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Efficient log burning tips for cost-conscious living

Are you looking to make your kiln dried logs burn longer and stretch your budget? You’re not alone! We’re all feeling the pinch right now as the cost of living crisis takes grip of our finances. Soaring energy bills are driving more consumers than ever before to turn to wood fuel as people open up their fires and install new log burners as a way to lower the cost of heating their homes. As a result, UK firewood sales have skyrocketed to record levels – meaning the turnaround from log order to log delivery is longer than ever before as firewood supply chains struggle to keep up with the pace of demand.

And with an estimated 1.5 million wood-burning stoves in the UK – it’s inevitable that the figure will rise significantly. In fact, the Energy Savings Trust has stated that a wood-burning stove can cut a home’s overall heating bill by up to 10%. And according to one report, a wood-burning stove can save an electrically heated home up to £400 a year on energy costs!

So what can you do to get the best return on your firewood investment and maximise the efficiency of your log fire even further?


Here’s how you can make your logs burn more efficiently…and last longer:

Woodsure Ready To Burn certified kiln dried firewood logs by The Log People

We are Woodsure Ready To Burn accredited suppliers of kiln dried logs – so you and your fire are in safe hands!

1) Choose Ready To Burn kiln dried logs

Ready To Burn certified logs have a moisture content of 20% or less – and are proven to burn more efficiently than wet wood. After all. you can’t burn water! What’s more, Ready To Burn logs burn hotter, for longer, and with far fewer emissions than burning unseasoned logs.

Burning Ready To Burn logs are also better for your appliance and chimney because better quality woodfuel significantly reduces maintenance and woodfuel costs.

A stove is only as good as the wood you put in it. The only way to be sure your logs are ready for immediate use, will burn hotter, last longer, and are sustainably sourced, is to choose Ready To Burn certified logs.
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LEARN MORE about Ready To Burn certified logs


2) Buy more, save more, stash more!

The wait time from log order to log delivery is longer than ever before as demand for woodfuel outweighs the pace at which the firewood industry can supply. After all, trees don’t grow any quicker and logs don’t kiln dry any faster!

With this in mind, we strongly recommended firewood users order logs several weeks in advance before they need them – and buy logs in bulk. If you have the space to store lots of logs, and can stretch to buying firewood in bulk, we’d certainly recommend doing so to ensure you have enough logs to see you through winter months.

As for the financial incentive of buying logs in bulk, you can usually save quite a lot of money compared to buying firewood in small quantities. Many firewood suppliers like The Log People can pass cost efficiencies to their customers – so take advantage of multi-buy discounts if you can!

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3) Use the top-down fire lighting method

The top-down fire lighting method has revolutionised how we think of lighting a log fire, and for stove industry pros, it’s the genesis of modern-day fire lighting. Traditionally, log fires have been lit from the bottom, with more logs added as the fire begins to grow. The top-down fire lighting method may seem counterintuitive, but in reality, log fires are much easier to light and emit less smoke.

How to light a top down log fire:

  • Stack larger kiln dried hardwood logs at the base of the appliance
  • Place smaller kiln dried softwood logs on top in the opposite direction
  • Grab a handful of kindling and place it on top of the smaller logs
  • Nestle just a couple of natural firelighters into the kindling and llight
  • Ensure your stove vents are fully opened to maximise the draw from your appliance. For the first couple of minutes, we recommend opening a window and leaving the stove door slightly ajar to allow sufficient oxygen to enter the box to aid combustion.
  • As the stove temperature rises and the smaller logs begin to combust, close the stove door but keep the vents fully open.
  • When the logs at the bottom of your appliance have fully combusted and your fire is roaring away, gradually close the vents to slow down the burn.
  • Sit back and enjoy!

4) Sweep your chimney!

At a time when many are cutting back on many of life’s luxuries to make ends meet – regular chimney sweeping should always remain on the essential spending list for anyone who regularly uses woodfuel to light fires.

Not only do log fires burn more efficiently and effectively in a freshly swept chimney, but the health and condition of your chimney is significantly improved too. Excessive creosote buildup negatively impacts the draw from your wood burning appliance, which makes log burning inefficient and also drastically increases the risk of chimney fires.

A clean chimney is essential to the safe use of all wood burning heating appliances. HETAS recommends that chimney sweeping is best carried out by a HETAS Approved Sweep at least once a year, depending upon the appliance and fuel being used.

5) Service your stove annually

Committing to service your appliance at least once a year by an approved stove maintenance engineer will maximise your stove’s performance and efficiency even further  – giving you even more heat, using less fuel, and emitting fewer emissions.

To ensure your appliance operates at optimal performance levels, it’s best practice is to have your stove regularly serviced and maintained by a HETAS Approved Servicing Technician.


6) Be patient when building your log fire

Even when using Ready To Burn kiln-dried logs with a moisture content below 20%, your log fire is still likely to smoke and smolder if your appliance and flue are still too cold, or if your appliance is overloaded with too many logs.

Kiln dried hardwood logs only combust successfully when appliances have reached optimal wood burning temperatures of 260 and 460°C. And when a fire is overloaded with too much wood fuel, your log fire is likely to suffocate because there is not enough air flow around the logs – resulting in inhibited combustion.

Patience is vital when building log fires. Allow your stove temperature to rise, using kindling to start your fire and kiln dried softwood logs to build your fire and warm your stove, before adding kiln dried hardwood logs to sustain the burn.


7) Only light a fire when you need to

If you love your log burner as much as we do, it’s pretty easy to confess that you don’t need much of a reason to fire up your stove! After all, sitting by a log fire evokes feelings of joy, inner peace, and relaxation. It’s a treat we all look forward to.

Truth is, we can all save ourselves more cash by lighting our log fires only when we need to – not just when we fancy it. We’re the first to admit it’s hard to look at an unlit stove, but try to discipline yourself by only burning logs on demand and when you’re feeling cold.


8) Know your softwood logs from your hardwood logs

We’re often asked if hardwood logs are better than softwood logs. The answer? They both have different benefits. Softwood logs should only be used to build a fire and to warm your appliance. Hardwood logs should only be used to sustain the burn and keep it going hour after hour.

Softwood logs are much lighter and less dense than hardwood logs – which is why trying to light a fire with even kiln dried hardwood logs is a lot like trying to light a brick! Equally, keeping a fire going with softwood logs is uneconomical because they burn away far too quickly.

TOP TIP: Use kiln dried softwood logs to build a fire…and kiln dried hardwood logs to keep your fire going.

Read more about the difference between softwood logs and hardwood logs and what’s better for burning.


Got questions, or want to share more wood-burning tips? Drop us a message in the comments!


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