Firewood needs to be stored and seasoned properly.
What does seasoning firewood mean?
The moisture content of wet wood produces more black smoke than that of properly dried wood.
Seasoning firewood means to store wood correctly for an extended period of time to bring down the moisture content in the wood.
The ideal moisture content of firewood should be approximately 20%.
Seasoning firewood properly takes time. The weather, the type of wood and how it is stored are contributing factors to having seasoned firewood ready to use for the winter.
The rules are to use the oldest or more seasoned wood first and stacking the woodpile to have access to the oldest wood next.
How to store your firewood outside
In the first place store your firewood above ground. Wood that is stacked on the ground picks up moisture from the soil.
Raise the woodpile from the floor using a pallet. This will ensure fresh air flow to the bottom logs which in the long run will help the drying process.
Cover the woodpile with a waterproof material on the top leaving the sides and back open. Keep most of the woodpile exposed to the sun and air to dry out properly.
After cutting the wood into firelogs stack the woodpile neatly. Make sure to leave space open around the pile so air can enter from all sides and do not stack against a wall or structure. In the long run, stacking the woodpile correctly will prevent the wood passing moisture onto the wall causing damage.
Storing firewood inside your home
Only store well-seasoned wood in your home next to your fireplace. In the first place, unseasoned wood will take longer to dry and may bring unwanted pests into your home.
Always have a look at the logs you are going to use inside. It is quite easy to spot rotten wood logs.
Unseasoned wood produces more smoke and also more soot built up in your fireplace chimney or flue pipes.
All things considered, only use the best wood you can buy. Try and look for wood that has been dried for a long period of time and that is of a good quality.