STEP 1: WHAT TYPE OF FIRE DO YOU HAVE ?
WOOD BURNING STOVE
Most wood burning and multi fuel stoves are extremely fuel efficient and are designed with air flow regulators. This allows you to control the heat output when you need it most.
We strongly advise you to purchase kiln dried firewood, ideally hardwood.
Due to the low moisture content of a kiln dry log it retains a lot of heat energy which you are able to control a lot easier than an open fire, saving you money and time loading the fire.
A kiln dry log will also emit less smoke which will allow your flu liner to last longer.
As there is no air flow regulation with an open fire you will need to ideally purchase a dense hardwood such as Ash or Oak. Dense firewood will burn a lot slower and should give you a good return on your purchase. As long as the moisture levels are around 20 to 30% the logs should output enough heat.
We advise strongly NOT to use softwood as it will burn to quick and will set a false economy.
STEP 2: WHAT TYPE OF WOOD DO I BUY ?
The term 'softwood' refers to wood that comes from evergreen or coniferous trees such as larch and firs.
Softwood is less dense than hardwood and will burn far quicker and may set a false economy when buying. It has the qualities to burn extremely hot when dry but should the softwood contain a high moisture content it will have the tendency to spit and emit a lot of smoke that could possibly damage your flu liner.
For the above reasons Cornwall Firewood does not promote or sell softwood.
The term 'Hardwood' refers to wood that come from deciduous trees like ash, oak, and birch.
Hardwood is a lot denser than softwood and will burn far longer compared to a log of similar size to softwood.
Should you store logs outside, hardwood will not re-absorb moisture as quickly as softwood. It is good practice to store wood in dry conditions.
STEP 3: AT WHAT STAGE OF DRYNESS DO I BUY WOOD ?
FRESHLY FELLED -
Moisture content 40 - 60%
Freshly felled wood is sometimes called green wood. It is extremely high in moisture content.
The wood at this stage is NOT READY to burn. Should you wish to burn this wood you will possibly do damage to your stove and flu.
You will need to season this wood prior to use. Details of how to season wood is shown below.
Moisture content 20 - 40%
A natural air drying process that reduces the moisture content in the wood to around 25%. You will need to dry the firewood prior to use - this process is called seasoning and can take up to 2 and a half years for hardwoods such as Oak and Beech - Ash and Birch is a little less, normally around a year in good drying conditions.
It is the cheapest way to buy firewood but you will need an outside storage area that is well-ventilated and, ideally, open to the wind. To prevent the logs from reabsorbing moisture the logs need to be stacked off the ground and covered with a wind break or tarpaulin to protect them from rain or snow. Be aware that if you cover the logs entirely with no air flow the logs will be susceptible to rotting.
KILN DRIED -
Moisture content <20%
This is the Rolls Royce of firewood. Basically newly felled firewood is cut down to the required size (normally 25cm) and is force dried in a Kiln (very large oven, normally the size of a house). The firewood is then measured for moisture content at regular intervals and when below 18% it is then taken away to dry storage or sold immediately. An ideal log will contain between 10 and 14% moisture. You do not want it to dry as otherwise the log will burn to quick. The small amount of moisture in the logs slows down the burning time without reducing the heat output.
As the Kiln Dry Log is ready to use you do not need a large area to store the logs. If you are planning to store these logs make sure you dry them in a dry place. DO NOT store them outside as the log will only start to re-absorb moisture again defeating the object of kiln drying them I the first instance.
HOW TO BUY FIREWOOD
If you are new to buying Firewood you will probably have many questions to ask on what is the best way to do so.
At Cornwall Firewood we list below the best practices to adopt. This is based upon our own experience and research over the past few years. The following 3 step process will hopefully serve as a guide that you can adopt that best suits your own personal setup.
At Cornwall Firewood we give 100% guarantee on all our Kiln Dried Products which will give you the peace of mind in dealing with a local reputable, family run business.