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Wet Wood Versus Ready to Burn Kiln Dried Logs

We all love a bargain and sometimes the allure of collecting branches from our local wood or buying a cheap bag of logs from the garage appeals to the Scrooge in us. However, buying wet wood really is a false economy and as Ready to Burn, kiln dried logs will save you money and your sanity in the long run. Here’s why:

Trying to get wet or non-seasoned logs to catch light will prove to be a frustrating art form in its own right. So much of the fuel’s energy will be spent trying to get rid of the moisture in the wood, that very little heat will be emitted – instead there will be plenty of steam and spitting (from you as well as the fire itself). You’ll find the need to constantly add more wood to try to generate any sort of warmth and, more often than not, the fire will splutter to a premature demise.

Two chimineas, one burning wet wood (left) one burning dry wood (right). The chiminea on the left is burning wet wood and producing more smoke. The right chiminea is burning Certainly Wood kiln dried logs and produces much less smoke with a cleaner burn and more heat output.

However, this isn’t the only downside of using wet wood. It can actually cause damage to your wood-burning stove and it’s not great for the environment either. As it burns, it releases all sorts of nasties into the atmosphere including soot, tar and creosote – the latter is highly flammable. These emissions will not only blacken the glass on your stove but could clog up the flue resulting in more visits from the chimney sweep and, at worse, a chimney fire.

That’s not to say you cannot dry, or season, your own wood over time, but it’s a long slow process that can take 18 months to three years to reduce the moisture content of the logs. Make sure your kiln dried logs have a moisture content of 20% or below (look for the Ready to Burn Scheme logo). This ensures your logs will burn for longer, give a much better heat output, have drastically reduced emissions and can be used immediately. Instant gratification all round!

Ready to Burn Scheme

Woodsure Ready to Burn logoLook out for the Ready to Burn logo on logs to make sure your firewood is from an approved supplier and has a low moisture content. The scheme is operated by Woodsure, the UK’s only wood fuel quality assurance scheme.

Learn more about Woodsure and the Ready to Burn scheme here and here.

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