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  1. Mrtwostick

    Mrtwostick New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
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    Loc:
    Philadelphia suburbs
    I've been looking around here for quite some time and just recently decided to become a member.
    The biggest thing I've learned here is about having seasoned wood. I've splittling wood and running saws since I was a kid, and we usually cut wood throughout the summer and fall to burn that winter.

    Now I have my own home and my first wood stove. I've been burning 24/7 for the past few weeks with wood I cut and split this past summer alot of ash mixed with oak and some maple. It all burns fine my stovetop has hit 850 on many occasion on a full load of less than seasoned wood. My chimney only smokes when the secondaries go out and/or i choke the air down for an all nighter.

    My question is what does it matter if a person burns less than seasoned wood if they get good heat from their stove and clean the chimney as often as it needs it. I plan to clean mine around christmas and then determine from there how often i should clean it.

    Im sure this will upset some of the sticklers....

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  2. Lumberjack

    Lumberjack Member

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    Jan 2, 2008
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Western CT
    Get a year ahead on wood. I burned less than seasoned wood for one year, not by choice, and every fire was a struggle . If you are ahead then the only year you have to bust hump is the first one as you will need to cut two years worth. Also you will then only need to clean once per year.
    Beer Belly likes this.
  3. Mrtwostick

    Mrtwostick New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
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    Loc:
    Philadelphia suburbs
    I have about 2 cords of locust and 2yr old oak already split for next year so I will be fine by next year.
    My real question is If one is happy with the heat output from less than seasoned wood and ok with cleaning the chimney more than once a year what is wrong with burning partially seasoned wood?
  4. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Reducing the chance of a chimney fire is good enough of a reason for me to burn dry wood.
  5. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Not a bad question.
    If you can keep stack temps of 250 or more you're prolly ok if you are getting good heat.
    Actually really dry wood can case creosote also.

    Unseasoned Wood

    • A wood is considered "seasoned" if has a moisture content of 20 to 25 percent. Burning unseasoned wood in your wood stove causes creosote residue because more energy is used to remove the excess water in the wood. While the water burns off, cooler smoke enters the flue, which can cause creosote build up. Unseasoned logs that are fully packed will also release more cold air, as they are specifically designed to burn for eight to 10 hours at a cooler temperature. When picking out wood for your stove, you should avoid extra-dry or well-seasoned logs, as these can cause creosote build up as well.
  6. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
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    +1
  7. Mrtwostick

    Mrtwostick New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Philadelphia suburbs
    Thanks so far your the only one who has somewhat answered my question. Still looking for more opinions
  8. ridemgis

    ridemgis Burning Hunk

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    South Kingstown, Rhode Island
    Dry wood causes creosote build-up? I'm gonna need more than a poorly written e-how article to explain that assertion!
  9. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    No problem.
    I see you're mostly burning ash. Ash will usually be fine if cut and split in the spring and stacked in a breezy area.
    A MC meter is your friend!
    For years I burnt apple wood cut in the winter but not split and stacked till spring into summer..and had no probs ..swept once a year.
    I used to split the wood into fairly small pieces to help the drying.
  10. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    I know!
    I guess when molds get on and or in the wood it can cause some creosote ..I'm still digging more on that one.
    It was news to me also..lol.
  11. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Unseasoned wood will use its energy to dry itself out as it burns rather than burning hot due to lack of moister. This causes the chimney to gunk up real fast and the stove to have to work harder to get up to temp as well as burn a long time. There is a point where the wood will dry out but by that time most of the heat is lost. Creosote will occur in wet or dry wood however in wet wood it is far far more. When I burn dry wood I get about a cup of creosote at the end of a season . This is compared to cleaning after only three months and getting close to 10 cups when we where forced to burn wet wood. My philosophy is simple burn how ever much it takes to stay warm but do it safe. The best way if you have wet wood is to check your chimney once a month if you have to to stay safe. The smoke from an all nighter is because your wood is wet most likely many issues are solved by burning dry wood such as this. If it is wet it wont get hot enough to burn clean with the air down which will also kill some of the secondary if not all the secondary burn causing smoke. EPA stoves really do need dry wood to function properly.

    Pete
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  12. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    As Pallet Pete said you are wasting wood. A lot of heat will be used to boil off the water in the splits before the fire actually starts heating your home. With dry wood you will not see smoke even when you close the air completely (after the stove is up to temp, of course). You may also be lucky that most of your wood is ash which is pretty dry to begin with so you are probably not burning really wet wood. If you ever try to burn freshly cut oak you will quickly see the virtues of seasoning wood properly. And I should add I am lazy and try to clean my chimney as little as possible.
    Btw. 850 F sounds a bit high; is that ok for your stove?
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  13. k9brain

    k9brain Member

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    Loc:
    Jersey Shore
    There is nothing wrong with burning less than seasoned wood, I guess. Just so long as you're aware of the adverse affects and are cleaning your chimney regularly.

    We often hear from others on this site that they cant keep the fire going, have blackened glass, need to keeep the primary wide open and have creosote issues that our initial reaction is burn seasoned wood and the problems go away. Its kind of a mantra. Newbs usually answer that the guy selling the wood said it was seasoned one year or two before being bucked and split to order.

    It's just a bad habit and should be avaoided, that's all.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  14. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    It doesn't seem to me that anything is wrong with what you're doing, just that you could be getting more heat (since you'd use less of the wood energy to evaporate water) and less smoke (air pollution) from your stove. That really isn't a big deal, and since you are at least thinking about how to use your stove you are probably getting more heat and making less pollution than 80% of wood burners who just do what they have always done and don't bother to think about it at all.

    I am a few years ahead on wood cutting which is nice because I don't have to worry about cutting this winter if I don't get around to it or don't happen to find any wood to cut, and because three year old firewood burns really easily. I prefer to be ahead, but that doesn't mean you have to.
  15. Blue Vomit

    Blue Vomit Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    eastern PA
    The duck hit the nail on the head. You are already ahead of the curve. That being said, we can all do a little bit better.
  16. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    It matters if you burn less than seasoned wood because you are choosing to waste wood. As more and more people heat with wood, more and more woodlots are being clear cut. It certainly feels at times as if some people don't truly appreciate how long a tree takes to grow, how many of our species are being threatened with extirpation, and how important trees are to our survival.

    Don't flagrantly waste wood.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  17. oppirs

    oppirs Member

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    Loc:
    SE Illinois
    I agree. I just saw a farmer teardown a tree line he just bought. Placed all that Beech,Oak and Ash on a pile too burn and did it burn. Wish I had stab at it! 20-40 cords gone in 2 days.
  18. Beer Belly

    Beer Belly Minister of Fire

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    [​IMG]
  19. Beer Belly

    Beer Belly Minister of Fire

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    Ya gotta do, what ya gotta do.....as long as you know the pitfalls, and keep the chinmey clean, it's your choice
  20. Mrtwostick

    Mrtwostick New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Philadelphia suburbs
    Thats kind of what I was thinking. If I clean my chimney and I get good heat it should be a none issue. Just for the record I'm starting to think the stack im pulling from currently is alot drier than I thought. Because Ive never had a problem with a cold start and my glass has been clean for weeks even with overnight burns. As far as "wasting wood" I would think that using free wood to keep my family warm would be alot better than the wood rotting at a dump or in someones yard.

    Thank you guys for the replies thus far.
  21. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Nothing really to add here that hasn't already been said.

    As mentioned, you burn what you got oftentimes either because you got a late start or did what you learned from your parents/grandparents/neighbors . . . and it can be done . . . just got to be a lot more diligent in cleaning the chimney when needed, may have to deal with gunked up glass, harder to light fires and you will not get as much potential heat out of the wood as some of that potential heat is being used to drive the bit of left over moisture out of the wood.

    I burned mediocre wood in Year 1 that consisted of standing dead elm, tree tops felled a few months previously and a stash of wood I cut in the Summer -- and I did fine in Year 1. I checked and cleaned my chimney every month, I used pallets to get the fire going and I didn't die or burn down my house. However, in Year 2 I burned wood that had been seasoned for over a year and Whoa Momma -- it was a whole new experience. I never knew what I was missing from burning OK wood to burning well seasoned wood -- it blew my mind with how easily it was to ignite, the intense secondaries and heat and the much cleaner burns.
    corey21 and PapaDave like this.
  22. ozzy73

    ozzy73 Member

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    Loc:
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    As far as the stove temp go, my HT hits 750-800 reguarly also on a full load. At least nobody can say you are creating low temp, smoldering fires :)
    At those temps you are probably burning of all crud in the wood and it wont create to many deposits. I would defenetly check the chimney after burning a few weeks to make sure you are okay.

    Just think how well your stove and burn times are going to be on nicely seasoned wood and you will only have to clean the chimney once a year instead of checking/cleaning monthly.:ZZZ
  23. James02

    James02 Feeling the Heat

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    +2....And it's just a PITA...
  24. osagebow

    osagebow Minister of Fire

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    Second year burning, seeing a big difference over my first year's wood already.Have drier stuff, and have a lot of 12 mo. CSS oak that i won't touch this year or next. Good luck getting ahead and staying there!
  25. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    It can. A smoldering fire and a cool stack will cause creosote whether the wood is dry or not. Wet wood makes it a worse problem because it's harder to keep the fire and stack hot enough to prevent the creosote to form (it's a condensate). Here's another article (from Hearth.com): http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/articles/creosote_from_wood_burning_causes_and_solutions

    And remember, even "seasoned" wood at 20% MC has 20% water in it by weight. I'm not sure that completely dry is even possible.

    My point is that well seasoned wood is still the key, but good burning habits are still important.
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