Picture the scene: you’ve carefully stacked your wood in the fireplace or chiminea, followed that YouTube video’s instructions to the T, but as you desperately strike match after match the logs sit and smoke, resolutely refusing to catch alight. Whether it’s a warm summer evening with friends in the garden or a cold winter’s night at home, those waiting for the sudden leap of flame to toast their marshmallows or warm their fingers start to get antsy about the wait. Maybe they start trying to ‘help’. But no matter how good the advice, it will fall short if the wood isn’t ‘Ready to Burn’.
What is ‘Ready to Burn’?
Woodsure is the UK’s only firewood quality assurance scheme and their ‘Ready to Burn’ certification guarantees firewood has a moisture content below 20%. The ‘Ready to Burn’ logo indicates that the firewood is ready for use as wood fuel. Using wood with assured low moisture content means it will burn 80% more efficiently than wet wood and reduce the level of emissions.
Trying to burn wet wood can cause all sorts of frustrations and problems. For starters, so much of the fuel’s energy will be expended trying to get rid of the moisture in the wood that there’s very little left for doing anything useful. Like producing heat, for example. There will be plenty of smoke and steam but not much in the way of picture-perfect flames – you’ll probably find that the only thing that’s heating up is your temper, whilst the damp wood coughs its way to a rather anticlimactic end. Using ‘Ready to Burn’ firewood removes this frustration and means you can get the fire going much more quickly and efficiently.
Why shouldn’t I burn wet wood?
Aside from the irritation of not being able to get a blaze going there are other downsides to burning wet wood. As wet wood burns it releases nasty emissions into the atmosphere, including soot, tar and creosote. These can cause damage to your wood burning appliances as the sooty residue left behind can clog up the flue, resulting in additional maintenance and greater costs in the long run.
These unpleasant emissions are also bad for the environment, contributing particulate matter to the air around us, which can have short term health impacts even over the course of a day. The government’s Clean Air Strategy 2019 seeks to drastically reduce these emissions, in part by ensuring home and business owners make responsible choices about the solid fuels they use. By buying ‘Ready to Burn’ certified firewood, your logs will burn for longer, provide a much better heat content and produce significantly reduced emissions. They can also be used immediately whereas drying and seasoning your own wood can take anywhere between 18 months to three years!
In addition to the unpleasant emissions and resulting maintenance expenses, burning wet wood costs you more in the long run. Whilst picking up a bargain bag of logs from the local garage might seem like a great idea at the time, wet wood is more difficult to burn and it takes more fuel to produce the same heat output, increasing the cost per kilowatt of energy. Kiln dried logs with less than 20% moisture content can provide over four times the kilowatts per kilogram compared to wet wood.
The Woodsure logo also provides additional assurance that the fuel has come from a sustainable source. Woodsure is working with Grown in Britain to help bring the UK’s neglected woodlands back into responsible management. Buying firewood certified Woodsure ‘Ready to Burn’ supports important initiatives sustaining a future for UK woodlands and the environment.
Wood you can rely on
The ‘Ready to Burn’ logo offers you peace of mind and the reassurance that you are buying reliable products form a trusted brand. ‘Ready to Burn’ helps your woodburning appliances maintain optimum efficiency, minimises the release of emissions and saves you the unnecessary frustration of trying to burn wet wood.