Softwood and hardwood are the perfect sustainable fuel sources for wood burning stoves and agars in the home. This type of firewood is not 'dirty' and it does not take much effort either, also, it is an instant source of heat for the home and can be really useful if there is a power outage too.
This ability to burn firewood in the home gives you the option whether or not to use a fuel source from the energy utilities, furthermore, buying wood logs locally that you will be supporting the local economy which is worthwhile in today's financial climate.
Wood Log Sources
There are plenty of suppliers across the north of Scotland to choose from. Some typically deliver five cubic metres of seasoned firewood logs directly to your door. You will be able to chose from hardwood, softwood and the most popular being a mixture of the two. With moisture contents around 20 percent this allows for perfect wood log burning in the home.
Advice can also be bought from your chosen supplier with regards to the best wood burning stoves and wood fueled burners for heating the entire home.
What is seasoned wood?
It is the end goal of turning normal wood into a more suitable moisture content for burning, ie reducing the water content within the logs (ultimately the lower the moisture content the better as this will be cleaner and provide an improved heat output). This can be achieved by allowing the wood to dry out by time in an environment that is best suited, generally the warmer the quicker the drying time. Typically, freshly cut trees consist of almost 50 percent water! Whereas, what you would burn in the home it would be somewhere 20 to 30 percent less water. Therefore it makes the firewood much easier to light, burns cleaner (without extra soot) and also produces more heat.
The process involved in drying out the logs for use as firewood starts off simply by cutting the tree log into shorter pieces so that it fits into wood burning stoves and open fires. The tree consists of several thousand microscopic pres which contain water and transports it from the roots up to the leaves; this is the water that needs to be discharged out through evaporation.
These shorter logs are then split via an industrial heavy duty log splitter which again increases the exposure of the wood to the air and reduces the drying time.
If the process is large in scale, the drying time of the logs can be further reduced by the use of kilns, which are essentially giant ovens that quickly dry out the logs which make them perfect for firewood. Kiln dried logs will usually always have moisture content well below 20%, which as mentioned previously will provide better heat output and are cleaner.
Kiln dried firewood logs will be more expensive however this small cost will be far outweighed by the benefits in heat output, cleanliness and will burn for longer compared to higher moisture content seasoned logs.
Therefore, I would recommend only purchasing kiln fired firewood logs for use in the home.