How to make the most of wet firewood

Local News

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – While many East Texans remain without power during the winter weather, some are relying on indoor fireplaces to stay warm.

“If it weren’t for the fire, we would be freezing,” Jerry Morales, whose power has been out, said. “We really would be, because we wouldn’t have any power. The fire is the only source of keeping us warm.”

With the snow and freezing rain still falling outside, firewood stored outdoors is all but ruined by the moisture.

Artmires Urban Forestry in Tyler has some tips on making the most of your firewood, even when you might think it’s past saving.

“Bring it inside,” Manager of Artmires Urban Forestry Mary Artmire said. “I know it’s an inconvenience, but once the snow dries off it, the inside will help dry it. It might take a few days for it to burn but it’ll help speed up the process for seasoning your firewood.”

Artmire’s gave a list of tips on their Facebook on how to be a smarter consumer of firewood.

For firewood that’s gotten wet on the outside, it’s best to use a hatchet or other tool to split bigger logs down the middle, exposing the dry core inside.

If the bark is still really wet on the outside, stand it up near the fire to hopefully accelerate the drying process.

For future reference, Artmire’s also gave advice on choosing better firewood.

For example, different woods have different moisture contents. Fresh split green wood has a moisture content of 30-45%, while seasoned firewood has a moisture content of 18% or less.

1. Buy firewood 8-12 months before needing it; right after winter ends to have VERY seasoned wood once the next winter hits. (It is better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it)
2. If you are dealing with green wood, bring it in to your house. It will usually kiln dry in 5-7 days. If this is not feasible, make sure it is out of the rain, when it freezes, sublimation will occur to help dry your firewood.
3. Keep your firewood off the ground, with NO soil contact, covered from the rain. Like above, when it freezes, sublimation occurs in the firewood, helping it to cure faster.
4. A half of a cord fills up a bed of a truck. Don’t let people take advantage of you! Know your facts!
5. If the ends of the logs have cracks throughout, this is a good way to tell how dry your firewood is and ensure someone isn’t lying to you!
6. Fresh split green wood is 30%- 45% moisture content. Seasoned firewood is 18% or less moisture content.
7. If your wood is green, split it into smaller pieces to help expedite the curing process.

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