We often get asked by our customers what type of fuel they should burn in their stoves – particularly what type of wood. As such we’ve put together this blog post to help anyone else who wants to know how to choose best firewood to burn in a wood stove!
Wood Should be Dry
If the wood has not been dried you will waste a lot of energy as the moisture in the wood heats up and turns to steam and also creating lots of smoke and a build-up of creosote in your chimney. Fresh wood has a water content of between 65-90% so it is recommended that wood is seasoned for at least a year before burning. Oak is best seasoned for two years.
Wood can be dried out in your own wood store or you can buy ready-seasoned or kiln-dried logs. The best wood to burn will have a moisture level of less than 20%.
The Different Types of Wood to Burn
Hardwoods are from broadleaved deciduous trees, such as elm, beech and hawthorn. This is the best type of wood to burn in your stove because it burns slowly and has the least amount of pitch and sap.
Softwoods are from coniferous trees such as pine and cedar. Softwoods are not dense in texture and as a result they will burn about twice as quick as hardwoods, meaning you will need around twice as much wood as a hardwood. However, this wood is cheaper to buy and easier to light. As the wood contains more pitch and sap than hardwoods, there is more potential for the by-product creosote to build up in your chimney and create a fire hazard.
This table lists some woods that are recommended for burning.
Wood and Products Not Recommended to Burn in your Wood Burning Stove
Wood burning stoves are great for burning salvaged wood and other scraps, but there are certain wood products and other things that you should not burn for health and safety reasons. This is because some produce dangerous toxic fumes when burnt and some can damage the metal of your stove or cause a build-up of creosote in your chimney.
Avoid These Woods and Household Items: –
- Painted or varnished wood, trim, or other wood by-products
- Pressure-treated wood
- Plywood or MDF
- General household rubbish
- Styrofoam containers such as disposable cups, plates, or food packaging
- Egg cartons
- Glossy or coloured papers
- Plastic or wrap products
- Hardboard or other compressed paper products
- Gypsum board
As well as supplying a wide range of wood burning stoves from our stove showroom we also provide a stove fitting service by our talented and experienced wood burning stove fitters. Visit our showroom, pick up the phone to speak to us on 01395 267805 or fill out the form below to get in touch.