If you buy your logs from Bertie’s you will know that your firewood is guaranteed to be nice and dry and ready to burn, but are there are a few simple checks that can help you decided if a log is dry or still damp.
1. Dry wood is lighter than damp wood, the more it dries out the lighter it will get.
2. Dry wood tends to shed it’s bark and the end grain has cracks or splits.
3. When stuck against each other dry logs ‘ring’ and wet logs tend to ‘thud’.
4. Dry wood when split feels warm and dry, wet wood feels cool and damp.
5. Dry wood lights easily, burns brightly and gives off lots of heat.
6. Damp wood is difficult to light, hisses, spits and smokes, giving out little heat.
If in doubt you can always check how dry firewood is by buying a moisture meter. Ideally your firewood should have a moisture content of around 20% to make sure you are getting as much heat for your money as possible.
If you would like Ed to artfully stack your firewood for you then we would be pleased to quote. Owls are Ed’s favourite images at the moment, prices start from only £2000.00 (logs extra).
If you don’t need your logs stacked quite so artistically, don’t forget Bertie’s offer a Log Stacking Service to take all the strain and pain away from this chore.
On a really cold day there’s nothing nicer than getting home and lighting your stove to warm up, but sometimes in Winter the stove can be difficult to light and even blow back smoke into the room. Why?
Well the answer is, during cold weather your flue can get blocked by a ‘plug’ of cold heavy air, which can force the warm air produced by the stove back into the room. To get around this problem try lighting a small hot kindling fire to warm up the air in the flue and create the draw the stove needs to work efficiently. After about 10 minutes the flue should be warm enough for you to add logs as normal and start warming up the stove and room. Another ‘trick of the trade’ is to point a hair dryer up the flue to warm up the flue!
The simple answer to this question is any wood that’s dry!
The slightly longer answer is that any wood that’s dry, but preferably dense too.
Timber when freshly felled usually has a moisture content of 50-60% and as with burning anything damp will not be easy to light or provide much in the way of heat. As a rough guide firewood like Bertie’s Kiln Dried logs with a moisture content of 20% will produce around twice the heat of freshly cut logs with a moisture content of 55%.
The density of the wood has an effect too, with slow growing hardwoods being much denser than quick growing softwoods. This means that you will need to burn about 4 softwood logs to get the same heat output as 3 hardwood logs of the same moisture content. Softwoods can also contain more sap and this can lead to the build up of tar in the chimney.
That’s why we produce our kiln dried firewood from locally sourced hardwoods including ash, birch, beech and oak.
Lighting your new stove can take a little bit of practice, but hopefully the tips below will help you get started.
Make sure all the air controls on your stove are fully open.
Place a Waxling firelighter in the middle of the grate and build a ‘wigwam’ of Bertie’s kindling around it. Light the firelighter and close the door almost completly, leaving it slightly ajar.
Once the kindling is burning well add a small klin dried log or 2 to the fire and allow them to catch well alight. Still keep all the air controls open and the door slightly ajar.
Once the fire is burning well with a bed of glowing embers close the door and then start to close down the bottom air control. This allows the stove to start to warm up.
Once the stove is warmed up, start managing the heat output of the stove using the amount of fuel and air added to control the heat produced. Add more fuel and more top air and the stove will produce more heat.
Remenber that firewood burns best when it’s on a bed of ash, so always leave an inch or so of ash on the grate. To get the best heat out of your stove and to eliminate ‘sooting’ on the window always use kiln dried logs.
Finally it takes a bit of practice to get a stove working well!