How to season firewood?

Guide to seasoning firewood

Seasoning firewood is a crucial step in ensuring that your wood burns efficiently and produces more heat. Properly seasoned firewood has a lower moisture content, which means it burns cleaner and with less creosote buildup in your chimney. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to season firewood effectively

firewood log below 20% moisture

Cut and split the wood

Cut the wood into manageable lengths, typically around 8-10 inches, depending on the size of your stove or fireplace. Splitting the wood into smaller pieces increases the surface area, allowing moisture to escape more easily.

Stack the wood in a suitable location

Create a woodpile in a location that has good airflow. The goal is to let the wind and sun help in the drying process. Use pallets or other supports to keep the wood off the ground to prevent moisture from wicking up into the pile.

Protection from rain & snow

While you want good airflow, it’s important to protect the wood from rain or snow. Cover the top of the woodpile with a tarp or roof to keep it dry, while still allowing the sides to remain open for ventilation.

Be patient

Seasoning takes time. Ideally, you should allow the wood to dry for at least 6-12 months, depending on your climate and the type of wood. The wood will be ready when it appears gray or weathered, has cracks on the ends, and makes a hollow sound when two pieces are struck together. To be sure your wood is properly seasoned, you can invest in a moisture meter designed for firewood. Wood with a moisture content of less than 20% is considered well-seasoned and ready to burn efficiently.

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