1. When is the best time to buy firewood for burning and why?

The best period to buy firewood for the next heating season is the period from April to mid-May. Why? There are several reasons, the two most important ones being:

  • First, during that period the tree harvested in the forest contains the minimum quantity of water, and water, as you may know, cannot burn.
  • Second, the period from April to mid-October, when the heating season begins, is plenty of time to dry the harvested tree and for its moisture content to be reduced from the original 55%-60% to around 20% which represents moisture appropriate for efficient wood combustion (contains only 20% of water).

2. Is it true that burning “dry” wood that was air-dried for six months and longer will result in consumption of more wood compared to the use of wet wood?

No, that is not true. Our survey of the households in South and Southwest Serbia showed that the households that used “dry” wood (obtained in April) spent between 16% and 22% less wood compared to the households that used wet wood (obtained in September) per m2 of the heated surface area. There is a misconception among the households that use wet wood that more wood would be consumed if they used dry wood since it burns quicker than the wet wood. However, with correct burning regime (more details provided in the booklet How to Use Firewood Efficiently) less “dry wood” is consumed compared to the wet wood utilization for the same heated surface area.

3. How should I store the firewood bought in April since there are six months and more until October?

Firewood can be obtained as one meter log wood or split log wood which is most often 33 cm long. If you have a woodshed it is recommended to cut the one meter log wood so that it is of the right size to be burnt in your appliance and then stack such split wood in your woodshed. Do not put wet wood in the cellar!!!!

If due to the limited space you have to stack the woodpile next to the wall of the house or building in which you live, then you should move the stacked woodpile at least 10-20 cm away from the wall in order to create adequate conditions for the air to flow (the so called draught). The airflow is extremely important for air-drying the wood. Such stacked woodpile should not be covered with nylon completely (to the ground) because it will prevent the airflow and cause mould. It is sufficient just to cover the top of the stacked woodpile.

One meter log wood is also stored in order to air-dry in any available space. In this case as well, it is necessary to cover just the top of the stacked woodpile and allow the wood to dry naturally.


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