What is seasoned wood?
Seasoned wood refers to timber that has been left to dry for up to 2 years to achieve a moisture content that is below 20%.
Why should I burn seasoned wood?
Never burn green or wet wood. The heat energy created by the fire needs to burn off the excess water contained within the logs. It will result in poor quality combustion, increased smoke and the production of tars and creosotes that will damage your flue.
Seasoned wood increases the efficiency of combustion hence warming the room.
It is also important to consider buying your wood from well-managed woodlands. This in turn improves biodiversity, supports jobs in the forestry industry and ensures there is enough timber to meet the future demands.
How to identify good firewood
An essential part of ensuring that your wood burning stove or fire is performing to its maximum potential is identifying the wood you are using to fuel it.
Most firewood should be left to dry for a minimum of 12 months before use.
To dry wet logs, split logs into smaller pieces and leave in a wood store to accelerate drying process. Make sure the top of wood store is covered to keep moisture out. The sides should be open to promote air flow and speed up the drying process. Do not store your wood against a house as this reduces airflow and causes damp and pest problems.
Check your product instructions for the optimum size of wood you should be using.
To identify well seasoned wood check the ends of the logs, if they are dark in colour and cracked they are dry.
Dry seasoned wood is lighter in weight than wet wood and makes a hollow sound when hitting two pieces together.
If there is any green colour visible or bark is hard to peel, the log is not yet dry.
An electronic wood moisture meter can help you decide when your wood is ready. Seasoned wood has less than 20% moisture.
There are many different types of wood that all burn differently and have various qualities. For example, softwoods like SEDA and pine create shorter burning, more intense fires whilst hardwood such as oak and cherry beech burn slower for longer (more effective for colder evenings).
Do not burn construction timber, painted, impregnated or treated wood, manufactured board products or pallet wood. These are often treated with chemicals which are highly toxic when burned.
Finding a good local supplier could help you reduce your carbon footprint.