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Old 09-06-2009, 08:38 PM   post #1 of 31
ggsteve
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Default Would a fan dry my cut and split wood faster?

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 , 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?
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Old 09-06-2009, 08:42 PM   post #2 of 31
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Default Re: Would a fan dry my cut and split wood faster?

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.
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Old 09-06-2009, 08:48 PM   post #3 of 31
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Default Re: Would a fan dry my cut and split wood faster?

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.
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Old 09-06-2009, 08:56 PM   post #4 of 31
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Default Re: Would a fan dry my cut and split wood faster?

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.
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Old 09-06-2009, 08:58 PM   post #5 of 31
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Default Re: Would a fan dry my cut and split wood faster?

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.
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Old 09-06-2009, 09:04 PM   post #6 of 31
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Default Re: Would a fan dry my cut and split wood faster?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ggsteve View Post
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 , 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.
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Old 09-06-2009, 09:17 PM   post #7 of 31
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Default Re: Would a fan dry my cut and split wood faster?

Quote:
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
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Old 09-06-2009, 09:28 PM   post #8 of 31
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Default Re: Would a fan dry my cut and split wood faster?

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.
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Old 09-06-2009, 09:34 PM   post #9 of 31
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Default Re: Would a fan dry my cut and split wood faster?

Dehumidifiers ..do draw moisture..but the electric it takes over rides the btu put out buy the wood ..in my opinion...
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Old 09-06-2009, 09:43 PM   post #10 of 31
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Default Re: Would a fan dry my cut and split wood faster?

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.
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Old 09-06-2009, 09:52 PM   post #11 of 31
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Default Re: Would a fan dry my cut and split wood faster?

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.
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Old 09-06-2009, 10:22 PM   post #12 of 31
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Default Re: Would a fan dry my cut and split wood faster?

Quote:
Originally Posted by david doyle View Post
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



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]



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
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Old 09-07-2009, 07:28 AM   post #13 of 31
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Default Re: Would a fan dry my cut and split wood faster?

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!
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Last edited by ggsteve; 09-07-2009 at 07:46 AM.
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Old 09-07-2009, 08:08 AM   post #14 of 31
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Default Re: Would a fan dry my cut and split wood faster?

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.
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Old 09-07-2009, 08:57 AM   post #15 of 31
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Default Re: Would a fan dry my cut and split wood faster?

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.
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