Choosing The Best Firewood
Not satisfying one of the most basic requirements of wood heat with your wood stove can lead to countless frustrations during the winter. It really doesn’t matter what species or type of wood you have available. The one thing that matters most is whether the wood is dry. Indeed a lot of performance problems, such has lack of heat, dirty glass, sluggish starts, and lack of secondary combustion, are caused by poor fuel quality as opposed to problems with the system.
What is dry, or, seasoned wood? Very simply seasoned wood is wood that has been dried to a point where it is efficiently burned in a stove. Usually this is between 15% and 20% moisture. How long it takes for wood to dry to this point depends a lot on what species it is. Some species of Ash and Cherry can be ready to burn in a couple weeks whereas Oak and Elm may take a couple years.
Wood dries best when given the most sunshine and airflow possible. Stack it up off of the ground after it’s been split making sure it gets plenty of sun and air. Stacking wood more than a couple rows deep will greatly hurt the ability of the wood away from the exterior of the pile to dry. Leave the pile uncovered until the fall when it’s time to start burning.
Knowing a bit about and properly taking care of the fuel is a huge key to successful and enjoyable burning. A little extra work during the summer can make your winter much warmer!