Kiln dried firewood has been heat treated in a firewood kiln to reduce moisture content and kill insects, larvae and fungi.
Why is this important? Invasive insects or diseases can spread when contaminated firewood is moved, potentially infesting a heathy forest.
Seasoned firewood that has been cut, stacked and allowed to dry naturally is not a proven way to eliminated these diseases or invasive insects.
In fact, studies have shown that invasive insects can survive in processed firewood for over 2 years and still emerge to infest a local forest.
Firewood that has been kiln dried to a core temperature of 160 degrees fahrenheit for at least 75 minutes is an acceptable way to meet the heat treatment standards.
The heat treated firewood will be free from insects and have a low moisture content that allows hot burning fires that are easy to light.
The firewood is placed in a firewood kiln where high temperatures kill any living insects, larvae or fungi.
To reach a core temperature of 160 degrees fahrenheit in the wood, the internal temperature of the kiln is typically around 180 to 200 degrees.
A standard kiln used to dry lumber is not an acceptable way to treat firewood. Lumber is dried at a much lower temperature than firewood to prevent distortion in the wood. These lower temperatures are not enough to reach a sufficient core temperature in the firewood.
The cost of a firewood kiln can be very expensive. Some models can cost nearly $50,000. Due to the high initial investment, many people who sell firewood choose not to purse this option.
Firewood can be kiln dried at any time of the year and you can eliminate months of waiting for your wood to naturally season.
Although the initial startup cost is high, the firewood can be sold at a higher price and shipped to potential customers. It's important to obtain the proper certifications and abide by all state and federal laws before you ship any firewood.
As state and federal guidelines continue to become more restrictive about moving firewood, many people are considering a firewood kiln to take their firewood business to the next level.
For those who purchase kiln dried firewood, you can expect to pay a higher price but you will be receiving premium firewood.