Firewood is commonly used as fuel for heat production, cooking, or power production. Being an organic material, wood is hygroscopic in nature i.e. it absorbs moisture from its surroundings and retains it. Moisture reduces the combustibility and thermal efficiency of wood. The traditional practice of drying wood was that it was left out in the open for months to dry on its own. This method is called seasoning.
Seasoning does not remove moisture completely and it also deteriorates the quality of wood. This is why kiln-dried wood is preferred over seasoned wood. Firewood Kilns are specially manufactured to ensure optimal drying under controlled conditions of pressure and temperature. Kiln-drying is a faster and more effective way of getting good quality wood that is ready for combustion.
Let us take a look at some remarkable advantages of kiln-dried wood.
The Moisture Content is Reduced Drastically
- Wood that has not been dried thoroughly usually contains a moisture content of 20% or so. Such high levels of moisture reduce the combustibility and thermal efficiency of wood. Moist wood is frustrating to deal with. It takes multiple tries to light it on fire and when it does, it produces quite a lot of smoke which irritates the eyes and throat.
- Even though seasoned firewood is better than freshly cut firewood, it still retains moisture and does not give you good results. Firewood that has been dried in kilns has moisture levels of no more than 10-15%. These are the optimal levels of moisture for keeping it fresh and for producing good quality fire.
The low levels of moisture allow the wood to combust readily and produce excellent quality flames. The heat from these bright fiery flames can warm a room quickly and roast the corn just fine.
No More Insects and Molds
- Because wood is an organic material, insects and pests regularly inhabit wood even after it has been cut off. Moist firewood provides them the ideal habitat to form colonies. The dampness also allows moss, molds, and mildew to grow on the firewood. These nuances deteriorate the quality of wood and make it difficult to deal with.
- Kiln-dried firewood is free of all organic pests. The heat, high temperatures, and pressure kill all pests that may linger on the logs of firewood. Properly dried firewood becomes free from future infestations because its moisture content has been reduced drastically.
Hence, kiln-dried firewood is not only easy to handle but can be stored for extended periods of time without worrying about teeming insects.
Kiln-Dried Firewood is More Eco Friendly
This may come as a surprise to you, but kiln-dried firewood is more environmentally friendly. The reason is the same: low moisture content! If the wood contains a moisture content of 20% or more, its thermal efficiency reduces i.e. the no. of BTUs per sq. inch is significantly less than that for kiln-dried firewood.
This means more quantity of firewood has to be consumed for producing the desired heat, leading to resource inefficiency. Another thing that harms the environment is the production of creosote when moist firewood is lit. Creosote is a harmful and toxic gas that is produced when the oils in the wood are not burned completely. Creosote and carbon monoxide have pungent odors, they make breathing difficult and add to the air pollution.
With kiln-dried firewood, these problems can be avoided and you can continue breathing in a cleaner and greener environment.
Bol Design Inc. produces state-of-the-art firewood kilns that are designed to quickly remove the moisture within a piece of firewood to make it drier. For more information on our multiple products, call us at 828 754 7001. We are located in Hudson, NC, and offer services to all locations in the lower 48 states.