What a firewood kiln is
It is wood that has been processed for burning in a fireplace as defined above. But then it is taken as step further to increase the value as a firewood. This next step is to reduce the amount of moisture in the wood so it will burn better and hotter. The BTU’s are increased since less heat is used to dry the wood as it burns to drive of the water that happens with seasoned or wet firewood.
In kiln drying, higher temperatures and faster air circulation are used to increase drying rate considerably. The management of the kiln varies by the kilns fuel source and not wanting to use too much fuel to dry the wood faster. Deep freeze mid-winter days are slower since real cold ambient are has to be brought up to temperature
A firewood kiln is a specially designed industrial kiln built for drying wood. To put it in the simplest terms it is a huge oven that a lot of wood can fit in. It is large enough to drive a forklift into and stack many cords of wood. The do come in many sizes but the commercial ones to produce a good volume of kiln dried wood like very large oversized coolers. They are insulated to prevent heat lose, have air circulating fans to pull the water out of the wood. They typically either are heated by scrap wood, sawdust a waste product from other operations in a saw mill or by burning or propane. The wood is usually in the oven for days.
It is a byproduct from the forest management process. In Forest management trees are cut and chipped into big trucks for pulp wood and that goes to be burned for energy, some wood goes to make hardwood flooring and some goes to make furniture. As a forest grows there is also the need to remove smaller trees in order for it not to get over crowded. Out of all of these activities geared around sustainable forestry and the constantly changing market conditions there is a flow of mixed hardwood trees that makes great firewood. We have searched all of New England and New York to find high quality and consistent quality kin dried firewood. One of the issues is sorting and using species of wood that will all dry at the same rate otherwise some pieces of wood will burn to fast since they will be too dry and then other wood will smolder and sputter and be hard to light since it is too wet. For more information, please check our page on Forest to Fireplace.
When they are selected they are cut and trucked to the processing yard, then cut to length. Next the wood is put in metal bins to be stacked in the kiln. A couple of sample pieces are connected to the control room and the moisture is monitored in the wood in real time. This is coordinated with the temperature and airflow in the kiln. It is then stored indoors before the wood is shipped to Boston in a covered truck. Then it goes into our building for final processing prior to delivery to you. Each piece is inspected and placed in a bundle for easy handling for both us on delivery and for you the customer when taking the wood from the storage area to the fireplace for burning