How to season firewood.
To season wood means to give the wood time for the water to evaporate out of it. Ideally it should be seasoned to about 20% moisture content or less. This can take from 6 months to over a year depending on the wood and your firewood drying conditions.
If you buy or cut your wood green, you will need to dry it in order for it to burn more efficiently and safely. Learning how to season firewood is simple. It takes time for wood to fully dry but there are a few tricks that can speed up the firewood drying process.
Split the wood so that it is at a relatively medium size. Smaller pieces dry faster.
Place the wood outdoors and off of the ground. You can use cinder blocks, rocks, and old but treated picnic table or check out a hearth store for an outside wood holder.
Allow air to flow around the wood. The more air the faster the wood will dry.
Strip the wood of it’s bark. If you are not covering the wood, strip only the bottom of the wood. This will allow the top of the wood to be protected from rain, sleet, snow and other moisture.
Season the wood by placing it in the hot sun. It will dry the wood faster.
Firewood retains almost 50 percent of it’s water after it’s cut. Wood does not properly burn until the wood reaches 20 percent moisture.
Wood can house may insects. Keep the wood at least 20 feet from your home. Burn the wood as soon as you bring it into the house, this may keep insects from running around in your home.
Don’t cover your firewood pile with a firewood tarp or similar cover while it is still green or wet. This will just hold in moisture and encourage mold and decay. If it rains, it doesn’t matter if the wood gets rained on. The surface water from the rain will dry fast, and believe it or not, according to many people, rain can help the wood dry. Wait until your wood is dry before covering it.