Seasoning the firewood

The process of making firewood easier to light, produce more heat and burn cleaner.

All wood contains water. To make wood fit for burning, the water content is reduced usually by leaving it for a period of time in the right conditions. Freshly-cut wood can contain up to 45% water, while well-seasoned firewood generally has a 20–25% moisture content. Well seasoned firewood is easier to light, produces more heat, and burns cleaner.

If you try to burn green wood, heat produced by combustion must dry the wood before it will burn using up a large percentage of the available energy in the process. As wet wood burns slowly, with little heat, the chimney flue does not get a chance to warm up. There is little draw (air moving up the chimney) which doesn’t help the combustion, and the flue remains a cold surface on which the creosote condenses. This results in less heat delivered to your home and gallons of acidic water in the form of creosote deposited in your chimney that can eat through the chimney lining causing significant damage.

Dry wood will burn hot which heats up the flue, creating a fast draw, and shooting the smaller amount of vapours out of the chimney before they get a chance to condense.

Steps to seasoning wood

The first step to drive the water out of the wood is to cut it into lengths of about 12–18 inches long (or less if your fireplace/woodburning stove requires this). Tree branches and trunks contain thousands of microscopic tubes which carry water from the roots to the leaves, and these tubes can stay full of water for years after the tree has been felled (or pruned). Cutting the wood to shorter lengths opens these tubes to the atmosphere which increases evaporation.

The second step is splitting any logs that are more than say six inches in diameter. This increases the surface area of the wood exposed to the elements and therefore also enhances drying. So the cutting and splitting of logs should be done as soon as possible after the wood is harvested, not just before you want to burn it.

With our new delivery service, firewood and kindling can be delivered straight to your house or business. Give Border Esk Fencing Ltd. a call on 01228 791 423 to get stocked up.