With Jack Frost nipping at your nose, how do you stay warm and cozy in the Hudson Valley? With a fireplace or wood-burning stove, of course.
Jeffrey Viola, owner of The Cord King in Dover Plains, says you’ll save money by heating with firewood. “Wood keeps your home at a higher temperature than oil, propane, or electric, and for less money.”
However, you must obtain, dry, and store the wood. That means planning ahead before temperatures drop and winter storms strike the Hudson Valley. “It’s peace of mind that no matter what happens with prices and crazy weather events, your heating supply is in your backyard.”
Types of firewood: “Seasoned means air-dried with a moisture content of 20 percent or less,” says Viola. “It’s cut and split, and allowed to age and dry with solar energy and wind. Kiln-dried is dried in a lumber kiln and is drier than seasoned. It’s sterilized to kill bugs or mold.”
Obtaining firewood: “Some people cut and split their own trees or call a logging contractor and order a truckload,” he says. If you’re running low, there’s no time like the present to pick up wood so you’re ready to go the next time you want to kick your fireplace or wood-burning stove into gear.
Storing it: “Allow air and sunlight to get to the wood. It will dry naturally on its own,” he says. With winter in mind, be sure to keep it away from snowfall, which could lead to more moisture absorption than you want.
Remember, water does not burn, so moist wood is not a good choice to use for your fireplace. “Order wood a year in advance so it has time to dry,” he says. “Wet wood will burn, but it just takes longer and is less efficient.”