Kiln dried logs are a natural product, but they go through an artificial drying process. Typically, the firewood is put into a kiln for 7 days where the moisture is sucked out of the firewood until it reaches a moisture content of 20% or lower. Firewood with a 20% moisture content is recommended by most stove manufacturers for the best possible burn.
We often get asked by new customers why kiln dried logs are more expensive than seasoned logs/wet logs and are they really worth the price ticket attached to them. In short, the answer is yes, but in this article we explain what makes them such a good fuel, and the benefits of using them over seasoned/wet logs.
Higher Heat Output
When we are in the thick of winter and it’s freezing outside, the main thing we want from our firewood is a quick and hot heat to take the chill off.
The burning quality and efficiency of firewood mainly comes down to the moisture content. Firewood with a lower moisture content lights easily, gives off a nice roaring flame but most importantly kicks out a lot of heat.
When you burn logs with a higher moisture content, a lot of the energy used through the burn duration is used to evaporate the water contained in the log. This means, that less energy is being converted into heat. Conversely, when burning firewood with a lower moisture content, most of this energy is being converted into heat to spread through your home.
The lower the moisture content in the firewood, the more heat you feel throughout your home. In real terms, this means that you require less dry logs to get the same heat output as you would with wet logs.
Better burning experience
As mentioned above, kiln dried logs light easily, give off a nice bright flame and have a high heat output, everything you want when using firewood to heat your home. In addition, kiln dried firewood is very easy to use. It takes a little bit of kindling, a couple of firelighters and you’re ready to add your logs to the fire.
When using logs with a higher moisture content, you can expect a lot of smoking, spitting and the blackening of the glass on your stove door. In addition, they take longer to light and do not give off as much heat.
It’s also important to think about the quality of the firewood used for the efficiency and longevity of your stove. As kiln dried logs burn at higher temperatures, any water and sap retained in the logs is burnt off, which reduced the likelihood of tar and build up in your stove.
As already noted, kiln dried logs go through a drying process. Although the firewood is still a 100% natural product, it is put inside of a kiln to speed up the process of drying the logs. This process normally lasts for 7 days, whereby the kiln sucks out the moisture of the firewood. At the end of the process, the firewood is checked to confirm that the moisture content is 20% or lower.
This is quite a different process to seasoned logs. Seasoned logs are dried naturally, meaning they are stored inside for 6 months to 3 years, depending on the firewood type. Oak logs for example are a very dense and hard firewood, therefore the natural trying time takes significantly longer than softwood logs.
Seasoned logs that have had the proper amount of time to dry are a good firewood! However, the problem that we often see is that the demand for the firewood exceeds the stocks available. In many cases, the ‘seasoned’ logs are therefore sold before they have reached the optimum moisture content. Typically, seasoned logs can contain anywhere from 20 – 50% moisture. This has a significant effect on the burning quality, and often one load of seasoned logs can differ considerably from one load to the next.
In line with the above section regarding consistent quality, kiln dried firewood is readily available, and more importantly, ready to burn as soon as you have it delivered. If you run out of firewood in a particularly cold winter, you can relax knowing that as soon as you receive your firewood order, you can burn it immediately to heat your home. Kiln dried logs are ready to burn, no matter what time of year they are bought.
We stock a range of different types of firewood, in various sizes, and all of our wood products have been kiln dried to ensure a nice hot heat output, easy using experience and a clean burn.