A lot has been said about the cost benefits, heat value, and protection that kiln dried logs offer, but little has been said about either their origin or the process behind them.
We think it is important to educate our customers about every aspect of kiln dried firewood so that they always know what they’re buying from us.
What does a kiln actually do?
Kilns are large structures that look similar to an oven, except they have vents to control the heat and humidity of the air that circulates around inside the chamber. They are fuelled by logs, normally cut from trees.
The kiln drying process is dependent on the wood species being dried, including the log’s size, diameter and moisture content. It is a fascinating and constantly evolving science, demonstrated by the fact our sole supplier chooses to refine their methods by conducting studies with a university. This is a major reason why we just use one firewood supplier.
Preparing for kiln drying
Trees are inspected and selected for both their quality and suitability and then chopped down. We will only harvest trees if they are from sustainably managed forests. After felling, the trees are cut to the exact length of 25cm (or 10″ inches), the ideal size for wood-burning stoves. Each round log is then processed by a machine which splits them into the logs that you can see on our website. As they still contain up to 60% water, the logs are now thrown loose into metal cages and placed inside the kiln. Care is taken to make sure there are lots of gaps between each log.
The importance of the kiln process
The circulating air within the kiln now removes moisture from the air. As a result, the moisture within the logs is drawn out of the wood and into the surrounding chamber, as the kiln reaches the perfect temperature and relative humidity. This process is repeated until virtually all the water is removed from the inside of the log. This leaves a very dry log that has a moisture content of less than 15% and is now ready to burn. It is a superior product because it’s far drier than any seasoned wood that the UK climate could air-dry naturally over the course of a few years.
The entire kiln drying process takes only 3-7 days from start to finish, depending on the climate conditions outside the kiln and the number of logs that are being dried.
We provide ready to burn firewood all-year-round
As kiln drying is so fast and can be completed in just one week, we can buy firewood that is ready to burn all-year-round. There’s no reason to wait for traditional firewood suppliers to season and manage their stock anymore. Consumers now have much more choice and are no longer forced to buy semi-seasoned or wet logs in the winter when their supplies have run out.
Thankfully, kiln dried firewood has totally transformed the UK’s firewood industry over the past few years, making it easier to light and sustain longer-burning fires and giving people the ability to warm their homes faster. Consumers and chimney sweeps are much better off as a result.