Firewood Stacking & Storing Tips

Recently, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) touched on something that doesn’t garner a lot of attention, and that is the topic of properly stacking and storing firewood. Using some very simple techniques for stacking and utilizing proper storage requirements can ensure that your fire burns at its very best and full potential.


Methods for Stacking Your Firewood

When you want your fire to burn at its best, there are some very important things to keep in mind. The first, and most important thing, is oxygen. Proper oxygen flow is important for a burning fire, so always be sure your flue is open so air can freely flow through. One of the other important things to remember is the “core of heat” which is ideally located in the bottom and middle of your burning wood pile. It starts off as a pocket of heat, but develops as embers fall onto it, making it burn hotter. The core is maintained by embers falling from new wood that is placed on top as the fire burns. The best way to achieve proper oxygen flow and a strong core of heat is simply in how you stack your firewood. You can find information about quite a few firewood stacking methods here. The CSIA, however, recommends something called a “top down burn” method for stacking firewood and a three step process to achieve it:

  • Begin stacking firewood with the largest pieces at the bottom.
  • Continue to stack smaller layers until you’ve filled about half of the open area (the fireplace, fire pit, etc.). Then begin to stack kindling which will jump start the process of getting the fire going.
  • Never stack above the fireplace opening.

Storing Your Firewood

The other important component for having the best fire possible is proper firewood storage. After all, wood that isn’t dry won’t burn very well, so it’s best to keep that in mind when you plan on storing firewood. Some great tips include:

  • In the summertime, stack wood in separate rows in an open location where the sun can warm it and breezes can provide airflow to carry away and prevent moisture.
  • Don’t allow firewood to lie on the ground for more than a couple of days before stacking it. This will prevent mold and rot from setting in.
  • Stack wood off the ground on poles or pallets.
  • Cover the top of the pile to keep off rain, but remember to keep the sides free for airflow.
  • In the wintertime, be sure to move the wood to a place that is fully sheltered from the elements (preferably a woodshed). Large amounts shouldn’t be stored in the home in order to reduce the risks of mold spores getting into the air.

If you’re wanting to add that extra spark to your fireplace or simply needing answers to questions about your firewood, contact Pozzi Chimney Sweep. Not only can our CSIA certified technicians take look around your woodshed and give you some tips on your firewood, but they can also inspect your fireplace and chimney. Call us today and keep your fires burning bright!

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