The Right Fuel for Your Woodburning Stove

With the autumn and winter seasons creeping ever closer, woodburning stoves will soon be up and running again; an efficient heat source for thousands of homes all over the country. With gas and oil prices on the increase, burning wood is not only cheaper but is more environmentally friendly as it is sustainable. However, for better fuel economy and more heat from your stove, it is important to burn the right wood.

Which Wood?

Many people in the stove industry often refer to the following poem as a general guideline:

“Beech wood fires are bright and clear
If the logs are kept a year.
Chestnut only good they say,
If for long ’tis laid away.
 
Birch and fir logs burn too fast,
Blaze up bright and do not last.
It is by the Irish said
Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread.
Elm wood burns like churchyard mould,
E’en the very flames are cold.
 
Poplar gives a bitter smoke,
Fills your eyes and makes you choke.
Apple wood will scent your room,
With an incense like perfume.
Oak and maple, if dry and old,
Keep away the winter’s cold.
But ash wood wet or ash wood dry,
A King shall warm his slippers by. ”
 
 Anon
 

Whatever type of wood you choose to burn, it is important that it is dry and seasoned with a moisture content of under 20%. Kiln dried wood, which has a typical moisture content of 15-20%, does not need storing and can be burnt straight away. For wood that has not been dried or seasoned, it ideally needs to be stacked off the ground in such a way that air is able to circulate around the logs. Exposure to the sun and wind will evaporate moisture in the logs, as long as they are protected from rain and snow. To test the moisture content of your logs, we recommend using the Morso Moisture Meter; wood may often seem dry on the outside, but this is not necessarily the case on the inside.

Hotties Heatlogs

Why not try Hotties heatlogs, a new eco friendly product for use on a woodburning stove. They are made from compressed, 100% recycled, clean wood offcuts and sawdust, and contain just 4% moisture. This means they are easy to light, burn with a steady flame and give off a constant heat. Hotties heatlogs have a low ash residue and are a low smoke fuel, as well as being clean to handle and store. Please click here to view the product.

Signs You Are Burning Wet Wood

  • Difficulty in lighting and maintaining a fire.
  • Less heat from the fire – if the wood is wet the fire will use all its energy trying to dry out the wood.
  • Blackening of the stove’s glass window.
  • Smoky fires.
  • Excessive build up of creosote, a tar-like substance, in the flue or chimney that causes blockages and restricts air flow. This is dangerous as creosote is a highly flammable material and is often the cause of chimney fires. 
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