The benefits of burning seasoned wood compared to unseasoned Wood
Sitting around a traditional wood burning fire or stove has an irresistible draw. The crackling warmth, shimmering flames and glowing logs combine to create a unique experience. However, burning the wrong type of logs and result in poor performance and a lot of soot and tar within your flue.
In essence, seasoned means wood that is dry or dried. Wood that has been freshly cut contains quite a bit of water – nearly half its weight can be solely the water content. This type of wood is considered unseasoned, and burning it can prove difficult, mostly because wet wood smokes a lot and does not burn well. On the other hand, seasoned wood has been split, stacked, stored in a dry area, and allowed to dry. Softer woods, like pine or spruce, can seasoned in as little as six months, while hardwoods such as oak can take up to two to four years to fully season.
The first problems that can be presented when burning unseasoned wood is the difficulty in lighting the fire. Water will not catch on fire, and since it comprises nearly half the weight of the wood, it heavily affects the lighting process. Even if the wood does end up catching, the fire can require constant watching to ensure it does not go out, and adding new logs could put pay to all the hard work you put into lighting it in the first place. Seasoned wood does not cause any of these problems, resulting in an easy, enjoyable fire.
Burning unseasoned wood produces a very large amount of smoke. The main problem is that the fire must evaporate the water as it burns through the wood, so the smoke is filled with a very dense cloud of water vapour, this itself will choke the flames. The smoke also contains a high concentration of creosote. This black carcinogen occurs when the wood is not burning incompletely, and it will likely accumulate in the flue. Accumulation of creosote in the flue can cause restricted air flow, premature deterioration of the chimney lining, and in worst cases, life threatening chimney fires. However, seasoned wood, with the right amount of draft, burns much cleaner, producing in some cases, almost no visible smoke and far less creosote by comparison.
Economy even comes into it. Burning unseasoned wood does not create anywhere near as much heat when burned compared to seasoned wood. For those of you that have to rely on burning wood to heat your home, it can be somewhat chillier than it needs to be. Wet wood will have to burn cooler because much of the heat of the fire goes toward evaporating away the water content within the wood. On the other hand, seasoned wood has far less water content, thus the evaporation to waste the energy of the fire is not needed, so it burns much hotter.
Seasoned wood will light faster, burn for longer, much cleaner burning with much more heat. Buying seasoned wood will also give you far better value for money, as you are actually buying more wood as opposed to the water you might be trying to burn off.
Speak to your Academy chimney sweep today, he will be only to happy to help.