A hot fire in a wood stove is a beautiful and effective way of heating your home. Seasoning firewood, which means preparing logs to burn, is all about removing the wood's natural moisture. Doing this outside takes half a year at minimum, but if you're willing to sacrifice space in your garage with radiant heat for a log pile, the combination of dry heat and weather protection speeds up the process.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Old clothes
- Pad or blanket (optional)
Don gloves to protect your hands and avoid splinters. Wear old clothing, as wood and bark can be dirty.
Lay down a tarp to catch dirt and debris from the pile. This will make it easier to clean your garage in the spring. Add a pad to protect the floor if it's made of more sensitive material than concrete to prevent scratches and dents.
Form two lines of logs on the tarp where you intend to stack the log pile. Think of these lines as the rails on a railroad; you'll stack the "ties" across them. This will keep the pile off the ground and allow air to flow underneath. Set the logs a few inches apart end to end and a foot away from any wall.
Create columns at the ends of the stack for the wood to lean on, to avoid damage to the garage and increase airflow. On the last two logs of the lines you've made, stack two or three in the opposite direction. Repeat, alternating direction, until there is a stable column. Make a column at either end of the pile.
Fill the space between the columns with firewood. If stacking parallel to a wall, leave a few inches between the ends of the logs and the wall for air to circulate. Check occasionally to make sure the stack is straight. If it leans forward or back, it is likely to shift over time and fall.
Prevent ambient moisture from soil and weather from seeping into the logs by keeping the garage closed. Turning on radiant heat should keep the air hot, dry and circulating, which will suck moisture from the firewood. Firewood seasoned this way should be ready much more quickly.
Tips and warnings
- Make sure that blower and intake vents in the garage are clear, so that heat and air circulates efficiently.
- Dry wood is a fire hazard.
- Keep electrical socket use to a minimum around log piles -- do not leave appliances plugged in and use outlet shutters if possible.
- Monitor the garage with a functioning smoke detector.
- Log piles may fall, which is more likely the higher they're stacked. Do not allow children to climb up on the pile and do not park directly beside it.