Wood pallets are manufactured for the purpose of machine-lifting heavy objects. However, using wood pallets as firewood is an easy way to save money on your energy costs. Additionally, reusing wood pallets that are no longer used commercially is an easy way to reduce your environmental impact. You can often obtain old wood pallets either very cheap or for free. Despite the cost-effectiveness and environmental benefits, however, wood pallets take some preparation before they are ready burn as firewood.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Safety goggles
- Axe or wood saw
Make sure that the pallet is not treated with any kind of chemical. If the pallet is painted, stained, or appears to have a varnish, you do not want to use it as firewood.
Using a hammer, remove the nails from the pallet. If you are careful, you can also burn the prepared pallet with the nails still in, but this is not recommended. If you do burn the wood with the nails, remember that they will still be present in the wood stove or fireplace when you remove the ashes. Use appropriate caution.
Cut the pallet into smaller pieces (about 10 to 20 inches long). You can do this using a wood saw or an axe. Wear safety goggles and understand the general safety precautions of wood cutting.
Check to see if the wood is dry enough to burn. The cut pallet wood should appear dry and the wood should look very white along the cut edges.
If the wood is not seasoned (dry), allow it to air-dry (out of the rain) for nearly six months before you burn it.
Tips and warnings
- If you burn pallets often, be sure to confirm that creosote is not building up in your chimney (creosote build-up is a fire risk). Most pallets are made of softwood (often pine) which generally produces lots of creosote.
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