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Vermont Castings Seasoned Wood Guide

- Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Seasoned wood has been cut and left out to dry for a long period of time, reducing the amount of moisture and sap for optimal burning in a wood appliance. Proper seasoning affects heat output, cleaning ease, emissions and catalyst life. This guide explains how to season and store firewood

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FUEL

- Wood logs (refer to wood chart on following page) aged 12-16 months

- Best time to cut is after leaf fall, when amount of moisture in wood is lowest

- Do not use skids, pallets and treated or construction lumber; they can cause overfiring and damage to your stove or fireplace


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PREPARING TO MEASURE MOISTURE

- Select 4-6 pieces from different areas of wood pile

- Split each piece just before measuring





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USING THE MOISTURE METER

- Insert probes into the newly exposed surface and take a reading. No need to force it in, you’re testing the surface.

- Use average of measurements taken

- 18% to 20% moisture is ideal (wetter will reduce heat; dryer will reduce burn time)

- 34% Moisture is considered too wet


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RESULTS OF BURNING WET WOOD

- Low heat output

- Smoking

- Creosote build-up

- Chimney fires or worse


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PROPER STORAGE & SEASONING

- Structure should be covered on top

- Structure should be open on sides to allow airflow

- Cross-stack wood evenly to allow airflow

- Do not wrap in plastic; it holds moisture in

 

CHOOSING THE BEST WOOD FOR YOUR STOVE