HOW TO SEASON FIREWOOD QUICKLY? 7 IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW

The question is how to season firewood quickly? To season firewood quickly it needs to be stacked towards a prevailing wind and covered on the top but not the sides Seasoned firewood generally turns dark brown or grey and most wood will shed its bark, by knocking two pieces of seasoned wood together you hear a hollow sound and light in weight, seasoned firewood has a soft smell and burns best at 20% moisture content.

If you burn wet wood most of its heat will be consumed in vapor steaming out of the wood and its heat value being wasted, wet wood also smokes a lot and ruins the joy of having a fire, for this reason, it’s best to take the time and season your wood, this is a process of patience not speed.

Although there are ways to speeding up the process none of them are very fast, all of them are worth it if you take the time and do it correctly.

So you can see freshly cut and split wood is very difficult to achieve combustion, so you definitely don’t want to ever burn fresh cut wet wood, and you will probably have a hard time doing it anyways, even in an open fire pit outside you’ll have a fire that smokes and you definitely won’t enjoy it.

To season firewood quickly you need to cut it and split it

When you buy firewood most of the time it will come split, but if you cut your own because you have forest on your land then make sure you don’t cut the logs too long for your firebox.

If you’re burning with any type of airtight appliance like a wood stove etc. you will want to cut your wood lengths of 3 inches less than the door opening, thus making it much easier to load it with wood.

Wood that is not split takes a long time to dry because of its outer layer of bark sealing in moisture, the best time to split your wood is when it is wet because generally, it splits easier than dry wood and will season firewood in less time.

After the wood is split this exposes the inside allowing the drying process to speed up drastically, if your logs are big enough try splitting them into 4 o 6 pieces.

Take some extra time to split a few different sizes so you can start your fire easier with some smaller pieces and then keep it going with the larger ones.

Take some of the smaller pieces like kindling into your house this will help it dry out sooner making it a great firestarter.

How to stack firewood

To season firewood quickly one of the most important things you can do is stack your wood properly, first, find a place far enough from your house to keep any animals or insects away but not too far that you have to walk a long distance through the snow to get to it.

Also, try to stack your wood towards the wind so the air can blow between the pieces, this will speed up the drying process.

keep your wood up off the ground so it doesn’t soak up moisture from the ground you can buy an indoor firewood rack or an outdoor rack or also lay skids or 2*4’s on the ground and stack your wood on top.

Covering your wood is very important but some people go overboard and want to cover it from top to bottom and it’s best to only cover it at the top leaving the sides exposed, this way the wood can release moisture.

How long does it take to season firewood?

Generally, it takes 6 to 18 months to properly season firewood, so the best time to buy your wood is a year before use or early spring, so if it’s your first time buying wood I suggest you spend a little more the first time and buy enough for two seasons that way the second year of use will be even drier and easier to burn.

To season firewood fast and speed up the process you also need to get it up off the ground, this can be done by using a firewood rack that is strong and has a cover only on the top to wick away rain like the one in the picture because the tarp doesn’t cover the sides, this way it is not holding in any moisture.

these racks are great and come in a variety of sizes and quality, you can even buy some very cost-effective ones that are only 2*4 brackets and these are excellent if you have some scrap wood laying around, this type of rack can be used if your not to worried about aesthetics.

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Always season firewood before Use

Seasoned firewood is wood that is dry and ready to burn, before you light a fire it’s best to make sure your wood is dry because it makes a big difference in the heat you will get out of each fire.

If your wood is still green or wet, the water will evaporate from it and it will ignite slower and smoking a lot giving you very little heat and enjoyment, in turn making your chimney a lot dirtier by accumulating tar type creosote on the inside of your chimney.

This type of creosote is very flammable and difficult to clean with a brush, and will most likely need a chemical treatment by your local chimney sweep to remove it.

How to Season Firewood Quickly using a Moisture Meter

To season firewood properly sometimes we can use a little help and a moisture meter is an excellent cost-effective tool that I recommend to anyone that burns wood, as mentioned in one of the points below you just turn it on, then stick the prongs into any piece of wood and it will tell you the moisture content.

So you may be asking how do I know if the wood you bought is seasoned or dry enough to burn? Well, there are many factors that let us know if you have seasoned firewood, lets take a look at 7 ways to tell if your firewood is seasoned.

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Season firewood quickly? 7 ways to tell if your firewood is seasoned

Here we will look at 7 ways to help you season firewood quickly and tell if it is dry and ready tu burn, some of the questions we will answer are:

  1. What color is seasoned firewood?
  2. Is your firewood cracking and splitting?
  3. Testing the sound of your firewood?
  4. What does a seasoned firewood smell like?
  5. Buy a firewood moisture meter
  6. Check the weight of your firewood
  7. Is the bark falling off your firewood?

What color is seasoned firewood?

The color of dry firewood generally turns dark brown or grey, having a weathered look.

Firewood that is well seasoned, is generally grey in color and splitting on the ends

Is your firewood cracking and splitting?

When wood is dry it will crack from the center outward and sometimes even start to split open, if most of your wood is cracking or splintering, then it’s probably ready to use and should burn nice and hot with very little smoke.

With that said if you follow all or most of these indications, you should be able to determine if your wood is ready to use for burning.

Testing the Sound of your wood

Testing the sound is a great way you can see if your wood is dry, now you might think this is funny, but if you take two pieces of unseasoned wood and knock them together you will hear a dull thud, but in contrast, if you take two pieces of seasoned firewood and knock them together you should hear a hollow sound and that’s a perfect indication that your wood is ready to burn because of its low moisture content.

you can try doing this every once in a while to see if your logs are drying properly, if you don’t see a change over time try moving part of the wood to a new location to see if it drys better there.

What does a seasoned firewood Smell like?

The smell of the wood can tell you a lot also, fresh-cut wood has a strong smell to it because of the amount of sap still inside of it, but dry seasoned firewood will just have a slight wood smell that is not overpowering.

Buy a firewood moisture meter

When you season firewood quickly one of the most important indications of firewood being ready for use is if it has a low moisture content. Firewood needs to be seasoned below 20% moisture content to burn properly.

A great way to test your wood’s moisture content is with a moisture meter, this way you can test it any time to see if it’s ready to burn. A moisture meter can help and they are relatively inexpensive costing from $20 to $100 but one in the $20 to $50 range is perfect for any homeowner wanting to check their own wood, the way it works is you simply stick the two metal prongs into the wood and the digital readout will tell you how much moisture it has.

If you buy a firewood moisture meter you will be able to season firewood quickly because you will be able to regularly test it and if it needs moving or you need to change something you did while stacking a moisture meter will let you know

This is a great video with some tips on how to season firewood quickly and stack it properly

Check the weight of your wood

To season firewood quickly an important point to remember is the weight of the wood, wet wood has a lot more weight because of the moisture content, if your pieces feel heavy they probably still and need more time drying, if you cut and split your wood in the spring it should be dry by fall if seasoned, and depending on the moisture in the air where you live. If the wood is cut and split at the beginning of a hot dry summer it will probably be ready to burn by fall, generally wood takes a minimum of 6 months minimum do season but a year Is ideal.

Is the bark falling off your firewood?

The last way you can tell if its ready for use is that the bark has fallen off, now this doesn’t always happen because each type of wood differs but, this is a good indication that your firewood is ready to burn, now don’t throw away the bark that has fallen off, but take advantage of it because it’s still a great source of heat, with each load of wood you burn throw in a few pieces of bark that are fungus free and enjoy some extra heat value.

Conclusion

Thank you for reading this post on how to season firewood quickly I hope it was informative and if it was feel free to share it with others.

If you would like to learn more about fireplaces and wood-burning please join my mailing list to not miss out on any new posts and product reviews.

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