Not only are kiln dried logs more efficient and better value, firewood is now legally required to be sold with a moisture content below 20%. Traditionally, logs sold for firewood have been seasoned which means they are left to dry naturally. However, the seasoning process has since been recognised as insufficient as logs were still harbouring excess amounts of moisture. Logs with a high moisture content can cause damage to both your appliance and the environment, as well as depriving you of precious heat energy. We have put together a few reasons why kiln dried logs are so important not just for your pocket, but also for your health, environmental health and the sustainability of your appliance.
Putting logs on your fire with a high moisture content causes the energy in the logs to be wasted on drying the wood rather than on heat output. The greater the moisture content, the more energy is wasted trying to get the logs dry enough to burn! Additionally, excess moisture cools the combustion process down resulting in a less efficient burn as less of the green energy in the wood becomes heat and more is left in the ash.
As we have all experienced wet logs smoke which is not only bad for the environment but smells horrible and quickly spoils the atmosphere of the room. Wet wood smokes due to excess water inhibiting the combustion process and forcing harmful by-products to be released. Not only do kiln dried logs optimise heat output and reduce smokiness, but due to their dryness they are lighter and smaller which makes transportation more efficient and sustainable.
Wet wood weighs more because of the water content so we always advise our customers not to compare log prices based on weight. This is because two bags of logs can weigh exactly the same but one could be holding logs with a higher moisture so will consequently be holding less logs. Additionally the heat output of the wet logs will be compromised meaning you lose out on the number of logs and the heat they actually produce.
Any organic product which is wet starts to decay, with the energy being lost as it rots away. All the goodness in the wood becomes food for fungus and bacteria, which in themselves can also be harmful to human health. Dry material does not decay and can be stored for longer with no loss of its precious energy or risk of unpleasant fungus growth.
Protects your appliance
If the combustion process is disrupted wet logs release harmful by-products that can build up in your chimney. A common culprit is Creosote. Creosote is a highly flammable, toxic substance that is often responsible for chimney fires when left to build up. In the meantime, Creosote builds up and inhibits air flow which effects how well your logs burn. Furthermore it blackens your stove glass, causes smokiness and smells horrid.
Ready to burn
If you buy logs that are not kiln dried you’d have to store them in a dry place for years for them to dry out to a sufficient level. This requires storage space and time which is not convenient for everyone. Although kiln-dried logs seem more expensive than seasoned, they are actually far better value and ready to burn.