Its that time of year where we once more look to fire up our stoves and for many Wood is fast becoming the fuel of choice. While clearing up the debris from storm Ophelia I noted the abundance of branchs and tree limbs that my neighbours where so eagirly collecting - free fuel doesnt hang around long in this part of the world it seems! But do people know what to do with it? Wood is wood right? logs are logs? well no....
for those not into harvesting free timber theres always buying "kiln dried" or "seasoned" logs... but any timber collected needs to be stored correctly and aloud to dry in order to release its true fuel potential and protect both your stove and chimney. Recently harvested wood contains up to 80% moisture, and must be "seasoned" (dried to 20-25% moisture content) before burning. Your wood needs to be sheltered to prevent moisture being re-absorbed. Wood exposed to rain will soon become just as wet as it was when freshly cut. So store your harvested timber stacked out of the rain for at least 6-9 months to season properly and store your bought logs the same.
When green or wet firewood is burned, the extra water content turns to steam and mixes with the wood gases, preventing them from igniting and releasing their true heat value whilst creating heavy creosote on your stove glass and in your chinmeny - potentially causing chiney fires.
Even if your logs are "kiln dried" or "seasoned" if your not storing them correctly
then your loosing out on heat output and risking damage to your stove.
I recently had a client making the switch from coal to logs who reached out for me to construct a log store - a simple structure that allows air to circulate around the stacked logs to ensure moisture can evaprote whilst protecting it from the rain. Keeping the logs elevated off ground and stacked evenly under protection will keep his logs primed all winter long.
There are hundreds of designs and varients to be found online and on places like pintrest and its a nice weekend project that could easily be attempted by those with a saw and hammer.. or save time and have littlejobs.ie bring your vision to reality! We provide basic carpentry services and will ensure your job to do is a job well done.
Stay warm and keeps your logs dry this winter!