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: Would a fan dry my cut and split wood faster?


ggsteve
09-06-2009, 08:38 PM
I have about a 1/4 cord of hardwood from some ice storm damaged trees that I cut and split this spring/summer. I stacked it in the basement in front of my dry hardwood:duh: , but it sure doesn't burn very well yet. I was thinking of aiming a window fan at the stack so that the air flow might speed up drying. Your thoughts?

LLigetfa
09-06-2009, 08:42 PM
What is the relative humidity of the air? Generally basements are cool and damp and so not conducive to drying firewood. Why would you not dry it outdoors where the RH should be lower and the air warmer?

If you dehumidify the air a fan would help.

dirtyEd
09-06-2009, 08:48 PM
Sure the fan will help it dry quicker, maybe even by June 2010, but you'd be better off leaving it out side to season/dry until next year.

With few exceptions, the general rule for wood burning, is cut, split, and dried, for at least a year, two years is even better.

DreaminGreen
09-06-2009, 08:56 PM
I used a dehumidfier in my basement blowing on some fresh cut green wood (1/2 cord)for a couple months. It worked awesome I kept it at about 45%RH.

D-Dogg
09-06-2009, 08:58 PM
I tried what you are suggesting in the garage, for 30 days, and I would say it helped a little. Still pretty wet.

Aren't you scared of bringing termites in by storing wood in your basement? Maybe they aren't as bad in MA as VA.

Dude11
09-06-2009, 09:04 PM
I have about a 1/4 cord of hardwood from some ice storm damaged trees that I cut and split this spring/summer. I stacked it in the basement in front of my dry hardwood:duh: , but it sure doesn't burn very well yet. I was thinking of aiming a window fan at the stack so that the air flow might speed up drying. Your thoughts?

I used wood heat for humpteen years,just fire up w/the dry and add green on top.Works fine.

david doyle
09-06-2009, 09:17 PM
Works fine

it might burn but you are loosing alot of the potential BTUs. I have heated a shack/house with a wood stove thru a winter that had 8 weeks of -40 to -50. (7 cords to keep a 1000 square feet barely livable!)
I can guarentee that you notice the diffrence in the heat you get between dry and wet Birch, poplar, and spruce. Also anything that retards/cools the combustion is going to contribute to creosote.

Putting wet wood in your house is a sure fire way to end up with air that is humid enough to form ice where ever it leaks past insulation. I don't know the percentage of water in wood but in a half cord it must be many gallons.
Folks dry thier wood for a reason. Save yours for next year.
Stay warm

davidg
09-06-2009, 09:28 PM
do what i did last year. i had more than enough wood for the winter, but most of it was not seasoned good yet. so i would start the fire with 2 seasoned logs and 1-2 "green" ones. then add green logs later. not as much heat, but it got the fire going and as long as you keep it hot as you cna it won't creososte as bad. but you got to keep the fire roaring and that means using more wood.

Byron R
09-06-2009, 09:34 PM
Dehumidifiers ..do draw moisture..but the electric it takes over rides the btu put out buy the wood ..in my opinion...

davidg
09-06-2009, 09:43 PM
if you use a dehumidifier, i would put a tarp over the wood and stick it under there. that way it pulls the most moisture from teh wood and not necessarily from teh room. you have to prop the tarp up so it don't suck down tight, but it works. as stated, this will cost a few bucks for the electricity and may offset the money saved by burning wood for heat.

LLigetfa
09-06-2009, 09:52 PM
Typically, dehumidifiers draw between 50 and 200 watts. The cost saving of burning wood could be eaten up by higher electricity cost.

I would burn the dry wood now and let the dry Winter air lower the humidity naturally, drying the recently cut wood to burn later. You could also dry a stick or two at a time near the hearth and then toss it in with the dry stuff.

Ken in NJ
09-06-2009, 10:22 PM
it might burn but you are loosing alot of the potential BTUs. I have heated a shack/house with a wood stove thru a winter that had 8 weeks of -40 to -50. (7 cords to keep a 1000 square feet barely livable!)
I can guarentee that you notice the diffrence in the heat you get between dry and wet Birch, poplar, and spruce. Also anything that retards/cools the combustion is going to contribute to creosote.

Putting wet wood in your house is a sure fire way to end up with air that is humid enough to form ice where ever it leaks past insulation. I don't know the percentage of water in wood but in a half cord it must be many gallons.
Folks dry thier wood for a reason. Save yours for next year.
Stay warm

:ditto: :ditto:


QUOTE=LLigetfa;805665]Typically, dehumidifiers draw between 50 and 200 watts. The cost saving of burning wood could be eaten up by higher electricity cost.

I would burn the dry wood now and let the dry Winter air lower the humidity naturally, drying the recently cut wood to burn later. You could also dry a stick or two at a time near the hearth and then toss it in with the dry stuff.[/QUOTE]

:ditto: :ditto:

Dehumidifies use more electric then that I believe LL .. but either way .. using electric to dry firewood .. defeats the purpose of using firewood IMO also

ggsteve
09-07-2009, 07:28 AM
Guys, thanks for all the answers! Let me comment on a few of your excellent points:

1) Basements are cool and damp here in the summer. I run a dehumidifier in the summer months to prevent mildew, etc. down there, so I'm absorbing the electric cost anyway. Oh, I can't move the dehumidifier to the wood crib because it's positioned near the drain so I don't have to worry about emptying it every day.

2) I hadn't really thought of the humidity produced by the wood being a problem, I think our humid New England summer air contains way more water than a 1/2 cord of wood ever could. Also remember, in the winter our stuffy houses get way too dry!

3) I thought the wood would dry better out of the weather (outdoors), my misconception. How do you guys protect your stacks? My wife is not fond of blue tarps.

4) While we have termites here, carpenter ants are more of a problem. I've never had a problem storing wood in my "crib". There really isn't that much there. I only use it for the fire place and in emergencies like the ice storm last December. I'm too old to be hauling wood all the time.

5) Lastly, what are your thoughts on burning white pine indoors? I have cords of pine from the same ice storm that is cut, split and stacked (uncovered) for use in the outdoor fire pit. I have always heard it contains way too much creosote and will gum up the chimney. On the other hand, the farmer up the street takes all the free pine the tree guys will give him and he burns it constantly.

P.S. - Enjoying a fire right now, it's 46 degrees out this morning!

D-Dogg
09-07-2009, 08:08 AM
46! Wow!

As far as your pine, we grew up burning yellow pine (down in FL where 50 is unbearable). Of course, my dad cleaned the chimney several times per year.

Mouse
09-07-2009, 08:57 AM
OK belive it or not- back in 1995ish, my boss gave me a load of rough sawn black walnut- for FREE (about 2500.00 worth) I stacked it in my 1 car garage, w/ cut stone in between the layers of wood, as spacers. The piles of wood were about 6' high, every night I would park my NEW truck in the garage w/ the wood on either side. About 3 weeks go by.... one night 2:30 am I wake up....go out to the garage to find the piles of wood/stone on my NEW truck. I was told the heat from the engine made the wood dry faster on the outside ( causing it to shrink) than the inside so the piles became leaning towers of destruction ( for my NEW truck). My insurance said " go get it fixed and send me the bill", best insurance Co. I ever had-Allstate still have 'em. did'nt even need pictures or anything!! I restacked the wood, secured it with cables, and would change inside/outside of the wood weekly. Wood was beautiful, made some boxes for my knief collection, chairs for the kids, bowles, and all kinds of gifts.

krm944
09-07-2009, 09:09 AM
I would keep the pine for burning outdoors....I grew up with a woodstove and learned HARD woods were the only ones to burn.

It would be ok to split it up at kindling to light the fire with, but I WOULD NOT use it as primary fuel. I bet if you split a bunch of it up and used it in this fashion, you would see it disappear quite quickly.

Kyle

Kyle

Ken in NJ
09-07-2009, 10:15 AM
Guys, thanks for all the answers! Let me comment on a few of your excellent points:



3) I thought the wood would dry better out of the weather (outdoors), my misconception. How do you guys protect your stacks? My wife is not fond of blue tarps.


P.S. - Enjoying a fire right now, it's 46 degrees out this morning!

I don't like blue tarps either .. That is why I bought Brown and Green ones .. You can even get Camo tarps as well.

I keep my wood up off the ground, 6" or better .. I try to stack it all where it will have the sun beating on it for as long as possible ..

Its also important to have good air flow .. I do leave at least a few inches between rows when I double depth stack.

Only after the wood is good and dry .. do I use a tarp around the hole stack .. I only cover the top when its not seasoned.

Speaking of firewood .. I gotta get my butt outside and start stacking :00000060:

LLigetfa
09-07-2009, 10:28 AM
Pine is not as evil as most people make it out to be. It does need to be dry though. Burning any wood that isn't dry enough is a chimney fire in the waiting.

The best colour for tarps is silver. They last much longer than any other colour. Even better than tarps is EPDM rubber roofing. The black colour gets hot in the sun and the weight of it helps to stay put. Ice will not stick to it like it does to tarps. You can often scrounge used EPDM roofing for free as the roofers generally pay to dispose it.

If the wood is free of bugs when you bring it in, it will probably stay that way but I should stress that bugs like damp wood so you could be creating habitat if you bring in wood that isn't dry.

Ken in NJ
09-07-2009, 10:39 AM
Pine is not as evil as most people make it out to be. It does need to be dry though. Burning any wood that isn't dry enough is a chimney fire in the waiting.

The best colour for tarps is silver. They last much longer than any other colour. Even better than tarps is EPDM rubber roofing. The black colour gets hot in the sun and the weight of it helps to stay put. Ice will not stick to it like it does to tarps. You can often scrounge used EPDM roofing for free as the roofers generally pay to dispose it.

If the wood is free of bugs when you bring it in, it will probably stay that way but I should stress that bugs like damp wood so you could be creating habitat if you bring in wood that isn't dry.

My buddy was over the other day helping me stack wood .. And I was telling him about the neatest wood stacker I have ever seen.. I showed him a few photos of it .. he is retired ..and said .. "I thought I had to much time on my hands"

That would be you LLigetfa :congrats:

My friend is Mr Neat and clean too .. he was VERY impressed with your stacking

davidg
09-07-2009, 10:40 AM
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=burning+pine+in+fireplace&aq=0&oq=burning+pin&aqi=g10 read a few links, as long as you dont dampen down the fire pine actually puts out more heat and LESS creosote. the reason is that the hotter smoke rises faster and therefore spends less time in the flue depositing creosote. cool it down some though and it will leave more than hardwood.

the key is to use dry wood, regardless of what type it is.

as to storing outside, my parents stack their up against their fence, and never cover it. even our humidity does not hinder it's drying, and our dewpoints stay in the low to mid 70's during the summer! don't look just at outside RH, look at your dewpoints. 90% humidity at 90F is a lot more humid than 90% at 80F!

LLigetfa
09-07-2009, 10:45 AM
I was telling him about the neatest wood stacker I have ever seen.. I showed him a few photos of it .. he is retired ..and said .. "I thought I had to much time on my hands"

That would be you LLigetfa :congrats:

My friend is Mr Neat and clean too .. he was VERY impressed with your stacking

Thanks, I'm glad someone appreciates my obsession.

LLigetfa
09-07-2009, 10:54 AM
Relative humidity is well... relative to the temperature of the air. The key to drying is to have it where the air gets above ambient temp and can therefore pick up more moisture. Air movement too is important. Covering wood (on the top only) helps keep rain off as long as there is not dew collecting on the underside of the cover.

davidg
09-07-2009, 10:54 AM
you better watch that obsession, if your wife ever tires of your she cna use it as proof you are nuttier than a outhouse rat and get you commited! :sidelaugh

Tractor-Holic
09-07-2009, 01:51 PM
I think pine gets a bad rap...I burned plenty of it in my wood stoves in my garage and if anything,I think DRY pin burns so hot and quickly it actually burns out any previous creosote in my stovepipes and chimmney..if you burn green or wet sappy pine though,you could get into trouble..

My stoves in the garage are a bit "unique",in their construction and how they are "plumbed" to the chimmney..one in the "office" room,a 5 x 10' room I hand built from a 55 gallon drum ,that stands upright in normal fashion and has a hinged lid on the top you put the wood in,and the pipe exits out the side near the top,not IN the top like most others..I have another "barrel" 55 gallon stove in the garage area that is horizontal,made from a "kit" like you see in Northern Tool's catalog..

I plumbed both of the stoves together with a "T" fitting at the chimmney opening thats about 3' off the floor..the stove in the office has about 12 feet of pipe going to the "T" thats has only about 4" of rise where it joins the "T",yet it drafts fairly well,better than I thought it would,though sometimes you'll get backdrafts on windy days,especially if there's no cap on the chimmney..I have lots of tree branches above the chimmney that affects the draft..stupid me,I had to put it on the WOODS side of the garage instead of the wide open field side!..(DER!)..but it works OK,and the one inlet to the chimmney seems sufficient to handle both stoves going "wide open" without any trouble..but the long length of pipe and its near horizontal pitch does accumulate soot quickly,and I must push a brush through it a few times every season to keep it free flowing..

I noticed when I burned a lot of old very dry pine I'd cut long ago,the stove and pipe would get hot enough to turn red quickly,if I didn't cut back on the dradft,and I'd get hardly any ash or soot accumulation in the pipe,instead,I'd find it all at the base of the chimmney at the clean out door!..the hot,fast burning fire must carry the soot and ash farther away I guess..when I burn hardwood pallets and trees I'd have to "sweep" the stovepipe much more often,as it tended to burn SLOW,or should I say "smoulder",and it led to lots of soot..I suspect some pallets are sprayed with fire retardant because they seem hard to get lit and dont burn that great like they used too--I also found out many get dipped in methyl bromide or other insecticides to prevent any "forigen" insects from being imported into the country..and the place I get most of my pallets from that sells monument stones,comes from Italy,China,India,etc..chances are good I've inhaled enough of that stuff to give myself a real lung problem..:( I haven't been able to breathe right ever since I got "smoked out" of my garage a few times when high winds made the syoves backdraft..it also has mildew and mold on the concrete foundation walls that might be a factor too..I've not spent much time in there lately,I was just about living out there in past years!..:eek:..

I wouldn't be scared to burn pine indoors as long as its real DRY..but be aware it'll burn like a roman candle and very hot!..keep a close eye on the stove and make sure it doesn't start glowing red on you!...

I have accellerated the drying time by piling the green wood about 3 feet away from the stove,usually within a week or so its bone dry and can be tossed in with other dry wood with no trouble at all..but I have a steel building,that might not be feasable in a house,unless your cellar has concrete walls..

oldtimer
09-07-2009, 02:42 PM
When I burned wood years ago I found that just tossing the pieces into a scrambled pile instead of piling neatly allowed for good air circulation and better drying. Of course you need the room in the yard to do that.

Upper5Percent
09-07-2009, 02:47 PM
I don't know about how well a fan would work...but if you were to pile your wood to the left of this setup...I know your wood would be dry...:sidelaugh
http://tailhookdaily.typepad.com/tailhook_daily_briefing/WindowsLiveWriter/image_198.png

LLigetfa
09-07-2009, 05:19 PM
I found that just tossing the pieces into a scrambled pile instead of piling neatly allowed for good air circulation and better drying.

Maybe if the piles are small and on very dry ground. I do both and found that stacked rows spaced apart dry much more than a large tossed pile. I'm in the process of moving my tossed pile into my shed and much of it is soaking wet. Fortunately, this wood is for next (2010/2011) Winter.

I already have this Winter's (2009/2010) wood all laid up in the shed, much of which spent last Winter in the shed. Some of it spent last Winter out under the snow as a loose pile but I got it into the shed early enough for it to dry before I get around to burning it.

If I need the wood to dry fast, I will stack it outside two rows deep up on pallets. If I'm far enough ahead, I will just toss it in a pile and let it dry later when I stack it in the shed.

cubguy2165
09-17-2009, 11:19 PM
Cut and stack it with the wood alternating directions, the air will circulate around and thru the pile and it will dry much faster, cover the top with a tarp. I cut and split 7 cords this spring for mom and it will be dry by the start of the heating season.Do it like that every year works great.

Chagrin
09-18-2009, 12:42 AM
... let the dry Winter air lower the humidity naturally...

Winter air actually isn't any drier than any other time of the year. It will seem drier inside a heated home, but that's due to the effect of heating (expanding) the air.

Just a bit of trivia.

LLigetfa
09-18-2009, 01:40 PM
It will vary by region, but the large temperature swings make Winter a natural dehumidifier. I fully understand the "relative" part of relative humidity.

tractorpilot
09-18-2009, 01:52 PM
I built a new home 2years ago and put in a high efficiency fireplace with the sealed doors etc. This thing is awsome. As long as I get a decent fire burning I can burn anything the chimeny was cleaned a few days ago (1st time in 2 years) and the guy was suprised to find very little creosote. My understanding is that to some extent regardles of how dry your wood is if you dont have a hot fire and you do have a cold chimeny the smoke condenses on the chimeny and voila creosote. If any of you have issues with old wood stoves or fireplaces I strongly suggest getting a new high effency one. Our winters here in Quebec are as good as any and we heat our 2500 sq foot home with it for months on end.