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Sunday, September 29. 2019
If only for convenience, it's always a good idea to put some boards or a tarp to cover your winter's firewood.
Some claim it's important to put some tarp under the pile of firewood because unless you live where the soil is rock-frozen from Sept. to May, dampness rises up. That seems to make some sense, but the trouble is that the tarp underneath will hold water.
My best solution from experimenting with multiple cords each year is to elevate the piles with anything - logs, pallets, rocks, etc so there is airflow, and only to cover the top of the piles, not the sides. That blocks airflow.
In my view, a home without a fire is just a house in wintertime. Just clean the flue every cord or two.
What do our readers do?
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:58 | Comments (18) | Trackbacks (0)
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This reader uses a gas fire and (unfortunately) sorely misses real wood fires, both hearth and stove - as well as the weather that best compliments them - believe it or not.
Reside in Palm Beach County from Halloween until Easter. Duh.
It's not just hauling the wood in but the ashes out. Too much work. There are some nice fireplace screensavers for the computer monitor.
We used to use our wood stove. We loved the crackling, etc. but it became too much work. The wood was delivered while I was at work so my wife did most of the stacking. We had a rack made from steel tubing that kept the wood off the concrete parking pad. The rack came will a fitted cover. It worked well when we were younger.
Built our deep-south home 45 years ago. Design called for a fireplace. We told builder to leave it out. He said you'll be sorry. We haven't been yet. Heirs might be when trying to sell it after our demise.
Our third-hand home in San Antonio came with a fireplace; it's fantastic for those freezing January nights that come along every 8 or 10 years. I have a major pruning job done on my trees every 4 years or so, resulting in lots of oak and mesquite firewood (stacked on a pallet, of course). Great for the smoker in the warm years. Biggest fireplace expense was good chimney cap to keep the birds out.
Summer lingers on down here. This discussion tempts me to take a dip in the (quite warm) pool, then step inside and dry off next to a crackling fire.
Living in the soggy Pacific northwest I haven't had a house yet without a woodstove. The current house has long eaves which covers a lot of the sloped concrete pad along extended patio. So my wood is covered and any moisture drains into the mulch pathway.
After installing heated title floors in the informal living room,dinning room, and kitchen I only burn about 2 cords a year now. Down from the 4 -5 cords previously I used. It has been a wash cost wise.
I'm with the proprietor here.
I had my fake gas log fireplace converted to a wood-burning one once we moved in.
Love having the fire burning in the winter.
wood stacked outside against brick wall of the garage. On top of perpendicular logs on the ground to give some airflow. Usually not enough moisture to wet the whole stack, so I don't cover it. I also keep 7-8 logs under the porch to keep dry and ready to go.
We cut all our wood off our property providing all our heat when we bought our first house in NH in 1978. Six cords a year - a lot of work, and yes, the ashes are a big part of the problem. I kept going for less work every couple of years. Bought delivered "sticks" (12' unsplit); Then 4' lengths; then 16' lengths, and finally 16" split, all we had to do was stack. Even that was too much work wheelbarrowing all winter. You can see why people were glad to go to coal or oil.
In the next house we have had a variety of other heats, with wood as the backup for power outages and for autumn pleasant evenings, or as an added comfort on the very coldest (below zero) days and nights. We have both a basement woodstove with a large box and an upstairrs fireplace with glass doors. The kerosene stove has some of the same feeling, though not the appearance of fire. This arrangement is now best of both worlds.
We keep a cord or so up on very good pallets, uncovered because it is under trees and it only gets a little snow. It is best of both worlds. We'll have our first fireplace fire this week when it's cold and rainy.
The Norwegians are very opinionated about whether to have bark up for protection of the wood or wood interior up for more air exposure. The science is that it varies. If your wood gets a lot of rain and snow on it, keep the bark up; if only a little, bark underneath.
I've got 2 see-through fireplaces in my 1950 Craftsman-style southern California home. Both fitted with gas, fake wood, fake embers. Real wood stacked to them, just for show. Both gas fireplaces are beautiful as soon they're lit. No struggling to light or poking at logs. No cleaning. They produce plenty of heat too, as long as the glass doors are closed (that's opposite of what I expected).
I've got a fire pit in the backyard gazebo for real wood, but that's just for fun. Gas fireplaces are superior to wood. And gas is cheap.
I burn close to 6 cord a year. Maybe more. It depends on the weather. I modify old farm hay wagons.. put roofs on them, new floors, tires.. whatever it takes. Split and stack the wood on the wagons. They sit all year and the wood dries. When its time to burn, I park the wagons close to the house. I have two wood burning stoves, the big one in the walk out basement gets fed close to 4 cord a season. The flues are scrubbed every April or June. I process all my own wood... and stack all of it bark down. :-)
What's the bark side down rationale? I think about that when I'm stacking wood, but haven't come to any solid theory about which way is best.
In our place that we sold just last December, I would stack between 3 and 4 cords of wood inside my garage after it had either been seasoned in the drying frames, and as I got older, the kiln-dried firewood from one of our local providers. (The heat for the kilns came from the hot process water from a nearby factory that was happy to have them use that water to cool it some before it was either reused or released.)
While the missus originally liked the idea of a gas fireplace, she didn't like the cost associated with it as propane isn't cheap.
I never had any issues with ash disposal as I had an ash pile out back which provided wood ash for our 'gardens' and those of our neighbors. (I rarely had to use any on our property. The neighbors took most of it and were welcome to it.)
Building a new house and it will be heated primarily with a good woodstove. It will also have a propane-fired forced hot water system, most of which will be plumbed for radiant heat. Of course I won't need to use anywhere near the amount of firewood because the new house will be less than half the size of the old one.
I live in Lexington Kentucky on an average city lot and mostly heat my home with wood. It normally takes 2 to 2 1/2 cords for a heating season which is generally mid November to mid March.
I stack my wood away from the house against my back fence on platforms I built from reclaimed treated wood from old decks. No covers at all. I try to let it dry for at least one year before I use it. During heating season, I bring two weeks worth of wood up to a covered porch where it has adequate time to dry if it has been recently wet. This has worked well for nine years.
We had a fireplace in the old dump we lived in as impoverished students. When we bought our first place together, we though we wouldn't miss the fireplace and were excited about a hot-tub in the backyard. We never used the hot-tub, though, and did miss the fireplace. When we built this place 15 years ago, we insisted on the fireplace, and enjoy it thoroughly even though we can use it only a few times a year and have to keep a window open a crack. Now we're building a hot-tub.
We stack wood in a covered shed with open sides, raised on metal frames. The main problem is scorpions.
I have 4 acres in Ohio, so can come up with 3 cords without looking for wood elsewhere, and that's enough to get me through the Winter with help from the gas furnace. I'd have the wood anyway, so screwing around with splitting and stacking is a hobby I enjoy.
I stack on wood racks or in the wood shed elevated 6 inches with plenty of ventilation and a covered to keep most of the rain and snow off. The wood sits around for a year or two to season, and burns great. I inspect and sweep the chimney in the summer, and that has been sufficient.
Before I had an attached garage I stacked it on pallets found at local businesses and covered with a blue plastic tarp. I’ll admit it was a pain hauling wood inside during the winter which might be the reason the wood lasted so long. Now we have an attached garage and can fit a couple of cords in the back end. So much convenience! We rely primarily on oil heat but the stove makes the house warmer for lounging around on weekends and days when we get home early from work.
I now live in the family home. It has a great fireplace. Used to use 2 cords per season. Mom finally got tired of that and had a gas insert put in. Since it's a half oval opening, it was a little pricey. 30 years later, the same company comes out and services it.
I should mention, one of the reasons mom had the insert installed is the fire brick cracked. Why, yes, she did make some rip roaring fires back in the day.