Here’s some tips on how to make your firewood dry faster and burn well.
Most wood has a 30-50% moisture content when cut and you need to get it down to around 15-20% before it will burn it efficiently. Wood that’s too wet creates a lot of smoke and if it burns at all it will produce little or no heat.
1. Get your firewood cut or delivered early
Your firewood will need time to dry out. How long it takes to dry will depend on what type of wood you are buying or cutting yourself. From the time your firewood trees are cut down it will take at least 6 months for the wood to be completely dry and ready for burning. Some commercial firewood suppliers speed up the drying process by using big kiln dryers.
You can buy dry firewood but it does cost more and it’s best to buy it in the Summer months as sometimes firewood suppliers will run out before Winter.
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2. Ventilation and sunshine
Where and how you store your firewood will also affect the drying time. Wood drys much quicker when it is exposed to lots of sunshine and ventilation. Just like drying your clothes outside on a sunny day the suns heat helps to evaporate the moisture in your firewood. So it’s best not to store your firewood in a fully enclosed shed where it will not get any sunshine and little ventilation.
3. Store it up off the ground
Keeping your firewood up off the ground will help it dry faster and keep it dry as well. You can do this by stacking your firewood on top of old pallets or using a timber garden shed that has a good floor up off the ground in it. This way your firewood will not absorb ground moisture and the bottom layer of your stack will be dry and ready to use about the same time as the top.
4. Keep it out of the rain
You can dry your firewood outside uncovered but it does help if it has some sort of cover or roof that keeps the rain off it. The roof shouldn’t sit directly on top of your firewood as this would restrict air flow. A cheap option for those without a properly ventilated wood shed you could use some sheets of corrugated iron sitting on top of old pallets. If you choose to do this however you need to make sure that your iron sheets aren’t going to blow off in the wind! Many people simply dry their firewood underneath large trees, if the ground under your trees is dry even after a decent rain then it will be a suitable place to store your firewood for drying.
How to tell if your firewood is dry
- Dry firewood will be much lighter than wet wood, and possibly bleached in colour when compared to wood that is freshly cut, plus its bark will usually easily peel off.
- There may be cracks in the grain at the ends, but this depends on the wood.
- The cut ends will feel warm and dry, vs cold and damp when freshly cut.
- Throw a small piece of firewood into the coals of a glowing hot fire – wet wood will sizzle, dry wood will catch on fire within 1 minute.
Quality Kitset Wood Shelters
Outpost Wood Sheds are designed to speed up the drying process of firewood and keep your firewood dry during the winter as well.
They feature a strong timber slat floor and also 1 wall made from timber slats. The gaps between the timber slats allows for better ventilation to the bottom layer and up the side of your firewood stack. These timber slats are made from heavy duty 4x2 inch treated timber so can take the knocks and weight that comes with a big stack of firewood.
Outpost’s Wood sheds are designed so they can be relocated or repositioned easily. Their strong design has a skid mounted base made from quality H5 treated timber so you can rest assured that they won’t rot for over 100 years. The skids have angled ends on them to make it easier to drag the building without catching on the ground. The timber framing is attached to the skids and the Zincalume or Colorsteel cladding on Outpost sheds is run horizontally to add to the strength of the building. Outpost Wood Sheds can also be lifted by hiab truck if you want to on sell it or move properties in the future.