Will firewood dry indoors?
Yes, firewood will dry indoors but it will be a slower process compared to drying it outside where the sun can shine on it and wind pass through it. When drying firewood indoors, you need to wary of bugs and rodents. You should also be wary of fire hazards.
Keep reading for a more detailed answer…
Interior decorators like the idea of an alcove filled with neatly cut logs ready for the fire. It adds a homely touch, a sort of ‘Home on the Range’ feel to the living area. Wood ready to dispel the winter chill all neatly packed and artistically displayed may add to an inviting ambiance but it is not all quite as harmless as it would appear.
There are few things to consider prior to embarking on this home improvement adventure.
Storing firewood indoors comes with one great advantage. The wood is protected from rain and snow. The disadvantage is that inside a building the wood is also sheltered from the wind and the sun. Both are the best agents for drying the wood.
It is all too easy to forget the big rule that nature works continuously and deliberately hard to maintain a balance.
Introduce wet wood into a dry room and the atmosphere of the room will absorb the humidity from the wood until eventually a new balance will be reached where the humidity of the wood and the room are the same.
The clearest indication of wet wood stored indoors in a confined space will be the appearance of mold on the walls alongside the wood. Not quite what the interior decorator had in mind.
If you are determined to store firewood indoors it may be wise to pay a little extra and get kiln dried firewood. It’s going to be more expensive but is almost guaranteed wildlife free.
Will a dehumidifier help to dry wood?
Dehumidifiers have been introduced as an aid to getting the moisture content of the wood down to below twenty percent, but this does come along with some problems.
Firstly, the cost of the electricity needed to run the dehumidifier is going to escalate the real cost of the wood and secondly, the drying process is just as efficiently obtained by correct stacking and the assistance of wind and sunshine.
Despite the disadvantages, a dehumidifier will assist in drying the firewood a little faster. It’s just that it is a very inefficient way of getting the job done and your electricity bill will swell with the additional electrical load.
Hazards of Storing Firewood Indoors
If you are in the habit of bringing your dry firewood inside to use it in the following day or two then the dangers involved are hugely diminished. But if the wood is going to be stored for longer and it is not properly dried then there will be problems.
Danger number one is of course the little bits of wildlife that have made their home beneath the bark or inside the wood. Home interiors are like a Mcdonald’s for insects, ants, and borers who will have no hesitation in supersizing up the timber elements of your home.
And before you reach for the can of insecticide remember that you spray the logs with poison to kill the insects it will be that very same poison released into your cozy winter den when the wood is set alight.
Often Interior Decorators will locate the artistic firewood pile alongside the fireplace which although being super convenient for getting logs onto the fire is also a fire risk.
Storing firewood in the Garage or Basement
Storing firewood in the garage does have some advantages. If you have space, you can pack the firewood in a trailer and park it inside the garage saving a lot of carrying and packing.
Basements can be tricky because they often aren’t quite as dry as we would like and there is the additional hurdle of having to carry all the firewood down into the basement and then retrieving it to get it up to the fireplace when the weather turns cold.
For both areas, the idea of storing combustible materials isn’t exactly what the safety officer would recommend but if the garage is a fair distance from the house then it’s a little less risky.
How to speed up the drying process and keep everyone happy.
The ideal place to store your firewood is under a roof that protects the wood from rain, snow, dew, and frost and also allows a free flow of air around the individual pieces of wood. A shed that allows for a free flow of air will accelerate the drying time more than most other venues bar a kiln.
It is however also hugely important to store the wood correctly. A cement floor will solve many of the problems involving insects and dampness, but it is critical that the firewood be stored off the floor as this will allow for much improved airflow.
Storing the firewood away from any walls will also play a major role in getting your stack ready for the winter and for fires that glow with heat and emit very little smoke.