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    Getting the Most From Your Lumber With a Firewood Rack

    By Tonya Kerniva
    Getting wood from the trees into your firewood racks may seem like a chore, but the benefits associated with using firewood are highly desirable. A cozy fire during those cold winter nights can provide a homey feel and cut down tremendously on your gas bill. If your home has a fireplace or chimney, you may want to consider using this widely available resource.

    Firewood can be bought from the many commercial wood suppliers out there. The key to good firewood is how well seasoned it is, or how dry it is. Even if the wood is bought, it does not matter how long the supplier said it has been seasoned, as it could have been stored in bad conditions. If wood has not been stored in firewood racks and just thrown on the ground in a pile, this will lead to moisture retention.

    Cutting your own wood is also a good option for your firewood. Whether you bought wood from your supplier or cut it from your back yard, it should first be cut to the length of your fireplace. In general, it is a good rule of thumb to cut it about three inches shorter than the fireplace's width or length. The wood then needs to be split to the right size. The size to split the wood depends on the cross sectional dimension of your stove, furnace or fireplace. This is usually in the range of three to seven inches.

    After the wood has been cut and split, it needs to be dried before use. The most common solution for drying out wood is by using firewood racks to store and season the wood. Once wood has been split, wood needs to be stacked in a firewood rack so that air is allowed to circulate between each cord. Many firewood racks also come with vinyl coverings that can cover just the top few layers of the wood in rain or snow during seasoning. Once the wood is seasoned, the rack may be covered with a full vinyl covering during the fall and winter.

    Wood must be fully seasoned in the firewood racks before being fully covered or used. If the wood is still wet or unseasoned it will lead to mold and fungus growth. Mold can then infest the home if it is bought inside. Wet wood will also use more heat to cook out the moisture, providing less heat. The moisture being cooked out also creates more smoke which can clog chimneys and back draft into the home.

    If wood is stacked in the firewood racks in neatly spaced rows, it typically takes about six months for it to dry. Wood with a moisture content of around fifteen to twenty percent is ideal, and this can be measured with a wood moisture meter. The wood may need longer to dry if you live in a wet climate, and different types of wood can take longer to dry than others. Just make sure the wood is cut and split well and that it is given the right amount of time to season. Once the wood is seasoned, it is ready for use to heat your home.

    Tonya Kerniva is an experienced research and free lance writing professional. She writes actively about Firewood Rack and Log Racks.

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