Quality fuel is important. American Energy Systems has written numerous articles about more efficient heat, posted videos about selecting quality fuel, and continues to advise consumers to make good fuel decisions. This includes burning quality, dry wood in your stove or fireplace. Just because you’ve opted to burn wood, doesn’t mean that anything goes. In fact, dry firewood is better for the environment and burns more efficiently.
But, how do you make sure the firewood is dry? The EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) recently published a public service announcement to help consumers understand the importance of dry firewood. The “Split, Stack, Cover, Store: Four Simple Steps to Drying Firewood” video goes over four simple steps to drying your firewood.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yo1–Zrh11s
Split Stack Cover Store
Did you know that burning wet firewood is not only a waste of energy and money? It can also create harmful air pollution and make you sick. Wood smoke may smell good, but it’s not good for you. Children under 18, older adults, people with diabetes, heart disease, asthma or other lung diseases are the most vulnerable. To protect your families health and save energy, burn wood that has been properly dried. There are for easy steps to prepare the best wood for burning, and to help you reduce harmful air pollution.
- Start by splitting your wood to a variety of sizes to fit your wood stove or fireplace. But no larger that a 6″ wedge. Don’t forget to split smaller pieces for kindling.
- Next, stack the wood away from your home or other buildings. Stack wood off the ground on rails or pallets with the split side down. Stacking wood this way allows the air to circulate and promotes drying.
- Cover the top of the stack with a tarp or a wood shed to protect it from rain and snow. Be sure to leave the sides uncovered to allow the air to circulate.
- And Finally, allow enough time for the wood to dry. This varies depending on the wood size and type of the wood. Split soft woods like pine or douglas fir dry in about six months, while hardwoods take about a year. Cracked ends on the wood generally mean it is dry enough to burn.
Properly dried wood is lighter than wet wood and sounds hollow when knocked against another piece of wood. And it might have cracks in the grain. For more tips on efficient safe wood burning visit www.epa.gov/burnwise/