Choosing the right type of wood fuel for your household doesn't have to be time-consuming or complicated.
When it comes to eco-friendly wood heating, UK customers have three eco-friendly options: firewood logs (aka cord wood), wood pellets, and wood briquettes. Each of these options comes with its own pros and cons.
Read this article to find out which option is right for you.
Wood Pellets, Kiln-Dried Logs, and Briquettes: What's the Difference?
Firewood logs, wood briquettes, and pellets represent three distinct types of wood fuel. While all three types of wood fuel start off as 100% natural raw tree wood, they are processed in three distinct ways and acquire completely different burning characteristics.
What Is Firewood?
Traditional kiln-dried logs are by far the most popular type of wood fuel on the market, as well as being the most minimally processed. They're made by cutting tree wood into convenient-sized chunks and drying it to below a moisture level of under 20% in an industrial ventilated kiln.
Kiln-dried logs are compatible with virtually all types of wood stoves and can be used by virtually anyone with minimal safety training. They also tend to be the least expensive product to purchase.
What Are Wood Briquettes?
Wood briquettes are a composite wood fuel that can be made from either sawdust or wood chips, which are dried and compressed with an industrial pressing rod.
Both sawdust and wood chips are sawmill byproducts, so many people see briquettes as being more eco-friendly than regular firewood. Briquettes also tend to be a lot more energy dense than regular kiln-dried logs, so they burn longer, give off more heat, and require less storage space than regular firewood. Briquettes can be dried to a moisture level of as low as 7-8%, which helps them burn cleaner.
What Are Wood Pellets?
Wood pellet fuels are made from low-quality tree matter (usually scrap wood pulp) that is dried and compressed into a pellet shape, much in the same way as briquettes are made.
The main difference between briquettes and pellets is their size. Briquettes usually weigh 1-2 kilos, while pellets are bullet-sized.
The main advantage of wood pellets is that they can be used in special automated wood pellet heating systems, which, although very pricey, can fully automate the heating process. This makes them perfect for people who want the convenience of gas or electric heat but live in an area where they cannot get it.
Wood Pellets Vs Logs Vs Briquettes: Pros and Cons
Each wood fuel type has its own pros and cons, which makes them best for different types of heating scenarios.
Why Do People Like Cord Wood Logs?
Traditional kiln-dried firewood is loved by millions of Britons because of its simplicity and ease of use. It isn't as fussy as briquettes and pellets in terms of required storage conditions. They are easy light and intuitive to use. They are also the least expensive option on this list, with quality oak and birch logs being available at a very low price.
What Are the Drawbacks of Kiln-Dried Logs?
Traditional cordwood is not as energy-dense as briquettes and pellets. As a result, you need to buy more of them to last you through the winter and they require more storage space. They also tend to not last as long as briquettes, so you may have to tend to your stove a little bit more often.
What Are the Pros of Wood Briquettes?
Wood briquettes are incredibly energy dense and, depending on their composition, can be manufactured to possess exceptional burning properties. For example, Night Briquettes are made to burn for as long as 8 hours, which makes them ultra economical and allows you to enjoy your life without having to tend to the log burner. On the other side of the spectrum, Hardwood Heat Logs are made to deliver as much heat as possible quickly. This makes them perfect for cold winter nights or warming up cold rooms quickly.
What Are the Cons of Wood Briquettes?
Wood briquettes are very sensitive to moisture, so they require proper storage conditions. If possible, you should keep them in their original packaging until you actually need them. If you want to store them outside their original packaging, you need to store them in an extra-dry, well-ventilated space.
What Are the Pros of Wood Pellets?
Wood pellets are loved for the fact that they can be used in automated heating systems. This allows you to get all the benefits of a gas or electric burner with none of the drawbacks (price usually being the most important one). These automated burners also tend to come with integrated temperature controls, which further blur the line between wood and gas heat.
What Are the Cons of Wood Pellets?
Automated wood pellet burners tend to be very costly and they require regular maintenance to ensure proper functioning. They also tend to be very noisy. And, unlike conventional log burners, they usually cannot be operated without electricity.
Pellets also have been criticised for creating health and environmental risks. As a result, we don't sell them at Lekto.