YOUR STOVE IS ONLY AS GOOD AS THE FUEL YOU BURN.
It may sound blunt, but it’s true. Good, clean and efficient fires need good, clean and efficient fuel. This is why wood and fuel are synonymous with efficient and environmentally friendly stoves and heating sources. If you want your stoves and heaters to achieve optimum function without any added air pollutants and potential health hazards, you should choose the type of fuel you feed them extremely carefully.
At Home Farm Stoves, our goal is to help our clients make the most of their stoves and range cookers. It is for this reason that we are committed to educating our customers and providing them with the vital information they need to help them make the best decision possible. Hopefully, this guide will achieve the same objective. With this in mind, here are some quick pointers on using wood as fuel for your stove.
What should I be burning?
Should you be using gas, solid fuels, or wood as fuel? Are pellet stoves a good option too? Whatever your preference, the type of fuel you should be burning will depend on a number of considerations. Your location in the UK, the type of stove you want, and how you want to use it will all play a part. In addition, the effort you want to put in, environmental concerns, and government legislation are also vital factors that you must consider when choosing solid fuels or wood to fuel your stove.
Put simply, whatever you choose to burn, you must make sure it is of the highest quality and well-dried.
Which fuel is right for you?
If your knowledge is limited when it comes to the types of wood and fuel used in stoves and heating sources, you might be confused about what you should choose. If you want to be certain that you will make a smart decision, please consider the following points.
Whilst there is currently no statute governing the use of fuel, it is likely that we will see a ban on coal, high sulphur and wet wood sales as part of the Ecodesign 2022 plans. These fuel types burn much less cleanly than wood, dirty your glass, lead to dangerous build up in your flue and can produce more smoke and harmful pollutants that can potentially cause health problems compared to dry, well seasoned wood. For this reason, whether or not government regulations prohibit the use of these fuel types, it would be wiser and more advisable to steer well clear and opt for a much safer alternative!
Of course, any type of fuel costs money. However, the cheapest way to power your stove is to obtain some wood, split it and then season it yourself for a few years. If it isn’t seasoned well enough, it won’t burn as efficiently as it could. This is why you should make the necessary preparations to ensure that your stove will have excellent wood for fuel. Be aware though, doing it yourself is a significant investment in time and equipment!
Your Stove & Flue
Burning coal or wet wood as fuel leads to a build-up of chemicals in your flue, which can cause severe damage in just a few years. If you do not want your stove and flue to die a premature death, we recommend choosing a type of fuel that will help preserve its lifespan.
It is also possible that your stove is only designed for burning wood. In most cases, your choice of fuel will depend on the type of stove you own. Accordingly, you should verify the type of fuel your stove runs on before making a final decision.
Where You Live
Your location is also a key consideration when deciding on which type of fuel to use for your stove. For instance, you may be in a Smoke Control Area if you reside in a built-up location. If this applies to you, you will need a DEFRA-exempt stove and only burn wood as fuel.
If helping preserve the environment is one of your main priorities, you would be better off opting for well-seasoned wood as it is renewable, burns cleanly and doesn’t need extra energy in processing. In addition, wood fuels a wide variety of stoves so there is a good chance that the stove you love is primarily designed for wood burning.
The Effort Factor
How much work are you prepared to do yourself? As you may know, you will need to exert a bit of effort when using your own wood to fuel your stove. You can split and season timber yourself, but it is much less work to buy it dried, seasoned and ready to burn. If you opt to simply purchase your wood, you can just pop it into your stove and start using it straightaway, thereby saving you both time and effort.
What is the difference between wet and dry wood?
As we have mentioned, when it comes to fuel for your stove, wood is your best option. Nevertheless, there are a few things you need to bear in mind when choosing the type of wood you intend to use.
As living organisms, trees rely on water to live. When felled, the wood from these trees contains a very high amount of water, perhaps up to 80%. This means 80% of the weight of that wood is just water. As the wood begins to burn, the energy from the fire evaporates all the remaining water. If the wood has a high moisture content, a lot of the potential energy will be used to evaporate this moisture. As a result, your stove won’t be as efficient when generating heat in comparison to when you use dry and well-seasoned wood as fuel.
Besides reduced heating efficiency, burning wet timber and using green wood as fuel is also bad for the environment. As we mentioned earlier, it produces more smoke and pollutants that can be harmful to your health, as well as Mother Nature. Furthermore, excess smoke from wet wood fuel can damage your stove. It can cause a build-up of creosote in the flue and the inside of the appliance, potentially leading to costly repairs or premature replacements.
Because not all types of wood have the same moisture content, you should conduct some research to ensure that you have the best wood fuel for your stove. Moisture content can be affected by several factors, including:
The time of the year the wood was felled;
The type of wood;
The species and health of the tree when it was cut;
The time it took for the wood to dry before using it.
Do you want to know what type of wood fuels stoves most efficiently? According to DEFRA, wood with a moisture content of below 20% is the best to use with wood-burning stoves. It is more heat-efficient and it doesn’t produce excess smoke.
If you are going to collect and chop your own timber, please keep in mind that it will take about a year to dry it to a suitable level. In fact, certain types of wood, particularly those from dense hardwood tree species such as oak, can take up to two years to dry. As such, you must ensure you consider this issue when sourcing your wood to fuel your stove.
Dry and seasoned wood fuels a stove much more efficiently when it meets certain conditions. To ensure it generates sufficient heat, it should:
Have radial cracks in its cross-section;
Have loose bark and a dull colouring;
Be noticeably lighter than wet wood.
Alternatively, you can purchase dry and seasoned wood fuel from trusted dealers such as Home Farm Stoves. Our wood is pre-cut, thoroughly seasoned, and ready to use with your stove. It enables you to save a significant amount of time and effort compared to collecting and seasoning timber on your own.
Why choose Home Farm Stoves as your trusted source of wood and fuel?
At Home Farm Stoves, we are committed to excellence. From our stoves and range cookers to the wood and fuels we have on offer, we guarantee that our products are of the highest quality. We have also built a reputation for delivering unparalleled customer service.
Therefore, you can count on us to provide you with high-quality and well-seasoned wood to fuel your stove.
Order your fuel today
Because wood fuels stoves, it is vital that you choose the type of timber that will enhance your stove’s capabilities and help preserve its lifespan. At Home Farm Stoves, we offer high-quality and environmentally friendly dry wood to fuel your wood-burning stove. With our product offerings, you are sure to get great value for your money, enjoy maximum satisfaction and obtain a fuel source that will give your stove a significant boost.
Do you have any questions about our products? Our team at Home Farm Stoves is always happy to answer your inquiries, so feel free to get in touch with us at any time. You can reach us on the telephone numbers listed below or by sending a message via email. You could also complete the contact form on this page.