Are Kiln Dried Logs Worth it?

Stove manufacturers, installers, chimney sweeps and log suppliers like ourselves are all recommending kiln dried logs for wood burning and they are quickly becoming the preferred choice by those that heat their home with wood fuel, but are kiln dried logs worth it or is it all just hype?

In order to fully understand why the dramatic shift to kiln dried has happened, let’s start with how people used to burn wood and why.

The traditional way of buying firewood operates like this – a tree surgeon or farmer would fell trees, cut, split and stack them using air to naturally season and extract the moisture out of the logs over a prolonged period, often a year, after which it was considered suitable for burning on fires and in stoves, and by suitable I mean by using lots of kindling a fire could be started and kept going, albeit with a lot of effort and certainly not efficient in regard to the heat output.

The better and most reputable suppliers of seasoned logs allow their logs up to 2-3 years to dry out, however as this takes up so much space, very few do this and finding seasoned logs that are low in moisture are extremely hard to find, with the British climate making it difficult to achieve the very low moisture contents that kiln drying can achieve.

Comparing the heat output per weight

graphMost seasoned logs on the market fall between the range of 25-50% moisture content, depending on how reputable or unscrupulous the supplier is – often when winter is in full swing, some traditional suppliers are all out of dry stock and will often sell next years logs which are still drying and almost freshly cut.

The calorific content of most seasoned logs falls anywhere between 2,300-3,500 kWh/tonne.

Most kiln dried logs (such as ones bought in the supermarket or at stores like BNQ etc) fall between 3,600-4,500 kWh/tonne, a significant increase of heat output at almost twice that of most seasoned logs.

Our kiln dried logs are below 15% moisture content and generally fall between 7-15% MC, putting their calorific value between 4,500-5000 kWh/tonne, giving off a staggering amount of heat and meaning just one of our logs contains at least twice the energy of most seasoned logs, allowing you to use half the amount of logs when using your stove.

When you compare the heat output of kiln dried vs seasoned firewood, along with the price, kiln dried logs are certainly worth it, especially when you consider they won’t cause damage to your stove or flue like most seasoned logs on the market that are above 25% moisture content will over time.

Click here to view all of our kiln dried logs and various buying options.