If you burn firewood, you’ve probably heard of the kiln-dried version. It’s hard to not hear about it these days. The future of firewood – it's been making waves (heat waves, that is) in areas like the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We're not surprised it's catching on, since many U.P. residents use firewood to heat their homes, saunas, and even a few hot tubs!
Sometimes when you hear of an new product or invention you have to ask; how on earth did this all come about? With kiln-dried firewood, it really began to catch on – in large part – thanks to the Emerald Ash Borer.
Originally starting in Michigan, the Emerald Ash Borer has since spread to twenty-eight states. One of the ways this invasive bug species spread was through tainted firewood carried across state lines by campers and firewood suppliers. Quarantines were imposed, and most states eventually began to allow the transport of firewood that’s been heat treated to kill the bug larvae. As a result, heat treated and kiln dried firewood has become more available and inexpensive.
For those of you who use firewood on a daily basis, you’ve probably asked yourself: is kiln dried wood worth the higher price? Yes – it is – and here’s why.
You probably already know that wet wood causes creosote buildup in your chimney, damages your wood stove, and what little energy your fire generates is used to drive out the moisture in the firewood. You also probably know that good burning wood should have a 15-20% moisture content. To prevent these problems and achieve that moisture level, you've got to season your firewood. This means taking the time to cut, split, and stack your wood in a dry, well-ventilated area and letting it sit for an entire year.
Unfortunately, it’s not easy to tell just how dry your firewood is. If you have a moisture meter, it’s pretty simple. But how many of you actually bring your moisture meter out to the woodpile and test your wood? In this respect, kiln dried firewood takes the guesswork out of the process. You know your wood has been dried within an inch of its life, will leave very little ash in the stove, and deposit minimal creosote in the chimney. At the same time, you’re getting more heat with less wood, and even extending the life of your wood stove.
In addition to the convenience aspect, people with bad allergies have found it to be a lifesaver. Kiln dried firewood not only eliminates the dust and organic allergens you’ll get with seasoned firewood, but it also destroys any mold spores. The value of finally being able to breathe easy? Priceless.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with doing things the old fashioned way. You know.. The back-breaking, sweat-soaked ritual of cutting, splitting, and stacking your own firewood. If you were born in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and consider yourself a true Yooper, buying your firewood ready-to-burn can feel a bit against your nature. We get it! There’s a kind of manic pleasure that comes from torturing yourself and pitting your strength and will against that seemingly endless pile of firewood.
Let’s keep it real for a minute here though. When you’ve got a million other things to do, items to check off the honey-do list, and miles of Upper Peninsula terrain to explore, cutting your own firewood seems like a waste of time.
By the time you factor in the efficient heat, stove maintenance prevented, time saved, chiropractor visits prevented, and allergies avoided (we could go on, but we’ll stop because we think you get the point) – kiln dried firewood starts to make a whole lot of sense.
Try it out for yourself! Click here to order today.