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Why burn kiln dried firewood?


Believe it or not, this is actually a question we get asked all the time. “Surely any wood will burn?”. While this statement is technically correct, as with many things, there is more nuance to this, and some very important reasons to use the correct fuel for your log burner. Especially when you have shelled out your hard earned money on a stove like the ones which can be sourced by our friends at Direct Stoves.

Recently cut or ‘Green’ logs are a very poor source of energy, they are difficult to light, and produce a lot of smoke when burning due to their high moisture content (especially when cut in summer and the sap has risen in the timber). This will cause creosote to build up in the flue pipe and cause damage to the chimney. In extreme cases this can cause chimney fires.

When you try to burn wet firewood, most of the energy released is used to evaporate the water and is wasted, rendering the process pointless if the aim is to efficiently heat your home!

The government is also making changes in legislation that will mean users of wood burners won’t be able to buy house coal or wet wood. Selling small quantities of wet firewood to retail customers was phased out in February 2021. It’s worth noting that this currently applies to England only. You can read more about PM2.5 legislation here.

As a company, and as people with strong environmental concerns, we are in support of any government action to reduce carbon emissions. It is easy to often feel powerless to help in this regard but we believe, using firewood to heat your house in the cold parts of the year therefore using less fossil fuels, which have a much larger carbon footprint is a good way that the average person can help. Quality dry firewood is ‘carbon lean’. This means that each tree absorbs the same amount of carbon dioxide when growing as it releases when burned. When a woodland is managed in a sustainable manner, new tree growth will be absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide, offsetting that released by the woodfuel produced from the woodland. The overall contribution to atmospheric CO2 levels is minimal.

The temperature of 70 degrees centigrade achieved in the kiln drying process sterilises the logs, and removes any traces of wood boring insects.

When your logs are dry, like the ones you can purchase from us. If you burn them properly, timber is a renewable carbon neutral source of energy, and in our opinion the best way to heat a modern home with that cosy primal spark that is ignited in us all.