Last Updated on October 12, 2020 by woodcutter
Not only will burning unseasoned firewood spoil a well-planned night, but it is also associated with several significant undesirable effects. Unseasoned firewood is frustrating to burn. It produces a lot of water vapor that condenses with combustion gases emitting hazardous byproducts such as carbon monoxide and creosote.
Unlike the misconception that unseasoned firewood is impossible to burn trials, it is possible but difficult to light. Its high moisture content of over 30% hinders the unseasoned firewood from justifying it’s heating and lighting functions.
The dangers of burning unseasoned wood outweigh the benefits by far. The fire’s fuel and energy are spent trying to evaporate the water out of the firewood instead of warming the room. This article will help you to understand some of the dangers associated with burning unseasoned firewood.
What is unseasoned firewood?
Unseasoned firewood, commonly known as greenwood, is wet firewood that is not ready to use. While seasoned firewood produces little smoke and a lot of heat, unseasoned wood produces more smoke and very little heat. Seasoned wood costs more but is worth the extra charge. Below are some dowsides of unseasoned firewood.
● Carbon monoxide
When unseasoned firewood burns, it emits carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless, and highly toxic gas. Carbon monoxide kills. It is a gas that is very risky and unhealthy to inhale. Commonly known as the silent killer, carbon monoxide slowly poisons the body and causes killer diseases.
Worse off, its colorless and odorless traits make it difficult, if not impossible, to realize you are taking in carbon monoxide. However, it is hard to recognize if inhaling the evident adverse effects. Making burning unseasoned firewood a habit can lead to long term illnesses that can even cause death.
Burning unseasoned firewood is both dangerous and harmful to the environment around because it does not burn efficiently. Most of the energy from the fuel is used to burn and evaporate the moisture in the firewood. This leaves only a little energy to burn and produce heat.
The process of burning unseasoned firewood will not produce the desired or intended results for you. When anything fails to accomplish the function it is meant for, and it is said to be inefficient.
Instead of efficiently heating the room, burning unseasoned firewood emits gases and smoke polluting the atmosphere.
Unseasoned firewood has a high moisture content of over 20%. This makes the wood challenging to burn properly. Most of the firewood’s fuel and energy is spent drying the moisture leaving only a little heat. Unseasoned firewood can barely sustain a flame for seconds. In extreme cases, the firewood will not burn at all.
Unseasoned firewood is not as effective as seasoned firewood. Whether it is to cook or simply warm a room, unseasoned wood can hardly fulfill its intended purpose. It is ineffective and nearly useless.
● Creosote builds up
Creosote if a pale liquid produced during the distractive distillation of firewood. The proper distillation of unseasoned firewood is disturbed or distorted by the moisture in the wood. Creosote is a very oily substance that hardens over time, forming tar in a flue’s metal lining.
It is formed much faster when burning unseasoned as compared to seasoned firewood. When burning, the moisture in the firewood evaporates and turns into water vapor. This water vapor combines with toxic gases produced by the fire during combustion.
The moisture prevents the gas from blowing off but forces the gas to condense sooner, causing creosote to build up faster. To allow the creosote to build up in the chimney is very dangerous. It is highly flammable and blocks airflow. Creosote in your chimney can cause a crisis. You risk a chimney fire igniting and burning down your own home.
● Blocked flue
A flue is a pipeline or channel such as the chimney that carries off combustion products away from the point of combustion. To realize its function, a flue should be a clear and clean passage for the gasses to be carried out.
Burning unseasoned firewood promotes creosote, as mentioned earlier. When creosote builds up, it blocks the chimney preventing it from fulfilling its obligation to emit environmentally polluting gases.
If the gases produced by the fire cannot be carried away, they can build up indoors. Most of these gases are dangerous to human health. Continuing to burn unseasoned firewood with a blocked flue can cause long term life-threatening diseases.
● Acidic substances
Unseasoned wood causes excessive condensation of gases forming an acidic compound. These acidic substances form and build up at the top part of the flue or chimney.
Such acidic formulas are no good news; they degrade the inside of the flue’s metal surface. The acidic conditions formed to catalyze the corroding of the inner metal of the flue. This gradually leads to the destruction of the metal liner.
When the inner metal is destroyed, it can crumble down and possibly injure one. It is best to avoid the risk or hazard of injury by not burning unseasoned firewood.
When unseasoned firewood burns, it produces a lot of smoke. The smoke comes from the process of burning the moisture in the wood. The moisture creates an excellent cloud form of water vapor and gases.
When inhaled, the dense cloud of moisture harshly annoys the respiratory tract. Inhaling a lot of smoke can even give way to permanent lung associated diseases. The smoke also irritates the eyes, which usually produce tears as a defense mechanism against the harsh smoke.
Smoke is not good for your health at all, so it is best to keep away from smoke produced by burning unseasoned wood.
● Little heat
Firewood is a brilliant source of heat; it is an excellent alternative to electrical heating systems. Using firewood is also an excellent way to save a few bucks. With unseasoned firewood, the whole idea of using firewood is rendered useless. Your nether gets heat, nor enjoys the luxury of saving money.
Firewood is gathered and used to help sustain people through harsh winters. Unseasoned firewood barely produces heat to shield against cold weather. In extreme conditions, one risk freezing to death when burning unseasoned firewood.
Why leave you and your family vulnerable to a cold winter night by burning unseasoned firewood.
● Extinguishes the fire
When making a fire, the goal is it keep it burning until you want to put it out. Unseasoned firewood can put out your fire way before you want to do so yourself. Unseasoned wood will ultimately pit out whether the fire is made to serve either heating or cooking functions.
Adding unseasoned firewood to fire risks the danger of extinguishing the flame completely. The high moisture content can put out a flame, and an extinguished fire cannot serve any useful function.
Instead of lighting a fire and enjoying the luxury benefit of warmth from a hot flame, you must constantly monitor it. If left unattended, the flame from burning unseasoned firewood will die out. You will need to constantly monitor and vigilantly attend to the fire to keep it alive.
The process of regularly checking or monitoring a fire is exhausting. Burning unseasoned firewood risks fatigue and even a sleepless night from exhaustion.
Tips to prevent dangers of burning unseasoned firewood
Now you are well informed about the dangers of burning unseasoned firewood. Here are a few tips to follow in case you are backed in a corner.
1. Use seasoned firewood
The best way to prevent the dangers of burning unseasoned firewood is to season it. Seasoning firewood is a straightforward process. It merely requires you to leave your firewood in the sun’s heat elevated from the ground for a period of nine to twelve months.
Use a moisture meter to measure moisture content. Wood is seasoned and ready to use when it has a moisture content of 20%.
The chimney is supposed to be cleaned at least twice a year. A throat plate should be monthly, and if using an ash pan, it has to be cleaned out daily. This removes any creosote that might build up and cause a fire.
When making a fire, make sure the area you are working in and around is well ventilated. If the burning process emits dangerous gases, they are easily ventilated out of the room to avoid gaseous poisoning.
How to safely burn unseasoned firewood
Although burning unseasoned firewood is associated with many dangers and is not recommended, there are times when desperate needs call. Suppose you only have unseasoned firewood and no time to wait six months to season it. Let us take a look at how you can safely burn your unseasoned firewood.
- Spit the unseasoned firewood into small pieces, each with an average diameter of 3-4 inches.
- Clear the flue over your fireplace to ensure air is freely flowing so that no poisonous gases fill the room.
- Stack only a few pieces of firewood at a time.
- Clean the chimney or flue of any creosote or acidic substances that might build up.
Unseasoned firewood is difficult to light, produces smoke a lot of smoke, and has its downside effects. It can barely produce half the results obtained from burning seasoned firewood. It is highly recommended to gather firewood way before you intend to use it to allow it enough time to season.
Alternatively, you can purchase seasoned firewood to avoid the hassle of seasoning or burning unseasoned firewood. Many of seasoned firewood for sale in online store. So you need not worry for where to buy seasoned firewood as well. This article has clearly outlined, the dangers of burning unseasoned firewood make doing so absolutely worthless.