What fuel should I burn on my Stove?
First find out if your stove is a wood burner only or multi-fuel model and always remember: Never burn solid mineral fuels on a woodburning only stove.
Experts say the burning of wet or unseasoned wood and smoky solid fuels is the main problem in causing air pollution. Burning wet wood is inefficient as it demands a lot of heat to boil off the water before the fuel can give out the proper level of heat to the room, hot water or heating systems. In turn, this creates a lot of smoke which damages the chimney and blackens the appliance and contributes to air pollution. Dry wood that has been properly sourced and seasoned means it produces fewer particulates, more heat efficiency and less maintenance – chimneys are less likely to block and will remain easier to sweep and flue liners will last longer.
Properly seasoned wood should have a moisture content of 20% or less plus you burn less fuel on a wood burner than you do on a stove. We at The Stove House can supply this for you in individual bags or by the pallet, see here. Invest in a moisture meter if you have your logs delivered by the load, to ensure what the moisture content is.
The government has noted this in documents, meaning open fires are most at risk. "The message we're putting out, with the Government, is to burn the right wood on the right appliance," says Dennis Milligan, from the Stove Industry Alliance. "Then, there'll be a progressive improvement in emissions." The best stoves are the 'Ecodesign ready' stoves.
Although many news headlines are focusing on wood-burning stoves, Bruce Allen, chief executive of Hetas, the not-for-profit body that approves fuel and installation standards, says 'open fires produce the bigger problem'. He continues to say that 'one of the newest models of stoves used to burn dry wood will produce a fraction of the particulates of an open fire burning wet logs'.
TIPS ON STACKING YOUR WOOD
1) Ensure you buy seasoned or kiln dried wood and that the stack location is several feet away from your home's foundation, as well as any decks or sheds because of termites and bugs. Consider any drainage issues that your location may have, to prevent moisture build up after a heavy rain or snowfall. Make sure you have picked a spot with plenty of sunlight, this will help to keep your wood dry.
2) Make sure you have wood ends like bookends to prevent rolling.
3) Stack bark side up and allow air to flow through the stack.
4) Cover and secure the top with a tarpaulin or sheet of plastic, black is preferable as it will absorb heat and encourage evaporation. Don't cover the whole stack as it will sweat.