5 ways to check if your firewood is dry enough ahead of cool weather

how to check if your firewood is dry enough wood

Get ahead of chilly weather by checking if your firewood stock is dry enough to use.

Firewood should have less than 25 per cent moisture to burn at its most efficient. If you don’t have a moisture meter, here’s how to work out if your firewood is dry enough.

•  FEEL the weight of the wood – drier wood is much lighter.

•  THROW a small piece of firewood onto hot glowing coals – if it catches fire on the top and sides within one minute, it’s dry.

•  CHECK for loose bark – bark on dried wood will easily break off.

•  LOOK for radial cracks at either end, radiating from the centre out to the bark.

•  SMELL it – fresh wood has a strong smell, dry wood barely any.

•  LISTEN to it – dangle a piece of firewood in each hand, then smack the lower ends together. Wood with high moisture will ‘thud’ while dry wood will ‘bonk’ or ring.

radial cracks spread out from the centre of the firewood when it's dry enough

Radial cracks spread out from the centre of the wood, and only form when it’s dry enough.

Always use several tests to check if wood is dry, not just one.


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NZ Life and Leisure This article first appeared in NZ Lifestyle Block Magazine.

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