M W Haspel
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Our tree work is mainly undertaken during the autumn and winter months and is subject to receiving local council approval where appropriate.
Premier Logs Supplies - Information
Is Your Firewood Fully Seasoned?
(And Why It Needs To Be)
"Fire warms, consoles and touches the very heart of us, like a loving, wordly wise relative". Vincent Thurkettle - Author: The Wood Fire Handbook
What is Seasoning?
It is important for anyone who is burning wood to understand this subject. Wood is a readily available, renewable fuel and is almost carbon neutral (bar the fossil fuel used to process it).
The best reason for seasoning is a simple one, burning your wood un-seasoned will cost you a lot of money. You will not benefit from the potential heat within your logs and may also cause damage to your chimney. Seasoning simply means reducing the moisture content in your firewood to a point that makes the wood ready to burn.
Wood is nothing more than a mass of tiny tubes, but the moisture within a log exists in two forms: as water within the tubes and molecular water within the cell walls of the tubes, the free moisture (within the tubes) is the first to go and is usually quite quick to do so. Your wood will be down to around 30-35% moisture. However, the majority of the moisture in the cell walls remains, once this starts to dry the wood will begin to shrink.
Freshly felled trees have a moisture content of around 50%, your wood needs to be below 25% moisture content, ideally 20% or lower (the drier the better).
This is not easy to understand with wood burning but I shall try and put this in simple terms, I'm sure someone will have a better way but here goes:-
To understand latent heat will give you good reason to want the best, driest, wood you can get. Matter usually exists in three states: solid, liquid and gas. To raise a body of water by 1oc it takes one unit of heat energy. To melt enough ice into the same body of water (changing solid to liquid) it would take around 80 units of heat energy and the temperature would still be 0oc, - this is latent heat. The energy required to change the state of the matter and not its temperature.
Now here is the scary bit, it takes a massive 540 units of heat energy to turn the same body of water into steam. A very large amount of your log's available heat energy is wasted on drying itself out before giving you any heat at all, if not seasoned. Burning damp logs could be wasting up to half the potential energy within the wood, so in effect costing you twice as much as you thought. Simply put, properly seasoned wood can have around twice as much potential heat than poorly dried wood.
"There is hardly anything in the world that some man can't make a little worse and sell a little cheaper and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey". John Ruskin
In other words - you get what you pay for.