There’s no better way to minimize your dependence on central heating this winter than by taking advantage of your home’s fireplace. Assuming you have dry firewood, you can build fires to radiate heat throughout your home.
But you can’t use just any wood lying around your landscape. Before using it in your fireplace, you need to “season” it.
What Is Seasoning?
When used in the context of firewood, the term “seasoning” refers to the act of drying firewood so that it burns more efficiently.
When a tree is still growing, it contains a lot of moisture. Even after being cut down, it will retain most of its moisture.
Seasoning is designed to lower the moisture content of wood, resulting in better firewood.
Step #1) Split Your Firewood
The first step to seasoning your firewood is to split it into several pieces.
You shouldn’t attempt to season whole pieces of firewood. Unless a piece of firewood is split, it will be covered in bark. All this bark insulates the wood, preventing water from evaporating out of its core.
By splitting your firewood into several smaller pieces, water will evaporate out of it more quickly.
Step #2) Arrange in Stacks Outside
After splitting your firewood, you should arrange it in one or more stacks in an appropriate area outside your home.
Keep in mind, you must choose an outdoor area where your firewood isn’t exposed to moisture. Otherwise, it won’t season properly, regardless of how long it’s left outside.
There are two things, specifically, to consider when choosing an outdoor area in which to season your firewood.
If it’s uncovered – meaning there’s nothing over your firewood – rain will inevitably reach your firewood. Additionally, if you store your firewood on the soil, it will soak up moisture from the ground, not to mention creating an ideal environment for wood boring insects to proliferate.
Step #3) Wait and Check Periodically
You can’t expect your firewood to season overnight. Depending on the type of firewood, as well as other factors, it usually takes a minimum of six months to fully season firewood.
During this time, it’s a good idea to check your firewood on a regular basis to ensure that it’s not wet or damp. If you discover that your firewood is wet, you may need to move to a different, drier area.
After allowing your firewood to dry for at least six months, you can then use it to build fires in your fireplace, fire pit or elsewhere.
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