Last Updated on December 11, 2020 by woodcutter
Using firewood is a brilliant way to save money and still keep the home warm during winter. It is a genius idea until you come across unseasoned firewood, giving one hell of a hard time. It is hard to start to smokes a lot and produces little heat. Seasoning firewood plays an essential role in the quality of fire made by the wood.
This post will not only teach you how to season firewood, but it will also give you priceless nuggets on seasoning quickly. You will also learn the signs of completely seasoned wood. Let us start by having a look at how long it takes wood to season.
How long does wood take to season?
Seasoning firewood is a process that takes time. You must split your firewood well ahead to allow enough time to season. It is best to take advantage of the heat in spring or summer to prepare the firewood to use to keep warm in fall.
It takes an average of roughly 6 to 12 months to season your firewood thoroughly. The period it will take for your wood to season ultimately depends on three critical factors.
1. Type of the wood
Despite burning for more extended and producing more heat, hardwoods like oak and acorn take longer to season. Softwoods take less time to season, but they burn for a short time and produce not as much heat. Pine is an example of a softwood.
2. Size of wood you are seasoning.
This is a crucial factor that affects the seasoning time of wood. Larger firewood pieces have a smaller surface area and take longer to season. Splitting wood into smaller pieces will hasten the seasoning process.
3. The weather condition
Dry and hot weather conditions speed up the seasoning procedure. The climate is a fundamental factor to consider when determining the time it will take to season your firewood. In cold, moist conditions, the seasoning process can slow down, halt, or even reverse in extreme cases.
How to Season firewood
Now you are aware of the approximate time you will need to season your firewood. We will now move on to the seasoning process itself. It is divided into three simple stages.
Gather the firewood.
You will need to get the wood you want o season. For some, this is merely getting to a wood supplier and purchasing a stack of logs. For others, this is a more difficult task that requires chopping down a tree or two.
You may be tempted to purchase a ready to use a stack of seasoned firewood. Although it seems like a great and less strenuous idea, it is best to season your wood for Grade A results.
Split the firewood
Splitting firewood helps it dry quicker. It allows air and heat to reach even the center of the wood piece. Each fragment has a larger surface area that accelerates the seasoning process.
It is efficient to use an axe or saw to chop your firewood. Better yet, you can use a hydraulic wood splitter to split your wood. Use harp tools to make the process easier.
Bigger firewood pieces will need more time to season. So, the less time you have to season your firewood, the smaller the pieces you should cut. Cut your firewood to an appropriate length that will fit in your fireplace or stove.
After cutting your firewood, you should pile it up to allow it to season. Stack your wood in neat rows. An even better way to stack your wood is it crosses each piece differently in a way that allows air to flow in between the firewood.
Be sure that your firewood is stacked safely, that it will not crumble down and possibly endanger others. You can build or purchase a storage rack to stack your firewood safely.
When you stack your firewood, make sure that you do the following:
● Keep it off the ground.
When you stack your firewood, keep it off the ground. Use stones, bricks, or a plastic sheet to keep the wood off the ground. Placing it directly on the ground will cause it to suck up the earth’s moisture and lengthen the seasoning time.
● Keep it outside
Firewood seasons more quickly when stacked outside in the open air. An indoor storage area will double that time needed to season the firewood. Outside, the wood is exposed to dry air and the sun’s heat to help it season faster. Dry wind will blow out moisture through the wood’s split ends.
● Cover the firewood
Outside, the firewood is exposed to rain or snow. Moist weather conditions will reverse the seasoning process you are trying to get done. Build a storage shed over your firewood to keep it covered and protected from wet weather conditions.
● Keep it in the sun
The sun will naturally suck up the moisture from the wood until it dries. Your wood will season quicker when stacked and exposed to the sun’s heat. It is best to build only temporary storage for the rain and snow.
Tips to make your firewood dry quickly
You cannot risk the harsh winter weather approaching without enough seasoned firewood to keep you warm. Six to twelve months may sound like a pretty long time, so I guess you are now wondering how to season firewood quickly.
Here are a few tips to help you get your firewood seasoned in no time.
Small firewood pieces take less time to dry. Split your firewood into smaller pieces for a quicker seasoning process. The finest wood usually cut between 15 – 20 inches.
They type of firewood you gather will determine the time it takes for it to season. Softwoods will take approximately six months to complete season. Pine trees are examples of such. On the other hand, hardwoods like oak take a more extended period of up to 12 months to season.
You have to strategically locate your stacking area to help season your firewood quickly. Chose a place that is outside, away from buildings where the air blows freely. Avoid shady areas. Rather, stack your wood in the open sun where it is in contact with as much sunlight as it can get throughout the day.
Elevate the firewood
Firewood can suck up moisture from the ground when in contact with it. You need to use a storage rack to keep the firewood from lying directly on the ground.
Cover only when necessary
As common as wood sheds are, they are not such a good idea. Your wood needs plenty of sunlight and free-blowing air; a shed will only get in the way. Harsh weather conditions like rain, snow, and hail will require you to cover your wood temporarily. A mobile wood rack is a good idea in dynamic, unpredictable weather conditions. You can simply move the wood in the shade till the sun comes out again.
Season your wood in time
Plan to gather and season your wood well ahead, before it is time to use it. Seasoning is best done during summer when the temperatures are hot and dry. Spring is also a good time to start prepping your wood for use in fall.
Tips to know if your wood is dry
For many, it is hard to tell whether the seasoning process is complete. For the best quality fire, you will need to use utterly seasoned firewood. So here are a few signs that will show you whether the process is complete.
- Weight: Dry wood weighs less than wet wood because dry wood has lost its moisture content. Wet wood can have a moisture content of up to 100%, and dry wood has only 20% or less moisture making it much lighter.
- Burn: When thrown in a hot coal fire, dry wood will burn within a minute. Wet wood will take longer than that to burn, and in extreme cases, will not burn at all.
- Burning sound: Wet firewood burns with a hissing or sizzling noise, whereas dry wood only crackles in the fire.
- Bark: The bark on dry wood easily peels off, unlike wet firewood, nearly impossible to peel off.
- Color: Dry firewood has a bleached color and might have cracks at the ends. So, when your firewood begins changing color, it is a sure sign of the wood s seasoning.
- Sound: Two pieces of dry wood clamped together to make a hollow loud sound. On the other hand, wet wood pieces make a dull thud.
- Use a moisture meter: A moisture meter is a worthwhile investment that will help you measure the moisture content of the wood throughout the seasoning process. A moisture reading of 20% and below signifies that your wood is dry and ready to use.
- Splitting: You can try to split a wood piece to determine if the stack is dry. Seasoned wood is easier to split, and wet wood more strenuous.
Seasoning firewood is quite an easy process. Now that you know how to season firewood quickly, it will even take less time to get your wood ready. Make use of the relevant tips and guidelines alluded to above for the best results. Remember, it is only the best quality wood that gives the best quality of fire. Overall, if you need any post related to firewood, feel free to browse through our site.