Is there anything cozier than as warm fireplace on a cold night? Before you can achieve that level of coziness, you’ve got to get the fire going and before that can happen, you need to bring in the wood. The best wood will be logs that have been allowed to “age.” Yes, like a fine wine, logs need to ripen. Newly cut wood can cause a creosote build up in the chimney. Proper storage of your firewood is as important as the method you choose for lighting your fire. Here’s the best approach for storing firewood:

Keep Away From the House

A stack of firewood is an inviting potential nest for all kinds of pests. This is why you want to keep this stack away from your house. If those bugs get a peak inside, then they’ll leave the firewood and head indoors. Ideally, your firewood should be stacked in a place that is at least 20 feet from the nearest door. It should be in a place that is dry and breezy. In other words, keep it away from the sprinklers or in an enclosed area. If you’re stacking it up against a garage or tool shed, then be sure to stack it a few inches from the structure to allow for that air flow.

Proper Stacking

Your firewood should be stacked in rows that are under 4-foot high. A log rack or pallet is a good area for stacking. If your firewood hasn’t been seasoned, then you’ll want to place it back-side down. That way the moisture in the wood can continue to evaporate. Dry wood is always the better wood. Once they’ve have time to ripen, then you can flip them over so the bark protects the wood from snow or rain.

Keep it Covered

Obviously, your firewood is going to be exposed to the elements. That is what you want to keep it covered to protect it from too much rain or snow. If you can place your stack under an overhang, then you’ll be in good shape. If you know a storm is coming, then replenish you stock inside before covering up the outside stack. If the woodpile is in the yard, then be sure to keep the surrounding area free of scraps and kindling. There shouldn’t be grass or weeds growing in the woodpile zone either.

Finally, it’s not a bad idea to buy your wood early. The closer to winter, the harder and more expensive it will be to come by.