Until the industrial revolution, wood was the traditional fuel used in the UK. It was then replaced by coal, oil and gas. However, increasing awareness of the environmental damage caused by the use of fossil fuels, has led to the growing interest in using wood as a sustainable, renewable, low carbon alternative.
Enough history for now! Read on for the Brighton Wood Burner’s guide to wood burner wood…
Wood Burner Wood
Which type of logs should I use?
If you want the most heat, for the most amount of time – there are two significant factors to bear in mind…
1. Moisture Content
2. Wood Density
The moisture content of wood has the greatest effect on it’s calorific value – this is the amount of available heat per unit (volume) of fuel.
Any water present in your logs has to boil away before the wood will burn. This reduces the energy released. Damp logs will give you a fire that smoulders and creates tars and smoke. These tars can be corrosive and potentially damaging the lining of the flue – increasing the risk of a chimney fire.
Wet logs will also blacken glass the in your stove. Well-seasoned logs however, have approximately twice the calorific value of green logs.
When buying logs, you’ll usually have the option of hardwood, softwood, or mixed. Hardwoods, (deciduous, broadleaved tree species) tend to be denser than softwoods (evergreen, coniferous species). This means that a tonne of hardwood logs will occupy a smaller space than a tonne of softwood logs. Denser wood tends to burn for a longer period of time, meaning fewer ‘top ups’ are required to keep a log stove burning for a given length of time.
If you buy wood by volume, you’ll receive more kilowatt hours (kWh) of heat from a cubic metre (m3) of hardwood than softwood (at the same moisture content).
Confused yet? Hopefully not!
As you know – here at Brighton Wood Burners, we consult, supply, install and maintain, but it doesn’t stop there. We’ll even check the moisture content of your fuel – ensuring you’re efficiently warm and toasty for longer…