The Australian summer is right around the corner, which probably means that you might not be using as much wood in your wood burning fireplace anymore. However, if you believe in stocking up on wood, or still have some wood left over from the colder months, there are ways to store it so that you can look forward to high-quality fuel when it comes to getting the perfect fire going again come winter. Here’s what you should do to make sure your wood is ready when it’s time to light the fire again.
The easiest way to store your wood is in an organised stack. This is especially important if you’ve recently bought wood that still needs to age and dry out.
It is important to give your wood time to age, because you should only ever burn split, seasoned wood in your fireplace. Drying, or seasoning, your wood draws out the moisture over time. You should aim to be burning wood with a moisture content of 12-15%. Firewood with too much moisture does not burn as hot, as effectively, or as long as properly seasoned wood.
The best way to store wood is by packing it in rows no more than a metre high. If your wood is still unseasoned, store it bark side down, so that it has plenty of access to air, that will help it dry out over time.
Where you store your wood is just as important as how you do it. Seeing as stored wood offers great lodging for a variety of pests ranging from mice to ants, it’s recommended that you store your wood outside.
So, when you store your wood outside, pick a spot that’s breezy and dry, and that’s not too close to your home. Not only will this keep your house free from pests, but it will also give the wood access to airflow that will have it dry out and season that much quicker.
Seeing as your wood should be stored outside, it’s often a good idea to protect it from rain and other sources of moisture. Storing them under an awning with a cover over the wood is often the best way to keep your wood dry. Just be sure not to cover the whole stack. This will cut off the airflow that keeps your wood dry and ready to burn.
If you have a barn or other storage space away from your home, just be sure that it has enough airflow, which will help the wood dry well, and keep pests at bay.