Types Of Fuel For Woodburners

Why Wood is Good for Home Heating

Modern Woodburning Stoves are more efficient and less polluting than ever before and offer a low carbon, sustainable and renewable way to heat your home

Types Of Fuel

As the price of energy escalates, more and more British homes are opting to fit wood-burning stoves as a cheaper, greener alternative to gas and electricity.

Here at Dinghams Direct we’ve seen a recent upsurge in orders for our woodburning stoves across our Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset catchment area. All the lovely wood stoves in our top-class collections are Ecodesign approved (meaning they adhere to European directives on air pollution).

Chairman of the Stove Industry Alliance, Andy Hill, said in a press release that a wood burning stove costs about a third of the price of electric heating to run, and approximately 13% less than gas central heating (that was under the price cap, before the recent massive rises in gas prices that we’ve experienced since, which means the saving is now even greater).

There’s also the matter of being eco-friendly, and wood fuel approved for use in stoves has good renewable and sustainable credentials. The latest Ecodesign compliant woodburners are great performers when it comes to carbon emissions, compared to stoves that are 10 years or more old. If you need a new, up-to-date wood burner, get in touch with us.

What Can be Burned in a Wood Burning Stove?

One of the most frequent queries we are asked by customers who are buying a wood burning stove for the first time is what they can use as fuel. Can a wood burner, for example, be fuelled by coal, charcoal, commercially made smokeless logs, or anything else for that matter?

No – wood burners burn logs of wood only – and for best performance it can’t be just any old wood.

The clue is in the fact that a woodburner has no grate at the bottom of the fire compartment. Wood can burn efficiently with airflow coming in from above,
whereas a stove with a raised grate is designed for burning coal, which requires airflow from below and above for optimum combustion (a multi-fuel stove).

Whatever you do, don’t burn coal and wood together – the unnatural heat can damage your stove, even causing warping or melting.


What Type Wood is best for Wood Burning Stoves?

Hardwood is the preferred option because the harder the wood, the greater the heat output and the longer the burn time. We always advise to avoid wood with a high resin content.

Here’s a list of some of the most commonly used species of wood that make great fuel for log burners:

  • Ash – low smoke and good flames emitting plenty of heat. Usually readily available locally. Some suppliers tell you unseasoned Ash can be burned in wood burners because they have a low moisture content, but we’d recommend you only burn ash that has been logge and split and stored in dry conditions for a year OR go for the kiln dried.  Ash may need only a year to dry out and season.
  • Beech – burns relatively quickly, but provides a good heat output with bright flames and pleasant aroma.  Beech may need 2-3 years to dry out and season.
  • Oak – when you need a prolonged burn and your stove is alight all day, dense oak logs will keep things going, though at a lower temperature than Ash or Birch.  Oak may need 3-5 years to dry out and season.

Other woods which burn well, but are not easily sourced unless you have them on your own property, include Elm, Yew, Hawthorn, Birch, Apple, Cherry and Hornbeam.

Woods to avoid are Alder, Chestnut, Cypress, Laburnum (poisonous sap), Spruce. Douglas Fir, Pine, Larch, Poplar and Willow.

Seasoned & Kiln Dried Logs for Wood Burners

A very important rule of thumb to be aware of when sourcing logs for your wood burner is that whatever type of wood you burn in your stove it must be in the form of dried, fully seasoned chopped logs with less than 20% moisture.

Well-seasoned wood should ideally have been dried outdoors for 18 months to two years. The harder the wood, the longer the seasoning should be. Oak for example needs 3 to 5 years to dry properly.

If you’re seasoning your own logs, stack them off the ground with plenty of space between them to allow for air circulation, and keep them covered to keep them dry.

Even better, you can buy commercially kiln dried logs that have been slowly dried in an industrial kiln to remove excess moisture. These logs will be ready to burn
immediately. They’ll probably be more expensive than sourcing local wood but you will get an efficient and clean burn, clean glass and a clean chimney.   We have successfully used Dalby Kiln Dried Ash: www.dalbyfirewood.com.  Enter the code DINGHAMS to get 10% off your first order.

View our range of wonderful Woodburning Stoves online and give us a call on 01722 697 699 for further details. Alternatively, pop into our friendly showroom in Churchfields, Salisbury (SP2 7YR).

A typical Log Store


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