With more importance placed on burning wood cleanly than ever, make sure you are following the basics:
Cross stack your wood
Split and stack your wood with plenty of airflow all around it. If you stack it all too closely together it will not properly season. This is also important when stacking to dry. Ensure the area you are storing the fuel for seasoning has plenty of airflow through is such as a lean-to or similar structure.
Cut your wood small enough for it to combust properly (6” dia or less is ideal)
The denser your fuel the harder it is for it to properly dry out and the long it will take to properly combust.
Ensure the moisture content is not too High (Under 20%) – IMPORTANT
A common mistake is burning wet wood thinking it will burn longer. It will, but at the same time it will not burn properly, create tar and creosote deposits in your chimneys and air pollution. You can check your logs moisture by purchasing a moisture metre from your local fireplace shop or online.
Burn at high combustion temperatures
This is especially important when using a stove, don’t try to make the wood burn for long periods of time with low combustion temperatures. This is called slumbering and creates very poor burning conditions. The low temperatures create high amounts of particulates which has been a key issue raised by environmentalists. You should always have shorter, hot fires where possible.
Using this combination, you will not go far wrong, but don’t forget to call or email if you need a service, advice, chimney testing, stove installation or lining for your open fire.
The image above shows wood closely stacked which would restrict the seasoning process.