It’s definitely the time of year to enjoy the wonderful warming atmosphere of a fire. It’s so satisfying and comforting. But have you ever found that sometimes your wood burning stove seems to burn better or worse than others? If so, it could be down to the wood you use. Here are some top tips on what sort of wood to use and how to store it to get the best and most efficient results from your fire.
Use seasoned wood
This is one of the most important considerations. Seasoned means wood that has been left to dry. It should have a moisture content of no more than 20% for the best results. Using full-seasoned wood will ensure it burns better, for longer, providing greater heat and less smoke. It will also have a lower carbon footprint. You can either store and season it at home, or find a local provider who has seasoned it for you. It takes 1-2 years for wood to be properly seasoned. Drier wood is lighter and any bark on it will peel away more easily.
Hard vs Soft
There are plenty of opinions on the best types of wood to burn and you can read for hours on the merits of different sources. In general, hardwoods are reputed to be better for wood burning stoves. They are slow growing and therefore denser, which leads to a longer burn and better heat provision. Ash is often cited as the best, but oak, birch and beech are also good. Softwoods will burn quicker, so you will need more. Any resinous woods are likely to need longer to season properly.
Storing your wood
Whether your wood was pre-seasoned or whether you are doing it yourself, you will want to keep the wood as dry as possible when storing it at home. The best way to achieve this is to avoid stacking directly on the ground – simple pallets or the like can provide elevation. Also try to keep the wood covered to avoid the worst of the weather, but in a manner that still allows the wood to breathe. Be aware that your wood stack will be a haven for insects, so you might need to shake them off before taking into the house!
Then sit back and enjoy the wonders of a roaring fire….and if you don’t have a fire or a burner and you would like one, please do get in touch!