How to Store and Dry Firewood

If you are going to heat your home with wood heat it is important that you keep your firewood dry. Here are a few tips that will ensure that you will have a dry supply of firewood for the winter.

If your wood is wet or green the first step is to dry it. If you are going to get wet or green firewood you will want to get it early in the year so it will have all summer to dry. Green wood will dry over a summer if conditions are ideal but allowing it a full year to dry is best to ensure you give it plenty of time to fully dry.

The most important factor in drying firewood is air circulation. Wood will not dry or will dry very slowly if you store it in a place with poor air circulation. If you store wet wood in a tight shed or cover it with a tarp you will only seal the moisture in which may cause it to mold or decay instead of dry.

If you are going to dry it under a covered structure such as a shed or garage make sure there is plenty of air circulation. If you must cover it with a tarp only cover the top of the pile and leave the sides exposed to allow the air to circulate under the tarp. Even if this means the sides of the pile will get wet that will be better than covering the whole pile so nothing will dry.

One of the fastest ways to dry firewood is to leave it out where it can be exposed to the sun and the wind. Keep your wood away from contact with soil. If you store it on the ground use a tarp, plastic sheeting plywood or anything that will keep it away from soil contact.

If you stack your firewood in rows keep the stacks spaced a few inches apart to allow air to circulate. Also keep the stacks a few inches away from any surface such as a wall or fence. Just 2 - 3 inches is fine to allow the air to circulate but not wide enough for small children or pets to fit between them and get stuck. The best option if you want to dry your firewood fast is to make just one stack away from anything to allow maximum exposure to the sun.

Once your firewood is dry you just have to keep it dry. Storing it in any covered structure such as a shed, garage or lean-to structure is fine. If you store it outside and cover it with a tarp just make sure you place the tarp in a way that allows air to circulate underneath. That way if your wood does get wet or absorbs moisture from the air the moisture will be allowed to escape.

If you follow these simple tips you can be assured that you will have dry wood that will be easier to burn, produce more heat and less smoke and creosote buildup in your chimney.

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2 Responses

  1. Does anyone know how long green oak should sit before being able to be burned?

  2. Diane Raised by Wolves

    No mention of stacking with the bark side up to shed the rain? For shame! 😉

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