Devon woodburning stoves
Woodburning Stoves
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When burning wood always, always, always use properly seasoned wood. Unseasoned wood will contain a lot of moisture. Seasoned wood has been left to dry out for at least eighteen months, weighs less than green wood and burns far more efficiently. Green (unseasoned) wood retains a great deal of water which will absorb heat (water is a thermal conductor) until it evaporates. The cooler burning fire will leave you with lots of black smoke, soot in your chimney and on the glass of your stove and quite probably a visit from evironmental officals is you live a smoke-less zone.

Never use wood that has been chemically treated (i.e. stained or painted) or artificial wood products (plywood, hard board, MDF, etc.) both will produce potentially dangerous fumes, burn very quickly or not at all. They are likely to leave a revolting mess in your stove from the glues or other products used in their manufacture.

You can season your own wood. Hardwoods (Ash, Oak, Beech, etc) take over two longer to fully dry out, which is more than softwoods (pine, larch). Hardwoods do burn hotter and longer than softwoods, giving more fuel efficiency and brighter flames. Of all hardwoods are the general consensus of opinion for the best wood to burn is Ash, sometimes known as the King of Firewood. Green wood is best cut and split before being left in a dry. Your store should be a sheltered area with plenty of ventilation to season. Keep the wood off the ground, do not simply cover the wood with a tarpaulin unless you are willing to remove it frequently. Seasoned wood will absorb moisture to replace what it has lost if it is left exposed to rain or in contact with the ground during a frost. Wet wood will rot faster, even properly stored and seasoned wood may not last more than five or six years of storage.

When seasoned properly the wood will be darker at the ends with visible cracks or the grain starting to split, it will also make a distinctly hollow noise when struck, as opposed to the more solid thump of green wood. Most importantly having had most of its water removed, seasoned wood weighs considerably less than fresh wood. Moisture meters are available that can determine the moisture content of your wood, most sources agree that 20% moisture is the absolute maximum for burning.

Wood can be purchased already seasoned or kiln dried. When you buy it check that it is seasoned properly. You should ensure that your wood comes from a properly managed source and this can be checked quickly and simply through the Forestry Stewardship Council.

There are many benefits to using wood as a fuel. Primarily among these is the cost. Wood is a readily available and perpetually renewable fuel, this means that it is cheap. Unlike coal and other fossil fuels wood from a properly managed source is considered carbon neutral. This is not because wood does not realise its stored carbon dioxide (which it does), but because the carbon in wood was taken out of the atmosphere by the tree as it grew and once released as carbon dioxide by burning will be reabsorbed by the trees growing now. This differs from fossil fuels where the carbon released has not been in the atmosphere for millions of years (fossil carbon) and once released means there is a excess of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

 

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Flamin Grate Stove and Chimney Centre,
UNIT 7A, Dawlish Business Park,
Shutterton Industrial Estate,
Dawlish,
Devon,
EX7 0NH

Telephone | 01626 867 688

 

Email | info@flamin-grate.co.uk
 

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