Without doubt, Autumn is the best time of year for you to buy logs and whether you’re ordering online from home or from the train on your way home from work, you can be sure of buying quality too. This can be a no brainer. It can also be a sure way of you getting well cut logs also. Kiln drying allows you to buy wood at any time of the year and get a fuel that burns well. Kiln dried wood is also a cleaner version of traditional wood. It will give off less smoke, be better for the environment and above all else, give off more heat so a win win all in all.
Discover how many heat logs or briquettes you may need this winter. Are you burning on a wood burner? open fire? pizza oven? or all of these? either way, have a good think as to how much wood you may need. From here, also have a good think how many days a week you may also be burning kiln dried logs too. Properly seasoned wood will burn well, giving off plenty of heat, only a small amount of smoke, and last a long time. In other words, properly buying the correct firewood will help you no end. It will also be able to save you money in the long run too.
There are different types of firewoods you can buy for your needs
Firewood burns at different rates. Using the best firewood for heating is more efficient. Hardwoods burn slower and hotter than softwoods and are far and away the better choice for interior heating with wood, says Codey Stout of Tree Triage. Softwoods like pine and cedar grow faster and season, or dry out, faster. This usually makes them less expensive than hardwoods. But for home heating, there’s no comparison between the two. Virtually all firewood you purchase will already be seasoned, either naturally over time or via the accelerated process of kiln-drying.
Kiln-dried wood lights easier, burns hotter and lasts longer than traditionally seasoned wood. But it costs about 10 to 30 percent more, though advocates say you recoup the additional cost in energy efficiency. Beech, hickory and oak are among the many hardwoods that burn slowly and produce a considerable amount of heat. They’re great choices if home heating is your main consideration.
If you’re going for atmosphere, still stick with hardwood for your indoor fires and any outdoor fires you might cook over. Softwood, while cheaper and easier to light, emits resin. It can gunk up a wood stove, and it produces a lot more smoke than hardwood does. For your backyard burning needs, a mix of soft- and hardwood works. Softwood lights easily so it’s good for kindling, and you’ll get that nice smell that comes from conifers. Just be sure to watch your sitting distance, since softwoods tend to pop and emit more sparks.
It makes sense to buy firewood in the summer
One of the many benefits to buying your wood in the summer is the price of the wood logs. Not a lot of people require wood to burn in their stoves during summer, due to the hot weather and lack of heating needed. This makes the summer the perfect time to buy up. A lot of retailers will often have sales or offer discounted prices for wood to keep business coming in, and that’s when you stock up while it’s cheap. They will reduce prices on products, especially part-seasoned wood so you can season it at home over the year.
Another benefit of buying early means there is no need for it to be delivered quickly, saving you money on delivery charges. More often than not, people will opt for the quickest option. This is typical when it comes to delivery because they haven’t planned ahead. The downside to this is that it is usually more expensive, bumping the price up even more. By not having to worry about when it arrives, you can go for cheaper options and save yourself some pennies. If you have enough space to store wood logs, you can use the cheaper prices to your advantage and get in early. Not only does this save you money in the long run, but also guarantees that you get the best quality wood before quantity is low in the more sought after parts of the year.
Choose your firewood wisely
Choosing the right kind of wood logs for your fire is essential, and not always an easy task. Let’s take a look at what you need. For wood burning stoves, our advice is to always go for dry firewood logs. Most manufacturers suggest a maximum of 20% moisture in the wood, but HETAS quality standard recommends up to 25%. By doing this, it gives a clean burn, preventing blackening of the stove glass or soot filling your chimney. If you have an efficient wood-burning stove, you’ll end up using less wood, making it more cost effective. Kiln dried wood logs are always ready to burn as long as they are stored in a dry place.
Having dry firewood in the winter
Firewood needs to be dry enough for it to burn effectively when used in a fireplace or stove. If wood is too wet when added to a fire it can lead to fires that are struggling to burn the wood, causing less heat and more smoke to be produced. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that firewood burns its most efficient when the moisture content is between 15 and 20%. If the moisture content of firewood is any higher than 20% then firewood becomes progressively harder to burn in a fire. Freshly cut ‘green’ wood will typically have a much higher moisture content than 20%. In turn, it would burn highly ineffectively if used on a fire.
To help wood reach the recommended moisture content for firewood, the wood must be dried out through a process known as seasoning. The seasoning process naturally lowers the moisture content of the wood by leaving it exposed to the weather elements over a prolonged period of time.
It is good to let firewood dry out
It’s therefore preferable to cut logs during the winter months when natural moisture levels of wood are at their lowest, and start the seasoning process in early spring. If the starting moisture level of wood is low enough and the wood is seasoned using the right conditions, then it’s possible for softwood logs to be fully seasoned by the time winter comes around again. In many cases the wood won’t have been seasoned for long enough when winter arrives, especially if seasoning hardwood, which can be denser and therefore take a longer time to dry out.
Buying your wood
When you are about to buy wood fuel for your wood burner, pizza oven, outdoor chiminea, or a campfire, you should have one thing in mind – the optimum moisture content of wood for burning is below 20%. Two of the most popular options for firewood with less than 20% moisture content are well seasoned and kiln dried logs.
Kiln dried firewood will be dried right through, but air-dried logs can have varying water levels. Your kiln dried logs are guaranteed to burn and will be consistently dry. While the cost will be slightly higher than seasoned logs, you can be sure that your logs will light quickly and easily with kiln dried. With a low moisture content (less than 20 percent), your kiln dried wood can produce up to 30% more heat per kilogram, ultimately making the benefits economical. Kiln dried firewood will be free of insects and mould. Wood that has been left outside for any length of time will attract critters. This will most certainly be noticed when setting up a fire. Kiln dried firewood is a cleaner alternative. Lastly, your kiln dried wood is ready whenever you are.
If you have left it late in the summer to buy logs you needn’t be concerned. The kiln dried logs are instantly ready on delivery and require no treatment. When people run out of firewood in the middle of winter they are at risk of being sold firewood that has not been properly dried. With our high quality kiln dried product, customers can rest easy even when they get caught short at peak times.
In summary, resort to buying seasoned logs only if you have tested with a moisture meter. Look to see that they are really dry and free of insects and mould. You should split the log open and test the content in the centre of the split log. Insert the tester pins into the cut face. Often, wood can be drier on the outside than the centre. So testing moisture content from the outside (bark) of the log is an inaccurate method.