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What type of solid fuel suits you?

August 1, 2014

 

Fuel: which type is most suitable for you?

 

Logs: 
Logs are a very popular choice for burning on a stove, however logs should dried to at least 25% moisture before burning to ensure the most efficient burn. 
Storing logs to dry out for burning is known as seasoning. You can buy logs which have already been naturally seasoned but these may not have a guaranteed moisture content and will cost more than logs which have not been seasoned so it is worth checking with your supplier. 

The most cost effective way of buying logs is to buy in bulk and have some kind of log store or shed which can be used to keep logs until they are dry enough to burn. A handy piece of kit to have if you are seasoning your own timber is a moisture meter so you can see how dry your logs are when selecting some for burning.
Alternatively you can buy logs which have been kiln dried, these are usually tested for a suitable moisture content and therefore do not need to be stored by you, Kiln dried logs are generally more expensive than air dried.
Wood is a major source of renewable heat energy and if burned efficiently, it produces virtually no smoke. Using wood from sustainable managed trees reduces net CO2 production compared to using fossil fuels.

 
Wood fuel logs:  

Wood fuel logs are made up from compressed waste wood, the timber is already dry and the logs are usually in packs of 5 or 10 and easy to store. Wood fuel logs can vary in quality and moisture content but generally burn well with little ash or waste. 
Also with some wood fuel logs they expand on heating as the wood is compressed so they take up less storage space and you will burn less of them on your stove than standard logs.

 

House coal:
Some multifuel stoves (but very few) are suitable for burning standard house coal. This is usually purchased in sacks weighing from 10-25kg and can be stored outside in a dry place such as a coal bunker. Coal generally burns for longer than wood so you will need to load the stove less often. House coal is generaly intended for use on open fires and produces lots of heat which can warp the internal parts of your stove. It is very important that you check your stoves instructions for the manufacturers advice on burning house coal on your applianece as doing so may void any warranty you have on the stove.

 

Smokeless fuels:
Smokeless fuels are known by many names such as anthracite which is a natural smokeless fuel and comes in various sizes described as as pea, nugget, bean, oval, egg etc. Manufactured smokeless fuels are known by brand names such as e-coal, briteheat etc. 
Smokeless fuel  looks like coal but does not produce smoke when burnt, It releases less carbon emissions than coal so is kinder to the environment and also burns for longer.
Smokeless fuels also produce less ash than standard coal. Anthracite ignites with difficulty and burns with a short, blue, and smokeless flame.

 

 

 

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