Our Top Tips for burning wood efficiently in wood burners / wood stoves – from Woody Wood Products Telford
28th February 2014
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Here at Woody Wood Products we understand both the attraction of burning wood and some of the problems with doing it successfully, so we thought we would share with you our top tips for making the most of your wood.

Give it air – you’ll make the most of your wood when the draught control is open fully and the flames are vigorous and intense.  This intense burning is also better for the environment – gas particles are combusted thereby creating heat not pollution.

A little smoke is good – when your wood burner / stove is burning most effectively, it will release a small amount of steam and some pale smoke out of the chimney.  These are just high energy gases that haven’t burned off. Dark, dense smoke coming from the chimney is telling you that the fire in the wood stove isn’t intense enough. When you’ve lit and established the fire, go outside and take a look at what’s coming out of the chimney.

Light from the top – many modern stoves are designed to burn from the top down – it helps to reach the correct operating temperature more quickly, burns the gases better and the wood lasts longer. To light from the top most effectively, stack the logs tightly and light a small fire on top of the wood so it burns downwards.

A lonely log is bad – a log burns in three stages and a single log can’t maintain its own burning process. Multiple logs create a larger burning surface, creating more turbulence and sustaining the burning process. So – 2-3 logs at a time is the best.

Turbulence is good (unlike when flying) – you’ll have noticed the wood lights more easily when the door of your wood burner is open.  Turbulence agitates the air – that provides more oxygen to the molecules in the wood which makes lighting easier. If your house is tightly insulated, you might find opening a window when you light a fire helps the fire ‘catch’ more quickly. We personally use a blow pipe to really get things going – much better and more accurate than bellows or fanning the wood.

Clean burner = more heat – at least annually, remove the soot build up from your wood stove and flue and you’ll feel the benefit. Even a small amount of soot reduces the conduction of heat. If you use pine wood which produces the most soot, you’ll need to clean your stove more often.

Different wood produces different heat – you’ll get more heat from hardwood but softwood is cheaper to buy (although the actual heat given off per kilo of wood is the same). Softwood burns more quickly but is generally cleaner than hardwood. Try using a mixture of softwood and hardwood when it’s not quite as cold and you don’t need as much heat.

Overnight sensation – most stoves will burn happily for 2-3 hours per load of wood. The traditional way of closing the draught control so the fire smoulders overnight creates more pollution and increases the risk of chimney fires as well as giving poor heat (gases not combusted so energy not utilised). We recommend bigger hardwood logs for the last wood load in the evening that is allowed to burn as normal with the air vents open. Even if the fire dies out, your stove and chimney will still be warm in the morning and it’s easy enough to get the fire going again.

We hope these top tips will help you get the most from your wood burner / stove and your fuel. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.

About the Author

Mark Luckman

Member since: 10th July 2012

I champion the best businesses in Telford and Wrekin, businesses recommended by you. If you run a local business or know a really great local business that you think deserves to be known by more local...

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