Buying the right type of fuel for your log burning stove
Stoves were always intended for wood alone, but now we have the option to use smokeless fuel. So what type of stove you choose will depend on what fuel to buy. Wood burning stoves are obviously intended for wood alone and multi-fuel stoves can burn wood or smokeless fuel.
When buying a multifuel stove it is not advisable to burn both wood and coal at the same time as this will damage your stove and your flue lining. With the sulphuric acid in the coal and moisture in the wood, will combine a nasty sulphuric acid solution that can quickly eat away at anything. This will in time erode your stove system.
Wood burning stoves
Wood burning stoves, as it suggests, is for burning wood alone and the wood should be well seasoned. Seasoned wood has been dried to remove as much moisture content as possible. That is why our wood is highly recommended as it is kiln dried, guaranteeing less than 20% moisture.
It is recommended that you only burn wood with a maximum of 20% moisture. Freshly cut wood (also known as ‘green wood’) can contain up to 50% moisture, so seasoned wood is highly recommended.
Why is seasoned wood neccessary?
- More efficient
- Produces less smoke
- Keeps your stove cleaner and healthier
Wood should be as dry as possible, otherwise a lot of the heat in the stove is used to evaporate the water from the wood. That means you produce less heat and more condensates and resins in the chimney. Condensates are the cause of chimney fires. A lower moisture content means that your firewood will burn consistently well with little smoke, and will not blacken the glass of your stove door, giving you much more heat. If you are using unseasoned wood, you might find that your log stove keeps going out.
If you are buying pre-seasoned wood like ours, you should look out for the Woodsure Ready to Burn logo, which shows it has passed quality assurance measures.
If, however, you aren’t sure if your wood is seasoned, or plan on doing it yourself, you can check the following factors:
- Appearance: It should be pale in colour with some visible cracks, while the bark should easily come loose.
- Weight: Without its moisture content, seasoned wood should feel light in weight.
- Sound: When you tap two of the logs together, it should make more of a clear knocking sound than the dull thud of green wood.
You can buy a moisture meter to test the water content of the wood more scientifically. To use one of these, take a couple of readings from a sample of logs and make sure they are ideally below 20% moisture.