Wood stoves are some of the most popular and sought-after heating methods available because they save you money and create a perfect atmosphere. In fact, over 4.8 million homes in the US have wood stove appliances.
Well, your wood stove would be nothing without firewood, and that’s why it’s important to take the proper precautions. Let’s talk about how to safely store your firewood for the best results!
Things To Consider
Before we talk about how to properly store your firewood, we need to go over a few considerations to keep in mind before you even have it delivered. Here is what you need to determine.
How Much Space Is Available?
If you have a large backyard, don’t worry about this. It’s unlikely that your home will require too much space outside. If you have pre-existing structures for your firewood, determine their capacity and try to accommodate more as needed.
Indoor space is trickier. If you can, try to make more space near your fireplace. If not, work with what you have. Take measurements so you know to ask your firewood suppliers for the right size.
How Much Wood Do You Need?
Whether you’re considering storage solutions for indoor or outdoor firewood, determining how much wood you need is important. If you’re worried about space, buy less wood. If you’re worried about running out of firewood, find more storage.
Unfortunately, you don’t have many options beyond that. If you’ve never used a wood stove for heating before, find out how much wood you need and ask your firewood supplier to meet that demand.
Do You Need To Season The Wood?
If you’re ordering wood for delivery, there’s a good chance that it’s already seasoned. However, if you need to season it, chop your wood or have it delivered as early in the season as possible. You need as much time as you can get.
Try to stack it neatly and store it in a place that gets a lot of sunlight to speed up the drying process but give it some protection from the rain. You’re trying to get the wood below 20% moisture levels for efficient burning.
Seasoned wood is also important because it produces less smoke, which poses less of a carbon monoxide risk in your house and keeps your stove cleaner and healthier so it will keep you warm for more seasons to come.
If you are unsure whether or not your wood is seasoned, there are a few ways to find out. First, the bark should come loose with ease, and the wood should appear pale with plenty of cracks.
Seasoned firewood should also feel lighter in weight, as it will contain less moisture. Still unsure? Try banging the wood together. It should make a knocking sound instead of a dull thud like live wood will make.
Choose The Right Firewood
Ideally, your firewood will be properly dried hardwood. If it isn’t dried out properly, you are inviting unwanted pests to burrow in your firewood stack. If it isn’t hardwood, it will pose more of a hazard and burn out much faster in your fireplace.
Pre-seasoned wood will offer the least hassle. Air-dried wood will work well for your fires, but it won’t do anything about the pests that have decided to make a home in the firewood stack.
Kiln-dried wood tends to reduce the amount of moisture enough while killing pests, eliminating mold and mildew, and keeping it dry enough to catch fire quickly when you need it.
For more information on your search for the right firewood near me, go to https://www.buyfirewooddirect.co.uk/product-tag/kiln-dried-ash/
Outdoor Storage Solutions
It’s likely that you keep the majority of your wood outside of your home. This is also where your firewood will be spending the most time, which makes it critical to do it right.
If your firewood sees improper storage for a long period of time, especially with the outdoor elements involved, it will lead to short burning times, minimal heat output, and even carbon monoxide buildup.
Also, you should keep it far enough away from your house to prevent any damage. Even if you aren’t worried about the fire hazard, hardwood will do damage to your siding, especially during the stacking process. If you insist on stacking it on the side of your house, at least aim for a couple of feet of clearance.
We mentioned that you should keep your wood exposed to the sun away from the rain, but you should also use odd-shaped pieces while stacking your wood. Don’t just keep the odd ones separate or bring them inside.
Using them in your stack will allow for your firewood to breathe and for breezes to flow through and help to wick away moisture. Although, if your wood is already preseasoned, you won’t have to worry too much. Here are some of the best storage solutions.
The next best thing to a shed is a log shelter. You can even build these to fit the exact measurement of wood that you intend to buy. If there’s a slight overflow, you can bring the rest inside to sit by the fireplace.
You can either buy these with your firewood, buy them separately, or build them yourself. To make them, you simply want to make a slanted top for rain and snow to flow down and leave the walls as open as possible. Think of a lean-to without walls.
This is the perfect solution for your firewood, as air will be able to flow freely and, if stored in the right location, sunlight will be able to assist with drying.
Elevating your wood from the ground is very beneficial. It will save your bottom layer from damage and help to prevent pests from making a home in your stack.
Like a log shelter, you can build an outdoor rack yourself. This doesn’t have to break the bank, especially if you build it yourself. Stop by your local store and grab some pallets from them. Almost every business that gets large deliveries of food, construction materials, beer kegs, or other merchandise will undoubtedly have pallets.
Most businesses throw these away or leave them out for free, and some will charge $2 to $4 for them. All you need is 3 pallets and some nails or screws to make a sturdy wood rack that will last you for years to come. Leave one pallet on the bottom and attach one vertically on either side.
Then, take four planks and screw them in diagonally for support between the horizontal and vertical pallets. This shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes, and it’s free.
Consider a wheel rack as intermediate storage. This is a temporary solution that could save you some headaches when you’re getting your firewood in the middle of winter.
A wheel rack is a firewood rack with wheels on it, and you can keep it filled up outside your house and bring it in to leave next to your stove when you run out of wood.
If you buy two of these, you can alternate between them, ensuring you will always have a rack of firewood next to your stove and make for an easy transition between inside fill-ups. These racks will even double as a wheelbarrow or a firewood carrier from your outside stack to your stove!
While these are often considered indoor solutions, it wouldn’t hurt to have them loaded outside your door to pick from whenever you run out inside. This way, you won’t have to bundle up too much just to get your firewood.
While this is a more expensive option, it will save you a lot of time during the winter, especially if you’re using a firewood carrier or just your arms.
If you have a shed that you never use, storing preseasoned firewood in it is not a bad idea. However, if the wood is still moist, it will be far more challenging to airdry in the shed without direct sunlight or proper airflow.
If you choose this option, make sure that you keep a path shoveled to the shed during the winter and a way to open the shed. Don’t leave your shed door open, as this is an open invitation for animals and pests to make it into their new home during the cold winter months.
This is the most expensive option on the list if you are planning to buy, so opt for a log shelter instead. However, if you already have a shed that you don’t use and you buy pre-seasoned firewood, then this will work to keep your wood protected!
For many of us, this is the tried-and-true method during the winter for our preseasoned firewoods. However, it comes with some downsides.
The obvious benefits are that it’s a cheap way to store your firewood during the winter. It requires the least amount of work and it still keeps your firewood dry. Also, most people have spare tarps laying around on their property, so it won’t even cost you a trip to the store.
However, the downsides are that you sacrifice the bottom layer of your firewood, you don’t allow sunlight or airflow, and you will kill the grass below your stack.
If you choose to use this method, make sure that you stack the wood where it won’t block anything, try to give yourself easy access during the winter, and don’t stack it all the way against your house!
Indoor Storage Solutions
Storing wood inside is often more challenging than finding the right solutions for outdoor storage. Nobody wants a mess of wood all over their floor but nobody wants to go all the way outside or to their garage for wood. Well, here are some of the best solutions for storing wood near your fireplace.
Stoveside racks are a tried and true method for indoor firewood stacking. Although, to limit fire hazards, make sure that your firewood (especially kindling) is resting at least 5 feet away from your wood stove if possible.
However, it is a good idea to keep it nearby for ease of access and to limit your firewood’s exposure to other elements. If you have a rack on either side, you’ll double the amount of time between refills. Again, wheel racks are also a great investment for this, and you can store them near your wood stove!
If you want to keep firewood where you need it but don’t want to ruin your aesthetic, you should buy an end table firewood rack. These look just like an end table with an open body, so they can be left in your living room during the warmer months.
However, you can load this open body with firewood. The only downside is that these are small, so this is only feasible as your primary storage if you don’t rely on fires for your main source of heat.
Storage benches are another great option for aesthetics. Made from any material you want, these benches will hold far more wood than an end table storage solution while still providing the same decorative quality.
Now that you know how to properly store firewood, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy this winter. Keep your firewood safe, don’t let any pests in, and stay warm! Stay up to date with our latest news for your home and feel free to contact us with any questions!