Log types and Burn rates
The rate a log can burn on a wood burning stove can be influenced by various factors, such as log sizes, wood types, and stove efficiency.
There are many things to consider, but here are a few;
Log Size: The size of the logs affects how quickly they burn. Larger logs burn more slowly than smaller logs. It is important to follow the recommended log size and load from the stove operating instructions. Using logs that are too big or overloading the stove can cause damage. Using logs that are too small or not enough logs can prevent the stove from reaching its full potential heat output.
Wood Type: Hardwoods like Oak, Sycamore, and Ash are considered better fuel than softwoods like Larch, Spruce, and pine. This is because hardwood is denser, so a hardwood log of the same size contains more carbon, provides more heat, and burns longer. Softwood and hardwood logs can have the same calorific value per kilogram. However, you will need a greater volume of softwood logs because they have a lower density. Softwood logs are usually cheaper. If you have enough storage space, you can use a combination of both hardwood and softwood logs.
Woodburner / Stove efficiency: The stove’s efficiency affects the burn rate. Eco design stoves are highly efficient and use less fuel. This means the logs will last longer. Look for a high efficiency rating when choosing an eco design stove to reduce fuel usage and carbon footprint. Smaller stoves are generally more efficient than large ones, but consider room size and heat output needed for heating the space.
Burn Rate: The air flow in the stove affects the burn rate. Insufficient air flow can cause logs to smolder and soot up the stove. Excessive air flow can cause logs to burn too quickly. Adjust the air vents to find the optimal burn rate. Some stoves have a user-friendly single air control slider, while traditional stoves may require some getting used to. Follow the operating instructions as each stove design may vary. The air control may also differ for wood burning and multi-fuel stoves.
How moist is moist? Moisture content is crucial for wood quality as fuel. Green logs can have a lot of water, so a heavier log doesn’t mean more heat. It’s better to dry or season wood before burning in a stove. Burning wet wood is inefficient and can harm the stove. Water in wood reduces heat and creates steam. Wood with over 25% moisture produces corrosive smoke and tar, damaging flue linings and causing chimney fires. Dry wood produces minimal smoke and tar, and is more efficient. Test moisture content with a meter. Bring logs indoors a few days before using for further drying.
There are various types of wood that are suitable for wood-burning stoves, each with its distinct characteristics. Here are some recommended logs:
Oak is a type of hardwood that burns at a slow and steady rate, generating a significant amount of heat. Additionally, it emits minimal smoke and sparks.
Ash: is a hardwood that is known for its efficient burning and high heat output. It is also easy to split and ignite, which makes it a commonly chosen option for wood-burning stoves.
Birch: is a fast-burning hardwood that produces a lot of heat and burns cleanly, with very little smoke.
Maple: is a type of hardwood known for its slow burning properties, high heat output, and minimal smoke and sparks.
Cherry: Cherry is a hardwood that burns cleanly and produces a pleasant aroma. It also produces very little smoke and sparks.
Apple: is a hardwood that burns slowly and produces a pleasant-smelling smoke. It also generates minimal smoke and sparks.
Pine: is a type of softwood that burns quickly and generates high heat. However, it also emits a significant amount of smoke and sparks, making it unsuitable for wood-burning stoves. It is crucial to consider both the type and quality of wood for optimal usage.
It is recommended to use dry, seasoned wood for your wood-burning stove in order to ensure optimal performance and prevent potentially hazardous creosote buildup.