Moisture Meters

The most important factor in operating a wood burning stove is the fuel being used. Wet wood may burn, but not efficiently and the heat output will be reduce considerably. Energy used to burn off the moisture reduces appliance output, also potentially deposits will condensate in the chimney system producing tar, these deposits are combustible increasing the possibility of chimney fires. The Fire Brigade use water to put out fires and you're trying to set it alight! Wood that has greater than 20% moisture content is not suitable for use on a wood burning stove Wood suppliers will state that fuel supplied is seasoned but this is not always the case, it is always sensible to check the fuel prior to using it. Checking the moisture content in wood prior to use with a moisture meter and only using suitable fuel can increase appliance efficiency and reduce the chance of potential chimney issues. A freshly felled tree has approximately 65% moisture, which equates to 0.5 Kw of heat per kilogram of wood. Seasoned wood with a moisture content of 15-20% will give you up to 5 Kw of heat per kilogram of wood. That is ten times as much heat, therefore the wood is burning at its optimum temperature meaning less ash, cleaner glass and more heat for your money.
Remember Wet wood may last longer but the heat output pound for pound is reduced, therefore increasing costs Wet wood produces tar in the chimney and increases the chance of chimney fires