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Kiln Dried or Seasoned Logs?

A common question, but first, what is the difference? Technically, there should be no difference, because well-seasoned logs should be properly dried to below 25% moisture content. But in reality, when one buys ‘seasoned firewood’, it often has a much higher reading. How many times have you heard your local supplier saying that the wood has been ‘down’ for over two years, so very dry, but when you burn it, the stove glass blackens and it struggles to burn? This is because the wood has not properly dried in most cases. So, what does ‘kiln drying’ provide? Well, first and foremost, it should provide consistency meaning that every log load you buy, whether it be in September, or February, should have a moisture content of 20% or below. Being consistently dry means it will light easily, burn cleanly and provide maximum heat output. By burning cleanly, this means the stove glass should not go black and consequently the burn up the chimney or flue will be clean and not cause excess soot or tarring. Until one tries kiln dried logs the difference cannot be truly appreciated and one of the most common responses is “I couldn’t believe how much more heat it gave off”. Some believe that by simply seasoning the wood, it is actually very difficult to achieve the same quality of log as kiln dried – probably true by the fact that generally people do not season the logs for long enough and are not drying them in the right way. Firstly, to properly season firewood, the wood must be cut into short log lengths, typically 25cm, and...