Step One: SPLIT– Start with the right sized wood. Split wood dries much faster. Split the wood in a range of sizes to fit our stove, but no larger than 6-inch wedges. Split small pieces for kindling.
Step Two: STACK- Stack wood to allow air to circulate. Build the stack away from buildings. Keep wood off the ground by stacking it on rails. Stack wood in a single row with the split side down.
Step Three: COVER– Cover the top of the stack to protect it from rain or snow. Make sure there is space between the cover and the stacked wood and don’t let the cover rest directly on top. Keep the sides open so air can circulate through the stack.
Step Four: STORE– Allow enough time to dry. Softwoods take about 6 months. Hardwoods take about 12 months. Properly dried wood is lighter and sounds hollow when knocked against another piece of wood.
Is your wood dry? Take the moisture meter test. Wet wood can create excessive smoke which is wasted fuel. Properly dried wood should have a reading of 20% or less.
Links to the EPA for more information www.epa.gov/burnwise