YOUR STOVE IS ONLY AS GOOD AS THE FUEL YOU BURN.
It sounds blunt, but it's true. Good, clean, efficient fires need good, clean, efficient fuel. And hopefully we can help guide you towards that here.
Wood & Fuel
What should I be burning?
What you should be burning depends on a number of things. Where you live in the country, the stove you want to use and how you want to use it all play a part. The effort you want to put in, environmental concerns, and government legislation all play their part too.
To put it simply, whatever you choose to burn, make sure it is high quality, well dried and look after it.
Which fuel is right for you?
Consider the following points:
Whilst there is currently no statute governing fuel use, it is likely 2022 will see a ban on coal, high sulphur and wet wood sales as part of the Ecodesign plan.
Any fuel costs - but the cheapest way to fuel your stove is to obtain wood, split it and season it yourself for a few years. If it isn't seasoned well enough, it doesn't burn as efficiently as it could.
Your Stove & Flue
Burning coal or wet wood leads to a build-up of chemicals in your flue, which can severely damage it within a few years.It may also be the case that you have a stove that is only designed for wood burning.
Where You Live
You may live in a Smoke Control Area if you live in a built-up area. If you do, you'll need a DEFRA exempt stove and to only burn wood.
If the environment is a high priority, you are best off choosing well-seasoned wood - it's renewable, burns cleanly and doesn't need extra energy in processing.
The Effort Factor
How much work are you prepared to do yourself? You can split and season your own wood, but it's much less work to buy it dried and seasoned, and ready to burn.
What is the difference between wet and dry wood?
As living organisms, trees rely on water to live. This means, when felled, the wood from these trees contains a very high amount of water - even 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 is used to evaporate all the remaining water in the wood.
If the wood has a high moisture content, a lot of the potential energy goes to evaporate this moisture. If it has a low moisture content, this energy can instead be converted into heat.