Why does wood have to be dried

Drying firewood: the complete guide for do-it-yourselfers

September 12, 2016 Jens Truog

Some time ago we looked at how you can cut wood yourself for the winter. But that's only half the battle. Sufficient storage is just as important for clean combustion in the fireplace insert or in the fireplace. That is why in this article we will show you how you can dry firewood and what to look out for. As a layperson, you can make a few mistakes, whereby drying takes much longer or the formation of mold is favored.

Drying firewood: how long does it take?

Opinions differ widely on this question: some say a few months, others say several years. As early as 1941, the scientist Lanz was concerned with how much time it would take. Today we know: How long wood has to dry depends on various factors:

  • the thickness of the logs
  • on the type of wood
  • from the storage place
  • of the wood moisture
  • and from the starting time of storage

You should definitely start drying before July if you plan to use the wood as fuel in the same year. As a rule of thumb, you can remember: 250 days are sometimes sufficient if you take care to store the firewood correctly.

How does wood actually dry in the fresh air?

From a scientific point of view, drying firewood is actually quite a complex process that is still being researched. Findings from 2010 have shown that oak wood is ready to burn in less than ten months. The natural drying in the air is ideally suited: Because the air absorbs moisture from the logs, especially through the end grain, and then cools down. This cool air then becomes heavier than the surrounding air and sinks. Therefore, a pure floor storage of the wood should be avoided! Depending on the stack height, around 5 to 10% of the calorific value is lost through rotting or excessive moisture rates. Sufficient ground clearance prevents waterlogging and splashing water, while the cool, damp air can be discharged from underneath the wood. When drying firewood, you should at least ventilate the warehouse Build 30 centimeters above the ground. Another ingenious and at the same time proven way to dry your firewood, represents the firewood rent.

Is it worth buying wet logs?

Definitely with good planning! Sawn and split wet logs of all common types of wood can be air-dried to 18-22% wood moisture from February to October if stored correctly. The highlight of the matter: Moist wood is cheaper than dried logs. You can right save moneyif you buy logs wet and dry yourself. However, you should pay close attention to which firewood units the price is calculated with and look carefully. With professional drying, this is a good alternative.

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