Wood stove: which wood to choose?

All wood can be used in a wood stove if you want to get fire. But to make a good one, you have to choose quality wood. It is not enough to collect wood debris in the forest, or to recycle wood waste from old furniture. Firewood must meet certain criteria to give you more warmth.

Criteria for good wood for your stove

Always pay attention to the wood to be used in the stove. There are three main principles that should generally be followed:
  • Hard wood: this is dense wood that burns slower than "soft" wood. Dense wood emits a lot of embers, which will create more heat for a longer period of time. Examples of hardwoods are oak, willow, beech, ash or walnut.
  • Dry wood: Never use damp wood in a wood stove, regardless of whether you choose hard or soft wood. Damp wood, once burned, produces smoke with an unpleasant smell. In addition, it can pollute and clog your stove.
Wood from a reliable source: Ideally, you should cut your wood yourself in the forest, but if this is not possible, it is always better to know where the wood comes from. This is why it is strongly advised not to use reclaimed wood. In fact, they can wear out your heating system more quickly.

Moisture, a fundamental criterion for choosing wood

Wood species are classified according to their spark-generating capacity and mass. There are three groups G1, G2 and G3. Those belonging to the G1 category are the most recommended for feeding a wood stove, as their calorific value is optimal. (These are oak, beech or ash). However, as mentioned above, the degree of drying of the wood is a fundamental criterion for making a good fire. There are three classes of wood moisture content:
  • Green: the moisture content of the wood is above 35%.
  • Semi-dry: the moisture content is between 25 and 35%.
  • Dry: with a moisture content below 25%.
Not only must this moisture content be taken into account when procuring the wood, but it must also be kept at a good temperature so that it can maintain its performance.

Other advantageous solutions for the wood stove

Nowadays, there are other firewood solutions to use for the wood stove. In addition to dense logs of wood, you can also opt for:
  • Wood pellets: which are small 2cm long wooden tubes made from sawdust. They also have the advantage of being easy to store and transport. This solution is also economical.
  • Wood chips: these are shredded wood, in the form of chips. They are used in stoves with automatic feed, so it's one less chore. In addition, wood chips are also cheap fuel, since they cost only €25 per cubic metre. On the other hand, storage requires a fairly large volume.
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