How and When to Season Firewood

By Dirk Diggler , last updated August 11, 2011

If you have a fireplace and you're wondering what the best way to prepare your firewood for this upcoming fall and winter season is, here are some tips on how and when to season firewood. Firewood can be both expensive and a hassle, so it is crucial that you season your firewood properly before burning it in your home this fall and winter. The following tips will help ensure that you are getting the most out of your firewood this year!

Moisture Content

When firewood is freshly chopped, the moisture content inside of it is usually about 60%, which is far from ideal for burning. When seasoning your firewood you are going to want to get this percentage down to about 20%, where firewood burns most efficiently. It can take anywhere from 6 months to an entire year for your firewood to go from a 60% moisture content down to 20%, so make sure to plan ahead!

Seasoning Firewood

The best way to season firewood is to stack it in an area that receives a lot of sun exposure. Avoid placing it inside of an enclosed location for this reason. Also, when stacking your wood, make sure that you leave plenty of area in between stacks so that air can easily flow through and circulate. The more airflow, the faster your wood will season. Prevent your wood from absorbing moisture and place your stack on top of small sticks or unusable pieces. Doing this will elevate it off of the ground and improve both air circulation and prevent water absorption from the ground following rainfall. Finally, if you are in a bind and really need your wood to season fast, a great shortcut you can take is to cut your wood into very small pieces. Cutting it into small pieces creates more surface area for it to dry out. Although this activity is more labor intensive, it is very effective at speeding up the process. If you have not started seasoning your firewood for the fall and winter, get started now!

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