brown wooden logs on gray sand

Seasoned Firewood

Originally contributed by Jeff Butler • last updated 3/15/2021

These days, most people are unfamiliar with the amount of work and preparation that’s involved in using firewood as a fuel source for the home. At its core, firewood may seem fairly basic but knowing how to properly cut, split, stack, and burn it is not as simple as just throwing a log on the fire. There are several things to consider, such as the type of wood you're using, the size of the pieces you need, and even the location of your pile. Even the terminology can get a bit tricky. Like, what is seasoned firewood?

Definition

The term seasoned firewood typically refers to aged pieces of wood with little to no moisture remaining in them. The opposite of “green” or wet firewood, these ready-to-burn pieces are usually stored for extended periods of time, allowing them to dry thoroughly. Typically, they are stacked outdoors in a firewood shed, on a firewood rack, or in some other form of firewood storage until they are ready to be burned. Additionally, seasoned firewood tends to burn more efficiently and produce less smoke and off-gases than green firewood. It also reduces the chances for creosote build-up, making it a better fuel source for wood stoves and masonry fireplaces.

What Is The Fastest Way To Season Firewood?

If you rely on firewood to heat your home, you probably already know that you need to have enough ready to burn before the cold months of winter hit. The time it takes to properly season firewood can vary greatly depending on a few things such as environmental conditions and the types of wood you're using. Some variables may be out of your control, but there are things you can do to help speed up the process:

  • Start by cutting and splitting your pieces to appropriate sizes. Firewood cut between 12 and 16 inches in length and about 3 to 6 inches in width works best for most wood stoves and fireplaces. It also makes for quick drying times when seasoning wood.
  • Next, stack your wood correctly. How to stack firewood is often a personal choice, but it’s important that air can move through the woodpile to remove moisture. Using proper firewood storage, such as a firewood rack or firewood shed, will help with drying times.
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