With more and more people looking for ways to reduce their domestic fuel bills, wood burning stoves are becoming increasingly popular. For those who would like to go one step further and dry their own wood at home, there are a few things you will need to know before you get started.
Making sure that your logs are seasoned/dry before you burn them not only guarantees that you will generate heat efficiently and have a clearer flame, it will also help to ensure that your stove does not spit embers or produce unsightly smoke. Wood that is referred to as 'seasoned' has usually been left to dry for at least 2 years to achieve a moisture content of less than 25%.
When deciding what type of wood to use, there are a few things to take into consideration. For example, hardwood and softwood will burn at different rates. They will also vary in scent and even the colour of the flame produced will vary from wood to wood. You should also avoid burning wood that has been treated or painted as the chemicals can damage your stove when heated. For a comprehensive list of wood and its properties, please click here.
In preparation for drying, the logs should be cut down to a size that fits easily into your stove door opening before being stored. This will prevent the wood from taking too long to dry. Wood generally takes at least 12 – 18 months to dry out before it is ready for use and cutting the wood to the correct size can play a huge part in this.
Burning wet wood is never a good idea. It will not produce as much heat as dry wood because its energy is being used to boil off the excess moisture instead of producing heat. The wet wood will also leave residue in your flue liner which increases the risk of chimney fires.
Logs that are kept outside should always be stacked in log stores while drying out. The log store should keep your logs off the ground, have a roof to stop the weather from undoing all of your hard work, and some ventilation so that the wind can assist you in drying your logs a little quicker. You can find more information on our bespoke heavy duty log stores by clicking here.
Always ensure that you have a sufficient store of wood inside your home. Any wood that has been outside will need to be brought indoors for a few days to continue the drying process and be ready for you to use.
Alternatively, if you do not want to dry your own wood, need some wood to get you started while you wait for your first batch to dry out or even wish to fill in the occasional gap when your wood is running low, here at North Wales Stoves we are always on hand to supply you with all the wood you need.