If you've been looking into purchasing a wood burning or multi fuel stove then you will have no doubt come across the fact that these appliances need seasoned wood to run on but why?
Well there are a variety of reasons for this, the most important being from a safety aspect. When wood burns in a stove, if it is properly seasoned then the smoke that comes from burning the log is ignited within the stove once it reaches a high temperature. When the wood is wet this temperature cannot be achieved, therefore the smoke escapes up the chimney, when the gases get cooler towards the top of the chimney it condenses, forming tar which will eventually harden to creosote. This is unburnt fuel and can lead to chimney fires, a very serious issue! As well as this the creosote also reduces the diameter of the flue, impairing its performance and possibly leading to a total blockage. Should a flue become blocked whilst a fire is burning the gases will have nowhere in which to escape except back into the room, very dangerous indeed, especially if you’ve just fallen asleep on the couch after a big Sunday dinner!
Another reason for burning dry, well-seasoned wood is in terms of your wallet! Secondary combustion is the term that’s used to describe smoke igniting within the stove when dry wood is used. Secondary combustion means more heat from the log for your money, this is what makes stoves so efficient. So as you can see, burning wet wood is a false economy, you’ll not only save on chimney sweep bills as your chimney will be cleaner due to secondary combustion but you’ll also burn less fuel full stop.
As well as these two important reasons there is another, ease of use. Invariably when people have issues with their stoves performance it comes down to fuel. Wet wood gives off little heat, is hard to light, smokes, blackens the glass and you’ll also have little control over the fire itself. Seasoned, dry wood however is easy to light, controllable, will keep the glass clear and gives off lots of heat per log!
As you can see seasoned wood is of upmost importance, it really is a no brainer!
Article written by Ryan Brocklehurst