Category Archives: Information

Benefits of Using a Stove Thermometer

A stove thermometer will let you know how efficient your fire is operating in real-time 

Stove ThermometerStove thermometers generally attach to your flue pipe by a magnet mounted on the rear, and provide instant feedback in how hot your fire is burning.

Avoiding creosote by burning within the optimal temperature range

Stove with vents damped/closed down too much produces flue temperatures in the 100-200 degree Fahrenheit range.

These temperatures do not sufficiently combust your fuel or logs, leading to creosote build up within your flue and chimney.

Your fires should be kept burning anywhere between 300-450 degrees in general – this minimizes creosote build-up and ensures you aren’t wasting your logs.

Most stove thermometers like the ones we stock will have 3 clearly defined zones, from the “creosote” to “best operation” and “too hot” – this ensures you can easily add less or more logs and control the oxygen to your fire to keep your stove within the best operating range.

Relevant product: View our Safety Essentials Pack which includes our stove thermometer


Safely Burning Kiln Dried Logs

As we are now in to the burning season and we find many customers are relatively new to wood burning I would like to offer some advice in burning kiln dried logs safely and efficiently.

The aim is to get your stove above 250 degrees Fahrenheit as quickly as possible within the optimal temperature range for complete combustion, and then maintain an efficient clean burning fire.

Avoiding creosote build-up

A very slow-burning fire in a modern, airtight stove with vents damped/closed down too much produces flue temperatures in the 100-200 degree Fahrenheit range.

These low temperatures do not sufficiently carry all of the unburned, combustible gases into the atmosphere. Instead, they condense along the walls of the stovepipe and your chimney as creosote.

This is why your fire must consistently produce enough heat to remove these gases as your logs burn and why it’s important to bring your initial temperature up quickly.

Tips for building your fire and using your vents to supply enough oxygen

Building and maintaining an effective fire requires burning the right amount of fuel, good fire-building practices and oxygen control using your vents. Obtain the best efficiency from your wood burning stove by following these practical steps:

  • Always use kiln dried logs in your stove, never part-seasoned or damp wood
  • Open all air vents to begin
  • Start fires with firelighters and dry kindling – allow 5-10 minutes for the kindling to burn fiercely warming your flue and creating a strong draw before adding *any* logs
  • Burn hot, bright fires and start with a few smaller logs
  • Arrange your logs in such a way that allows air between, without overfilling your stove
  • Keep your air vents fully open and do not reduce until your stove is operating higher than 300 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 15 minutes, then do so gradually at intervals – this will slow the burn and ensure more heat remains within your stove and less escapes up your flue. Closing your vents before this will starve your fire of oxygen during the warm-up phase and delay complete combustion – wait until significant heat can be felt from your stove before reducing airflow, especially when burning ash or oak logs. Never completely close your vents or attempt to close them too far and always re-assess how your fire is burning and adjust when necessary
  • Let the fire burn down to glowing embers before reloading or until your flue temperature begins to drop toward 300 degrees Fahrenheit if you have a stove thermometer
  • Reload by adding at least 2 logs each time – avoid adding one log at a time and opening your door too frequently as this will drop the temperature of your stove
  • Open your vents slightly for a short period after adding more logs to help combustion and then reduce slightly after a few minutes
  • Never leave your stove damped down heavily overnight – this will lead to hours of incomplete combustion and is the single biggest cause of creosote build-up. Instead, open your vents before going to bed so your fire burns clean overnight
  • Have your chimney or flue swept before the start of each season to remove any deposits – if you follow these guidelines, your chimney sweep will be delighted and commend you on your skills and choice of logs!
  • Install a carbon monoxide alarm and place it high up in your room 15cm below ceiling height. Make sure any alarm you buy is marked to EN 50291 and has the British Standards Kitemark
For safely operating your stove within the optimum temperature range to avoid incomplete combustion, consider purchasing if you haven’t already our Safety Essentials Pack which includes the following:
  • Stove Flue Pipe Thermometer
  • Safety Rated Stove Gloves
You can read more and buy this pack on it’s own online – it will arrive by parcel courier within a few working days and is a good investment to ensure your fires are burning safe, efficiently and clean.

Kiln Dried Birch Logs – Beginners & Casual Users

Birch logs are the perfect choice for newcomers and casual users

Kiln Dried Birch LogsKiln dried birch logs make excellent firewood – they catch fire quickly and warm your home faster than the other hardwood species, making them ideal if you use your stove or log burner primarily in the evenings or at the weekend.

We recommend birch for beginners and casual users as it’s so easy to get your fire roaring with very little effort or skill. Not as dense as ash or oak, birch logs burn slightly quicker, releasing their heat faster, with very little kindling required at all.

Quick tip for starting your fire with birch logs – instead of using firelighters, simply pull the bark of birch away and use it in a similar fashion to firelighters, as the oils in the bark make it an excellent firelighter and will help the logs catch fire with only a small amount of kindling required.

All of our products are available in Birch – simply select the species before adding to your cart.

We also sell kiln dried ash and oak logs for more intensive use – please visit our homepage to learn more about the various species that we offer.

Further reading: Birch vs Ash Logs – Heat & Other Differences

Kiln Dried Oak Logs – Ideal for Intensive Use

Oak offers a longer burn with more heat output

For customers that use their stoves intensively throughout the day, we have introduced kiln dried oak logs this year.

Oak offers the longest burn of any of the hardwood species and burns extremely hot. For this reason, they are well suited if you are an experienced user or if you use your stove intensively and find you burn through logs fairly quickly.

One of our crates of oak should last you much longer than our ash logs, off-setting the additional expense and making them much better value in terms of calorific content, due to the very high density of the wood. This is the reason oak logs weigh significantly more than birch or ash, even when dried down to the same level of moisture content.

When building your fire with oak logs, make sure to use smaller pieces and have your stove burning well before introducing medium to larger pieces – oak will take longer to light and burn with a small flame, but once established will produce more heat, last longer and need far less tending to.

All of our products are available in oak, though you must select the species before adding to your basket – follow the links below or visit our homepage for more information on the various species that we offer:

Further reading: Advice for Burning Ash and Oak Logs

What Our Small Crate of Logs Looks Like Loose

Our Small 1m3 Crate emptied in to an IBC cage to demonstrate the difference between stacked and loose volumes
Our Small Crate emptied in to an IBC cage to demonstrate the difference between stacked and loose volumes

To demonstrate the value in purchasing our crated firewood, we emptied the logs from one of our Small Crates in to an empty IBC cage.

Traditionally in the UK firewood is sold in builders bags or “loose” loads from tipper trucks – while our small crate may look small, due to the fact it’s 4 rows deep of logs and neatly stacked it actually holds a significant amount of logs – approximately 1.28m3 of loose logs.

We recommend our small crate for casual users, and one should see you through the entire winter season.

If you use your stove more intensively, consider our larger Extra Large Crate.

Advice for Burning Ash and Oak Logs

We would like to offer some advice for burning ash and oak logs in your stove or wood burning appliance.

The main point to keep in mind is that ash and oak are a very dense species of wood (oak being more dense than ash), meaning there’s a lot of wood fibres contained within the logs; this is what lends them to burning for such long periods when compared with other softer species of hardwoods such as birch, and all of the softwood varieties.

As they are so dense, this means putting slightly more thought in to building and lighting your fire, although not so much with logs as dry as ours, but worth noting when building your fires none the less!

Building your fire with very large and chunky logs likely won’t catch fire very well – we recommend building your fire up with firelighters, kindling and smaller pieces of logs before placing larger ones in to your stove or burner, and to have your fire burning for a good 5-10 minutes before even thinking about picking up a larger piece.

The larger pieces (in diameter, as our kiln dried logs are always cut to 25cm exactly though vary in width) come in to their own once your fire is established and you want a long lasting fire that needs very little tending to. Each log should burn for up to an hour or more each, and as each log produces over 4kw per hour, you shouldn’t ever need more than 2 logs in your stove at a time – allow the logs to burn down to glowing embers before placing more logs on the fire.

You will not need to add more kindling or firelighters when adding new logs to your fire once it is established – frustrating fires that are difficult to light and sustain are now a thing of the past.

If you follow this advice, burning ash and oak logs in your stove or log burner will be a joy – a much different experience if you are used to burning softwood or mixed loads. Of course, it is the moisture content in your logs that ultimately dictate how easy they light and the heat produced.

Further reading: Kiln Dried Oak Logs – Ideal for Intensive Use

Storing Logs in Your Garage

Storing logs in your garage is perfectly ok – providing they’re already dry.

It’s a very bad idea to keep freshly cut or partially seasoned logs in a garage, as there simply isn’t enough fresh or flowing air to help them dry out.

Fresh or partially seasoned logs will release their moisture into your garage and you will notice mould spores appearing all over other items quite rapidly during warm conditions.

It’s important to emphasise that logs that are already very dry and ready to burn such as our kiln dried logs can be kept in garages without any issues whatsoever. 

The best method of keeping logs in your garage is to make sure they aren’t touching the floor – simply a precaution for those with garages that tend to accumulate damp on the floor.

We thoroughly recommend storing your kiln dried logs in your garage or outside in one of our log stores.

How to Stack Logs in Your Log Store

How you stack your logs in your log store plays a significant role in seasoning fresh logs to dry them out, or keeping your kiln dried logs nice and dry.

No matter what your goal is, there is only one way to stack your logs – don’t simply throw them in the log store in a pile, nor should you stack them too tight!

As logs need to breathe whilst stored, throwing them in to a loose mountain inside your store will inevitably block much of the wind out that needs to circulate through the logs. Not only this but you will lose a lot of valuable space in your log store, as stacked logs take up significantly less room than logs in a loose pile.

Stacking them too tight will also reduce the air-flow to your logs, therefore the only way to stack your logs is neat but loosely, without making too much effort to piece them together; this will ensure there’s plenty of gaps for air to circulate and pass through each row of logs in your store.

The image to the right demonstrates the correct way to stack your logs.

If depth allows, try to allow an inch between each row, rather than packing them together end to end, as this will allow fresh air to reach more surface area of your logs.

Our small log store allows you to stack your logs two rows deep and is ideal for storing any of our kiln dried logs.

Should Log Stores Be Slatted Or Solid?

As mentioned in our other articles on log stores, it’s crucial the store you purchase is slatted and not solid, with the front of the log store open and not closed.

Slatted vs Solid Log StoresThe reason for this is that logs, even when kiln dried, still need to breath when stored outside; this ensures good ventilation and avoids problems with humidity and mould growth.

The same principle applies if you are wondering if your log store should be with or without doors. There is simply no reason for a log store to have doors; if some water makes its way in the last thing you need on a warm day is to create a greenhouse effect within your log store.

Having a log store with doors encourages humid environments in which mould and various insects can thrive.

It is much better for your log store to be slatted and open – surface rain will simply evaperate with the wind, and you won’t find any nasty surprises when taking your logs out weeks or months later.

Our log store is slatted and open fronted, making it the ideal storage solution for your logs.

What Size Log Store Do I Need?

The size of your log store is an important consideration when choosing your store.

If your store is too small, you risk not being able to hold enough logs to last you the season. This results in multiple purchases of firewood and not being able to take advantage of the savings purchasing in bulk offers.

Go too big, and you may simply be sacrificing important space and wasting your money on a log store that’s far too large for your needs.

To keep the decision simple we offer one size of log store which we believe is ideal for any requirements.

The Small Log Store – one will hold the logs in our small crate, and two of them will hold the logs in our extra large crate.

For more advice such as where to position your store, or for more details on our log stores please visit our log stores section.