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By Jay Woods on March 2, 2014
Importance of Seasoning Firewood
The wood is naturally green when it is cut and it has water content of about 60% or more. Unseasoned or green wood is quite hard to ignite, burns poorly, smolders and does not produce enough heat. In addition to that, unseasoned wood can also increase the accumulation of creosote in the flue.
In order to achieve a best burning process, the properly seasoned wood’s moisture content should only be 20%. The seasoning process generally allows the moisture in the wood to evaporate, yielding firewood which burns efficiently and safely. However, the downside of this process is that, seasoning of wood requires lot of time and effort. Typically, seasoning lasts from 6 months to 1 year, but there are certain practices that can speed the process.
Splitting, Storing and Stacking Wood
Trees are composed of giant stems. Wood and bark are also formed in order to keep the moisture inside. When the wood is being split, it exposes the interior surfaces to sunlight and air, which can lead to drying of the wood as well as can discourage the infestation of the insects. In addition to that, stacking of wood can also speed up its drying through exposing more part of the wood surfaces to air and sunlight. In order to achieve a wood stacking success, follow the helpful steps below:
For the stability and safety of your wood stack, never stack wood that is more than 4ft high.
By Jay Woods on February 10, 2014
Wood Fireplace: Tips for Proper Handling & Safety
These are tips you can follow to prevent accidents from happening. These tips also help you properly maintain your chimney and fireplace.
By Jay Woods on January 30, 2014
Here are some tips when it comes to storing firewood:
Store the firewood you gathered where it gets enough wind and sun exposure to dry it out. Without storing . Make sure that the firewood you store will not be exposed to the rain.
Stack the firewood you gathered so that they remain sturdy. Make sure to stack the firewood you gathered no higher than four feet. Stacks higher than four feet are wobbly and unstable. Stack the firewood you gathered a few inches away from other stacks and the walls. Allow the firewood you gathered breathing room so that air circulates within it.
Stack firewood without direct contact to the ground. Ground moisture can seep into the firewood you stored. You can prevent ground moisture from seeping into your firewood by placing something between it and the ground. You can use tarpaulins or drain-able gravel.
Cover the firewood you stacked with a tarp but expose the side. A tarpaulin covering your stack of firewood protects it from rain. Exposing the sides allow air to circulate and seasons the firewood. Make sure to store the firewood you purchased inside a structure. The garage or storage room you store your firewood in must have enough sun and ventilation to dry the wood properly.
Spray pesticide around your stack of firewood so that insects will not go near them. Insects will destroy the firewood you stored if they are not kept away.
Storing firewood properly will extend it usefulness to more than three years. It is best to store the firewood you gathered in a wood shed or similar structures to prevent deterioration. These tips can help you store your firewood and keep you warm during the cold nights and days of winter.
Wood can contain up to 45% water right after you cut it down. Using freshly cut wood as firewood will be ineffective because it will use up too much energy just drying the wood and burning it at the same time. It is best to cut wood and store it six months to a year before you use it. Wood needs to be dry to burn effectively during winter. Storing the firewood you gathered six months to a year before using them allow it to dry. Seasoned firewood that has been stored for more than six months burns cleaner and produces more heat. Seasoned firewood burns more efficiently and delivers more heat. If you do not have the time or strength to cut and gather your own firewood, you can always purchase them. Firewood is sold in volume. The standard of measure when it comes to purchasing firewood is cord. Storing and choosing firewood takes careful consideration. There are factors that affect the efficiency of firewood. It is best to store and cut firewood up to six months before you use it.
By Jay Woods on January 15, 2014
Different Ways to Stack Firewood Effectively
Keeping your home warm with a fire during the cold season is the best feeling you can have, especially during the torturous wind and snow of cold winter nights. The way you store and stack the firewood before winter will affect the way it burns and produces heat.
Here are some ways you can efficiently stack wood for the cold days and nights of winter:
This type of wood stacking is the most commonly used method. This style of wood stacking consists of several rows of firewood held in place with the help of a support tower. Support towers consist of log courses that are perpendicular to the one below and above it. This type of wood stacking allows for proper ventilation because of the spacing between the towers and the firewood. Traditional towers have been used for generations and are one of the oldest ways to stack wood. Using this type of wood stacking is time consuming because you would have to create the support towers aside from stacking the wood.
This way of stacking firewood is quite similar to the traditional tower, except that this style uses ropes and 2x4s to support the rows of firewood. The ropes are interwoven between the stacks of firewood and the 2x4s are used for support. The rope is safely secured and draws the firewood toward the center of the pile. Stacking firewood using ropes and 2x4s is faster compared to using the traditional tower approach. The interwoven ropes and 2x4s ensure that the firewood you place in the pile is kept in place securely. Once you have setup the 2x4s and the ropes, it will be faster and easier to stack the firewood you have either bought or chopped yourself.
This style of stacking firewood is the fastest and most efficient to make. It is simply a round stack of firewood, there are no frills about it. This circular way of stacking firewood provides enough space for the wood to breathe and get proper ventilation. The ends of the wood you stack touch each other at the center, but there is enough spacing between them as long as the weight is stacked toward the center of the pile. The round pile of stacking firewood is best suited for uneven pieces of wood that do not fit with the two previous forms of stacking.
These are the different ways to stack firewood for winter. You can try the different styles and find out which one is perfect for you and your pace. It is best to pile firewood where it does not touch the ground and has enough ventilation to keep it dry and seasoned for the cold nights and days of winter.
By Jay Woods on January 5, 2014
Selecting the Right Firewood Dealer
When choosing a firewood dealer, you must take several important things into consideration.
A legal and authorized firewood dealer must be licensed. According to DNR (Department of Natural Resources), a firewood dealer, or any business that involves the selling of firewood should have a Forest Products Operators License. You can go to your local forest service department and ask for a list of licensed firewood dealers in your area. In case you have found the potential dealer, you can verify if they are really licensed by asking for their legal documentation.
If you don’t have any experience with a particular firewood dealer, then the business you are purchasing from should be willing to offer you the references of their customers whom they have delivered wood or serviced before.
Common problems with a wood dealer
Every law states that the firewood should be sold by a standard set of laws. This is usually enforced by the Department of Agriculture. If you have any concern in regards to the volume of your purchase of wood, you should contact your local forest service department.
Be knowledgeable when buying
When buying firewood, it is essential that you have knowledge about what you are buying. You need to be familiarized enough when you are having conversation with a firewood dealer and you should know what type of firewood you need before you contact a firewood dealer. Below are some important things that should be put into consideration:
The cord refers to the measurement of firewood that when neatly rowed and stacked equals to 128 cubic feet. The standard stack basically measures 4 feet wide by 4 feet tall by 8 feet long (which simply means the firewood should be stacked neatly in any way you like but one should make sure that it equals to 128 cubic feet.
Not all wood is the same
Different woods also have different qualities. Oak can create a lasting fire and easily splits. However, oak may be a bit expensive and some other wood species alternative can work just fine. Some wood species are also less dense and can have different coaling and splitting qualities.
Dryness of wood
The more moisture present in the wood, the less heat you will be able to produce from it. As a matter of fact, it takes energy and time to burn the presence of water of the wood and sometimes it can make a hissing sound. This is supposed to be the energy that should be consumed in warming your house. Generally, this means that the dryer the wood is, the more you will pay for it; but it will be all worth it since you can benefit from it. Below are the indicators if the wood is dry.
- Color: look for grayness
- Checks: As the wood dries, it will begin to crack and split on the ends
- Bark: A definite sign that the firewood is dry is because its bark is falling off the firewood
- Touch: Fresh cut wood might feel moist on its end
In conclusion, remember to use your head. This is all common sense practices and should be taken with a grain of salt. When in doubt do a little bit of research on the company you plan to purchase firewood from as if they are a bad place then most likely they will have bad reviews online.
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