Choosing the right firewood for your appliance

Arden Firewood and Logs is a family run business operated from a farm in Over Whitacre and the office in Corley Moor.

Firewood quality is now more important than ever as more and more people install wood burning stoves and the message about quality spreads.

But what is, best quality firewood and how do you get the best firewood burn quality.

Firewood Quality

Quite simply it’s all about moisture content. The drier the wood the better it burns. Freshly cut wood will contain about 60-70% moisture content depending on species but to achieve the best firewood burn quality, the wood must be dried to below 25% moisture content, but it’s almost a case of the drier the better. This ensures a clean burn with maximum heat output.

Seasoning Firewood

It takes a long time to season wood naturally – up to three years. Be careful when buying your logs and make sure you get a full understanding of the quality you are buying. Many suppliers will claim the wood has been ‘down’ for two years and therefore dry. That does not mean it’s dry. It is not about the time the tree has been cut down, but more about how the wood is stored. It must be sawn into log size, split and stored under cover for meaningful seasoning to take place. The best thing to do is check the moisture on delivery with a moisture meter.

Hardwood Firewood versus Softwood Firewood

Many people say you should not burn softwood as it smokes, tends to spit, burns too quickly and can tar up the chimney. Once again if you buy kiln dried logs or have the best way to season firewood in a dry and airy store and can dry to a moisture content below 25%, then you will not have any of the above problems. These only arise when the wood is not sufficiently dry.

Softwood (Spruce, Pine, Larch, Douglas Fir etc) will have the same energy content per kilogram as hardwoods (Oak, Ash, Beech, Alder, Birch etc), however being far less dense, you will need up to twice as many logs (or volume) to achieve the same heat output.

We only use British hardwood logs as we presently regard them as providing the best value for money.

About 90% of Arden firewood stock is Ash then a smaller amount is Birch and Oak. Ash is considered the best to burn as it is clean and when it is kiln dried is the most efficient.

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