Firewood is a great fuel to use in your fireplace. But it can be tough to know what the best moisture content for seasoned firewood should be. This blog post will go over different strategies you can use to figure out the right moisture content level for your firewood, and how this impacts its burn time and efficiency.
If you’re looking for the best moisture content of seasoned firewood, then you’ve come to the right place! In this blog post, we’ll go over all of your options and provide a little bit of advice on what kind might work best for your needs. We’ll also be going over how to tell if your wood is dry enough or not. Let’s get started!
What The Moisture Content Of Seasoned Firewood Should Be?
Seasoned firewood is wood that has been left to dry for at least six months. It contains more energy than freshly cut logs, but not as much as green (freshly cut) wood. The moisture content of seasoned firewood should be between 20% and 40%.
As it dries, wood naturally loses water and decomposes. The rate of this process depends on the type of firewood, air temperature, humidity level, and how well it is stacked.
It can take six months to a year for most green logs to become seasoned firewood. While some types might only need three or four months in ideal conditions, others may require two years or more if they are exposed to extreme weather conditions such as rain and snow. As time goes by though, you will find that your wood has lost its bark (if any), the ends have begun splitting out-and there are cracks throughout indicating that drying has occurred fully. Seasoned hardwoods like oak burn better than softwoods like pine because they contain more energy.
- The moisture content of seasoned firewood should be between 20% and 40%.
Seasoned hardwoods burn better than softwoods like pine because they contain more energy. This post is about how to tell the difference in wood types when it comes to differentiating their burning abilities and which ones are best suited for cooking fires, campfires, or outdoor grilling areas. By knowing all these facts you will find that not only will your wood last longer but also produce a very hot flame great for cooking over! It takes time and patience to cut down trees (one can never hurry nature), saw them into logs using an axe/chainsaw, split the logs with either an ax or maul, stack them properly so air can circulate and allow them to season, and then get the firewood ready for use.
Knowing how much heat is produced by a given quantity of dry seasoned wood can be helpful when choosing heating appliances or planning fires in your fireplace or outdoor grill.
Moisture Content Of Seasoned Firewood
The moisture content of seasoned firewood should be between and 20 percent. The ideal amount is around 20%. Trying to cut it down any lower than that will mean your logs are bound to burn very slowly, meaning they won’t heat up the way you want them to.
The most common areas for wood stoves can range anywhere from 16% – 22%, with 18%-20% being what experts recommend as the best option.
- Firewood should be cut at the right time (late winter)
- Early spring is too late, as you’ll miss out on nearly half of your logs due to the shrinking. The best time for cutting wood is during early fall or late summer.
- Wood that has not been properly dried can cause issues with an appliance and even damage it in some cases. It’s also important to consider how much space you have available if planning on drying firewood yourself. Many people opt for purchasing already seasoned firewood rather than taking up all their yard area trying to dry the wood themselves. Another option is splitting your own logs over your driveway or another large surface where there isn’t any grass, but this could result in soil contamination so make sure you have a big enough area to do so without causing any damage.
- Make sure your firewood is properly stacked and protected from rot and bugs, as these will ruin the wood over time if they’re not kept at bay during storage or drying periods. It’s also important that you stack it in an open space where air can circulate around them for maximum efficiency.
According to the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service, the wood moisture content is a critical factor in your decision on what type and how much firewood you purchase. For many years, homeowners have been told that 20 percent was ideal for burning in their fireplace or stove. In fact, it’s not just an arbitrary number but represents the lower end of the optimal range from 12-20 percent.
The reason being that when seasoned hardwoods get below this level they are considered ‘seasoned’ which means less smoke during combustion and better flame quality while reducing creosote buildup inside flues and chimneys. Therefore if a supplier tells you he has seasoned firewood at 30% or above then be careful because these types of woods are typically considered ‘green’ and are much harder to light.
The U.S Department of Agriculture Forest Service has an excellent fact sheet that explains wood moisture content, how it affects burning properties, safety, etc., which you can download at:
Safety Tips for Firewood
- Stack firewood at least 20 feet away from your home and any combustible structures. This is to prevent a fire from starting in the woodshed from reaching nearby buildings, trees, or other plants.
- Store broken pieces of wood with larger logs: this means that smaller pieces can not be blown up into flames by the wind and start a forest fire during dry months.
- If you are cutting your own firewood, make sure to take care of the woodpiles at least 100 feet away from any structures like garages or patios. This is also in order to prevent fires which start when pieces of dry kindling catch on fire and reach nearby buildings.
- Make sure that there are no leaves or needles covering fresh piles of cut wood: these can act as a wick for larger branches with higher moisture content because they allow them to be engulfed in flames more easily than regular logs alone would do.
- Conclusion: – Lastly, follow all applicable laws regarding where and how much firewood you can store in your yard.- Also, check out our list for some top picks if you’re looking for a high-quality firewood product to add to your home.
- In the end, just remember that even seasoned wood can have a moisture content that is too low for indoor use in the winter months: it’s safer and more economical to pay a little extra or wait until summertime when you can find lower prices on outdoor burning material.
FAQs About Firewood
What is the moisture content of seasoned firewood?
Seasoned firewood should have a moisture content between 20% and 25%. This can vary depending on where you live, as well as your local climate. In general, most experts recommend that if you are selling or buying wood with less than 20%, then it needs to be dried more before being burned. A common practice for drying wood is at least six months in an enclosed dry area like a garage or basement before burning.
How do I know when seasoned firewood is dry?
The easiest way to determine if your wood is ready for burning in the fireplace or stove, check it with an oven moisture meter. It should read somewhere between 20% and 25%. If you don't have a meter, then take some of the larger pieces that are around 15 inches long, and cut them open down the middle. This will show how far along they are in drying out. The wider cracks mean that there's more air getting into the center of the piece than what would be considered ideal for burning purposes. Of course, the wider cracks also mean that it's been seasoned more. In any case, if your wood is still green after a year of being cut and stacked in an enclosed area off the ground with good air circulation then you may need to leave it out longer for proper drying before burning.
What are some signs of wet firewood?
The most noticeable sign that your firewood is too wet or unseasoned is when you try to light it on fire. If there's no smoke coming from underneath the logs as they burn, this means that they're either not dry enough yet (less than 20% moisture content) or aren't properly seasoned (more than 25%). Also keep in mind even though many people think this way, splitting the wood will not dry it out. This is a myth!
Is wet firewood dangerous?
Seasoned, dried, and split firewood that's been properly stored in the right way shouldn't be any more dangerous than burning seasoned, dried and split logs from your local lumber yard or tree services business. In fact, most experts would say that if you're getting free wood for splitting then this might actually save you money on what you'd normally pay to buy them pre-split at stores like Home Depot or Lowes.
What about storing my wood off the ground instead of stacking it inside a shed?
The best place to store your seasoned firewood is either outside under a cover (like a tarp) which keeps rain away, or inside in a garage. If you're not able to build your own firewood storage rack like this one, then the best option would likely be an enclosed area with good airflow (like your garage).
Does stacking my wood outside make it less safe?
Some people think that when they stack their seasoned wood off of the ground instead of storing it inside in an attic or shed makes them safer because there's no chance that mold spores can get into their house if something leaks onto the wood. Unfortunately, these same problems could happen just as easily by leaving it stacked on top of another pile which has moisture issues itself and is causing condensation underneath. This means that even though you might have dry logs available for burning during cold months, they can still be more dangerous than you might think.
What about firewood that's been seasoned for a year and isn't covered (like the picture above)?
This is fine and will work just as well, especially if it has proper airflow underneath to allow all sides of the wood time to dry out evenly over time. If you're getting this kind of free wood from someone who doesn't cover their stacks, then make sure to ask them why before accepting any logs. It could simply mean that they don't have enough money or storage space for some type of shed or structure built on top of their stack like this one here.
Does splitting my wood decrease its moisture content?
No! This is yet another myth when it comes to seasoned firewood. Splitting the wood only speeds up its ability to dry out on the surface, but it doesn't affect what's happening deeper inside where most of the moisture is held within.
When it comes to seasoned firewood, there are a lot of things that should be considered. Knowing the moisture content is one of them; however, knowing what’s best for you and your specific situation can also help greatly. While high-quality wood needs less seasoning time than low-quality wood (in other words, higher density means lower water content), generally speaking, 40% – 50% moisture content is recommended for most types of hardwoods. If you need something more specific or just want some insight into how much wood to buy based on space in your home/stove then contact us today!