Firewood for the sauna is a serious matter

Visiting a sauna is a unique experience, even if you do it regularly. 

This attitude was formed by our ancestors when the purification process was understood not only as cleansing from the dirt accumulated during the day. In saunas, our ancestors cleansed not only the body but also the mind. In many cultures, it is believed that water and steam purify evil spirits. Therefore, even the choice of wood for the sauna is essential today, especially if you prepare the wood for the sauna by yourself.

How to prepare wood for the sauna

Selecting wood for firewood should be done carefully. First of all, inspect the wood. It shouldn’t be:

  • sick,
  • broken,
  • damaged by insects,
  • decayed,
  • covered with moss. 

It would be best if you tried to take logs with fewer knots. A large number of knots makes the wood heterogeneous, due to which it burns unevenly.

At what time of the year is it better to prepare firewood for the sauna?

If you are going to prepare the wood for your sauna stove, the best time is in the middle of winter. This is because the wood is asleep in the most severe frost, so there is only a little circulating fluid. Because of this, it will dry out quickly and not get damp. 

Does the wood need to be treated?

Do not treat wood in the sauna with any chemical solutions, and do not use kindling liquid on damp wood. It is dangerous for your lungs, as well as for the safety of your sauna. Our lungs become very vulnerable in the sauna, so even some wood is not recommended for heating the sauna, much less any chemicals. You don’t want to breathe something akin to gasoline fumes during a wellness session, do you? Nobody wants that, so avoid any chemicals in the sauna.

What are the best trees to choose for a sauna?

It is better not to choose trees that emit resin when burning. While using such firewood, the resin settles on the chimney walls and, over time, flows back into the stove. As the resin layer in the chimney increases, the productivity of the sauna stove decreases. Also, resinous trees can be detrimental to those who have cardiovascular diseases.

Nevertheless, many people choose resin wood because of the pleasant smell emitted when their favorite wood burns. The best trees for the sauna are:

  1. Oak – fills the sauna with the scent of the woods;
  2. Lime – gives a light honeyed fragrance;
  3. Fruit trees – gives a sweet aroma;
  4. Conifers (emits resin);
  5. Birch trees (emits resin).

Conifers and birches are the most fragrant, but you have to be very careful with them because of the resin.

Logs should be chopped in two stages: first in quarters and then one more time. The second time, it is better to halve wood not along with the rings but across them. Of course, you want to put a whole log in the stove, but aesthetics are less important than the furnace’s productivity. Large logs will not burn to the end, but small wood will burn evenly and thoroughly.

Be sure to dry the wood well before using it in the sauna! The damp wood is more difficult to ignite, and the amount of heat depends on how dry the wood is.