What is Seasoned Firewood? Here’s 2023 Detailed Guide

Dry firewood that has been properly “seasoned” is the best type of firewood. It’s considered to be the best type of wood to use for fireplaces, wood stoves, and outdoor fires. It’s also preferred as for woodworking projects and carpentry as it is less likely to wrap or crack as it dries.

But what is seasoned firewood? When to season firewood? Is it important? WarmthPedia will answer all your questions!

In this WarmthPedia article, you’ll learn what is seasoned firewood, its features, and why you need to use it.

What is Seasoned Firewood?

What is Seasoned Firewood?

Wondering what is seasoned firewood? Seasoned firewood that has been air-dried for an extended period.  Freshly chopped lumber, commonly known as “green firewood,” contains far too much moisture to burn efficiently, necessitating air drying.

You understand what we’re talking about if you’ve ever tried to burn green firewood. The wood is difficult to light because of the extreme wetness, and the flames that do ignite often fizzle out quickly and emit a lot of smoke.

Additionally, because green wood originates from a living thing (a tree), it sometimes comes with moss and mold, both of which can release toxic emissions when burned.

It is recommended to only burn wood that contains no more than 20% moisture and to store it in a dry place where it may air dry for at least six months before burning.

However, freshly cut wood, sometimes referred to as “green wood,” can have up to 50% moisture, therefore seasoning it before using it on your fire is strongly advised.

Because of this, the long air-drying process seasoned wood goes through is vital. It reduces that moisture content down to a much better level so that the wood can burn more easily.

Why Should You Use Seasoned Firewood?

And now you know what is seasoned firewood. For that, WarmthPedia has collected the common reasons why you need to use seasoned wood.

– It keeps your stove cleaner and healthier

– It produces less smoke.

– It’s more efficient.

There are many advantages to using seasoned firewood, such as improved efficiency, cleanliness, and environmental impact.

There are many advantages to using seasoned firewood, such as improved efficiency, cleanliness, and environmental impact.

Let’s start by thinking about what happens when you burn unseasoned wood. It is difficult to start a fire due to the high moisture levels. If you do manage in starting one, a lot of energy will be needed first to evaporate the water. Because of this, you might find that your log burner continually goes out if you are using unseasoned wood. 

Using unseasoned wood will also cause your fire to produce a lot of smoke as it burns off moisture. Your chimney will become dirty as a result of this smoke, often leading to a stubborn and dangerous creosote buildup. Additionally, it will cause the glass on your stove to blacken much more quickly.

Burning unseasoned wood can produce dangerous air pollution, which can harm the environment and your health, as well as dirt in your chimney and stove.

By allowing your firewood to season, you give it time for most of the moisture to evaporate. As a result, it burns as effectively and cleanly as possible when you throw it on your fire. The environment and the air we breathe will be less dirty as a result.

How to Know if Firewood is Seasoned?

Wood needs to be dried out before it can be used as firewood because freshly cut wood contains too much moisture to burn efficiently. Wood needs to be dried out before it can be used as firewood because freshly cut wood contains too much moisture to burn efficiently.

Through a process called seasoning, where the wood is left outside to naturally reduce moisture over time, firewood can be dried out.

When used in a fireplace or stove, wet wood will burn very inefficiently since a fire must first burn out the excess moisture in the wood for it to effectively burn.

To determine whether your wood has been properly seasoned, however, or if you want to do it yourself, check these factors:

1. Appearance

It should have a pale color with several visible cracks, and the bark should easily come loose.

2. Weight

Seasoned wood should be light in weight when devoid of moisture.

3. Sound

Instead of the dull thud of green wood, two of the logs should make a clear knocking sound when you tap them together.

A moisture meter can be purchased if you want to test the wood’s water content accurately. To use one of these, take a few readings from a sample of logs, making that the moisture is ideally lower than 20%. The absolute maximum amount of moisture that firewood should have is 25%.

But if green wood is used on fire it will be:

– Generating less heat overall.

– Harder to burn.

– Harder to catch alight.

– Producing more smoke than if burning seasoned wood.

– As the fire attempts to burn off the extra moisture, it may hiss or pop.

– Having a greenish-looking color.

– Can feel moist to the touch.

– The wood will be more difficult to snap or tear apart and will produce more wood strands as a result.

– When the bark is peeled back, moisture may be visible underneath and the bark will be soft.

Downsides of Seasoned Firewood

WarmthPedia has collected the disadvantages of seasoned firewood:

– It’s harder to light.

– The smoke smells bad.

– It produces more emissions.

– It causes bugs, mold, and fungus.

– It’s decomposing.

– It creates more creosote.

Kiln-Dried Firewood

Kiln-Dried Firewood

Although seasoned firewood, kiln-dried firewood is much more quickly usable. Firewood can be dried in a kiln, a type of oven, for about 75 minutes. When wood is dried in a kiln, the internal temperature is maintained between 140 and 160 degrees, bringing the moisture content to 10% to 20%.

Kiln-dried wood has advantages beyond only short drying times and low moisture levels. Bugs and fungi are also killed by the drying process. Mold and mildew don’t form because of how quickly and completely the wood dries.

Since the wood is slowly losing moisture over an extended period of time when traditional, time-warranted seasoning is used, mold and mildew have a higher chance of forming.

So, both the consumer and the environment benefit from kiln-dried firewood.

And finally, this YouTube video shows the differences between both seasoned firewood and kiln-dried firewood.


Since it takes firewood at least six months to reach optimum dryness, spring is a good time to start seasoning it.

This means that if you start in April, it will be ready to use on the first cold October nights.

Still don’t know what is seasoned firewood? Leave your questions in WarmthPedia comments box below and we’ll answer you soon.

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