Firewood is a great way to heat your home during cold weather months. If you live in a colder climate, you probably already know that you should always store firewood outside.
This keeps moisture out of the wood, preventing mold growth.
But did you know that you can also add seasoning to your firewood? How you season your wood can depend on the type of wood you are using.
Wood is a renewable resource that burns well and produces less pollution than other fuels. In addition, firewood is often cheaper than heating fuel.
To ensure that your firewood lasts longer, you should season it before storing it. There are several ways to season firewood and in this guide, we are going to walk you through how to season your firewood.
What Is Seasoned Firewood?
Seasoning your firewood helps protect it from insects, disease, and decay. It also makes your firewood burn more efficiently. Though what exactly does it mean to use seasoned firewood?
In its simplest terms, seasoned firewood is wood that has been left to completely dry out.
When people talk about seasoned firewood, it is mainly wood that they themselves have dried.
Why Should You Season Firewood?
When it comes to choosing your firewood, most people agree that you should use seasoned firewood. So why should you use it? We are going to walk you through the benefits of using seasoned firewood.
Using seasoned wood is more efficient when keeping a log fire going. When you don't use seasoned wood you might find that getting your fire going can be quite difficult. This is due to the fact that there is a lot of moisture in the wood.
Even when the fire has started, most of that will be evaporating the moisture so the fire tends to go out quickly. By using seasoned wood, you avoid this problem.
Another benefit to using seasoned wood is that there is less smoke when you burn the wood. The reason for this is that when the water from your wet wood is evaporating it turns into steam.
This mixes with the smoke, making the smoke very thick.
The other reason unseasoned and wet wood produces more smoke is because the wetness of the wood is not allowing the wood to burn at a high temperature.
More smoke means that your stove can become very dirty and any glass will start to blacken.
So using seasoned wood also helps to keep your stove cleaner for longer compared to unseasoned wood.
What To Look For In Seasoned Wood?
If you are planning on buying seasoned wood but are not sure what you should be looking out for, we've got you covered.
The first thing to notice about seasoned wood is that it is very pale. The idea is for this wood to be very dry so if you pull at the bark it should easily fall off. There may also be cracks in the piece of wood.
There is a way to tell if a piece of wood is seasoned by the sound. If you tap the wood against something it should mimic a knocking sound. This is different from the thud sound it would make if the piece of wood was wet.
The last thing that can help you to identify seasoned wood is the weight of the piece of wood. Seasoned wood should be completely dry, so without all the water in it, seasoned wood should feel lighter.
How To Season Wood
So now that we have covered everything you should know, we are going to walk you through the steps to season your wood.
The first thing you need to do is find the right place to set your logs in. This is going to be your log store.
Since the aim of this place is to dry out your logs, you need to make sure it is not exposed to the rain.
However, this place needs to be in the sun to help the logs dry out.
It is important that the place you set your logs in has a lot of air circulation as this will help to keep mold from growing and help dry out your wood.
After you have found the perfect place for your wood to be kept, it is time to cut your wood. If you keep your logs whole it will take them much longer to season.
So you should chop up all the logs you intend on seasoning.
You should chop your logs to a size that will easily fit in your stove. This will save you the trouble of having to cut the wood down again later.
You should also consider how quickly you want your logs to dry out. The smaller the pieces of wood are, the quicker they will season.
Once everything has been cut down to the appropriate size, it is time to start stacking your wood. You should stack your wood in such a way that allows the most amount of air to circulate around the wood.
It is recommended that you stack your wood with the bark facing the sky. This will allow the air to flow freely between each layer of wood and protect your firewood from the rain.
To help air circulate, stack your logs onto a crate or something with gaps in it. It is best to not stack them on the floor as the air will not be able to get to those pieces of wood.
You should also make sure there are gaps between each piece of wood.
Now it is time to wait. If you are fortunate enough to have a lot of dry weather, then the hard work is over. If you are getting a lot of rain, it would be a good idea to cover the wood during this time period.
There is no set time period to wait as each environment is different. Instead, keep an eye out for the qualities that show your wood is seasoned.
If you follow these simple steps, you should be able to season your own firewood. Remember, it takes some patience but the results are well worth it.
Seasoned firewood burns more efficiently than unseasoned firewood, which is why you should try this yourself.
We hope you enjoyed our article about how to season firewood. We wish you luck on your journey to becoming a master at firewood seasoning!