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Alternative method to starting a fire

Most commonly, a small fire of kindling wood is stacked and bigger logs are added to this. The trouble with this, is that as gases are released from the bigger logs, there are no flames at the top to ignite them. They will pollute rather than give heat. There is a solution….place your logs on the bottom of your stove, then place your kindling on top of these. Soon the fire will burn its way down; as the logs heat up and produce gas, there will always be fire on top to ignite them.

This method also works well, as you can start a fire and keep it burning in one step. This is particularly helpful in wood burning stoves when opening the door to add more logs. When the stove is not up to efficient burning temperature, smoke can easily escape back into the room through the open door, when using the usual method of adding kindling before logs.

How to burn wood with minimum pollution

Fires smoke and pollute it they do not burn intensely. A temperature of 300 – 350 degrees Celsius is required to burn all the gases emmited from wood. At a lower temperature, the gases (smoke) will go up the chimney unburned. For this reason, a hot fire will burn cleanest; all the pollution is simply turned into heat. You will get a good indication of how efficiently your fire is operating, by simply going outside to check the colour of the smoke. There should only be a thin, pale emission from the chimney. Once your house is warm, control the temperature by the amount of wood you add not by closing the airvent.

Log quantities explained

We sell our logs loosely loaded. Once we have processed the logs into nets, (each net contains two loads) they are seasoned and when ready to burn, tipped loosely into our trucks. When a loose load of logs is nearly stacked, it takes up considerable less space. on average, a neatly stacked load of logs is 40%  smaller in volume the a loose load. Whether you live in Winchester, andover, romsey or Southampton……please call us today to order your seasoned hardwood logs.

Local Hardwood Species

Here in Hampshire, the main hardwood species used for firewood are Ash, Beech, Silver Birch, Oak & Sycamore. Each species has its own individual merits. Ash is a good all round firewood and burns easily with little smoke. Contrary to popular belief, ‘green ash’ doesn’t burn at all well. It does have a naturally low moisture content, but needs further seasoning before burning. Beech is one of the finest woods to burn. It burns hot and for a long time. Beech has many uses, other than firewood; this means that it doesn’t appear on the firewood market as much as some would like.

Birch is a wonderful and often overlooked species. It’s a ‘pioneer’ species, seeding freely and improving soil quality for other trees and shrubs. It’s a good clean firewood and has a lovely scent when burned. Oak is a very dense wood and has a tendency to smoulder, rather than burn. Ideally, it’s best mixed with lighter woods, such as birch or sycamore. Allow plenty of airflow into your appliance, split the logs small and it will, once mastered, give a hot and long fire. Sycamore is another underrated firewood species. It grows quickly, splits easily and is relatively quick to season. It’s a good general all purpose firewood.

Kiln dried logs

We are often asked “is there any difference between kiln dried and seasoned logs?” Ultimately , the answer is no. In our opinion, a dry log is a dry log, irrespective of how it is dried. A properly seasoned log, has the same moisture content as a kiln dried log. Our seasoned logs are carefully dried over time, in the sun and wind. Kiln dried logs are dried in an industrial kiln, over several days; the kilns are generally heated by burning biomass.

This process is expensive, hence the price difference between seasoned and kiln dried. Kiln dried logs are often marketed as a superior product, being better for the environment and more cost effective. All of this is untrue and just clever marketing to justify the extra production cost. Much of the kiln dried firewood in the British market, is produced in large volumes and delivered nationwide (or produced in Eastern Europe). Dried by burning biomass, delivered nationally by articulated lorry and often packaged in plastic, I would certainly question their green credentials. For a truly clean and cost-effective source of firewood, look for a reputable local supplier of quality air dried seasoned logs.

Tips on storing your logs

Ideally, your firewood should be stacked undercover, in a well ventilated store. Even dry logs will absorb moisture and become damp, during those cold wet January days. This means that a good airflow is essential, to keep your logs as dry as possible. It’s also a good idea to bring a night or two’s worth of logs into the house, if it has been particularly wet outside. This is to make sure that they are nice and dry before burning. If you are looking for high quality, dry, seasoned logs in Winchester, Southampton, Salisbury or Andover, please call us today.

Locally sourced timber

Whether delivering logs to southampton,andover or Winchester, one of the most commonly asked questions is “where do you get your wood ”

All our firewood is responsibly sourced within a 25 Mile radius of our yard in Stockbridge, Hampshire.
The timber we use is specifically grown for the firewood industry. The trees are planted close together so they compete for light and therefore grow quickly (relatively!!!) And straight. The trees are periodically thinned out , removing the poor quality timber (which is used for firewood) and leaving the better quality timber to grow on. All though the phase ” locally sourced” is much used nowadays, we believe it is an integral part of running a responsible and sustainable firewood business.

By buying your firewood from test valley logs we guarantee your logs have been produced as sustainably as possible; providing local jobs for local people, keeping transportation to a minimum and ensuring our woodlands are cared for, for future generations.

The log season is underway

Although our thoughts at this time of year are a long way from cold winter nights and roaring log fires, it’s not a bad time of year to order in your logs and best the winter rush. We’ve been delivering our lovely dry firewood today, to Southampton, Winchester & Salisbury.

All our firewood is sourced and cut within 20 miles of our yard in Stockbridge Hampshire, where it is naturally dried in the wind and sun, until it is seasoned and ready to burn.

Testimonials

Excellent logs, that burn really well, and are nice and dry without any mould. Very good service too – nice friendly blokes who carried and stacked a ton of logs in a matter of minutes. 10/10. Jon Brown

We took advantage of Rich and Toms log and chimney sweep deal, very efficient service…the logs look great to, good mix of hardwoods and lovely and dry. would recommend – Sophie Barry

Both lovely blokes, deliver to the business at least once a week. Fast, friendly and great service. Good value for money! Highly recommended!! – Annabel Simmonds

Speedy delivery, great logs, impeccable stacking – Xenia Petley

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