Why You Need Dry Logs For Your Woodburning Stove | Yeoman Stoves

Why You Need Dry Logs For Your Woodburning Stove

Stack of dry logs

Whether you’ve owned a Yeoman woodburning or multi-fuel stove for some time, or are new to the wonderful ways of sustainable home heating, one thing is guaranteed: you’ll need good logs for the perfect flame and the best efficiency.

A dry, healthy stack of logs will do wonders for the efficiency of your stove while boosting your eco credentials at the same time. A good source of carbon neutral energy, wood is much better for the environment as the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere is roughly the same as that absorbed by the tree during its growth.

To maintain the environmental benefits of woodburning, any logs you use for fuel will have to have been home grown or bought from a sustainable source. To get the most out of these logs and their carbon neutral goodness, they need to have an overall moisture content of less than 20%. That means they will need to have been dried for at least 1 year and probably more.

Another great bonus for your woodburning stove is that the drier the wood, the less build up of tar you’ll see on your stove door glass. Working with the integrated Airwash system to keep the glass clean, burning good wood will improve your flames and your overall stove enjoyment.

So, how do I dry my logs?

Drying logs really is as easy as it sounds – there’s no hidden agenda to it, but it does take time. Storing your logs correctly is the key to your wood burning success and for that, you need space.

Ideally your log store will be open to the elements (though not rain, of course!) allowing plenty of wind and sun to dry the logs quicker. Logs shouldn’t be placed directly against the side of a building as this won’t allow air circulation around the logs – good air flow is essential.

Another important factor is to keep your logs raised off the ground. Storing your logs directly on the ground means the logs will have little chance of drying completely and can encourage wildlife to set up home in your log pile. Plus, much like storing the logs against the side of a building, it can reduce airflow.

How do I know when my logs are dry?

Typically, logs need approximately 12 – 18 months or more to dry sufficiently. When they are roughly 30cm long with a width of around 10cm, this length of drying time is standard. Logs that are thicker or longer than this will take longer to dry.

One of the best ways to tell if your logs are sufficiently dry, is to use a moister meter. This measures the moisture inside the log and will tell you if the level is higher or lower than the recommended 20% moisture. Other ‘quick look’ signs are if the wood is darker in colour on the ends, lighter in weight and if logs sound ‘hollow’ when two logs are knocked together.

Tell tale signs that your logs aren’t dry enough are any sign of green on or under the bark or if the bark is hard to peel. All these point to the fact that the log still contains significant moisture. While wood with a high moisture content will burn eventually, it will mean a lack of overall efficiency, plus you will experience a significant increase in the build up of tar on your stove glass.

What types of wood can I use?

Different woods have different qualities and each can have an effect on the type of fire you intend to burn. For example, softwoods such as pine or cedar will create shorter burning fires, whereas hardwoods including Oak and Cherry will burn for longer which may be more effective over the course of a long winter’s day or night.

It is generally best to avoid manufactured or pallet wood as these can contain fire retardants and/or insecticides. Also, woods that have been painted or treated in any way should be avoided as anything such as weatherproofing treatments or creosotes will contain chemicals that could be harmful.

A Greener lifestyle

Though buying kiln dried logs is by far the easiest way to ensure 100% lack of moisture in the wood, this can be a costly exercise, especially over a 6 or 7 month period when your stove might be used.

Splitting and stacking your wood can give you a real sense of the self-sufficient lifestyle. It will be hard work building up your log store supplies, but the results will be worth it and, if you’re a landowner, your wood could even be free.

For more information on using the right firewood for your Yeoman wood burning stove, why not visit www.stovax.tv where you’ll find the useful “How To Identify Good Firewood” video, plus a host of informative videos about stove care in general.

Please also use our Find A Retailer function to find your nearest retailer. They will be happy to offer any advice on all aspects of your wood burning experience.

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