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kiln dried logs on a palletA recent Which study highlighted that nearly 70% of people aren’t using the most efficient type of fuel on their stove. ​
The study found that most people with a wood burning or multi-fuel stove use seasoned logs – but this isn’t the most efficient fuel to burn –  the most common types were:​

  • seasoned logs (69%)
  • kiln-dried logs (14%)
  • free wood, grown in their own garden or collected from the local area or neighbours (13%).​

Ideally you only burn wood with 20% or less moisture content because:

  • It’s more efficient – you wont waste energy having to burn off the water first, so the heat output will be higher.
  • It’s better for the air – less potentially harmful particulates are released into the air than when burning wet wood.
  • It’s safer – fewer sooty deposits will build up in your chimney, which can be a fire hazard.​

TYPES OF WOOD

kiln dried logs bagBurning the right fuel is essential to get the most heat, happiness, comfort and joy from your wood burning stove or log burner. So, what type of wood?

Oak
Burning oak in your wood burning stove is another use for this much revered species. This wood is the most popular as it is so widely available, with the only drawback appearing to be the long seasoning time it requires. Generally, oak can take up to 18 months to properly season some varieties.  It produces a a low smoke point and high heat output.

Ash
If you are looking for an abundant wood with a high heat output and an easy wood to split as well, ash is tough to beat. Ash comes in both green and white varieties and maintains a low smoke point and white ash does produce slightly more heat than green.

Apple
Fruit-woods are known for their appealing scent and have proven themselves to be a highly valued wood for burning on a stove. Apple is a wood that is relatively easy to split with a low smoke output and requires a shorter seasoning time than hard wood varieties.

Beech and Birch
kiln dried logs small bagOther common wood types for use in log burners are beech and birch. These woods do require a substantially longer time to season than most and tend to be offered by kiln drying companies rather than those that season wood naturally. The bonus of these woods is that they have an intensely long burn time.  Should you decide to cut these woods yourself, be mindful that they are very difficult to split.​

When choosing the right wood for your wood burning stove, consider your home’s needs. For those that prefer to maximise efficiency, hardwoods such as beech, birch and oak are the ideal options. However, if you are intent on cutting, splitting and seasoning your wood yourself, consider the many benefits of woods such as maple and fruit-wood varieties. Each of the woods above do produce excellent heat with a low smoke point, so no matter which one you choose you can expect maximum warm radiant heat from your wood burning stove all season long.

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