The Environmental Case for Wood Fuels

During the current climate, adopting ecologically and economically sound measures in the home should be at the forefront of everybody's mind. One of the proven ways to effectively and efficiently heat your house, while simultaneously saving on cost and doing your bit to reduce the global carbon emissions and climate change, is to use one of the wide varieties of wood fuels available.

It has been well established that burning wood fuel in the form of wood burner logs is a far more environmentally friendly process than burning other available fossils fuels such as oil, coal and gas which produce high levels of dangerous CO2 into the atmosphere, the principal cause of global warming.

Although wood fuel also releases CO2 into the atmosphere, this is CO2 the tree has absorbed from the atmosphere over its lifetime. This can be further offset by responsibly replacing every tree cut and burned with a new tree. The natural chemical processes of trees entail the absorption and eradication of airborne pollutants, nullifying CO2 and raising atmospheric oxygen levels. Therefore, by ensuring the planting of a new tree for one felled, the overall level of level of CO2 in the atmosphere will decrease, meaning the use of wood fuel is, at worst, carbon-neutral and, at best, carbon reducing.

There are many species of wood which can be used as fuel, but these can initially be categorised as hardwood or softwood. The density of hardwood logs is greater than softwood logs, making them burn with greater intensity and releasing more energy. Not only does this make hardwood logs more fuel efficient, as it means less logs are required to generate the needed heat levels, but it also means they are more cost effective, as the intervals between refuelling are extended and less logs used means less logs to be purchased. Although softwood logs are easier to light, they are really only a valid option during autumn and spring, when small fires with less heat output are required.

There is also the option of whether to use seasoned or unseasoned logs. Unseasoned logs will retain a lot of the sap moisture, approximately 50 percent more than seasoned logs, making them less easy to light and burn. This means they release a greater amount of tar-like condensates into the chimney flume, which can cause substantial damage, should they build up within the fire appliance. It is possible to store unseasoned logs in a well ventilated storage locker. However, the process can take up to 12 months.

Seasoned logs are a sound option for anyone looking for an efficient, cost effective and eco-friendly fuel option. These have already been cut, dried and stored to reduce their moisture content, meaning the condensates are lower and almost completely burned through the combustion process, meaning less damaging residue.

The most efficient choice to use as wood burner logs are kiln dried logs. These are extremely lightweight and bone dry, containing only around 20 percent of their original moisture levels. Kiln dried logs burn at great intensity, generating high heat levels using less logs. Despite being more expensive than regular wood burner logs, fewer logs are required, making kiln dried logs an incredibly cost effective, efficient and remarkably clean fuel source, as the waste produced is minimal.

The benefits and advantages of using wood burner logs for your household heating needs are clear. They are the wise choice for anyone seeking to reduce their heating and energy costs while responsibly playing an integral part in lowering worldwide carbon emissions through the use of a fully renewable and sustainable fuel source.