When it comes to firewood & logs, not all of them are alike. In fact, there are many differences between the different types of fire wood available that will dictate how it burns, how much heat it will put out and how long it will last. There are many important factors when it comes to choosing the right logs to create your firewood or purchase the logs pre-cut.
However, everything starts at the beginning so the first step is understanding where you are at right now in terms of burning firewood.
- Use a fireplace, stove or open pit
- Equipment for chopping or cutting firewood
- Collect your own or purchase from a store
- Environmentally conscious or burn what’s available
These are important considerations when it comes to choosing the type of firewood that best fits your needs.
If you occasionally burn wood in an open pit, then you can choose from a wide variety of sizes and types. Fireplaces and stoves mean that you will need wood of the proper size which must be either purchased or chopped down to what best fits your needs.
Keep in mind that you will need more than one size of wood for your fire. You will need kindling and smaller pieces to help get the fire going and then larger pieces to sustain the fire itself. The good thing is you can find twigs and all types of smaller pieces quite often around your home. Cleaning up the fallen twigs and branches is good for your neighborhood.
Equipment & Collection
Basically, do you have a chainsaw, axe and other wood chopping equipment or not? If so, then you can collect a lot of your own wood without having to make a purchase. If not, then you will need to find the retail stores or sources that provide the firewood for you.
Type of Firewood
Remember that all the wood you choose to burn should be “seasoned” if possible, meaning that it was chopped a year ago so that it has time to properly dry out. After that, there are a number of different types of wood that really works well in the fireplace, stove or in an open flame. What follows are a few examples of different types of popular firewood.
Ash: Arguably the best type of firewood as it puts out a great deal of heat and can burn without being “seasoned” although it will not burn as well in that manner.
Birch: Plenty of heat and bright flame, but it will burn quickly so you’ll need other types of wood.
Hawthorn & Blackthorn: Slow burning, but puts out good heat.
Oak: Burns slow and hot if well seasoned.
Pine: It burns well, but often crackles and “spits” which means you’ll have to be careful of embers.
For open pits, you can use logs to help control the fire so that it will last longer. However, keep in mind that whether you buy fire wood or chop it yourself, the key is to know what you want, if it is seasoned and which type makes the best burning firewood.
Information on alternative sources of compatible fuel for your stove can be found on wikipedia here
I can’t honestly remember when I bought my Avalon Olympic – must have been more than 10 years ago, but I’m still quite happy with it.
I use it to heat my entire home (1500 sq. ft. with high ceilings) and I’ve had no problems so far. The stove is my primarily heat source for the past few years, even during the cold season. Product specifications say it can burn up to 12 hours but I usually let it burn for 10 hours during the night. However, during the last winter, I’ve let it burn for more than 24 hours continuously – it took almost 3 weeks before it needed to be emptied of ash!
It’s really easy to start the fire, I usually use a little paper and a few hard wood logs. The firebox is large enough and can easily handle logs up to 20-24’’ in length. It also burns quite clean, no smoke or ash whatsoever (product specifications say it emits up to 2.6 grams per hour). I especially like that I can see the flames burning, which adds to a nice and cozy atmosphere in the house.
It has a nice appearance and most importantly, saves me money on heat. I’ve had no complaints so far, especially if I manage to find cheap firewood. It’s efficient, with great heating capacity and firebox for its price. Excellent quality, easy to use and easy to clean, quite durable and with nice design. I definitely recommend – it’s one of the greatest wooden stove I’ve seen and used!
A little Youtube clip of the Avalon in action!
This stove weighs in at around 300lbs and can be the answer to your living room heating prayers. With a overall foot print of 1m suared, its not the smallest but it surely packs a punch in terms of heat output and efficiency. The unit is made in Finland and you can tel the quality is there from the start. From the fixtures to the hinges, this unit oozes Scandinavian quality.
One downside we found would be that the stove does not come with the full installation materials, making this a difficult install for the high skilled DIYer to complete. So you’ll most probably need to use a registered tradesman to do the initial install. This should not put off potential buyers however as we intend to publish our big book of registered stove installers soon, making this task a simple call away.
So, back to the benefits of this burner, its got a “self-cleaning viewing window” which although it is slightly misleading (being that it does not clean the window) it does compare very favorably in our tests to check how long the window stays clear for. This is due to the air being propelled up past the window, making it harder for the soot to stick. A handy little invention I’m sure you’ll find.
Overall heating performance – This unit is hands down the best heat production in its class and size, couple this unit with some quality kiln dried logs and you’ll be flying in no time. This unit can heat a medium to large room in a matter of minutes. And the fore mentioned easy clean window means you’ll spend less time keeping it clean.
An additional feature which stand this unit out from the competition is that it can be used to heat your home water system at the same time. Making this unit incredibly efficient in terms of bang for you buck.
So the when taking all into account, the heating performance is actually one of the best we’ve tested here at HQ. You’ll have to do a good deal of searching around to find anything like this in this price bracket. and the scandinavian quality of finish is second to none.
Aesthetics – whilst not the top end of stove design, its no ugly duckling either, it has a design which you would probably term “traditional” but the benefit there is it will probably not look out of place in many situations. Not a bad looker