Firewood: Store and heat properly


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Heating with firewood gains more and more lovers. A tiled stove or fireplace not only creates a cozy warmth and a romantic fireplace fire atmosphere. Used properly, the furnaces are a climate-friendly alternative to heating, which is usually operated with fossil fuels such as heating oil or gas.

Environmentally friendly wood heating

Even a small oven will provide enough heat during the transitional periods to delay the start of central heating. In addition, furnaces heated with firewood or wood pellets are carbon-neutral in the carbon dioxide balance: The carbon dioxide released during combustion removes the renewable forest from the atmosphere. One cubic meter of beech firewood replaces about 200 liters of fuel oil or 200 cubic meters of natural gas. For a good environmental balance, however, optimal combustion is important. If the wood is damp or too little oxygen is supplied, harmful substances such as carbon monoxide and polycyclic hydrocarbons are formed. The right heating therefore begins with the choice and storage of the firewood.

Wood stove with cat

The warmth and the soft crackle of a fireplace are pure relaxation

Buy firewood or do it yourself

In addition to DIY stores and garden centers, there are usually also regional suppliers who deliver firewood directly to their homes. The price of the wood depends on the type of wood and the size of the logs. Ready-to-cook wood is the most expensive. Long logs, which you have to saw and split yourself, are cheaper. When chopping wood splitters, large circular and chain saws help. If you want to train the muscles, swing the splitting ax. It is best to prepare your firewood "fresh from the forest": it is easier to split than when dry. In addition, split trunk sections dry faster. On the other hand, in oven-proof logs, the pieces are usually sawn only when they are already dry. If you have a chainsaw driver's license (training courses are offered by the Forestry Department and the Chamber of Agriculture), you can get firewood even in the forest at low cost in many regions. Check with your local forestry office.

firewood storage

If you have a sawmill or a wood processing company on site, you should ask for cheap residual or waste wood - it may be worthwhile

Store firewood properly

A common question of stove owners is that of the optimal stock. For centuries it has been customary to stack wood logs to save space. The height of a free-standing stack depends on the size and shape of the logs. Small and irregularly shaped pieces of wood can hardly be stably stacked up without collapsing in a strong fall storm. For such timbers, large metal lattice boxes offer themselves as collecting containers. The amount of stacked woodpiles depends not least on the skill and experience of the person doing the job. Incidentally, one of the most difficult stacking methods is the round pile, in particular because wood which has not yet dried completely is stored for a long time. If you want to be sure, use a stacking aid that prevents the logs from slipping sideways.

It is important that the firewood is stored dry, because when wet, it burns extremely bad, gives off little heat, but produces a lot of smoke that pollutes the environment - a special wood moisture meter can provide information. As a rule of thumb, the drier the firewood, the higher its calorific value. One cubic meter of beech wood evaporates with optimum storage about 250 liters of water! Ideal storage areas are dry (covered) and well-ventilated shelters. If the wood is not adequately ventilated, fungi that reduce the calorific value of the wood can settle.

Decorative stacking variant made of metal

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Firewood: Store and heat properly: store

Firewood: Store and heat properly: firewood

Firewood: Store and heat properly: firewood

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Woodpile variants

Firewood: Store and heat properly: store

Decorative and very durable is this wood storage of Corten steel, which can be set up in the garden. Thanks to the rust appearance, it blends harmoniously into the rural ambience, despite its modern shape

Firewood: Store and heat properly: properly

The stacks of wood on either side of the front door are protected from rain by the balcony. It is important to keep a hand-wide distance between the stored wood and the wall, so that the air can circulate better

Firewood: Store and heat properly: firewood

A firewood shelf keeps the fuel dry thanks to the roof and floor

Firewood: Store and heat properly: wood

A round rent, in which the split wood first dries for two to three years, is not easy to build. On flat ground, the logs are piled up in a ring. Pieces that can not be stacked, for example, because they are too crooked, come in disorder in the middle. The finished stack is covered with a tarpaulin, posts and webbing give it stability

Firewood: Store and heat properly: store

Stacking wood is a small art, because the logs can quickly slip sideways. A simple stacking aid made of squared timbers, which are cut to the desired length, prevents this

Decorative stacking variant made of metal

Woodpile in front of farmhouse

Wooden stack in shelf form

Round rent

Stacking aid for woodpile

The logs must not only be protected from rain, but also from rising soil moisture. Keeping the fuel in a shed is therefore obvious. However, the place should only be chosen if the wood is already well dried, as the drying in the open air is much faster. Especially with increasing humidity in autumn, a permanent ventilation of the room is indispensable.
At old farmhouses you can still admire the highly stacked wood supplies right next to the front door, which ensure a warm room during the winter months. Balconies or a canopy keep the rain away, wind and sun dry the firewood. Even within the stack, the logs should be positioned so that the wind can pass through. As a base, thin logs are placed on the floor, transverse to the bearing direction of the logs, so that the fuel material stacked on them has sufficient distance to the ground and no soil moisture can rise. Between the back wall and the wood stack should be a hand-wide distance, so that the air can circulate. This speeds up drying and prevents rot. Not suitable for storage are closed spaces, such as a cellar, or wrapped in plastic film woodpile. Foil or a waterproof tarpaulin should only be used as a temporary top cover to protect against rain. Firewood takes about two to three years to dry well. It should not be much longer because the calorific value decreases again over time.

Brennholzstapel

If you want to enjoy the comforting warmth of the fireplace in winter, you should stock up on firewood in time

The best wood species for firewood

When choosing the right firewood, the calorific value is the decisive factor - and in this respect the different tree species differ significantly. For open fires, however, characteristics such as the tendency to fly, the color of the flames and the smell are important. The highest calorific value per room meter (ster) has beech wood. It glows for a long time and the logs burn off slowly, resulting in a uniform, long-lasting heat. Other deciduous hardwoods such as maple, cherry and ash are comparable in calorific value with beech wood, but are offered less often than firewood. Hornbeam also has a high calorific value, but is very hard and fused and therefore difficult to saw or split. Oak wood develops in the open fireplace no nice flames and exudes a strange smell when burned, due to its high content of tannic acids. It is therefore usually used only in closed stoves. In addition, it may lead to the so-called Versotting the flue because the combustion residues deposit on the side walls. Hardwood softwoods such as alder, willow and poplar burn off quickly and are therefore not recommended as firewood.
Tip: Choose birch wood for your fireplace. Although its calorific value is not as high as that of beech or ash, but the essential oils contained in birch wood spread a pleasant fragrance and produce a beautiful, bluish flame image.

Birch wood

Ideal for the open fireplace: fragrant birch wood

Do not burn coniferous wood openly

Softwoods such as spruce, larch or pine tend to fly due to their resin and are therefore not suitable for open fireplaces. Their calorific value per cubic meter is not as high as that of beech and oak, but they are usually much cheaper than the deciduous hardwoods and good to use for closed stoves. Softwoods burn quickly, are therefore ideal for heating and also - where still in use - for cookers, as here a rapid heat development is required.

How to heat environmentally friendly

Only burn untreated wood, for example, not the remains of old furniture that has been treated with paints or varnishes. Burning these substances can cause highly toxic dioxins and furans. Treated wood should therefore be disposed of as residual or bulky waste. But also untreated firewood produces fine dust, sulfur and nitrogen oxides as well as incomplete combustion carbon monoxide. Since 2010, emissions limits for so-called small-scale combustion plants, including fireplaces and tiled stoves, have been in force in Germany.

fireplace

Modern stoves are economical and low in emissions

In 2015, these limits were lowered again: Existing plants that do not comply with the limit values ā€‹ā€‹must then be rehabilitated in the long term. However, there are sufficient transitional periods. In any case, economical ovens with integrated particulate matter filters and improved, modernized combustion systems that are far below the permissible limits today are future-oriented.

Video Board: Heating Your House Efficiently with a Wood Burning Fireplace or Stove.

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