Tuesday 6 November 2012

8 Wood Types To Burn In Your Stove

The type of wood you burn in your stove makes a big difference to the heat output and look of the fire as some woods burn more brightly, cleanly and for longer than others.
With the clocks having gone back and winter officially here, now’s the perfect time of year for beginning to light a fire in your wood burning stove on a regular basis. You naturally want to maximise the heat you get from your logs so it’s worth spending a bit of time contemplating the type of wood you use to make the fires in your burner.
Real fires add warmth and charm to a home, and there’s something so magical about gathering around the hearth on a chilly evening. When you combine this with the environmentally friendly nature of wood burning stoves thanks to their energy efficiency, using a stove to boost your heating system makes financial sense too. And there are ways you can make the most of your stove’s potential by sourcing the best wood types.
As a guide, always avoid damp or unseasoned logs as not only will these create a visually displeasing fire with dulled flames but much smoke will be released and heat lost as the water content in the wood is burned away. This means you’ll lose a great deal of the log’s heat potential as well as the look of the fire itself. So always choose dry wood that has been seasoned well.
Also, try to buy hardwoods as these take longer to burn compared to softwoods and because of their density you can pack them into your log shed more easily too. Hardwoods take a little longer to get going than softwoods, which is why you may want to use a softwood variety for kindling and to get the fire started before switching to the likes of oak and ash for a steady heat output. Although larch and pine both burn well and with a bright flame, these wood types tend to spit and leave an oily residue in the chimney so are best to avoid.
In our experience, these 8 wood types are an excellent choice for burning as firewood:
1. Ash
This wood provides a nice steady burn and generates a good amount of heat. Because of its naturally low water content ash can be burned when it’s green although it’s best to season it first as you’ll get more heat in return. Ash can be easily chopped into logs too.
2. Oak
When properly seasoned, oak is just about the best wood for burning as it gives off a consistent heat throughout the burning process.
3. Cherry
This provides a nice warm glow of heat and creates a lovely scent too.
4. Beech
This wood has a naturally high water content but will burn steadily once seasoned well.
5. Cedar
This wood provides a good heat output and nice aroma.
6. Hawthorn
A good firewood, hawthorn releases a nice amount of heat and burns at a slow pace.
7. Maple
Reliable and slow burning, maple makes a good choice of firewood.
8. Rowan
This wood burns well and steadily too for a decent heat output.

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