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Softwood or Hardwood Logs

Posted by Steven Laing on

There seems to be a lot of confusion on whether softwood logs are suitable for burning on a fire or not, we don't recommend using them on an open fire unless a purpose made spark guard is used, as the higher resin contained in the softwood log will lead it to spit and spark more than a hardwood log but in an enclosed stove they are perfectly suitable for use as a fuel. On a Kg - Kg basis softwood logs actually produce more heat than a hardwood log. There is an interesting document published by the forestry commission to demonstrate this it shows the timber with the most energy is all softwood. you can read it here.

Seasoning - you should always burn fully seasoned logs whether hardwood or softwood, burning unseasoned logs releases the resin in a vapour from boiling off the excess moisture in the log, this condenses on a cooler surface ie your chimney lining and as this builds up in layers like a lacquer it becomes more of a danger, when you get a chimney fire it can burn at around 2500C this is hot enough to crack bricks and mortar or burn through steel chimney liners and setting alight the timber structure of your home. mixing coal with unseasoned logs creates sulphuric acid which is not something you want floating around in your stove or chimney.

Our main tips are:

1,Only burn Seasoned logs

2,Light your fire with kindling and softwood logs before adding hardwood in order to warm the fire and chimney asap so any volatiles go out the chimney top rather than condensing on the side.

3,Keep a good bed of ash in your fire unlike coal, logs burn better if you haven't cleaned the fire out to the bare metal.

4, Try to buy your logs 6-12 months in advance and stack them in a log store with good ventilation.

5,Sit back with a mug or a glass of what makes you happy and enjoy.

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