What fuels are available to me?
Smokeless Fuels - With familiar names such as Coalite, Homefire, and Cosycoke, These smokeless fuels are easy to use and, contrary to popular belief, are also economic to use, producing up to 1/3rd more heat than ordinary bituminous house coal, so it is not really any more expensive to use than coal.
Bituminous Coal - Coal has been around for generations and is a very familiar fuel. As we don't live in a smoke controlled area in Cornwall it can be used on all open fires, producing that warm yellow flame so loved by all.
Wood - For many people there is no better fire than a wood fire; however it is essential that the wood used is well seasoned and dried properly.
Emissions and residues from burning wood that is "green" e.g. new cut logs, cause deposits such as tar and creosote to build up in the flue and cause no end of problems, and the possibility of chimney fires and structural damage.
Seasoned wood is that which has been stored in the open yet under cover for several years, and then it should be brought inside to dry further.The object of all this is to reduce the moisture content of the wood to around 25%. Green wood will contain as much as 60 to 65% moisture, and all that moisture has to go up your chimney as vapour, where it will condense on to the sides of the flue and form tar/creosote deposits. It will also give you a very dead fire as all water is boiled out of the wood before it can give you any heat. If you must burn wood, and particularly in a wood stove, then you must also have a flue that is insulated so that the vapour and other gases from the fire stay above dew point until it vacates the chimney pot. If you are not able to do any of these things, then my advice it to burn smokeless fuel or house coal, you will save yourself a lot of aggravation and expense in the long run.
Manufactured Fire logs
- Relatively new on the market these are made from a compound of wood and wax. They are said to be odourless, clean to use, environmentally friendly, and easy to store. They claim to burn for two hours. As to the cost of using them I have no information.
SELECTING WOOD FOR BURNING
WHY USE WOOD
Wood from sustainable sources is a renewable, environmentally friendly energy resource. It is considered carbon neutral, in that the CO
WHAT TYPE OF WOOD TO BUY
Wood can be divided into two major classes,
either hardwood or softwood. Hardwoods are typically slow growing deciduous broadleafed trees such as Beech, Ash and Oak.
Co2 released during combustion balances the CO2 that was absorbed during its growth and as conventional energy prices continue to increase, the use of wood becomes more and more attractive.