Many people have been surprised by the ever-growing popularity of wood-burning stoves even in these difficult economic times. This is a market which was once seen as “expensive” but has seen a significant reduction in prices and the introduction of entry-level models. There are long-term benefits for wood-burning stoves as opposed to traditional heating systems. However, far too many people buy into the false economy of using cheap fuel for their wood-burning stove.
Maximise The Efficiency Of Your Stove
Some of the better modern-day wood-burning stoves have efficiency ratings over 80% which reflects the minimal wastage of energy between burning the fuel and dispersing the heat around your room. These figures are imposing, but they are only relevant when you use the correct fuel and do not take shortcuts. Far too many people have fallen into the trap of buying cheap fuel, which we will cover below, with the idea that it will reduce their running costs. The simple reality is that cheap fuel will not maximise the efficiency of your stove and will cost you more in the long term.
Use Dry Wood For Maximum Value
The best would is dry wood which can burn easier and the higher the density, the better. This is why many people use dry hardwood for their wood-burning stoves as opposed to some of the cheaper options. It is worth noting at this time that while hardwood may be more expensive than softwood, it burns for much longer and is therefore much more economical.
Using Wet Wood Causes All Kinds Of Problems
Unfortunately, as we touched on above, far too many people prefer to use wet wood because it is cheaper and possibly more readily available. Aside from the fact damp wood will not burn properly and will not maximise the efficiency of your wood-burning stove, there are other issues to take into consideration.
Those who use wet wood will be well aware of the tar-like material which it creates when burning in the stove. Aside from the fact this will blacken the glass within your wood-burning stove, it will also clog up an array of different elements. This is before we even begin to look at the amount of tar which will convene in your flue system. Indeed there have been reports in years gone by of chimney fires caused by excess tar-like material. As you can imagine, even if you are lucky enough to avoid a chimney fire, it is only a matter of time before the tar material prompts corrosion of your flue system. These can be expensive to replace!
Contaminated Material Is A No-Go
With the best will in the world, we will all be aware of people with wood-burning stoves who burn all kinds of rubbish and waste material. The idea that all skirting boards and doors can be chopped up and used as fuel is not only a false economy, but it can be hazardous. Many of these materials are treated with paint or other chemicals which can release potentially hazardous fumes when burned. So, while you may feel as though you are doing your bit for the environment by using the waste material, it can be counter-productive and end up releasing potentially dangerous chemicals into the atmosphere.
Under no circumstances should you ever use the contaminated material to cut costs and to cut corners with your wood-burning stove. Would you buy a brand-new car and then fill it full of the wrong fuel?
When you buy your wood-burning stove, you will receive an array of material which will explain how to maximise the technology under the surface. Even though the cast-iron outer case gives an old-world feel to many stoves, these products contain the latest technology of the day. There is absolutely no benefit to using substandard fuel from an efficiency and cost point of view. It can be dangerous, expensive in the long run and above all, a complete waste of the cutting-edge technology within your stove.