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Wood-burning oven: best and worst wood

Wooden logs for firewood

While choosing wood for a wood-burning stove or fireplace you have many options. There are two factors you should consider when choosing the fuel for the furnace: the type of wood and the moisture content. In this article we will explain which trees make the best logs for the stove and fireplace.

Why the type of wood is so important?

The choice of wood is more difficult than you think. The fuel you burn is crucial to the performance and durability of the equipment. So it is very important to buy wood properly. Regardless of whether you are collecting fuel yourself or using a delivery service, when choosing, you need to know as much as possible about the tree species. Wood species influence how well the oven works:

  • The efficiency of a wood-burning stove can depend largely on the type of wood you burn. Fragile and resinous (oily) logs can burn inefficiently. For this reason, pine, birch, aspen and several other breeds are not the best wood for the oven.
  • Appearance: The selection of wood from typically resinous types can result in thick black smoke that clouds the front window of the fireplace. After this cleaning glass can be difficult and take a long time.
  • Reliability: The choice of soft and resin logs also affects the reliability of the wood-burning stove. Soft and resin firewood produce chemicals that severely affect the internal components of the equipment. In particular, the catalytic burner and fan may become unusable over time, which will negatively affect the combustion quality. For this reason, wood hardness reduces the wear and tear on the stoves and provides better fuel.
  • Safety: Burning wood from resin wood species poses a potential threat to safety in the home. Resin wood produces a significant amount of creosote, which accumulates inside the chimney and often becomes the main cause of fires inside the stove.

Birch wood

Best types of wood to use

So, which logs are best suited for wood-burning stove? Any non-soling solid wood can give a good heat recoil, but the three best options:

  • Oak: known for its slow burning, oak is probably the best kind of wood. This is dense hardwood, available in most regions of Ukraine. While wood from oak may take a little longer to mature than other trees, fire from well-aged logs in a wood stove will be maintained for a long time. This is the main wood for stoves, and probably one of the best options for using as fuel.
  • Maple: maple wood burns very well. When properly aged, it produces long and steady burning in your wood stove. Maple can be found throughout the country, making it a favorite choice for many buyers.
  • Ash: burns smoothly and easily splintered — what else do you need? The ash tree provides one of the best combustion fuels in wood stoves. It is also found almost throughout Ukraine, available in all regions.

Oak wood

While oak, ash and maple are among the top three, there are many other types of wood that can be used in wood stoves:

  • Beech wood;
  • Cherry wood;
  • Apple wood, etc.

The worst type of wood to use

But not all trees are the same. Just as there are types of firewood that we recommend, there are several that we do not recommend using under any pretext. Most of them are not recommended because they are either soft tree species, or very resinous, or both. Conifers burn quickly and efficiently and produce harmful chemicals during this process. Resin wood produces thick oils that tarnish glass and contaminate the interior of the furnace. We do not recommend the following types of wood:

  • Pine;
  • Alder;
  • Spruce.

With our guide you can easily find the best firewood to burn in a wood-burning oven!

Is it okey to heat the oven with pine wood?

On the one hand, it is clear that pine is not the best kind of wood due to the large amount of resin. Because of this quite quickly clogged chimney, lost traction and there is a need for a rather unpleasant and «dirty» procedure of chimney cleaning. On the other hand, pine is one of the cheapest types of wood. In addition, pine trimmings remain in many after construction or repair in a private house. So is it worth heating the oven pine?

With full confidence and from personal experience we respond. Yes, you can heat the oven with pine wood. But! It is necessary to regularly use special means and tools which combat the accumulation of soot in the chimney and oven channels.

Again, from personal experience we can recommend this powder:

Chimney cleaner Profi Plus

It should be regularly (once on 4-5 protuberances) added to hot coals, then soot just does not have time to form. The smoke from the powder reacts with it and part of the soot flies out into the pipe, and the other part falls down back into the furnace.

Pay attention, in the instructions for use there is an inaccuracy! It says that the powder should be poured into ash. In fact, it should be poured on hot coals, but already without tongues of flame on them.

If you have not previously used such means, but you have already clogged the chimney and decreased traction – try to use it before more cleaning. We at one time completely helped. Without mechanical cleaning, the thrust became excellent, as on a new oven!

This article is not advertising, so you can choose not necessarily this means, but something similar. It is this powder tested by personal experience, in addition, is available and most common in Ukrainian online stores.

There is also an alternative means – a special «log». This is a briquette with the same active ingredient, but in the form of a log. It also needs to be put in the furnace and set on fire. We tried to use it as well. But subjectively, the use of powder more efficiently, and in the use of powder is a much cheaper option.

How to keep and save wood properly

It is also important to draw your attention to the fact that in order to preserve its properties, the firewood needs to provide reliable storage conditions. You should ensure that the fuel is well ventilated and protected from moisture. Otherwise you can spoil even the best oak logs.

In the best wasy you should arrange a separate place — a shed with a tray. Try not to let the wood lie on dry ground, as they can absorb moisture from it. In extreme cases, you can build a canopy with a pallet. This will protect the fuel from rainfall, and the pallet will not let the wood take water from the wet ground.