Our Top Tips On Firewood Storage For Your Wood Cook Stove
Is Your Firewood Pile Winter Ready?
As with inboxes and closets, you can tell a lot about a person by the way they organize their firewood. While wood cook stoves remind us of romance, crackling and popping, and intoxicating smoky smells, we rarely associate them with careful planning and meticulous organization.
Nevertheless, for many of our ancestors and people such as the Amish, this is exactly what relying on a wood cook stove can mean. While it can seem fairly simple to go out and pick up a cord of wood, the storage and maintenance of that firewood can make a big difference in how much value you get out of your stove.
So if you’re considering a wood cook stove for your home, here are our top tips on firewood.
What Kind of Firewood Is Best?
When you were a child, did you ever toss newspapers into a campfire or fireplace and watch them smoke and curl into nothing? This is roughly what happens to softwood in a wood stove, which can greatly reduce its efficiency. Not a great situation if you’re relying on a wood cook stove in Ontario during the winter!
If you’re a “details” person, you can check out our list of best woods to burn in your stove; in short, when you’re getting firewood, opt for hardwood, which is denser and therefore burns brighter and for longer than softwood.
Where Should You Get Your Firewood?
If you’re so inclined, you can cut your own firewood--this is an option that may appeal most to DIY-ers and those living on homesteads with wood cook stoves. If you decide to give this a try for yourself, always make sure that you have the right permissions and permits before cutting down any trees. You can consult your local municipality’s website for exact guidelines, and make sure you obey all laws and safety regulations associated with using your equipment.
For those less eager to dig out their axes and chainsaws, no need to worry! You may not even need Google, as a quick drive through your hometown or county can reveal a good deal of “firewood for sale” signs.
How Much Firewood Would a Wood Cook Stove Need If A...
Once you know where you’ll purchase the firewood for your wood cook stove, your next step is to figure out how much you’ll need for one winter. Firstly, know that firewood is measured in cords. One cord is equal to approximately 700 pieces of wood, or enough to fill a space 4 feet long, 8 feet wide and 4 feet deep. The general rule is that one cord will last no more than 12 weeks.
Your own consumption will depend on the size of the space you are heating, whether or not the stove is your sole heat source, and how much you use it; if you worked from home, for example, you would use a lot more firewood than if your house were empty for 8-10 hours of every day. You can check out this guide to determine exactly what size of woodstove you need and how much heat it will produce for your space.
How Do You Approach Firewood Storage?
Firewood storage is one of the most important parts of using your woodstove. Incorrect storage of firewood can lead to damp, unusable wood that smokes instead of burning and doesn’t produce heat when you’re relying on it.
If you cut your own firewood or buy freshly-cut wood, you’ll need to season it. This means stacking your logs near, though not touching, a wall or in a well-ventilated shed or garage. Stack the wood so that air can circulate between the logs, and most importantly, make sure that the bottom logs are not touching the ground and that the entire cord is covered and sheltered from rain and snow. Leave your wood to season for...well...a season.
Most wood cook stove owners have their own firewood storage ideas and secrets to stacking their cords for optimal results. Some research to find which methods work best will yield abundant results with which to experiment--after a few seasons, you’ll probably have your own preferred method to swear by!
Enjoy Your Firewood!
Like many other parts of modern life, once you’ve put in the work, you’ll be ready to enjoy. When your firewood is ready to go and finished seasoning, you’ll be ready to bring the logs inside whenever you need them, all winter long.
If you're considering buying one of the best wood stoves in Canada, contact Northern Cookstoves to find the perfect wood cook stove for your home.