Burning logs in a wood burning stove will not only keep your home warm and comforting this winter, but can also help reduce carbon footprint.
However, when we talk about the environmental benefits of wood burning, we are referring to wood that has been home-grown or purchased from a sustainable source, and has a moisture content of 20% or less when burnt. To help you achieve this low moisture content, here is our advice on how to dry your logs.
Where do I dry my logs?
Drying your own logs can save money, but you will need the space and the time to dry them. Logs take 12-18 months to dry sufficiently, so planning ahead is key. Firstly, you will need space to stack and dry logs. Before stacking, logs should be split until they are 10cm in diameter or less – any thicker will slow the drying process.
A proper log store is vital; it should be covered at the top, but with open sides. Inside you will need bearers to raise your wood from the ground. It is highly advisable not to place your wood store against buildings; this can slow the drying process due to damp and even cause pest problems. Exposure to the elements is a good thing, plenty of sun and wind will dry logs faster.
How do I know when my logs are dry?
Wood needs to be dried for a minimum of 12-18 months, until it has a moisture content of 20% or less. The easiest method of determining the moisture content of your logs is to use a moisture meter. Another way of telling if your wood is fit to burn is to check it is dark in colour, lighter in weight and makes a hollow sound when two logs are beaten together. Any green colour underneath the bark signifies that the logs are not yet dry enough; this is also true if the bark is hard to peel.
Following these simple steps will ensure you of a cleaner and easier burn for your wood burning stove and allow you to enjoy the flames to their maximum potential.