From the Air Quality Fairbanks Website:
The FNSB is beginning to roll out a “SPLIT, STACK, STORE & SAVE” campaign to remind residents who burn wood to start getting their wood ready now for next winter. SPLIT the wood in half at least once. Your wood should be less than two feet in length. STACK in a pile to allow for adequate air flow. STORE your wood for six months to two years in an area exposed to the sun; cover the top of the pile. SAVE money and our air. Burning dry wood means your fire burns hotter so you burn less wood.
Have you heard the radio ads? They have been running on multiple stations since April 1st. Click HERE to listen to the Split, Stack, Store, Save! Radio Ad.
Clean Air Fairbanks encourages quartering the wood and drying for 24 months or until the moisture meter reads 20% or less. Moisture meters are so easy to use, a nine-year-old showed the Assembly how to do it! You can get a Blaze King moisture meter at The Woodway for $30.
According to a 2006 NESCAUM assessment, for every 10% increase in the moisture content of wood the PM 2.5 emissions increase by 166%. [Could not find this statistic in the referenced study as cited in Reducing PM2.5 Emissions from Residential Heating Sources in the Fairbanks North Star Borough 2009 by CCHRC, page 53.]
According to 2010 unpublished research by the Cold Climate Housing Research Center, wood “properly prepared and stored under optimal conditions during the summer months, took only six weeks to dry enough to burn safely.” See Best Practices Cordwood Handling Brochure from CCHRC [506KB].
A number of variables determine what drying time is necessary to achieve 20% or less moisture content. The importance of burning only dry wood points to the need to confirm actual moisture content with a meter, rather than assuming adequate drying based on drying duration.
For more on drying firewood, review this previous post: Burn Smarter, Burn Dry Only.