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Community and Q&A

Cord wood moisture storage

BobRVt | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

I do weatherization & occasionally run across people who store a cord or more of hardwood in their basements. They usually say that the wood is dry before they bring it in. I am dubious, and believe that this still adds significant moisture load to the house. In winter here, in southern Vermont, it is pretty dry inside, so anything with moisture content is going to release it into the house.

Are there any estimates available about how much moisture a cord of wood in various conditions would bring into a house?

I haven’t been able to find anything on gba or on energy vanguard that talks about this. Web searches also fail me.

Bob Rueter

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    The difference in weight between a cord of green (unseasoned) red oak and a cord of air-dried red oak is 1,536 pounds, or about 192 gallons of water.

    The difference in weight between a cord of green (unseasoned) soft maple and a cord of air-dried soft maple is 1,320 pounds, or about 165 gallons of water.

    Of course, if the firewood is brought into the basement partially seasoned, the amount of water that evaporates from the cord is less.

    Nevertheless, bringing firewood into a home introduces significant amounts of moisture.

    My figures come from this website:

  2. BobRVt | | #2

    Great! Thanks! Very useful. At least as a starting place for discussion, and because I haven't delivered the audit report yet.


  3. wjrobinson | | #3

    The few homes I know that have wood inside have no issues. Mine is outside except I keep a weeks worth near the fireplace with no moisture issues. A relative keeps a seasons worth in the cellar with no issues that I have noticed. But both homes are older. A new low ACH home would not be the place for very much green wood stored inside.

  4. BobRVt | | #4

    This house is 32 yo & .39 ACHn. Frost on the attic sheathing & other moisture load sources as well.

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