Does wood dry when it's freezing outside?

vwmike Posted By vwmike, Feb 5, 2019 at 12:53 PM

  1. vwmike

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    ok stupid question. I live out west where we only get a week or two of consistent below freezing weather during the winter. Mostly it is just above freezing during the day, then dips to just below at night. Right now we have a high of 15f with a windchill of 0f. My guess is that the moisture just freezes until it warms up, but just curious.
     
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  2. blacktail

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    A little bit but not much.
     
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  3. Bad LP

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    Do ice cubes evaporate in the freezer?
     
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  4. jackatc1

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    Yes.
     
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  5. JSeery

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    Yes. If you search the threads, somebody put up a relatively scientific study of this a couple years back. If the air is dry, and you are getting lots of wind, you might be surprised how much wood can season when the temps are low. I would venture that it seasons more in these conditions than it does during the more humid parts of summer.
     
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  6. Sawset

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  7. brenndatomu

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  8. hickoryhoarder

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    According to my eyes/hands, it seasons pretty rapidly below 32 degrees. I see quick changes in wood I set (not stacked, leaned against the wall) under the soffitt, against the house, for a couple weeks before it goes in the fire.

    My skin and body dry out more in this weather than any other (even if inside the house the humidity is the usual 40%).
     
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  9. Sawset

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    One thing to think of - alaska has no sunlight in winter.
    Around here, in later winter, like now, the south facing sides of stacks can sure get warm. Given that the emc is so low, lots of potential there.
     
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  10. vwmike

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    Interesting reading for sure. Right now we have a relentless 40mph wind, sun, and humidity below 40% so I figured I should get some drying. I don't need it right now as this is next winters wood, was just curious.
     
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  11. weatherguy

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    Even frozen moisture in wood will sublimate so it's always drying to some degree. We notice new burners claim that their wood burns much better at the end of the season, that's due to drier wood.
     
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  12. tsquini

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    Cold winter weather is dry. When you have dry air and windy conditions, water will evaporate. The key indicator is dew point. When you have a low dew point the air will absorb water.
     
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  13. Sawset

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    I remember the first year I had a 55gal barrel filled with sopping wet small cutoffs and pcs (oak). I put the barrel in the garage thinking that maybe a year from then they will dry off enough to burn. The garage is about 10deg warmer than outside temps, even so, that winter it was well below freezing most of the time. Much to my surprise, they were dry by the end of Feb. Low dew point, dry conditions, yet below freezing most of the time.
     
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  14. Kiotick4010

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    Google sublimation, as Weatherguy explained.

    My mother would hang sheets on the line to dry in sub freezing temperatures. Took a while, but the moisture in the sheets sublimated.
     
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  15. firefighterjake

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    My Amish neighbors still do . . . my wife and I tend to use the dryer more than the clothesline in the winter though (with an occasional use of the indoor clothesrack).
     
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  16. SpaceBus

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    I want to buy one of the Amish hand clothes washing machine from Lehman's and dry clothes outside in the summer. Maine has the best summer. I didn't know there were any Amish living in Maine.
     
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  17. Snapdragon III

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    This is total speculation, but my theory is that the surface of the wood will dry in freezing weather, but the water that is trapped in the center of the wood is less likely to move out to the surface to replace the water lost if it is frozen.
     
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  18. firefighterjake

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    Quite a few actually . . . community here in Unity/Thorndike, a couple up in The County (one in Smyrna Mills and another in the Houlton area) and I believe there is another community north of here, but I may be mistaken . . . I know there is a Mennonite community near Dexter and it may or may not be confused with the Amish communities.
     
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  19. peakbagger

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    Mennonites have community in Brownfield in Southern Maine.
     
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  20. SpaceBus

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    Wow, that's really neat. When I lived near Fort Campbell KY/Clarksville TN my parents used to shop at the Amish owned stores. They had awesome produce. I really respect the Amish and Mennonites.
     
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  21. EPS

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    I was just wondering the same thing yesterday as we were on day two of wicked windy conditions but full sun. Here in coastal New England we get really dry winters and incredibly humid summers so sometimes I feel as if the drying is about the same pace all year long.
     
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  22. vwmike

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    We’ve had over a week of sunny, freezing and really low humidity. I noticed yesterday some of my fresh cut wood that is facing the wind is already starting to crack!
     
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