When using your moisture meter the reading should be below 20 percent, ideally between 10 and 20 percent.
Here are some other ways to tell if your firewood is seasoned.
1. Color. Color fades over time. Seasoned wood is less vibrant than green wood.
2. Shape. Splitting wood speeds up the drying process. If you need wood to burn in the near future, you better your odds by purchasing wood that’s been split. Split wood will also dry out faster than logs in a stack. Logs and unspilt firewood pieces that are touching the ground or near the center of the firewood pile will dry out very little.
3. Weight. As wood dries, it loses its moisture content and becomes lighter. Softwoods have a very high moisture content when they are green, so the weight difference will be more noticeable than hardwood varieties.
4. Hardness. Drying wood becomes harder, making it more difficult to split or dent. Dry wood is more compressed and stronger than green wood.
5. Bark. The bark on dry wood is loose. You may notice bare spots on dry logs. Any existing bark can be removed easily.
6. Cracking. You may notice cracks on dry pieces of wood, extending from the center of the log and reaching out towards the edges. However, you don’t want to use this as your only determining factor. Some dry logs may not crack and some cracked logs may still be too green to burn.
7. Sound. Wet wood produces a dull thud when struck against another piece. However, dry wood will make a hollow sound when two pieces are hit together.
8. Smell. Green wood has a stronger aroma. The smell will depend on the type of tree. As the wood dries, the sappy scent will fade to a light woody smell.
9. Split test. Aside from being hard to split, dry pieces of wood will be dry on the inside. You can check the moisture level of a piece of wood by splitting it open to see if it feels dry to the touch.
10. Flammability. You can also test moisture level by burning test pieces of wood outside. Green wood will be hard to light. It will smolder and create a lot of smoke, alerting you before burning it in your house.