It feels like we’re always talking about the negative effects burning unseasoned ‘green’ wood has on your stove, however people seem to insist on burning it in their stoves. Seasoned wood is the only type of wood you should be burning.

To offer some clarity on the subject we decided to film a quick video demonstrating the difference between unseasoned and seasoned wood.

Seasoned wood, often kiln-dried, has a moisture content of less than 20% and therefore burns very well. Unseasoned wood has a very high moisture content that not only saps the energy of the fire as it tries to boil the water out of it, but can cause a lining of dangerous creosote in your chimney, which can ultimately lead to a chimney fire.

To get the best seasoned wood at home, allow 18 months at the very minimum. Store your wood in an outdoor logstore and try to let us much sunlight as possible get to it. Ensure there are gaps between the logs to allow air to move between the logs, drying them out. Splitting logs will help the logs to season quicker as the bark cam often make it tough for water to evaporate.

Seasoned logs should have a moisture content below 20%, which can be tough to achieve with an outdoor logstore alone – especially if you need to burn some wood sooner. The best way to get quality, low moisture-content logs is to buy kiln-dired hardwood logs. This fuel is baked in a kiln, evaporating most of the water.

Well seasoned logs should have a trace of moisture in them to slow down the combustion process. If the wood is too dry your fuel will burn very quickly and very hot, which means you’ll have to burn more fuel than you planned to, and risk over-firing the stove.

Sap and moisture combine to for a tar type layer in the chimney, called creosote. This can be flammable and dangerous, so it is imperative that you burn only seasoned wood and have your chimney swept regularly.

tree-sap-seasoned-wood
Sap seeps out of a freshly cut log. Seasoning needs to take place to remove this.

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