If you are looking to heat your home with a wood-burning stove or fireplace, it is essential to understand how to tell if your firewood is too wet. Firewood that is too wet will not burn efficiently and can create a smoky, smouldering fire that can be difficult to control. In this article, we will discuss how to tell if your firewood is too wet and what to do about it.
Signs Your Firewood Is Too Wet
If you’re using firewood to heat your home, it’s essential to make sure you’re using dry, properly cured wood. Wet firewood is not only difficult to light, but it also produces more smoke and fewer BTUs, meaning it won’t heat your home efficiently. So how can you tell if your firewood is too wet? Here are some signs that your firewood is too moist:
1. Visual Inspection: The most obvious sign that your firewood is too wet is the visual inspection. Damp wood is darker in colour and has a glossy sheen. It may also be covered in mould or moss and be swollen or warped from moisture.
2. Weight: Wet wood is much heavier than dry wood. If you can lift a piece of wood and it feels unusually heavy, it’s likely too wet.
3. Splitting: If you try to split your wood and it’s difficult to do, that’s a sign that your wood is too wet. Dry wood will split easily with minimal effort.
4. Sound: Wet wood makes a splintering sound when it is struck with a hammer or axe. Dry wood, on the other hand, makes a dull thud.
5. Scent: If your wood has a musty or mouldy smell, it’s likely too wet. Dry wood has a clean, woody scent.
If you suspect that your firewood is too wet, it’s important to take action right away. Stacking the wood in a dry, sunny location and allowing it to dry out for several months is the best way to ensure you’re using properly cured wood. If you’re unable to wait, you can also use a wood drying device, such as a kiln or solar dryer, to speed up the process.
What to Do When Your Firewood Is Too Wet
The first thing to determine is how wet the wood is. Firewood should have a moisture content of 20% or less. If the moisture content is higher than that, the wood won’t burn properly and can cause safety issues. You can test moisture content with a moisture meter, which is available at most hardware stores.
Once you know the moisture content, there are a few things you can do to dry out your firewood. The most important factor is air circulation. If your wood is stored in a pile, break it up and spread it out to allow air to flow through it. If possible, move the wood outside where it can be exposed to the sun and wind. This will help it dry out faster.
You can also use a wood-drying stove to dry out the wood. This specialised stove is specifically designed to dry out wet firewood. The stove will heat up the wood and draw the moisture out, leaving you with dry, ready-to-burn firewood.
It’s important to identify if your firewood is too wet or not to ensure a successful and efficient fire. If the firewood is too wet and not dried correctly, it will be difficult to light and burn, as well as generate a lot of smoke. Taking the steps above will help you get the most out of your firewood and ensure that you have a fire that burns hot and efficiently.
If you’re interested in getting your own log burning stove in Scotland, Stove Scotland is the one to call. We are a family-run business that supplies, installs and maintains a wide range of stoves, fireplaces, and accessories. Get in touch with our stove fitters in Scotland today to start the process of transforming your home with a beautiful and efficient log burning stove.