Heating with wood – what you need to know
Using solid fuels, such as firewood, for household heating is becoming fashionable again, and many of us enjoy sitting around fireplaces or stoves very much. The heat coming from these types of sources is very pleasant, definitely more enjoyable than heat from gas. But in order for wood heating to be effective, you need high-quality wood. What should you pay attention to when choosing, buying and then storing wood? We shall tell in the following lines.
Hard or soft wood?
This is a very important question. The best approach is to have both, hard and soft wood. Soft wood burns faster, but it is an ideal when you are starting a fire. Spruce wood is currently available at rather low prices due to the ongoing bark beetle calamity. On the other hand, hardwoods, such as oak or beech burn much longer, but you pay a prime price for this type of wood, or you may choose something in the middle such as birch, hazel or ash, as well as other faster growing trees. There are many alternatives.
Stacked, pallets or bulk firewood?
Well, here you need to decide whether you want to save money or your own work. You need to do plenty of work and longer cleaning of your garden if you go for stacked logs but of course the price will be the lowest. If, on the other hand, you choose loose wood on pallets for example, be aware that you are also buying air between individual pieces, but you may not need to do any sawing or even splitting. And if you choose to get uniform wood pieces stacked on pallets then you just stack them and that is it.
Firewood drying – the most important thing
Firewood must be completely dry before use. Freshly cut trees contain roughly 40 to 50% of moisture. Ideally, it should be reduced down to 20% so, wood should be left drying for 2 years. at a location which is very well ventilated and which gets plenty of sun. The upper layer of stacked wood should be covered, but make sure it will not prevent air flow. Cut and split wood pieces dry rather easily and you can even buy a special device readily available in stores to measure the moisture.
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