Guarantee you always have the best quality firewood so you can ensure convenience, efficiency and safety whether you use a fireplace, stove or furnace. If you burn wet wood or pieces that are incorrectly sized it can cause frustration, improper burning and potentially create a dangerous chimney fire due to a buildup of creosote deposits. Proper planning, seasoning and storage are fundamental to keep your wood burning warm and bright.
If you are not familiar with drying or seasoning wood, don’t worry. We make sure our firewood is perfectly seasoned and cut for your heating needs. The process can be fairly lengthy, as wood takes quite a bit of time to completely dry and dehydrate. When a tree is felled, its moisture content can be as high as 50% by weight. To burn properly, wood should contain between 15%-20% moisture by weight, therefore a lot of water needs to evaporate out of each piece. Here are the main factors that affect our firewood drying time:
- Species – hardwoods like maple and oak take a long time to dry, while softer woods like poplar dry faster
- Split or not – split pieces dry faster than unsplit
- Piece size – smaller pieces dry faster than large pieces
- Climate – wood dries faster in hot, dry climates, and slower in wet maritime climates
- Drying conditions – wood dries faster when stacked in single rows in the open; exposed to the sun and wind
Length of Time to Dry Firewood
The factors mentioned above mean we can’t accurately determine how long firewood will take to completely dry. If anything, it confirms that the drying process will take longer than expected. Under ideal conditions, our hardwoods, like maple and oak could dry in as little as a year, but if conditions are less than perfect, two years are normally needed. At Van Beek’s we start the seasoning process for firewood 2 years in advance to ensure you get the best firewood for a perfect fire.
Proper Firewood Storage
We always suggest moving your firewood to a winter storage area. The wood storage area should be dry and completely covered to protect it from rain and snow. Generally, the area should be located relatively close to the house, but not inside the home. When large amounts of wood are stored inside homes, it increases the risks of mold growth that can contaminate the air with spores. This can cause allergic reactions and breathing problems, especially those suffering from asthma. Nonetheless, storing a small amount of wood in the house can give it time to warm up before burning.
How to Stack Firewood
There are many ways to stack your firewood, some stack it in the open away from the house in the summer to dry, then move it into a winter storage in the fall. Others stack it directly in a woodshed, which they can draw from during the winter when necessary. Either approach can work, but note that wood dries more slowly stacked in a woodshed than in single ‘windrows’ outdoors. If you have the budget, another approach is to build a two-sided woodshed for a full year’s worth of firewood on each side. This way you’re always ensured to have dry firewood to burn.
Don’t waste time drying or seasoning firewood. Choose from a wide range of high quality, dried firewood, including birch, hickory, oak, cherry and a mixed blend. Enjoy the winter in comfort and warmth without the hassle or stress. Contact Van Beek’s for your firewood order, and receive your cord of wood within two business days! Let Van Beek’s transform your fireplace into your home’s best feature!