Burning Wood to Save Costs on Heating Your Home

Uncertainty with oil prices have lead many people to seek alternative sources of heat.

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Do you want to cut back on your energy costs while you are heating your home this winter? One idea to consider if you have a fireplace is burning wood.

In this post, we will go over the basic steps to readying firewood to heat your home. But first, let’s briefly go over the benefits of turning to wood as a fuel source for residential heat.

What are the Benefits of Burning Wood for Heat?

  • Cut costs. Central heat is expensive. But you can stay toasty and comfortable in front of your fireplace without running central heat if you are burning wood. That can significantly reduce your energy expenses.
  • Wood is an eco-friendly fuel source. You can reduce your carbon footprint by burning wood for warmth instead of always relying on central heat. Plus, wood is a renewable resource, unlike fossil fuels.
  • Wood is an eco-friendly fuel source. You can reduce your carbon footprint by burning wood for warmth instead of always relying on central heat. Plus, wood is a renewable resource, unlike fossil fuels.
  • Make use of a tree you need to clear from your yard. If there is a tree you need to fell that is appropriate for firewood, you might as well make use of it. Otherwise, it will just go to waste.
  • You will have a source of heat and light during a power outage. If the grid goes down, so will your central heat, but at least you will be able to continue burning firewood.
  • Make use of a tree you need to clear from your yard. If there is a tree you need to fell that is appropriate for firewood, you might as well make use of it. Otherwise, it will just go to waste.
  • You will have a source of heat and light during a power outage. If the grid goes down, so will your central heat, but at least you will be able to continue burning firewood.
  • You can enjoy the ambiance. Many people enjoy the crackle of a fireplace and the flickering of the flames. The aroma of burning wood may also be pleasant.

Steps for Readying Firewood for Heating Your Home

Now that we have gone over some of the advantages of burning firewood for heat, let’s go over the basic steps to readying the firewood for use.

IMPORTANT TIP: Make sure you have thoroughly reviewed safety precautions for every step in this list before you proceed. Wear appropriate protection for your eyes, ears, hands and feet.

1. Cut down the tree.

Begin by felling an appropriate tree. A chainsaw is the right tool to use for this step. Be sure that you carefully gauge the tree’s height, weight, and the direction it will fall.

In some cases, you might want to turn to professional help with this step. It is important to stay safe.

2. Cut the tree into manageable 16-inch rounds.

Once you have chopped down the tree, you can proceed to the next step, which is to reduce it to 16-inch logs.

Axe and tree stump

A good way to approach this task is to set up a sawhorse in your yard.

First, you will need to cut the tree into small enough sections that you can set them in the sawhorse. Use your chainsaw and get them down to around 40 inches each in length. You will have to do this sawing on the ground.

Then, place them one by one into the sawhorse, and saw them to around 16 inches each. This step will be easier since they are now raised up off the ground.

3. Use a log splitter.

Now that you have the rounds, you will need to split them. Traditionally, you can do this using an axe, but it is time-consuming and labor-intensive.

As an alternative, consider getting a hydraulic log splitter. This type of device uses a powerful engine to apply the force necessary to split log after log.

You are not going to want to have to keep lugging a log splitter and sawhorse in and out of your garage. For that matter, even carrying a chainsaw back and forth can be a hassle.

At the same time, you do not want to leave your equipment exposed to precipitation.

So, one simple solution is to set up a backyard canopy tent, and just keep your equipment stowed underneath it. You can even purchase a tent that includes sidewalls. That way, you can keep sideways rain away from your appliances.

You can leave it set up for as long as you are going to need it for the season. Chances are good, however, that even after you move your log splitter, chainsaw, and sawhorse back to your garage, you will find another convenient use for your backyard canopy tent.

4. Choose a suitable location to stack the wood.

Once you have finished splitting your firewood, you are going to need to stack it for storage. That means finding a location in your yard that is appropriate.

Here are some recommendations for stacking the wood:

  • Do not put the wood too close to your house. In fact, you want at least five feet of clearance. The reason this is important is because sometimes, pests get into firewood, and you do not want them getting into your home.
  • Think about putting down a pallet for your wood so that it is not in direct contact with the ground. This will assist with drainage if necessary.
  • Make sure that the wood is sheltered from precipitation, but that there is also open air flow for it to dry out (see below).
  • Think about the path that you will be taking when you walk with your firewood into the house. Firewood is heavy, so you want it to be simple, short, and unobstructed.

5. Let the wood dry.

One last step is to wait for your firewood to dry out before you use it. In fact, if possible, you should plan to cut your firewood in advance of when you will need it, since it may not be ready to burn right away.

Enjoy the Benefits of Burning Firewood in Your Home Fireplace

Now you have a basic overview of what you need to do to prepare firewood to burn for heat in your home.

You will need to study the steps and safety tips for cutting down a tree and operating a chainsaw and log splitter safely in detail before you move forward.

But once you learn the basics, you should find it easy to cut firewood each year for economic.