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Winter Fuel: Why FSC Wood is a Great Fuel for Heating Your Home

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Winter Fuel: Why FSC Wood is a Great Fuel for Heating Your Home

Wood is a major source of natural and renewable energy and has many environmental benefits; when burned efficiently, it produces virtually no smoke and can therefore be considered, carbon neutral. The correct burning of firewood will not add to the greenhouse gases which are associated with global warming and blamed for changing our local and global climates.

Wood is not only a valuable source of energy but also a rich habitat for wildlife and if harvested responsibly, from sustained and properly managed sources, it will continue to supply us with energy and natural wildlife habitats for many thousands of years

All FSC certified wood has come from forests that have been overseen and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. They assess forest management all over the country and each region uses their own evaluation processes to decide upon a forests qualification. This allows the FSC to remain outside of a standardisation process which supports the integrity of the standard, and the FSC system. Certifiers look at the ways in which a forest is managed and the activities of the foresters. Forest certification is also based upon tracking of forest product or firewood and its chain-of-custody or whose hands it went through, when and what they did with it.

If you don't know where your firewood has come from, how old it was when it was felled or how long ago it was cut and stored, it is extremely difficult to tell how good it's going to be as a burning fuel. Many people have experienced the disappointment of trying to burn, young, green or unseasoned firewood, it doesn’t burn well, it doesn’t produce great heat and it spits and sparks all over the place, potentially damaging carpets and furniture or worse, setting fire to their home. For these reasons you are best advised to go for seasoned hardwood and seasoned soft wood.

FSC Seasoned Firewood for Sale

Why Seasoned Firewood is Best

For firewood to burn as efficiently and cleanly as possible and for it to produce the maximum amount of heat energy, it must be allowed to dry or “seasoned”. Green or unseasoned wood has a surprisingly high water content and this stops the wood from burning as efficiently and stops it from producing as much heat energy. The reason for this is that burning unseasoned firewood leads to the production of steam, smoke, noise and sparks, all of which are conversions of energy into forms other than heat energy.

Seasoned wood has been cut to size and left to dry out naturally over a period of one to two years and is likely to contain as little as 25% moisture compared to the 45% or so which it contained when it was green, freshly cut or unseasoned wood. With less moisture to burn off, more of the energy stored within the wood can be converted to heat energy to warm your home.

There are also the issues of safety and cleanliness to consider; the spits, crackles and sparks produced by the burning of unseasoned wood can result in hot ash or embers landing on carpets, rugs or furnishings. This can prove costly as well as present a very real safety hazard. For this reason you are strongly advised to always have a fire guard in place. The smoke and steam produced can also be problematic, smoke and steam deposits can build up in your chimney or flue and cause a back draft, filling the room with thick, acrid smoke or even flame.

Seasoned Firewood Logs

Which wood is best – soft or hard wood?

The answer is both, or rather; a combination of the two. Hardwoods and softwoods have different qualities making them react differently to the combustion process. Softwoods like pine, fir and spruce will burn quickly because they are not as dense as hardwoods. They contain larger air pockets than the hardwoods of birch, ash, beech, elm, oak, cedar and lime and as a result, will burn faster and at higher temperatures. This makes softwoods ideal for kick starting a fire. Kindling wood is always made using softwoods, these small pieces of highly combustible material catch fire very easily and burn with such an intensity that they are able to boost the combustion process of the slower burning but longer lasting hardwoods.

So when choosing to heat your home using firewood, it is better to have a selection of hard and softwood logs at your disposal. Use the softwoods to start your fire and the hardwoods to keep it burning long into the evening. This way you will only need to top up the fire occasionally. If the fire looks to be going out, simply add more softwood in the form of logs or kindling, very soon you will see flames appear with renewed vigour and your fire will be set once more.

About Big K Seasoned Hardwood Logs

Our seasoned hardwood logs are available in nets and contain a variety of British hardwoods, all from sustainable sources. The nets can include logs of birch, beech and elm as well as ash, oak, cedar and lime.

The hardwood logs are pre-cut to sizes of approximately 250mm-330mm in length and 40mm to 160mm in diameter making them suitable for both modern and traditional size fireplaces. This sizing also makes the logs ideal for use in woodburners and a range of wood burning appliances.

Upon delivery of your seasoned hardwood logs, it is recommended that they be stored under cover but open, so as to allow free air circulation. Having stored them outside, you should bring them into the house a few days prior to use so they can properly dry out prior to burning.

Depending on the size of your fireplace a bag of our kiln dried seasoned hardwood logs should last approximately two evenings. You can extend the burn time by starting the fire with heat logs first and then topping up the fire with real hardwood logs afterwards for that traditional fireplace feel.

You can also place our well-seasoned hardwood logs on top of coal or smokeless coal. This will get them to light and burn with comparative ease. Alternatively you can use kindling wood, waxed logs, heat logs or firelighters to get your fire started and once started, top off with hardwood logs to keep the fire burning well into the evening.

Big K Hardwood Logs