Properly seasoned firewood is the key to efficient and enjoyable fires during the cold months. But how long should you let firewood season after splitting it?
This critical step in firewood preparation ensures that the wood burns cleanly and produces maximum heat.
In this article, we will delve into the factors that influence the seasoning time for split firewood and provide you with valuable insights on how to determine when your firewood is ready for the fireplace or wood stove.
The time required to season firewood after splitting can vary depending on several factors. In general, it’s recommended to season firewood for at least 6 months to a year to ensure it is properly dried and ready for efficient burning.
Why Does Firewood Need Seasoned?
It’s hard to burn wood that hasn’t been seasoned well. It is difficult to light damp timber, and it will not last long once it is lit. It is important to season your wood before you use it in your fireplace or stove so that it burns better and cleaner.
Fires burn longer when wood is dry and seasoned.
As a result of the seasoning process, your logs will become less moist. Within 1-2 years, you can get good seasoned firewood by finding the right location, getting enough sun, and circulating the airflow.
How Long Does It Take To Season Firewood?
Seasoning firewood can take three to twelve months. Cut-firewood purchased from a store or supplier usually needs to be dried out for about six months.
Seasoning can take more or less time depending on the moisture content of the original timber. There are several factors that contribute to the drying process of cut wood:
- When did the tree get cut down?
- Before buying the cut-timber, how was it stored?
- Where do you store your cut-logs?
There are many factors that influence how long the wood seasoning process takes, and only the final result is within your control.
It is entirely up to you to decide how your wood is split and stacked appropriately in the final step.
Gathering and Drying Your Own Firewood
- From freshly cut wood, firewood should be dried to a moisture content below 20%, ideally 15%.
- It takes 4-6 summer months for split and stacked softwood to dry to an acceptable level of moisture.
- After splitting and stacking hardwood, it takes at least 12 months for it to dry.
- Make sure the wood is raised off the moist ground by stacking it on lumber rails or pallets.
- You can cover the pile with tarps, metal sheathing, or wood sheathing, but you should leave the sides of the stack open for air circulation.
- Even dead trees must be cut to length and split for their middle to dry completely. Wood dries through its exposed grain surfaces.
- Wood can be dried easily in many woodshed designs thanks to their open sides.
- Whenever possible, store your firewood outdoors and transfer it inside in small batches; indoor storage can invite mold and insects.
- It is not a good idea to store firewood against your house, as it can attract pests and can be a fire hazard.
How Much Does Burning Wet Wood Really Cost Me?
Up to 60% of water can be found in freshly cut softwood. Fires use a great deal of energy to evaporate water – energy that could be used to heat your home instead.
The combustion of seasoned firewood (15 percent moisture) can produce 15% more heat than burning freshly cut wood.
You not only waste energy by hauling and splitting extra wood, but you also waste energy hauling and splitting new wood.
During the process of evaporation, the wood smolders, resulting in the accumulation of creosote, a highly flammable fuel that can cause chimney fires.
Put two wooden logs together and hit them together. Take a moment to listen to what it sounds like. When you have learned what seasoned firewood sounds like, and when it’s ready to burn, you’ll be able to recognize it.