Autumn. When there's a nip in the air, the nights start to draw in, and the trees shed their summer finery. Talking of wood though, when it comes to heating your home, how well are you prepared for the colder months?
Wood burners have become increasingly popular in recent years, but how well do you know yours?
1. Which wood is best for burning? [See our table below]
2. How dry is your wood?
What is the water content? 'Green' wood can be as high as 50% water content Is your supplier accredited?
Wood should be dried for a minimum of one year, preferably two; for example, an accreditation scheme such as Woodsure audits log suppliers
. What are the consequences of burning 'the wrong type' of wood?
Chimney cleaning issues
Kiln dried logs v seasoned:
There are 2 major factors in burning wood which affect its calorific value (heat output):
1. Moisture content
2. Wood density
Moisture content has far the greatest effect on wood-burning efficiency as any water in the timber has to boil away before the wood will burn. If you can get them to light at all, logs that aren’t dry will result in a fire that smoulder and creates lots of tar and smoke significantly increasing the danger of a chimney fire.
Wood density - hardwoods (deciduous broadleaved species) tend to be denser than softwoods (evergreen, coniferous species). This means that a tonne of hardwood logs will take up less space than a tonne of softwood logs, but will be heavier per log and will burn for longer.
Did you know?
Well-seasoned logs have twice the calorific value of green logs.
Kiln-dried logs have a higher calorific value than seasoned logs as they are drier and less dense, but can be very expensive.
Radial cracks and bark that comes off easily suggests well-seasoned wood.
Which wood is best for burning?
We recommend Layton Timber who supply logs which come already split, 3 years'-dried, barn-stored, and offers a prompt, all year-round delivery. Tel 01491 613 222
Their recommended best woods for burning are:
Produces a steady flame and good heat output; can be burnt when green, although is always best when dry and aged
Similar to ash, but does not burn well when green
A traditional wood with a slow burn and good heat output
Great for stoves but don’t use it on open fires as it spits a lot! Gives a good flame and heat output in a log burner
Also good for stoves but don’t use it on open fires as it produces an acrid and dense smoke.
Caring for your stove and your chimney
For your chimney’s health to compliment the logs you are burning and ensure your safety within the home we recommend Sweep Dreams Chimney Services. Tel 07913 905 042.
HETAS is the trade body for wood burners, http://www.hetas.co.uk
It recommends a chimney is swept twice a year, although this can be reduced to once if you are using multi-fuel in your stove.
Book your chimney sweep to attend just before you want to begin using your stove on a regular basis again; this is particularly important if you haven’t used your stove for a while.
Organisation Unlimited can provide the spark
Or, simply ask OU to arrange everything for you.
By grouping orders together, we can often arrange bulk discounts and also have preferential client status with chimney sweep services.