In order to enjoy the wood fire to the full, it is particularly important to store firewood correctly. Whether fireplace or stove, when heating with firewood many people ask themselves the question about the right type of wood and the right storage. The wood stove is happy when it gets well split and dry stored firewood.
If this is not the case, not only the quality of the firewood suffers, but also the heating capacity is significantly lower if it is not stored properly. Wood that is too moist also smokes more and does not blaze in a relaxed manner, which means that the stove also suffers visually. So that nothing stands in the way of a cosy evening in front of the fireplace, we have some tips on firewood in this article.
Fresh wood burns poorly because it needs a lot of the energy to evaporate water. This produces a lot of soot and moisture in the stove flues up to the chimney. It therefore goes without saying that such a wood fire is bad in terms of emissions. If you want to enjoy the full benefits of a wood fire with full heating power, we recommend firewood with a residual moisture content of less than 20%.
Small tip: You can buy a wood moisture meter for around 20 euros. With it, you can quickly check the residual moisture value of all your wood batches.
Firewood should be stored in a sunny place outdoors facing south and west. Sufficient protection from rain and other weather influences should be provided. In order to avoid fungal growth, care should also be taken to ensure sufficient air circulation at the storage location.
You should avoid closed and unventilated rooms, such as sheds or cellars. Due to lack of ventilation and sunlight, there is no chance for the wood to let the moisture escape. Accordingly, the risk of mould growth is particularly high.
In addition to storage on the wall of the house, covered shelters as well as timber windrows or free-standing stacks are recommended.
Storage in prefabricated or self-built firewood racks on the wall of the house is very popular. As already mentioned, you should make sure that the sun is facing south or west. Then you can follow our instructions step by step:
Create a dry base from pallets, logs or bricks.
Store the firewood at least 10-15 cm from the ground.
Piled in a cross stack, the firewood dries particularly quickly.
When storing firewood under a pre-drawn roof, a house wall or an airy wooden hut, leave at least 10 cm distance between the wood and the building wall for ventilation.
Firewood should be protected from external weather conditions immediately after the summer drying period. When using tarpaulins, care must be taken to ensure sufficient air supply.
Small tip: If possible, store the day's consumption of fuel in a heated room a few days before.
In six to twelve months, the firewood can be dried naturally to a wood moisture content of less than 20 % - as shown in the illustration. If the year's supply of moist firewood is stored in spring, nothing stands in the way of low-emission combustion in the next heating period. If wood has not been stored properly, drying can extend over two winter periods. If stored for more than four years, components of the wood that are already rich in gas can volatilise and the biological degradation process can reduce the calorific value of the firewood.
In addition to professional storage, the type of wood is also of decisive importance when it comes to good heating performance and atmospheric fire. Not all firewood is the same. Just as there are differences between conifers and deciduous trees, they also differ in burning duration and intensity. Some types of wood burn with a calm flame, while others have a lot of flying sparks. The types of wood also differ in burning duration. Softwood usually burns faster than hardwood because the different types of wood have different material densities per kg.
Hint: The most popular and most frequently used types of wood in Germany are beech, oak, ash and birch.
Attention should be paid to the degree of moisture and the type of wood. When storing and drying the wood, always ensure good ventilation. Finally, you as the consumer also have an advantage if you use dry wood, as only then will you get the optimum heating effect.