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Is Kiln Dried Firewood Really Worth It?

When you work with as much firewood as we do, you get a lot of interesting questions. We are often asked about kiln-dried wood and if it is better than plain old cut cordwood.

There are two ways to answer this question; the first is using science and wood moisture content levels to determine if there truly is value in kiln-dried firewood. The second way we will answer this question is with the intelligence of experience. And we’ve got a lot of experience in wood.

Let’s get started.

Optimal wood moisture content for wood-burning stoves and fireplaces

There is a lot of science behind the moisture content of wood and how well that wood will perform. By perform, we mean how easy it is to ignite, how much heat it will throw, the longevity of the burn, and other factors.

The range of moisture content that is often recommended is between 10% and 20%, with lower numbers in that range being more favorable.

Wet wood is bad wood, simply put. The more moisture wood has, the harder the wood will be to light if you can get it lit at all. Also, wet wood does not throw much heat, and what heat there is gets used in the evaporation process of the moisture in the wood.

Worse, in our minds, is that wet wood produces creosote. When wood burns, the smoke is exhausted through a chimney and byproducts from the burn travel through the chimney, one of these byproducts is the moisture from the wood.

As the moisture and other elements in the smoke cool as they pass through the chimney, a buildup occurs on the inner wall of the chimney. This is creosote, and too much of it can cause a dangerous situation.

So, it’s clear that wet wood is terrible for many reasons.

Drying Firewood

If we are looking for moisture content of 10% to 20%, we need wood that has been dried in some fashion.

Traditionally cutting and stacking wood in a controlled environment can effectively dry firewood. But, depending on the climate, the relative humidity can make it difficult or impossible to get moisture levels below 15%.

Kiln Dried Wood to the rescue

Kiln-dried firewood has a moister level of about 10%. Far below what can be achieved in a stack-and-dry environment. This is excellent news for people who want to burn wood that throws efficient heat from a fire that was easy to light.

One of the most attractive qualities of kiln-dried firewood is the time it takes to get the moisture level to a low, efficient level. With stacked firewood, many people wait a year or more before the wood is ready for use in a wood stove or fireplace. Kiln-dried firewood is ready right after the drying process is complete. Depending on the wood, this could be as little as 12 hours. That’s a huge advantage.

But what does our experience tell us about kiln-dried wood?

With years of wood experience, we’ve learned a lot about different types of wood and how our customers feel about the wood we provide. Here’s what we know. Kiln-dried firewood is near the top of our customer’s favorite types of wood to burn.

They like the heat that it throws, the life of burn, and how easy it is to start a fire with kiln-dried wood.

It’s the response we get from our customers that helped us decide to invest in the equipment to dry firewood in a kiln. Our customers’ happiness with our product is the most important thing for us. That’s why we kiln dry our firewood and make it available at highly competitive prices.

Is kiln-dried firewood right for me?

We’d love to help you determine if kiln dried firewood is right for you and your home, business, or restaurant. The best way to find out is to give us a call or contact us, and one of our firewood specialists will help you.