The Importance of using dry logs in a stove
Stove retailers and installers and chimney sweeps have an important role to play in educating consumers about the moisture content of wood and advising them on where to buy it.
Modern clean burning stoves are designed to burn dry wood. Burning wet wood will lead to an increase in smoke and emissions and produce little heat. It will also lead to a blackening of the stove glass and a build-up of soot in the chimney.
Freshly cut wood can have a water content between 60% and 80% and if used in a stove will amount to burning water. Freshly felled timber should be cut and split into small logs and left to dry in a covered but airy store, before being used. This can take between 12 and 36 months depending on the storage conditions and most importantly species. For example, ash may only need 12 months but oak at least 36 months. This is known as seasoning. Most people buying a stove for the first time do not have the space to dry wood for up to three years. They want to buy wood that is ready to burn, dried to have a moisture content below 20%. The moisture content of logs sold in nets, sold as ‘seasoned logs’ can vary considerably and is often between 30% and 50%. Kiln dried logs can provide a more consistent quality, with a moisture content that is generally less than 20%.
Using dry wood also means that fewer logs are needed to produce the same level of heat. This saves money and reduces emissions because less wood is being burnt. The Efficiency of the appliance also plays an important role in the amount of wood required,. Significantly fewer logs are required in an Ecodesign Ready stove. Saving money and reducing emissions.