Kiln Dried vs. Seasoned Firewood

Please consider the following table when making a decision about which type of wood to purchase.

Kiln-dried firewood is processed in a kiln, which is a controlled environment where temperature and humidity can be carefully regulated. This controlled drying process allows for a more thorough and consistent reduction in moisture content. The goal is typically to bring the moisture level down to around 10-20%, making the wood highly suitable for burning.

However, seasoned firewood is typically air-dried, meaning it’s left outside to naturally lose moisture over time. While this is a more traditional method and can produce good firewood, it might not reach the same low moisture levels as kiln-dried wood. The drying process for seasoned wood can be influenced by weather conditions, and it may take a longer time to achieve optimal dryness.

Kiln Dried Firewood
Seasoned Firewood
Lower Moisture Content Kiln dried firewood is dried in a controlled environment using specialized kilns. The process ensures that the moisture content is reduced to a specific level (typically below 20%). Lower moisture content means that the wood burns more efficiently, producing more heat and less smoke — and is easier to light. Seasoned firewood is left to dry naturally, exposed to air and sunlight. While this process can reduce moisture content, it may not be as controlled as kiln drying, leading to variations in the wood’s dryness leading to more “pops” and harder lighting.
Consistency The controlled environment of a kiln allows for a more consistent and predictable drying process. Each piece of wood is exposed to similar conditions, resulting in uniform quality and beautiful flames. The quality of seasoned firewood can vary based on factors such as weather conditions, the time it’s given to dry, and the storage environment. Inconsistent drying may lead to some pieces having higher moisture content.
Efficient Burning With its lower moisture content, kiln-dried firewood ignites more easily and burns more efficiently. It produces more heat and less smoke, contributing to a cleaner, brighter and more effective fire. While seasoned firewood can also be effective, it may take longer to ignite and might produce more smoke, especially if the moisture content is not consistently low.
Reduced Creosote Buildup Burning wood with lower moisture content reduces the production of creosote—a flammable substance that can accumulate in chimneys. This helps in maintaining a safer and cleaner chimney.Higher moisture content in seasoned wood can contribute to the buildup of creosote over time, potentially increasing the risk of chimney fires.
Storage Since kiln-dried firewood is typically brought to a low moisture content in a controlled environment, it may be less prone to reabsorbing moisture during storage, especially if stored in a dry environment. Seasoned firewood might reabsorb moisture from the air, especially in humid conditions, potentially impacting its overall dryness.
Bugs and Mold The heat of a kiln kills all insects, bugs and mold — providing a cleaner wood within your household. Seasoned wood does not experience an elevated temperature, allowing bugs and mold to enter your home along with the wood.

Kiln-dried firewood offers a more controlled and efficient drying process, leading to lower moisture content, better burning efficiency, and reduced chimney-related risks. Clearly, kiln dried firewood is your best choice for clean, no-fuss warmth and enjoyment.