We spoke to Nic Snell, Managing Director at British firewood supplier Certainly Wood, to get more information on everything you need to know about firewood. There are many factors that can affect how well your stove or fire performs, and one of them is the firewood you choose to burn. Read more to find out what Nic recommends when buying firewood for your appliance.
Nic says: There still seems to be a misunderstanding about the importance of burning dry wood. It seems that when it comes to fuelling our car, or buying oil or gas for the home, it is simple to buy a set standard of fuel that we can trust.
However, when it comes to firewood, historically there has been no set standard, just the knowledge by many that you need to burn ‘seasoned wood’. But what does that mean? This does not give specific information, but it is supposed to mean ‘dry wood’. The correct moisture content for firewood that is ready to burn is below 20% moisture content and the benefits of this are massive. Not only will you get far more heat output, you will avoid blackening of the stove glass and minimal soot build up in the chimney or flue. Finally, because you get more heat output, you will actually use less fuel.
If wood is too wet, it will not only be difficult to light, but it will also struggle to burn, give very little heat output and most certainly tar up the flue very quickly. Ultimately this could lead to a chimney fire, so it is important to burn sufficiently dried firewood.
Nic says: Quite simply the best way to ensure your firewood is sustainably sourced is to buy locally sourced British wood as this is tightly controlled by the forestry commission. All UK woodland has a management plan in operation, so for any felling to take place, a licence is required. This means no British woodland will ever be clear felled unless in extreme circumstance such as disease, but nevertheless, plantations will always be replanted – those are the regulations.
Nic says: This was set up by HETAS about 2 years ago and provides suppliers and customers with a recognisable ‘brand’ and logo that guarantees that the wood you are buying is below 20% moisture content so, ‘ready to burn’. However, make sure your ‘Ready to Burn’ logs are stored under cover to avoid any unnecessary increase in moisture content.
Look out for the logo on packaging and at your local retailer and once again, if in doubt ask the retailer. It does not presently cover anything else, so if you want to ensure your wood is British, then look out for the Grown in Britain logo.
When you choose a wood burner or multi-fuel stove from the Stovax Heating Group, don’t forget you can also be part of the wider #GreenBritain scheme when you register your product. With every registered product, the Stovax Heating Group will jointly plant a tree with Certainly Wood. Our aim is to plant 10,000 new trees a year in well-managed woodland. Find out more about the #GreenBritain scheme here.