. It also creates a lot of smoke filled with dangerous chemicals like creosote.
If you have any questions regarding choosing and storing your firewood, contact the professionals at Pristine Sweeps of Seattle, Washington. These experts can also sweep and inspect the chimney of your wood-burning appliance prior to you lighting the first fire this season.