Stacking Firewood for Efficiency
The wetter the wood the more effort and energy there will have to go into the fire. Dry wood is essential to getting maximum heat from your fire. All combustion has water as a by product. All water in the wood or from combustion is converted to steam in the fire. The fire has to dry the wood before it will gasify and burn.
Knowing how to properly store and stack your wood will serve you well in the long run whether you have a masonry heater or any other type of fireplace.
Wood will not dry well with the bark intact so it needs to be split. For the best results, split down to approximately 3”-4” cross section. The best time to cut fire wood is in the fall or winter when the sap is down in the wood, then there is less moisture to have to dry out.
The wood needs to be stacked off the ground and with a cover to keep the rain off of it. It also needs air movement through the sides of the pile to help it dry out. Two full years of air drying will allow the wood to reach optimum dryness of 15-20% moisture content. The dryer the better. Less moisture, more heat, less wood you will have to burn.
The trouble with wood is moving and handling it. You want to work smart and move it the least amount of times possible. Our next blog post will go more in depth in how to store your wood.