Stove -L ondon
The most important (part/ aspect) of burning wood
is to make sure it is dry.
Moisture content in wood
When a tree is felled in winter, the moisture content of the wood will be over 50%, and even higher if it is felled in summer. By splitting the logs and/or cutting them to short lengths, you can accelerate the rate at which the wood will dry out. You can check how dry it is using a moisture meter. You should be testing by splitting the log then test the centre of the log.
The reason the wood needs to have dried out is that when you put a log into a fire or stove, before it can burn, all of the moisture must be driven off, and this uses some of the heat from the fire - so, the wetter the log, the less heat you get out. But there's another problem too - wet wood doesn't burn as cleanly, which is bad from the point of view of pollution, and also can deposit tar in the chimney, potentially creating a fire risk. (CHIMNEY FIRE)
So how dry should your wood be before you burn it?
The moisture content should be 15% to 20% at most.
How long it takes to get this dry depends on how the wood is stored.
Ideally it should be split as soon as possible, then stored off the ground in a place where air can circulate through it and the rain is kept off it. Drying to 15% to 20% should usually happen within two years.
Don’t burn water
This is the most fundamental thing to get right when you’re burning wood. It might be surprising, but green wood is around 50 % cent water. That means that for every kg of green wood you add to the fire, you’re effectively adding around 500ml (a pint) of water.
• Buy kiln dried logs or briquettes. There can be sustainability issues with this sort of material, as energy has been added to dry the fuel before it reaches you, though some (but not all) suppliers use wood-fired kilns. This is usually the most expensive (but simplest) way of fuelling a stove.
Find green wood and dry it yourself – probably the cheapest option, if you’ve got the space to dry your logs properly, but do bear in mind that it will take a while. As a minimum, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve given your logs at least two years to dry properly .
• Find a good supplier. The best way of finding a good log supplier is to go through an accreditation scheme such as Woodsure. This is an audit of whether the logs really are as dry as the supplier claims, which gives you some peace of mind that you’re not being ripped off.
15% - 20% MOISTURE