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Wood an environmentally friendly fuel
Wood was the traditional fuel in the UK until the industrial revolution. It has been replaced by coal, oil and gas over the last two hundred years. Our increasing awareness of the environmental damage caused by fossil fuels has led to growing interest in using wood as a sustainable, renewable, low carbon alternative.
Wood is a major source of renewable heat energy, and burned efficiently, it produces virtually no smoke. As trees grow they absorb carbon dioxide, incorporating the carbon into new growth and returning oxygen to the atmosphere. When the wood is burned this carbon is oxidised and released as carbon dioxide. As a result using wood from sustainably managed trees reduces net carbon dioxide production and while small amounts are released by the activities of processing and transportation, this is preferable to using fossil fuels. This means that using wood as a method of heating can significantly reduce our reliance on fossil fuels while also lower our carbon dioxide emissions.
Our woodland areas are limited but with effective management, a substantial quantity of wood is available from forestry which is not suitable for construction and other uses. Managing woodland improves bio-diversity and increasing the proposition of managed woodlands, supports jobs in the forestry industry.
Why is burning wood 'environmentally friendly?'
Burning wood is carbon-neutral. When trees grow, they absorb carbon dioxide and generate oxygen that is essential for our planet's survival. Whether wood is burned or left on the forest floor, it will release the same amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Wood is therefore an environmentally friendly fuel, being a renewable energy source.
Beechwood fires are bright and clear
If the logs are kept a year.
Chestnuts only good they say,
If for logs 'tis laid away.
Make a fire of Elder tree,
Death within your house will be;
But ash new or ash old,
Is fit for a queen with crown of gold.
Birch and fir logs burn too fast
Blaze up bright and do not last,
It is by the Irish said
Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread
Elm wood burns like churchyard mould
E'en the very flames are cold
But ash green or ash brown
Is fit for queen with golden crown
Poplar gives a bitter smoke
Fills your eyes and makes you choke
Apple wood will scent your room
Pear wood smells like flowers in bloom
Oaken logs, if dry and cold
Keep away the winter's cold
But ash wet or ash dry
A king shall warm his slippers by
- Wet or unseasoned wood produces the following poor performance:
- Fires that are very slow and difficult to start.
- Fires that don't burn well.
- Smokey fires with fewer flames, lack-lustre and dull dirty orange coloured flames.
- Increased dense grey/blue smoke from the chimney.
- Shorter burn times.
- Low heat ouput.
- Dirty glass with the effectiveness of stove's airwash system compromised.
- Excessive and rapid creosole build-up in the flue system and chimney.
- Unpleasant smokey smells inside and outside the house.
Therefore, always stick with the very best kiln dried, seasoned, hardwood logs, as supplied by silvanalogs2door!
Different wood types have their own qualities and properties and although there are references to burning green wood in this guide, we would say that for the most efficient and effective burn in your fire/woodburner, only very dry wood should be used.
There are of course the compressed, reclaimed 'eco' type of logs and briquettes. These burn well and for a decent length of time because they are dense and very dry. Having tested and trialed most of the offerings on sale, we've decided that Hotties heatlogs are by far the best. See our prices for details on this great product.
There are over 30 types of wood you can choose from:
Alder - produces poor heat output and doesn't last well. POOR
Apple - a very good wood that burns slowly when dry, it has a small flame size, and does not produce sparking or spitting. GOOD
Ash - Reckoned by many to be one of the best woods for burning, it produces a speedy flame and good heat output. It can be burnt when green, but like all woods, it burns best when dry. VERY GOOD
Beech - Burns very much like ash, but does not burn well when green. VERY GOOD
Birch - Produces good heat output but does burn quickly. GOOD
Cherry - Is a slow to burn wood that produces a good heat output. Needs to be well seasoned. GOOD
Chestnut - A poor burning wood that produces a small flame and poor heat output. POOR
Elm - Is slow to get going but it will be necessary to use a better burning wood to get it going. MEDIUM
Hawthorn - Is a good traditional firewood that has a slow burn with a good heat output. VERY GOOD
Horse Chestnut - A good wood for wood stoves, but not for open fires as it tends to spit. However, it does produce a good flame and heat output. GOOD (for stoves)
Oak - Because of its density, oak produces a small flame and a very slow burn. Requires a minimum of 2 year's seasoning. GOOD
Pear - Burns well with a good heat output but needs to be seasoned well. GOOD
Poplar - A very smokey wood with a poor burn. POOR
Thorn - Excellent wood for burning. Produces a steady flame with good heat output. GOOD
THE BEST WOOD TO BURN IS KILN DRIED WOOD!
Kiln dried logs provide you with the ultimate burn quality with maximum heat output.
The kiln drying process in our wood fired kilns remove most of the water for you, down to below an average of 15% moisture content.
Burning kiln dried logs will ensure your stove glass is kept clean and will prevent a build up of soot or tar in your chimney or flue. And because you get so much heat output, you will actually need fewer kiln dried logs than if you were buying 'seasoned logs', providing you with greater value for money.
Kiln dried logs also provide you with a consistent, reliable product, unlike 'seasoned logs' which vary in terms of their moisture content due to the natural and varied drying process.