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What Firewood Should I Use?

Using the right firewood will increase your heat output, increase burning time, and prevent unnecessary damage to your wood stove. Using the wrong wood may result in poor performance:

Slow starting, smokey, and short fires

Low heat outputDirty glass

Excessive build-up in the flue and chimney

Unpleasant smells


Our Recommendations 

We use a mixture of 12-18 month seasoned birch and beach logs, all with a moisture content of less that 20%. We find these types of logs generally burn hotter, and for longer.


Hardwood vs. Softwood

Hardwoods are generally better for burning than softwoods. Hardwood logs are heavier than the same sized softwood log, so they will provide you with much more heat output. Using hardwood logs means having to fill the stove up less often than they would with softwood logs.


Seasoned vs. Unseasoned Wood

Seasoned wood is thought to give you approximately 50% more heat output than the equivalent unseasoned log! Use dried, fully seasoned chopped wood logs with a moisture content of less than 20%. Ideally wood should be seasoned outdoors for between one to two years – the harder the wood then the longer the seasoning. Logs should be stacked off the ground with plenty of space between the logs to allow air movement. The top should be covered to keep rain and snow out. Read our blog on wood stores to find out more about the best ways to store wood!


How to identify Seasoned Wood

Wood which is well seasoned makes a distinctive ‘clack’ rather than a dull ‘thud’ when knocked together.Seasoned wood feels much lighter than an unseasoned log.The bark may be peeling away, and you may see cracks across the annual rings of the log.


Descriptions of Wood



Birch

Good fire starter

Good heat output

Burns quickly

Bright lively flames

Pleasing smell

Best mixed with other slower burning logs such as Elm, Ash or Oak



Cherry

Medium heat

Good heat output

Slow burning wood

Sweet burning aroma - great at Christmas!

Sparks a lot



Chestnut

Burns and splits easily

Reasonable flame

Reasonable heat output

Burns at a low heat

Heavy Smoke



Elm

Burns well but slowly

Long-lasting heat output

Difficult to split

Not quickly seasoned due to high water content

Best mixed with a faster burning log to help it get going



Maple

Hot burning

Difficult to split



Oak

Hot-burning

Slow burning

Nice flames

Long-lasting heat output

Not quickly seasoned - at least two years



Pine

Makes good kindling

Burns fast

Bright flames

Burns messy

Excessive use may cause problems in the flue system

Do not use exclusively; it is best mixed with other woods


We'd love to hear from you - let us know what works best in your stove in a comment below!

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