The importance of using properly dried wood in a multi-fuel stove.

The importance of using properly dried wood in a multi-fuel stove.

Like any heating device, your wood burning or multi-fuel stove depends on careful operation in order to work efficiently. This means taking care to find out how your stove works and choosing the right materials. Not only will this increase the output of heat, it will reduce the risk of damaging the chimney and maintain the long term functionality of your stove without costly maintenance bills.


Wood burning stoves are easy to operate when you take the following simple precautionary steps.

Make sure the wood you burn has been dried properly

If there is too much moisture in your wood, energy will be consumed in the evaporation of this water before it can burn, meaning the wood burns incompletely producing excessive smoke and emitting less heat into your room. Smoke will condense on the cold chimney flue, causing a build-up of creosote which can erode your chimney lining over time.

In contrast, dry wood will burn efficiently, producing more heat and less smoke, and preventing vapours from condensing on the chimney flue.

Choose well-seasoned wood to burn

Freshly cut wood may contain 45% water, whereas wood that has been well seasoned will only hold approximately 20-25% water. Well-seasoned wood means wood that has been cut and stored appropriately to reduce the water content. By cutting and splitting logs, a large surface area of the wood is exposed, increasing the evaporation of water during storage.

Wood should be stored under a cover to protect it from rain but with a good supply of air and preferably on a base. The length of time required for storage will vary according to the type of wood, but a general rule is one year for softwood conifers, such as fir, and longer for hardwood trees, such as oak. If possible, store the wood you will be burning over the next few days beside the stove to ensure it is as dry as possible.

When buying firewood from a supplier, make sure it has been cut and split before storage and left for at least a year.

How do you recognise well-seasoned wood?

Wood that has been dried properly will be darker on the outside than freshly cut, green wood and white on the inside. The split pieces will be covered in cracks and the bark will be attached less firmly than on fresh wood.


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Gr8Fires 2019-02-18 12:07:10
@ david h woodham Hi David Thanks for letting us know. Our pleasure! Thanks, Gr8Fires

david h woodham 2019-02-18 09:07:55
Thank you Adam at g8 fires , i used your poem you sent me about what wood to burn ,We had a church
service the topic was trees , so i read the poem , it really went down well, thanks again for
keeping in touch , hope to place an order with you soon , cheers Dave

Gr8Fires 2017-09-05 13:44:29
@ Julie Jones Hi Julie This is the article for you: T
he open side is to allow air circulation, which helps the drying process and prevents the wood
rotting. Thanks, Gr8Fires

Julie Jones 2017-09-03 11:11:13
I am loving and reading the emails, which are educating me! Have you any advice on storing wood?
There are many to choose from of varying sizes however, I do not understand why they are all open in
one side which will allow the rain in on the wood. Another question, should the storage be on legs
or is it acceptable to sit flat on the ground?

Gr8Fires 2017-02-12 10:32:24
@ Ronald Ellis Hi Ronald, Get a reputable chimney sweep round and they will be able to clear it for
you. Thanks, Gr8Fires

Ronald Ellis 2017-02-11 09:32:40
How can you get rid of creosote in the chimmey

James skillen 2016-11-08 09:01:22
Hi adam. I bought an Olympus 8 from gr8 fires a couple of months ago I have found it absolutely
brilliant and thanks for all your a mails they have been very helpful.

Gr8Fires 2016-04-04 12:02:27
@ Thomas JOHN Boulton Thanks for the kind words. We'll certainly keep the emails
coming. Thanks, Gr8Fires

Gr8Fires 2016-04-04 12:01:21
@north wales chimney sweeps That's usually attributed to burning of poor quality
fuel. Thanks, Gr8Fires

Thomas JOHN Boulton 2016-04-01 13:57:21
Many thanks for your numerous emails which have been found most helpful in the operation of our wood
burning stove. Hopefully you will keep these coming. T.J.Boulton

north wales chimney sweeps 2016-03-31 15:41:40
Great info. I know how creosote and tar is produced in the flue but can you tell me how clinker (
very light weight honeycombed tar build up ) is produced? I recently swept a chimney and it was full
of the stuff, it looked more like black polystyrene, some of the pieces were bigger than my
hand! Thanks Tony

Anu Kumar Ayodhya 2015-11-15 02:19:03
hiii my frendzz

Sue Rash 2015-06-03 18:42:10
Brilliant article and very helpful. Cheers Adam

Gr8Fires 2015-01-26 14:39:09
@ Neil N. Hi Neil, Here's the valve you're talking about: damper. They're certainly not essential but
can sometimes have an effect. There are a lot of possibilities as to why you might now be getting
the heat output you were expecting (too many to list here - maybe give as a call for a chat about
some of the options?) Thanks.

margaret turner 2015-01-23 09:35:01
Just want to thank you for all your imformation it has been very helpfull

Neil N. 2015-01-10 16:42:43
I have an invicta Itaya installed with a stainless steel flue. I have a room roughly 40 sq meters,
and yet I find the stove does not provide much heat. Neighbours with much smaller wood stoves get
significantly more heating using the same fuel. Almost all have "butterfly" type valve on the start
of the flue. Do I need to use a flue valve to regulate the exhaust to get more heat? Thank You.

Janis Dare 2014-04-18 13:40:08
Thanks for the helpful tips on seasoning wood.