Heating Your Home With Firewood: Lekto Wood Fuels' Ultimate Guide

The Ultimate Guide To Firewood Written in front of piled up logs

Sometimes traditional is best and you cannot get much more traditional than burning firewood to keep warm. 

When it comes to keeping heating your home in the winter, the old fashioned wood burning stove is still by far the best choice for many people. After all, heating your home with firewood is far less expensive than using either gas or electricity and it's also far more eco-friendly, releasing far less CO2 per unit of energy produced than other heat sources.

Flexibility is another factor. When you buy a good log burner, you are free to choose the exact type of wood fuel that best suits both your budget and your personal preferences. Whether it’s seasoned birch, kiln dried oak, or wood briquettes, you always have the benefit of choice and that’s even before we mention the unmatchable cosiness that only comes from being in a room with roaring fires

By the time you’ll finish reading this article, you’ll know more about firewood than the vast majority of the UK population.

We’ll cover everything from the differences between wood from various trees, the pros and cons of seasoned, unseasoned, and kiln-dried logs, finding quality firewood in the UK, practical tips on firewood storage, and how to burn your firewood as efficiently as possible.

The Pros & Cons of Heating with Firewood

Heating with firewood has a lot of advantages. But nothing is ever the best solution for 100% of people 100% of the time. So before you decide to purchase a new wood-burning stove, it’s important to understand all of the pros and cons of wood heat.

The Top Benefits of Wood Heating

#1 - It Is the Most Cost-Effective Way to Heat Your Home

As has been shown time and time again, heating with wood fuel is far more cost-effective than with any other source of energy. In fact, depending on which part of the country you live in, heating your house with firewood can cost up to ten times less than heating with electricity or propane, three times less than heating with fuel oil, and less than half of what it would cost to heat your home with natural gas.

#2 Burning Wood Is Extremely Eco-Friendly

Provided you use a modern wood burner and dry logs, heating your home with wood fuel is much more planet-friendly than doing so with both gas and electricity.

  • Burning wood for heat produces just 0.008kg of CO2 per kWh of heat produced.
  • Burning natural gas produces 0.198kg of CO2 per kWh.
  • Electrical heating can produce upwards of a staggering 0.517kg of CO2 per kWh.
A Wood burning stove with a fire lit inside it

#3 Modern Wood Burning Stoves Are Surprisingly Efficient

Provided you use a good stove and dry firewood, heating with wood can be incredibly efficient.

A modern log burner can operate at approximately 80% efficiency. This means that ⅘ of the energy stored in the logs will be converted into useful heat. In comparison, an open fire burns logs with only 20% efficiency.

So if you’ve used logs in the past, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the performance you can get out of a modern wood stove. Your rooms will get warmer and your wood fuel will last longer.

The Top Disadvantages of Wood Heating

#1 Firewood Requires Storage

While modern Ready to Burn-certified firewood is much lighter than the high-moisture kind of yesteryear, the amount of space required to store it hasn’t changed much. Heating with wood fuel still requires the presence of indoor or outdoor storage space.

If you live in a small apartment in the city and have no access to a nearby space for storage, this can pose understandable issues. Whenever a client reaches out to us with this problem, we suggest energy-dense sawdust briquettes as a practical alternative (read our Ultimate Guide to Wood Briquettes to find out more).

#2 Heating with Firewood Requires Preparation & Maintenance

One of the things people enjoy most about wood heat is the zen of the fire-making process.

However, if you’re a newcomer to wood heat, lighting a fire and cleaning out ash may seem like more of a nuisance than a pleasure. Especially if you’re used to central, electrical, or gas heating.

#3 There Are Higher Up-Front Costs

Buying a wood-burning stove and having it professionally installed is more expensive than using electric or gas heat. A modern wood burner can set you back around a thousand pounds. And professional installation can cost twice or thrice as much. In comparison, an electric heater can cost as little as £100.

Naturally, due to the incredibly cost-efficient nature of wood fuel, using a burner ends up costing less in the long run. But that doesn’t cancel the fact that the higher up-front costs do create a barrier to entry for many people.

Seasoned vs Kiln-Dried Firewood: What Is Better?

In order to burn cleanly, efficiently, and without smoke, firewood needs to be dried. Burning wet wood releases large quantities of smoke, creosote, and CO2. But get rid of the moisture and you’ll get an incredibly eco-friendly source of energy.

The wood you find in living trees contains large amounts of water. When talking about firewood, moisture is measured by weight in relation to dry wood. Depending on the species, a freshly cut log may contain between as low as 55% and as high as 120% moisture. This means that, in some cases, there can be more water mass than actual wood mass in a freshly cut log.

Ideally, the moisture content of firewood should be under 20%, meaning that for every kilogram of dry wood mass there can be only 200 grams of moisture.
Getting to such high dryness levels is no easy feat. There are two practical ways this can be achieved: a) by air-drying (aka seasoning) or b) by “baking” it in a special oven (aka kiln drying).

Consequently, there are two main types of firewood you can encounter on the UK market: seasoned and kiln dried firewood. We've previously written about the differences between the two, but now we're going take an in-depth look at both.

 

Lekto Wood Fuels Kiln Dried Hard Wood Logs Next to a basket and some garlic

Seasoned Firewood

Seasoned firewood is made from 'green wood' that has been air-dried by leaving it outdoors for a long time. During the air-drying process, the logs are split, stacked, and stored under a plastic cover. The goal of wood stacking is to allow the maximum amount of air to pass between the logs to dry them efficiently.

Softwood typically takes about 6 months to season , while hardwood can take up to 24 months to season.

Pros of Seasoned Firewood

  • Lower cost - As the drying process happens on its own, seasoned firewood is far cheaper to produce than kiln dried and so tends to be cheaper to buy.
  • Possibility of achieving high quality - If air-dried for an adequate amount of time and in the right conditions, seasoned firewood can burn almost as well as its kiln-dried counterpart.
  • Being able to season it yourself - Seasoning is not a complicated process, so you can purchase green wood, split it, and season it yourself. While this involves a lot of work, time, and effort, it is by far the cheapest way to get a hold of good firewood.

Cons of Seasoned Firewood

Wood seasoning takes a long time - Seasoning firewood can take between 6 and 24 months. If you’re working with denser hardwoods, such as oak and beech, understand that the wood you buy today will only be ready for use two winters from now.

  • Inconsistent moisture levels - Consistency is much more difficult to achieve with air drying than with kiln drying. Some of the logs you seasoned may burn as well as kiln dried firewood, while other logs will be difficult to light, smoke as they burn, and produce soot.
  • It requires a lot of space - It goes without saying that you will need a lot of free outdoor space for seasoning if you elect to go the do-it-yourself route.
  • Summer drying is required - Most hardwood species can only dry down to a moisture level of about 30%-25% naturally. Bringing it down to the coveted 20% level requires long-term outdoor drying during the summer months.
  • Insects and rodents - One less talked about drawback of seasoning your own logs is that stacks of moist green lumber make for a choice home for insects and rodents. We do not advise you to store seasoned firewood at home because you may inadvertently carry its “inhabitants” into your home alongside with it.
  • Mould - Lastly, if you plan on seasoning your green wood indoors, then you will likely have to deal with mould. What’s more, mould releases spores as it sits in your wood store. So if some logs are mouldy, it is likely that your entire wood store will be affected.

Kiln Dried Firewood

Kiln drying is the industrial process of drying firewood at a high temperature (usually around 70 celsius). This is done in a commercial kiln, which can be thought of as a large oven with a large fan that guarantees a lot of air circulation. The process usually takes between 3 and 7 days, though the exact time depends mainly on the type of kiln used.

The Benefits of Kiln Dried Firewood

  • Delivers the best burning qualities - The best thing about kiln dried firewood are its burning characteristics. It is extremely easy to light, produces very little smoke, does not produce harmful creosote, and burns hotter than seasoned firewood.
  • Consistency - Another big pro is its consistency. With seasoned logs, you often end up with moisture levels that differ from log to log. Kiln-dried firewood does not suffer from this problem.
  • Ready to burn right away - Kiln dried logs can be burned immediately after you receive delivery of them. No need to season them. No need to store them in a ventilated space outside your house. They’re ready right out of the box.
  • Year-round production - Kiln-dried firewood can be produced year-round, not just in the summer. This means that, if necessary, it can be produced outside of the summer season to meet market demand.

The Cons of Kiln Dried Firewood

  • Cost - The only real drawback of kiln dried logs is their cost. On average, you can expect to spend about 10% more on kiln-dried than you would spend on seasoned.

What Tree Produces The Best Wood?

There are hundreds of different types of firewood available for purchase on the UK market today. If you’re new to wood fuel, having this many options may seem daunting. Is yellow birch better than black birch? And how does it compare to green ash? Well, let’s take a look!

Different types of firewood have different burning properties and costs can vary considerably. In this part of the article, we’ll teach you which trees produce the best firewood and which are best avoided.

Birch Firewood

Birch is one of the most popular and widely available types of chiminea firewood available on the market today. It is a good option as it burns well and generates ample heat. Being widespread and easy to dry, it also tends to be relatively inexpensive and its bark, which is easy to tear off, makes for great tinder.

Kiln Dried Kindling and birch logs in a lounge next to a lit fire place

Many Lekto Wood Fuels customers prefer birch to any other type of firewood and to meet that demand, we offer our own selection of Premium Kiln Dried Birch Firewood.

While all kiln dried birch firewood makes for relatively good wood fuel, not all birch is created equal. There are four main types of birch that are commonly used:

  1. Silver birch
  2. White birch
  3. Yellow birch
  4. Black birch 

Each of these species has different burning properties and commands a different price.

Silver Birch Firewood

  • Splitting ease: Medium
  • BTU (millions per cord): 19.2
  • Seasoning time: 9-12 months
  • Smoke: Medium
  • Overall grade: C

Silver birch is inexpensive and not very energy-dense. In general, it is only worth considering if you can find it for a very good price and have ample storage space available.

White Birch Firewood

  • Splitting ease: Easy
  • BTU (millions per cord): 20.3
  • Seasoning time: 9-12 months
  • Smoke: Medium
  • Overall grade: B

Also called paper birch due to its bark having a paper-like appearance, white birch is an extremely popular hardwood firewood option. It is considered to be the golden middle by many people as it has better burning properties than silver birch while being less expensive than both yellow and black birch.

Yellow Birch Firewood

  • Splitting ease: Medium
  • BTU (millions per cord): 23.6
  • Seasoning time: 9-12 months
  • Smoke: Medium
  • Overall grade: B

Being very dense, yellow birch is a very good option for chimineas. It is also a great material for making furniture, which is why it can command a certain price premium.

Black Birch Firewood

  • Splitting ease: Medium
  • BTU (millions per cord): 26.6
  • Seasoning time: 12 months
  • Smoke: Medium-Low
  • Overall grade: A

Also known as cherry bitch, sweet birch, and mountain mahogany, black birch is the undisputed queen of the birch family. It takes slightly longer to dry than yellow birch, but, due to its unparalleled density, black birch is the most desirable within the birch family.

Oak Firewood

You can think of oak as the Range Rover of firewood. It commands a certain price premium when compared to birch but the quality more than justifies the investment. Kiln-dried oak firewood is the best option, but seasoned oak should also not be discounted, provided it has been dried to a low moisture level.

2 boxes of Kiln Dried Oak Logs on a patio

There are three main species of oak firewood you can encounter:

  1. White oak
  2. Red oak
  3. Willow oak

Let's take a closer look at the three of them and see what makes them stand out.

White Oak Firewood

  • Splitting ease: Medium
  • BTU (millions per cord): 29.1
  • Seasoning time: 18-36 months
  • Smoke: Low
  • Overall grade: A

White oak is usually seen as the flagship of kiln dried firewood. It burns at a very high temperature and does not produce excessive smoke when burned.
Seasoned white oak can also be a good option, but you must be certain that it has been properly seasoned for at least 12 months. But some will recommend doing so for 2 or 3 years. This is because white oak tends to retain moisture a lot more than most other types.

Once it is dry, however, white oak firewood tends to be very easy to store. This is because it has very good rot and decay resistance. Lekto Kiln Dried Oak Firewood is made from premium white oak.

Red Oak Firewood

  • Splitting ease: Medium
  • BTU (millions per cord): 24.6
  • Seasoning time: 12-24 months
  • Smoke: Low
  • Overall grade: A-/B+

If you’re more budget-conscious, you can save money by using red oak.
It has a slightly lower calorific value than white oak and isn’t as resistant to rot. However, it also costs less, which is why it is seen by many as a more budget-conscious choice.

Red oak is easier to season than white oak because it does not cling to moisture as much as white oak.

Willow Oak Firewood

  • Splitting ease: Medium
  • BTU (millions per cord): 24.6
  • Seasoning time: 12-24 months
  • Smoke: Low
  • Overall grade: A-/B+

Willow oak is essentially a sub-type of red oak and has very similar burning properties.

Beech Wood

Another popular hardwood option, beech firewood has a slightly lower heating value than white oak and, just like white oak, beech contains a lot of moisture and so is rather difficult to dry. As a result, beech takes an average of between 12 and 24 months to season properly.

Overall, beech firewood can be a great option if you can find it at a good price.
Choose kiln-dried beech firewood logs if you can. If you have to go with seasoned logs, choose a trusted provider with a proven track record. We would not recommend buying unseasoned, freshly-cut beech logs as they take very long to dry.

Unlike oak or birch, you aren’t likely to see many different kinds of beech firewood available on the market. The only species of this tree that grows in the UK is common beech (aka European beech), which is native to South East England.

Common Beech

  • Splitting ease: Difficult
  • BTU (millions per cord): 27.5
  • Seasoning time: 12-18 months
  • Smoke: Low
  • Overall grade: A

Ash Wood

Ash is another hardwood that burns cleanly and produces a decent amount of heat. While it has slightly lower heating values than both high as oak or beech, its heat output is still considered excellent. Ash is also not as decay resistant as white oak, but that should not be an issue for most people who use up their stock of firewood within one or two years.

Overall, however, ash is a respectable firewood option that millions of people swear by. It's especially popular amongst those who like to season their own firewood, as ash only takes between 6 and 12 months to season fully, making it a better option for seasoning than oak or birch.

The two most popular types of ash firewood are:

  1. white ash
  2. green ash

With white ash being the more commonly used and sold variety.

White Ash Firewood

  • Splitting ease: Medium
  • BTU (millions per cord): 24.2
  • Seasoning time: 6-18 months
  • Smoke: Low
  • Overall grade: A

When most people think of ash they think of white ash, and for a good reason.
White ash is a high BTU wood that burns slowly and at a high temperature.
It's not the easiest wood to split and can take a long time to dry, so it is perhaps not the best wood to buy unseasoned.

If you’re looking for a good kiln-dried option, however, then reasonably priced white ash may be the answer.

Green Ash Firewood

  • Splitting ease: Easy
  • BTU (millions per cord): 20.0
  • Seasoning time: 6-18 months
  • Smoke: Low
  • Overall grade: A

Green ash firewood is a lot less popular than white ash firewood. This is primarily due to its lower BTU value, which means you need more of it to get the same amount of heat.

That being said, green ash is easier to split than white ash, which makes it slightly more suitable for seasoning at home.

Other Types of Firewood

In addition to the previously mentioned firewood trees, you may also encounter some other species on the market. These include willow, alder, maple, elm, and holly. Let’s take a look and see whether they are good options.

Cat logs piled up on one another

Willow Firewood

  • Splitting ease: Medium
  • BTU (millions per cord): 17.6
  • Seasoning time: 12-24 months
  • Smoke: Low
  • Overall grade: D

Willow does not make for good chiminea firewood. Being a lightweight hardwood, its burning properties have more in common with low-quality softwoods than premium hardwoods.

It does not produce a lot of heat and releases a lot of creosote when burned. This means that burning willow will produce a lot of soot, so you’ll end up having to clean your fireplace, wood burning stove, chiminea, etc. far more often than usual.

With this in mind, unless you're getting it for free or extremely inexpensively, we’d steer away from willow firewood.

Alder Firewood

  • Splitting ease: Easy
  • BTU (millions per cord): 17.5
  • Seasoning time: 3-6 Months
  • Smoke: Low
  • Overall grade: C (B for recreational use in open fires)

Much like willow, alder firewood burns more akin to softwood than other hardwoods. Its logs burn down quickly and produce much less heat than birch, oak, ash, or beech. On the other hand, it’s very easy to light and reaches its top temperature incredibly quickly.

This, coupled with the fact that alder tends to be cheaper than other types of firewood, makes it a decent option for people who have an open fire they burn for a couple of hours a couple of times a week.

Silver Maple Firewood

  • Splitting ease: Easy
  • BTU (millions per cord): 19.0
  • Seasoning time: 12-24 months
  • Smoke: Low
  • Overall grade: C

Silver maple is a lower density wood than oak and beech, which means that you will need to burn a larger volume of it to get the same heat output.
If given the choice, we’d stick to inexpensive birch instead.

Elm Firewood

  • Splitting ease: Hard
  • BTU (millions per cord): 20.9
  • Seasoning time: 6-12 months
  • Smoke: Medium
  • Overall grade: C

Elm is another poor-performer. Its BTU figure, while pretty good on paper, is still lower than oak and beech and it produces a lot of smoke when burnt, which isn’t brilliant. It is also difficult to split so despite its relatively fast dry times, buying it unseasoned isn’t the best choice.

How to Season Firewood

If you have chosen to use seasoned firewood due to cost concerns, then it makes the most sense to buy unseasoned logs and season them yourself. We say this as buying commercially seasoned firewood does not make a lot of sense. It costs only slightly less than kiln-dried wood while being an objectively inferior product.

With that in mind, you'll find many people season their own firewood because it is a rather straightforward process. All you need is space, a little bit of labour, and 6 to 24 months worth of time.

The main things to consider when buying unseasoned firewood logs are its source and the volume you can buy.

Choose a Trusted Provider

When buying unseasoned firewood, it is best to choose a trusted local provider. While it may be tempting to make your choice by simply looking at the price, we strongly urge you to avoid doing that. Despite what you may think, not all unseasoned firewood is made the same. And the offers you see at the bottom end of the market are not a good buy at any price.

Ask around. Do your neighbours, relatives, friends, or colleagues who season their own logs? If so, ask them to recommend a provider they’ve had a good experience with in the past.

Buy as Much as You Can

In most cases, the seller will be able to give you a better price if you purchase a larger volume of firewood, so it is best to purchase as much as possible in one go.

How much to purchase depends on two main variables: a) the amount of free space you have seasoning and storing, and b) the amount of time you can dedicate to splitting and stacking (or how much you are willing to pay someone else to do it for you).

If you can’t purchase a lot of firewood yourself but still want a discount, you can get creative. For example, many people team up with their neighbours to make bulk orders. This helps everyone save on price. Just make sure there are no arguments over who is entitled to how many logs.

Why Splitting Wood Is So Important?

Splitting unseasoned firewood is a difficult, time-consuming process, but it is not something you can skip. Trees are designed by nature to retain as much moisture as possible, with the bark and outer wood layers acting as barriers that keep moisture.

Splitting wood exposes inner wood surfaces to air and sunlight, which helps the wood dry quicker and to a lower moisture level. Simply put, the more surface area is exposed to air and sunlight, the faster and better your unseasoned firewood logs will dry. However, smaller isn’t always better. Smaller logs are less convenient for firewood as they burn quicker than larger logs. Maintaining a good balance between surface area and log size.

Everything You Need to Know About Stacking Wood

Proper wood stacking is essential for the drying process. By stacking your firewood well and leaving enough room for air and sunlight to pass through, you can drastically speed up the drying process.

Kiln Dried Firewood Stacked In Lounge next to a fireplace

Choosing a Proper Stack Site

Unseasoned firewood takes many months to dry, so think carefully before choosing your stack site and make sure you will not need to use the area in the near future. For practical reasons, the area should also be near to the place where you'll be storing your wood. You’ll thank us for this tip when the time comes.

Leaving Enough Room For Air

If you’re placing your wood stacks side by side, make sure to leave at least 30-40 centimetres worth of space between the stacks for proper air circulation.

Providing Access to Sunlight

If possible, choose a stack site that gets a lot of sunlight. While you can dry wood in the shade, doing so will take a lot longer than if it’s stored in a place that gets a lot of sunlight.

Preparing the Ground

Unseasoned firewood should never be left in contact with the ground. The simplest way to prepare the stack site is by placing a plastic sheet beneath the wood.

Choosing the Best Stacking Method

Everyone stacks their wood differently but we recommend using the criss-cross method as it is a beginner-friendly method that creates a stable, well-ventilated stack. If you prefer a different method then there’s nothing wrong with that, but this option is both practical and easy to do. 

Stack Height

While it may be tempting to stack your firewood as high as possible (especially if you don’t have a lot of space to work with), we strongly urge you to avoid making stacks higher than 1.2-1.5 meters in height. The higher your stack, the less stable it will be and stacks do fall. It isn't only frustrating when this happens -- it can also be dangerous.

The Secrets of Proper Firewood Storage

There are three main rules you must follow when storing firewood:

  • Choose a proper storage place - When it comes to firewood storage, choose a dry place that is at least somewhat ventilated. You don’t want your wood to start accumulating additional moisture as it is stored. And neither do you want to deal with mould.
  • Leave enough room for airflow - Make sure to keep your firewood stack at least 10 centimetres away from the nearest wall. This is necessary to ensure adequate airflow.
  • Don’t store seasoned firewood in your home - Various pests (including spiders, ants, and termites) often decide to make drying firewood stacks their homes. By bringing your seasoned firewood directly into your home, you will also bring be in these hitchhikers. If you purchase kiln dried firewood, this is not something you have to worry about as the industrial drying process kills all of these pests.

Aside from following these ground rules, you’re free to experiment with whatever firewood storage ideas you fancy. There are many different ways to store wood fuel, with what one person prefers not being to your liking and vice versa.

Many people will simply store their firewood stacked in the shed, while others will want to opt for more sophisticated, aesthetically pleasing options. If you’re in the latter camp, the following firewood storage ideas will help get those creative juices flowing.

Indoor Firewood Storage Solutions

Planning to store your firewood indoors? Look at these indoor firewood storage ideas to find a solution that’s right for you.

Indoor Firewood Log Rack

An indoor firewood rack is a de-facto choice for the vast majority of people and the main reason for this is convenience. Racks allow you to section off a part of your shed or basement for storage purposes, leaving you free to do whatever you please with the rest of the space.

Indoor firewood log racks can be easily made yourself or purchased on the UK market. There are thousands of options to choose from, so you’ll be able to pick up one that suits your taste and budget without any problems.

Metal Firewood Holders

Firewood holders made from metal are another popular option.

What makes holders different from racks is that a holder is usually portable and smaller than size. Metal firewood holders are great for storage and can be made to fit any decor perfectly. You know how to weld, you can even make one yourself.

Indoor Firewood Storage Benches

If you’re using kiln dried firewood, then it is perfectly fine to bring it indoors.
An indoor firewood storage bench is a great way to store 3-4 days’ worth of firewood in a convenient, easily accessible spot. Thousands of people swear by them as they decrease the number of trips you have to make to the shed.

logs under a bench with two boxes on top

Vertical Firewood Storage Shelves

If you have a study old bookshelf or storage shelf you don’t need anymore, you can save it from being thrown out by reusing it as a vertical firewood shelf. You can also buy a specially-made solution, or even make your own.

Depending on the size of your shelf, you will be able to store up to a week’s worth of firewood, which makes shelves a more practical solution compared to storage benches.

Lekto Firewood Boxes

If you order your kiln-dried firewood from Lekto Wood Fuels, you will receive it in sturdy, stackable, and reusable 22-litre cardboard boxes. Lekto's experts designed this packaging for ultimate storage and transportation convenience, and they can be reused for storage several times. At the end of their productive lifecycle, they can also be used as a source of tinder.

Currently, we sell both Kiln-Dried Birch Logs and Premium Kiln-Dried Oak Firewood in reusable boxes.

Outdoor Firewood Storage Solutions

If you plan on storing your firewood outside, then take a look at these storage ideas to find the best choice for you.

Outdoor Firewood Storage Rack With Cover

By far the most popular option, outdoor firewood storage racks are inexpensive and convenient. The main difference between an indoor storage rack and an outdoor one is the presence of a roof on the latter. This is needed to shield it from the elements.

You only have to go to eBay to see that there are thousands of outdoor firewood storage racks available on the market. If you like making things yourself, you’ll also find countless designs available online for free.

Cord Woodshed

Another popular option is to build a mini woodshed. The main advantage of this approach is the fact that a mini woodshed can hold more firewood than a storage rack.

Most cord woodshed designs are also made to have walls on three of the four sides, which helps shield your logs from the elements better than a storage rack can.

How to Burn Firewood Properly

Providing you are using low-moisture, high-quality logs, burning firewood is a simple process. We recommend using the top-down fire lighting method:

Alternatively, use the following: 5-step process:

  1. Open your air controls - Set the air controls of your wood-burning stove or chimney to their most open position.
  2. Add fire starting material - Arrange your kindling in a criss-cross formation. Put a firelighter at the centre of the formation.
  3. Start the fire - Light the firelighter and wait for the kindling to catch fire.
  4. Add your logs - Once the kindling is burning nicely, you can add the first logs. Place them at a vertical angle with enough room for air to pass through between them.
  5. Reduce the airflow - Once the logs are burning, slightly reduce the air intake. This will help the logs burn longer and hotter.

Choosing the Best UK Firewood Suppliers

Buying split logs used to be a rather inconvenient process and the average price of firewood varied heavily from region to region. There was no real way of ordering in small-volumes so if you stumbled upon a low-quality firewood provider, you would be stuck with their inferior logs for at least a full heating season.

Thankfully, the internet made hardwood firewood delivery a straightforward process. However, as of late, the UK market has been flooded with hundreds of small e-commerce companies that sell wood fuel online. While more choice is usually a good thing, it also presents its own set of challenges.

The vast majority of e-commerce companies use similar product descriptions and sales tactics. This means that, to the untrained eye, there is no real way to tell which of these companies make high-quality wood fuel and which are simply dropshippers reselling the cheapest firewood they can find at the largest possible markup.

Only Buy Firewood From Trusted Companies

One good way to make sure that you’ll get a good experience is only to buy from trusted, reputable companies with a proven track record. For example, if you were to look up Lekto Woodfuels, would find over 7,500 real reviews from satisfied customers on our Trustpilot page.

Many of these people have been purchasing quality firewood logs, sawdust briquettes, lumpwood charcoal, and fire kindling from Lekto for many years.

Look For Woodsure Ready to Burn Certification

One easy way to make sure that the wood fuel you buy is of good quality is to search for Ready to Burn certification.

Woodsure Ready To Burn Badge

Ready to Burn is a certification scheme that was introduced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to protect the UK public from low-quality, creosote-producing wood fuel.

What Is Ready to Burn Certification?

Ready to Burn certifies adherence to a quality standard that regulates moisture content. While the presence of a Ready to Burn certificate does not mean that you will receive the best quality firewood possible, it does mean that the logs you buy will be safe and environmentally responsible to burn.

Is It Legal to Sell Non-Certified Firewood in the UK?

No, it is illegal to sell firewood that is not certified Ready to Burn to UK consumers.

There are some cases in which a small-scale local producer might skirt around having their wood fuel certified while not breaking any laws, but those are fringe cases. Any serious vendor will have their products certified. There simply is no reason not to do it.

How to Know if Firewood Is Ready to Burn Certified?

Reputable sellers will have their certification information stated clearly on their website.

For example, if you were to open the product page of Lekto’s Kiln Dried Birch Logs and our Kiln Dried Oak Logs, you would see that the products are fully Ready to Burn certified and have been awarded certificate No. WS370/00003.

Beware of vendors who do not mention that their firewood is Ready to Burn certified, or vendors who pretend they do but fail to present a verifiable certificate number.