There’s nothing more despairing than the sound of firewood ‘hissing’ on a fire. If you hear that, it is a sign that the wood you are trying to burn could have excessive moisture content. Above 30% water content, water bubbles can be noticed escaping from the end grain when the firewood is on the fire, and it may not even burn at all. So even if you have managed to get this wood to ignite, the heat output will be so poor that it was probably more effort than it was worth, all the energy trapped in the log is being used up producing steam before you get any heat!!To stop this ensure your wood is sufficiently dry by checking its water content with a moisture meter.
Building a good fire should not be so hard. Before you begin, a moisture meter can tell you the exact amount of water in your wood. Our kiln dried logs have a very low moisture content (under 15%), but if you also buy from other sources remember that naturally seasoned wood can take at least a year to dry properly. The moisture band that your firewood should fall within is 15-20%. With a digital moisture meters, you have the ability to make sure your wood is perfect for burning.
These small devices are operated by inserting two metal pins (probes) into the end of the log (some models, including our own, come with four pins for greater precision). Simply insert the probes into the end of the logs. Your meter will give you an instant measurement of the level of moisture content. If you are concerned about the dryness of the logs, it is wise to split the log down the centre and take a reading from the ‘centre’ of the log.
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