Drying Firewood For Your Fireplace

When it comes to lighting fires in the fireplace, it’s actually quite a skill that improves with practice. For example, if the wood isn’t dry enough, it’s not going to burn. If you don’t have some sort of kindling then it will also be difficult to get things going.

Let’s explore what you need to know about drying firewood for your home heating:

Did you know that if you cannot get wood to burn very well then it will cause more than one problem? For starters, not only will the fire be cool but it could cause a build-up of creosote in your chimney. This could even lead to a fire.

How Dry Should It Be?
Wood really does need to be fairly dry. You need to aim for a 20% measurement of moisture content. When you take into account that freshly cut wood can be as much as 60% moist, then that certainly is a lot of drying.

Just as your laundry dries best on days that are windy and sunny, so does your firewood. You will get the best results from neatly stacked firewood that is raised from the ground. This arrangement will allow the wood to be well exposed to the sun and the wind. By raising it off the ground, you can prevent the wood from drawing up more moisture from the ground.

How Long To Dry Wood For
Drying wood can take some time to dry. In fact, if you cut the wood in the summer, you’d be very lucky to get the wood dry enough for it to burn in the following winter. It will most likely take between 6 and 18 months – it’s all down to what type of wood it is.

Ideally you will start collecting wood to dry the previous season so that you have plenty to use when the winter arrives. So the wood that you cut this year will be ready to use in 2 years’ time.

How To Speed Up Wood Drying

It’s possible to make firewood seasoning faster than it may other be by using these tricks of the trade:

  • Make each piece smaller  – with a seasoning rate of 1 inch per year, you can split wood and make it season faster
  • This will mean that you can light your pieces easier too once it’s in the stove or fireplace
  • Put a tarpaulin over your stack of wood so that the wind can still pass through but the top won’t get wet.
  • By bringing the wood indoors a few days prior to when it will be burnt, you can dry off the surface moisture so that it will light easier.

If you find drying out your own wood too much trouble, then just purchase it already dried from a reputable firewood supplier.

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