The Importance of Being Kiln-Dried

 

When the temperatures start to drop and the snow begins to fall, our minds inevitably wander to the thought of a cozy fire in the fireplace (or fire pit!).  Before rushing to the store for your yearly supply of firewood, it’s important to consider the quality of the wood you’re purchasing.  Firewood quality can vary dramatically, and is highly dependent on the process through which it was dried.

 A picture of our kiln used up at the North Yard. Firewood is loaded into large crates and dried for up to 2 days at high temperatures to ensure low moisture content.

A picture of our kiln used up at the North Yard. Firewood is loaded into large crates and dried for up to 2 days at high temperatures to ensure low moisture content.

When lumber is harvested from a felled tree, the wood is considered too “green” to burn. This wood does not burn well, if at all, and produces smoke because of its high moisture content. Wet firewood is difficult to burn in home burners, fireplaces, and firepits.  Prolonged use can adversely affect the performance of these heating systems. For effective combustion, firewood should have no more than 20 percent moisture content.  To achieve this through traditional drying methods, firewood must air-dry for at least one season. However, a superior process is to utilize a kiln to aid in the drying process.  A kiln is a thermally insulated chamber, a type of oven, that produces temperatures sufficient to complete the drying process. 


The Benefits of Nels Johnson Kiln-Dried Firewood

Kiln-dried firewood is the cleaner alternative to traditional firewood. Grocers, retailers and even brick-oven pizza shops prefer this method of dry, sterilized, firewood. Besides producing a measurably consistent product, kiln-dried firewood provides the following benefits:

 Our services include delivery and stacking of clean, insect-free firewood.

Our services include delivery and stacking of clean, insect-free firewood.

  • Kiln-dried firewood can be burned the day you get it; it ignites easily and burns efficiently.

  • It can be safely stored indoors.  Kiln drying insures that insects, larvae, and mold are killed, making our firewood safe to store in your garage, porch, deck or living room.

  • Less flaking bark and debris (removed during the drying process) makes for tidier storage.

  • The wood produces a cleaner burn because it produces less creosote, which means fewer chimney issues, improved indoor air quality and less ash.

  • Kiln-dried wood provides a higher BTU (heat) output because energy is not being wasted to boil out excess moisture.

Our very own firewood specialist, Lisa Johnson, is responsible for overseeing the kiln-drying process at our North Yard. While the system is self-contained, it requires regular quality checks to ensure we consistently deliver a quality product with minimal moisture content.  If you’re interested in learning more about the process, or are interested in purchasing, you can contact Lisa at (847) 475-1877.  We can both deliver and stack your wood for you so you can spend more time enjoying the warm and enchanting fires this winter.