Using wood as a fuel to heat your home can mean big savings over other heating fuels such as oil or propane, particularly if you have access to a source of free wood. Properly storing logs allows them to season, or dry out, producing a cleaner-burning wood that puts off more heat than green, or unseasoned, firewood does. You should store logs outside for the warmer seasons, then protect them from the elements during cool seasons to ensure clean, dry wood come wintertime.
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Split logs prior to storing them to facilitate faster and more thorough drying, also known as “seasoning.” Cut your logs into 12-inch-long “rounds” using a chainsaw. Stand one rounds up on end. Stand back from the round a distance equal to the length of your arms plus 2/3 the length of the maul, an axelike tool for splitting logs. Plant your feet firmly, shoulder-width apart. Grasp the maul 1/3 of the way up from the end of the handle in your non-dominant hand and 2/3 of the way up with your dominant hand, with the cutting blade hanging down toward the ground. Swing the maul slightly above and behind your head, and bring the cutting edge of the blade down swiftly into the centre of the round of wood to split it. Repeat for the remaining log rounds.
Stack split logs in the springtime in an area that receives abundant sunshine and is not shielded from the wind. Stack logs into piles no larger than 4 feet tall and 4 feet deep. Make the piles as long as you desire. If multiple piles of wood are necessary due to the volume of logs, place the stacks at least 4 feet apart to allow air to properly circulate. Allow the logs to sit in the piles undisturbed for the spring, summer and early fall.
Move the wood into a shelter such as a garage or firewood shed toward the end of fall, after at least three consecutive sunny days. Stack the wood neatly in rows, leaving several inches of space between rows to allow air to circulate.
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