Why Are Wood Moisture Levels So Important?

Why Are Wood Moisture Levels So Important?

One of the most crucial factors to consider when heating your home with wood is the moisture content of the fuel you burn.

Moisture content is the most important determiner of wood fuel quality. The less moisture your wood fuel contains, the more cleanly and efficiently it will burn. According to widely accepted scientific data, wood fuels need to be dried to under 20% moisture to be safe to use.

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What Is the Moisture Level of Ready to Burn Logs?

20% is the moisture level specified by Defra in its Ready to Burn standard. At Lekto, we strive to achieve figures far below 20%, with our wood briquettes routinely measuring in under 8% moisture.

How Much Moisture is in a Freshly Cut Tree?

When a log is freshly cut from a tree, it can contain as much as 100% moisture, which means that, by weight, it is equal parts water and wood.

Can I Burn Wet Logs?

You should never burn wet (green) logs. When burning, wet wood will smoke and smoulder, generating compounds that are scientifically shown to be damaging to both your health and the health of your wood-burning appliance.

What Makes Kiln-Dried Logs So Good?

Kiln-dried logs burn cleanly and produce a lot more heat as no energy needs to be wasted on evaporating moisture. While any wood fuel with a Ready to Burn label (signifying compliance with the 20% rule) is generally safe to burn, we at Lekto go the extra mile and kiln-dry our logs for an extra long time. As a result, clients report moisture levels of as low as 7-9% percent in their reviews.

Can I Season My Own Logs to Reduce Moisture?

If Lekto’s premium birch logs are outside your budget, seasoning your own wood is still an option. However, do keep in mind that it is illegal to sell and buy unseasoned logs in quantities of under 2 cubic metres in the UK today, so you’ll need some storage space for this. You’ll also need a lot of time.

How Long Does It Take to Season Logs in Britain?

In our British climate, properly seasoning your logs can take upwards of 24 months.

Do I Need a Wood Moisture Meter?

Yes. Regardless of whether you purchase high-quality logs from Lekto or season your own logs, you’ll want to invest in a wood moisture meter.

These simple devices can be had for as little as £20 on Amazon. Read our article on wood moisture meters to find out more.