How to Kiln Dry Firewood
You have probably come across the term kiln dried firewood, lumber or timber (all are the same) before but you might not know what it actually involves.
If you have a wood burner, open fire or a chiminea at home you'll want to get the best results from the wood that you burn. Sure, you can throw many different types of wood into it but there are several reasons why using timber that has been dried out in a kiln is much better.
This is why we're going to explain what drying the logs actually does and why it has its benefits. You might think that calling timber 'kiln dried' is a bit of a marketing gimmick but it is a very real process that is advantageous to how the wood burns and how long your fire will last.
So, let's start off by finding out what a kiln actually is.
What is a kiln?
A kiln is a type of oven and they have been in use for thousands of years.
These ovens were mainly utilised to transform clay into different objects such as pottery or even tiles. These days there are many types of kilns such as ones that use solar power and even radio frequencies to generate heat.
What we're concerned with is using a more traditional kiln to create better firewood. The kilns we use are huge and can hold hundreds of tonnes of wood from the fsc managed forests we source. You might be amazed but the logs in our economy crate release around 300kg of water during the drying process!
Why dry firewood in a kiln?
The whole point of using one of these insulated chambers to create kiln dry firewood is to reduce the moisture content.
Damp wood and wood that is full of moisture isn't ideal for burning. To get the best results from your fire you need firewood that has a low moisture content and this is achieved by using a kiln.
Not only is lumber with low moisture better to generate a hotter fire and more heat but it also means your logs should burn for longer as well. If you use seasoned hardwood logs (which haven't been dried in a kiln) and then use kiln dried logs, you'll definitely notice the difference in the longevity of your fire.
How to kiln dry logs
The kilns that are used for drying out firewood have a larger chamber than you find on many other kilns such as those that are used for pottery.
The basics of the process is the wood is bundled together, put into the kiln and kept at a steady temperature of around 80°C. The reason for this is that you don't want your log burner, open fire or wood burning stove to get too hot or the wood will just burn and having the temperature too low isn't going to remove enough moisture which defeats the whole point of the process.
This isn't something that is achieved in a few hours either. Burning logs at 80-90°C can take nearly four days to get enough moisture out the wood so it has the desired effect.
The end result is that you get high quality hardwood logs that have a massively reduced moisture content so the logs burner hotter for longer.
Now you know what kiln dry firewood is and how the process works, read our buyers guide for beginners so you choose the right type of wood for your home.