Did you know that properly dried wood should have a reading of 20% or less? If you have a wood burning stove or fireplace, you should invest in a moisture meter. It’s a minor investment that can save you in wasted fuel, money, time and effort. After all, if you spend time or money chopping, hauling, stacking, and storing firewood, you want it to be the best fuel possible. The US Environmental Protection Agency recently published a video entitled “Wet Wood is a Waste” to help you properly use a moisture meter and get the most out of your investment.
The burning of wet wood is also a health and environmental hazard that is avoidable. Learn more about proper drying of wood:
Burning wet wood is a waste. Dry seasoned firewood helps reduce harmful air pollution, is more efficient, and saves time and money. Wood smoke may smell good, but it’s not good for you. Wood smoke can effect everyone but children under 18, older adults, people with diabetes, heart disease, asthma or other lung diseases are the most vulnerable. Today will focus on how to figure out if the wood is dry enough to burn.
Moisture Meters provide an easy way to test wood to see if it’s dry enough to burn. These devices can cost as little as $20. They come in different shapes and sizes, and most are very simple to use. Be sure to read over your owners manual before getting started. To measure, split the wood and take a reading from the center of the split piece. Hold the meter parallel to the grain. Push the meters prongs into the wood. Keep holding the meter against the wood until you get a reading. Some meters provide a reading automatically while others require you to press and hold a button. For the most accurate reading test the wood in multiple places. If your measurement is 20% or less the firewood is ready to burn. If the read out is higher the wood is still to wet. If used properly moisture meters can help you judge whether firewood is safe to burn, or even buy. Next time someone is selling seasoned wood take your meter along and test if it’s really ready to burn. Remember, you get more heat out of wood with a moisture reading of 20% or less. To learn more visit www.epa.gov/burnwise