Firewood is the most cost-effective way of heating your home. This statement isn’t exactly news-worthy, is it? After all, firewood has always been the prime choice for smart shoppers looking to save a few pounds and with gas and electric heat becoming a lot more expensive this year, the cost benefits of heating with firewood have never been as apparent as they are now.
Did you know, however, that heating your home with firewood can not only be cheap, but also incredibly simple and efficient? You just have to know a few tricks and create a few healthy heating habits.
Read on to learn the secrets of heating your home in winter with firewood.
Heating Your Home with Wood: Choice of Firewood
Why Moisture Is Key
The main key to firewood heating efficiency is dryness. You may already be familiar with the fact that moisture content is the most important determiner of wood fuel quality, but is that the case?
When moist firewood is burned, it smoulders and releases a lot of harmful pollutants. These include ill-famed creosote, which is a combustion hazard, a carcinogen, and one of the main reasons you need your chimney swept at least once a year.
But if you take the same piece of firewood and dry it to an extra-low moisture content, it will start burning much more efficiently and you will notice it right away. Your rooms will get warmer quicker and you will see virtually no smoke.
Choosing Quality Firewood
Thanks to the introduction of Defra’s Ready to Burn standard, choosing adequate firewood is easier than ever.
When shopping for firewood, look for the official Ready to Burn logo (a yellow-red circle). If you don’t see a logo, check the product description for certification information. All Ready to Burn firewood is certified not to contain more than 20% moisture, so more of the energy stored in your firewood will go into heating your home and far less of it will go to heating the planet.
Don’t see a Ready to Burn sign? Ask the supplier for certification information directly. If they can’t give a clear answer, you should avoid making the purchase. If you’re reading this after 1 May 2022, you can report the supplier to Defra as selling any kind of non-certified firewood will become illegal in the UK on that date.
There are several ways you can go about drying firewood. Kiln-drying is the most difficult and labour-intensive way, but it also yields by far the best results.
How big of a difference does kiln drying make, exactly? Well, while it is difficult to go any lower than 20% with air-drying (aka seasoning), an industrial kiln can bake firewood to as little as 10% moisture.
Lekto Woodfuels only sells premium kiln-dried firewood and our customers can choose between kiln-dried oak and kiln-dried birch options, depending on their needs, budget, and tastes. Both varieties have an average moisture content of 10-20%, which makes them a cut above the competition’s offerings.
Heating Your Home in Winter: Fire-lighting Products
While kiln-dried firewood is a lot easier to light than the seasoned varieties (and even some briquettes), you can make the job a lot easier by using the right fire-starting materials.
Lekto Natural Firelighters
If you follow us on Instagram, then you’ve no doubt seen us set light to these beautiful-looking, battery-shaped bundles of natural wood wool.
Made from a blend of traditionally-discarded wood shavings and natural wax, Lekto Natural Firelighters will supply you with up to 10 minutes of steady, reliable heat and make fire starting easier than ever.
Simply place one of these bundles of magic at the centre of a pyramid of kindling sticks and light it up. Natural Firelighters are incredibly combustible, so they will catch fire quickly and set your kindling on fire equally as fast.
Kiln-Dried Firewood Kindling
Last but not least, kindling is something people often skimp on. And it’s a great shame this is the case. Quality kindling costs just a little bit more than the cheap stuff but the difference is night and day.
Our Kiln-Dried Firewood Kindling is baked in an industrial oven to ultra-low moisture levels of under 9%. When used in tandem with our Natural Firelighters, it can make lighting firewood incredibly simple (even if you are yet to transition to kiln-dried firewood). It’s incredibly easy to light and supplies a lot of heat for a long time. Which is more than enough to light even the most stubborn log or briquette.