Is a wood burning stove the environments new best friends?
The short answer is yes, quite possibly as long as you follow a few guidelines. The following tips and pointer will make sure you make the most out of your stove and make the pennies you spend on your fuel the most economical it can be.
Wood is a renewable source of energy, most wood companies have schemes in place to replace the trees they cut down. They know that to stay in business this is a must but there is no harm in checking that the places where you source your fuel are making sure there is still plenty to go around in years to come. Remember that some trees take a few short years to grow and other a little longer, sometimes decades to become fully mature.
The logs you use should be one of two things, seasoned or kiln dried. Drying the logs out in a kiln is all well and good when it comes to wanting to have logs ready sooner but probably not great when it comes to a carbon footprint. Seasoned logs have been chopped and left to dry our naturally making these the better choice when it comes to the environment. It is recommended that a log should have a moisture content of 20% or less which is better achieved when a log is seasoned for a minimum of two years. Dry logs last longer, burn hotter and deposit less tar into your stove and chimney, flue system or liner.
Hard wood or soft wood
We say hard wood as it burns longer and hotter when properly seasoned, however hard woods tends to be because they are slow growing trees so, make sure that these are being replaced and not cut down at ridiculous rates and everything should be fine.
Trees take CO2 out of the atmosphere as they grow and produce about the same when they are burned so in effect they are indeed carbon neutral. A good quality and efficient stove will make sure that CO2 being released into the atmosphere is minimal enabling the statement of ‘burning wood is carbon neutral’ pack a little bit more of a punch. High efficiency stoves such as the Heta Inspire 45, Town & Country’s Farndale and Pevex’s Serenity 40 all have efficiency of above 80%.
Where ever possible use reclaimed wood. There are many companies that you can approach and see if you are able to take away excess wood for you to burn at home. Just remember these two things the wood you use to burn can neither be stained nor painted. Pallets are a great example, pallets are easy to come by, your local builder, stove shop or builders merchant may have spare pallets that they actually pay to have removed and which usually end up in landfill. The fact that these pallets have already served a purpose weighs on the good side of environmentally friendly source. These are probably best used by breaking them down and used as kindling or starter pieces but this is an example, get in touch with a tree surgeon as he probably has spare wood from time to time too.
Regular Stove Service
Keep your stove regularly serviced to make sure that your wood burning is kept to the highest efficiencies possible. Have your chimney swept annually to make sure there is no build up there either.
for more information on any of these please get in touch or pop into a stoves and fireplace showroom in Aylesham between Canterbury and Dover.