If you’ve ever had trouble starting a fire or keeping one going before, you may have just been using bad firewood. There are 3 different types of firewood – green, seasoned, or kiln dried – and which type you use makes all the difference with the quality of your fire. We’ll go through the different types so you can have a better understanding and be able to build better fires in the future!
The first type of firewood is green firewood. This is wood that’s been freshly cut less than a year ago, and typically has a moisture content of 50% or greater. If you attempt to use green wood as a heating source, much of the heat given off will be lost in steam, and it won’t efficiently heat your home, sauna, or other building. Along with this, burning green wood will cause excessive amounts of creosote buildup in your chimney, and could cause a chimney fire. Because fires built with green firewood give off so much smoke, you also compromise the air quality in your home or building.
Signs that your firewood is green include:
- Heavy wood
- Intact bark
- Mold or fungus
- Very tight grains
- Uniform wood color
- The pieces make a dull “thud” when you hit them together.
Naturally seasoned firewood is wood that’s been split and then stored properly for 12 months to allow the pieces to dry out enough. It typically has a moisture content of less than 40%.
Signs that your firewood is seasoned include:
- Loss of wood color
- Loss of bark
- Cracks in the ends
- No mold or fungus
- The pieces make a loud “clang” when you hit them together.
Kiln Dried Firewood
Kiln dried firewood starts out as green firewood, but is then placed in a kiln at a temperature of 160-200 degrees until the moisture content of the logs is below 25%. This usually takes around 72 hours. Kiln dried firewood is the most efficient wood you can buy and is great for heating your home, sauna, using for open-flame cooking, or just for the comfiest bonfire you’ve ever been to.
Signs that your firewood is kiln dried include:
- The wood is exceptionally light
- No bugs
- Very clean
- No mold or fungus
- Creates no creosote buildup in your chimney
- Leaves very little ash in the fireplace