If you’re looking to invest in a wood-burning stove you may well find yourself wondering what wood you’ll require. There are many options for wood you can choose from, but not all wood is the same. Some wood burns quicker than others, while some produce more smoke. Here we look at the different types of wood you can use and which are more efficient for your wood-burning stove.
Which is better, hardwood or softwood?
Hardwood includes any broadleaf or deciduous tree types, including Birches, Beeches, and Elms. Softwoods are conifers such as Cedars and Firs and Pines. As a rule, hardwood is better for burning in a wood-burning stove because it has a higher density and therefore burns more slowly, making it the more efficient wood to choose. In comparison, softwood has a density of around half that of hardwood, which means it will burn twice as quickly and you’ll need twice as much.
Which wood should I choose?
Aged wood will always burn better, but there are several types of wood that are the most suitable for a wood-burning stove. Mostly, readily available wood that is easy to come by is the best wood to use, so this should make your selection process easier. However, certain woods still have advantages over others, even if they are popular. Here are some of the types of wood that are relatively easy to come by and their individual properties:
- Apple Wood– This burns fairly slowly and has the added benefit of producing a pleasant apple aroma that can be very attractive and highly sought after. This type of wood can be potentially difficult to come by depending on where you live.
- Ash – This is considered the best wood for burning in a stove, as it has a steady, strong flame with a high heat output. Ash should be fairly easy to come by and is one of the most economical woods you can buy to burn in a wood-burning stove.
- Beech – Beech burns in a similar way to Ash and is highly suitable for burning in a stove as it is easy to come by and efficient.
- Birch – This wood produces a good, strong heat output, however, it burns more quickly than other types of wood. While readily available, you will need a higher quantity to get the same energy.
- Hawthorn – Hawthorn is a wood that is traditionally used to burn in stoves since it has a slower burn rate whilst keeping a strong heat output. Nowadays, other wood types with similar qualities are more readily available, so you will need to check local supplies for availability.
- Horse chestnut – This wood is a good choice for wood burning stoves as it burns well and has the added benefit of being easily splittable. It still produces a good flame and has a strong heat output.
- Oak – Oak can be hard to find available, but the density of the wood makes it excellent for burning on a wood-burning stove. It has a relatively small flame with a slightly lower heat output but has a very slow burn meaning it will last much longer.
- Robinia – This is a good burning wood with a slow, steady burn, and also has a strong heat output. However, burning this wood can produce an acrid smoke that can be unpleasant and undesirable. Whilst this isn’t much of a problem with a closable wood burning stove, those who are looking for greener options may want to avoid this wood.
- Thorn – Thorn has a steady flame with very strong heat output. It doesn’t produce large amounts of smoke, which makes it desirable, however, this may be harder to come across when buying depending on your location.
Dry wood is better for a wood-burning stove
Whichever type of wood you choose for your wood-burning stove, it’s important to make sure your wood is fully dried before you try to burn it. Wood that isn’t sufficiently dried will waste large amounts of energy in the burning process by burning off the water content in the wood and producing steam. Different species have different water concentrations, but any wood you choose to burn should have less than 20% moisture content to be efficient. Wood you buy for burning on your wood-burning stove should have been aged and dried for at least a year, preferably two, before being burnt. This way you ensure a good quality flame.
Wood burning stoves at burning inspirations
At Burning Inspirations, we offer a large variety of wood-burning stoves that can be used all year round. A perfect solution for use throughout winter and summer, Burning Inspirations can give you the wood burning stove you want. If you’re interested in buying a wood-burning stove, contact Burning Inspirations for information and advice. If you would like to view the different styles of fireplaces and stoves available come and visit our showroom in Milton Keynes. Complete our online form for more information or call us for on 01908 507027.