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Tips for Storing Firewood

The crackle of warm winter fires might be months away, but if you have a wood-burning fireplace or heating stove, the fire-burning season likely is on your mind as you prepare the firewood your need to keep your home warm this fall and winter. Before you stack your firewood, consider these firewood storage tips to keep your wood dry and free from mold and decay.

Don’t stack firewood directly on the ground.The Right Way To Store Wood -  Royal Oak MI - FireSide

Firewood should be stored off of the ground. When firewood comes in direct contact with the ground, it picks up moisture that can cause mold, mildew and decay. Putting your wood into direct contact with the soil also invites insects to find a home in your wood pile. If you don’t have a concrete area on which to stack your firewood, consider stacking them on wooden beams or pallets, or invest in a wood stacker made just for this job.

Cover your woodpile.

While your firewood is still being seasoned, exposing it to wind and sun can help to dry the wood out. Once the lower moisture content has been achieved, however, it is important to cover your woodpile to keep the logs from reabsorbing moisture. If you don’t have a covered area designated for your wood pile, a simple tarp over the top of the woodpile will suffice.

Store firewood away from your home.

It can be tempting to build your firewood stack adjacent to your home, where you can easily access it when your fire is burning. Logs stack against the home, however, invite pests like termites to make a home against your home’s foundation. Make your firewood pile away from your home, and bring in smaller stacks of wood — perhaps a day’s worth — into your garage or in-home wood rack as needed.

Stack wood loosely.

Don’t try to minimize your wood storage space by cramming logs too closely together. You want air to be able to circulate around the woodpile to keep logs dry and free from decay. Either stack logs loosely, or consider stacking them in a alternating directions to allow for airflow. If you are stacking multiple rows of woodpiles, keep each pile six to 12 inches apart to allow for air flow between them.

Don’t stack wood too high.

The height of your woodpile should be limited to around 4 feet, so you don’t compromise the stability of the structure. If you are not using a manufactured wood stacker, you might want to consider placing posts at each end of your woodpile to prevent the pile from toppling to one side or the other.

Check to make sure your wood is seasoned.

Properly seasoned, or dried, firewood burns hotter and more efficiently. That means you get more heat from your fires and less creosote is allowed to develop within your chimney. Before you burn wood from your pile, make sure it has dried properly. The wood should be grayish in color, the bark should be splitting and separating from the wood, and two logs should make a hollow “thud” when banged together. When you light the wood, you will be able to tell for sure that it has been properly stored: seasoned logs will crackle pleasantly, while wet wood will steam and hiss.

For more fire burning tips or to see our selection of wood-burning appliances contact Fireside Hearth & Home.

By Justin Peoples | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Tired of hauling firewood? Consider a pellet stove

Your wood-burning stove or fireplace brings warmth, comfort and ambiance to your home, and saves you money on your home heating bills. But using wooden logs to help heat your home comes with many inconveniences. Either you spend months chopping, stacking and splitting firewood, or if you purchase your firewood, it can only be purchased a cord at a time. All of that firewood must be stored somewhere it’s protected from the elements.

When the wood-burning season sets in, your fire has to be constantly tended. You make trips back and forth from the garage, barn or woodpile to keep your fireplace properly fueled. Bringing firewood into your home can introduce bugs, mold or other pests. If you love the heating benefits of your fireplace, along with the ambiance of a burning fire but grow frustrated with the logistics of preparing, storing and hauling firewood, consider a pellet stove.


Save space with pellets

While firewood must be purchased by the cord, pellets come in 40 pound bags, which you can purchase from your local hardware store or many big-box retailers as needed. One ton of pellets, which provides the same amount of heat as a cord of wood, requires 80 cubic feet for storage. In contrast, the cord of firewood requires 128 cubic feet of storage. On average, a home with a wood stove or wood-burning fireplace burns three cords of hardwood or more than 5 cords of softwood each winter.

Maintain your fire less with pellets

With a wood stove, you build your fire and maintain it constantly, adding wood and shifting logs throughout the day so your fire is burning at its best. Pellet fires require much less fuss. One load of pellets will burn for 16 to 24 hours, so your fire will continue to heat your home while you’re at work, running errands or sleeping. You don’t have to constantly tend your fire, or worry about jumping embers when you open your fireplace door to add a log. Pellet stoves also require less cleaning. The pellets burn more cleanly, meaning you have less ash to clean from your stove, and less buildup to worry about in your stove’s chimney.

Burn greener with pellets

While EPA-certified wood-burning stoves and fireplace inserts are incredibly efficient, pellet stoves have them beat. Pellets contain very little moisture, which means they produce very little smoke and release very few particles into the environment. Pellets are also environmentally friendly in their construction. Wood itself is, of course, a renewable resource, and most pellets are made from wood byproducts, such as sawdust and shavings that otherwise would make its way into landfills. Other pellets are made from bio-sources, such as corn and wheat hulls. Pellets also are incredibly efficient at heating your home. With a wood stove, approximately 70 percent of the wood’s heat potential is released into your home, while approximately 83 percent of the wood’s heat potential is released into your home with pellets.

If you’re tired of the hassle of a wood-burning fireplace or stove but you enjoy the heat, talk to the experts at Fire Side Hearth & Home about a pellet stove today.