How Long Should I Let Firewood Season?

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Seasoned Wood

  • Wood should be allowed to air-dry at least six months before using it. This means that wood cut during the fall of one year won't be ready to use until the following fall or later. Seasoning allows the wood time to naturally rid itself of moisture by evaporation. Well-seasoned wood ignites quickly, gives off more heat, and produces a deep layer of coals, making it easier to keep a fire going.

Green Wood

  • Trying to start a fire with green wood is often difficult without using a lot of newspaper, kindling and patience. Green wood also needs more time to burn off the moisture still present in its fibers, and a smoldering fire is more likely to produce creosote that will eventually clog up your stovepipe and chimney.

Bottom Line

  • All wood burns, whether it's seasoned or not. How efficiently it burns depends upon how dry it is when it's used. Wood's dryness affects how long it takes to get a fire going and its heat output. Using wood seasoned at least six months makes sense, not only because of what you'll save in stovepipe and chimney-cleaning costs but also in the frustration of starting and maintaining a fire with green wood.

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