HEATING WITH WOOD
TIPS FOR THE ENVIRONMENTALLY-CONSCIOUS STOVE OWNER AND HEATING EXPERT
Burning wood in a modern clean-burning stove is as close to being environmentally friendly as it‘s possible to be. Approximately 80 % of the pure wood is converted into gas and only the natural components of the original tree – water, carbon dioxide and minerals, are released into the atmosphere.
When wood is correctly burned it only sets free the original CO² that the tree captured and converted while it was growing, making it essentially a ‘carbon neutral’ fuel, unlike fossil fuels which only add to the greenhouse effect. When you burn wood you are merely accelerating the decomposition process that would happen in nature anyway, but you get the joy of all that heat!
FINE DUST AND OTHER PARTICULATES
Burning wood, wood pellets or similar in poorly designed or outmoded ‘unclean’ stoves and open fireplaces will unfortunately produce many harmful and unhealthy particulates. Since the new, more stringent air quality standards of BImSchV (Germany) which covers fine particles emissions, all DAN SKAN stoves are tested to ensure sustainable and thorough combustion in order to produce very low particulate emissions, thus minimising any potential danger to health. This ensures that your DAN SKAN stove is as clean-burning as possible.
THE RIGHT FUEL
The efficiency of your stove really does depend on choosing the correct wood fuel. Fresh (‘green’) or damp wood will not provide much heat, will not burn well and will produce excessive smoke and soot inside your stove and chimney or flue system. Dry wood will always burn well providing it has an average moisture content of less than 18 %. The drier the wood then the greater the calorific heat value. Softwoods are generally more flammable and therefore have the advantage of producing a good flame very quickly, which is necessary for pre-fires and helping slower burning hardwood logs to catch fire. A good bed of glowing embers is important to promote combustion during refills.
The drier the wood, then the higher the proportion of lignin it contains and the higher the heating value it has when burned. Woods which are rich in tannin have a lower heating value and produce much more soot which will dirty your stove and flue system than wood which is easily flammable.
Our favourite is Birch because of its excellent rich flames and its long burn time, making it ideal for burning in stoves.
After drying in the summer wood can be very dry and therefore more susceptible to drawing in moisture from the damp Autumn air so it is always good to bring wood indoors for final drying up to two to three weeks before finally burning. Finally, always try to source your wood locally to minimise the impact transporting it has on the environment.
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The efficiency of a good stove depends not only on the right fuel, but also on the correct design of thebodywork and the combustion air technology within it.
To derive the heat o tput and efficiency of a stove the number of logs burning at the same time is considered. As a rule of thumb a good wood fuel log will transmit about 2 kW of heat to a room. For a stove rated at 7/8 kW output with only 2 logs burning would therefore only produce around 4 kW of heat output.
The supply of combustion air within the stove‘s fire chamber is critical for efficient and clean burning performance. For nearly four decades DAN SKAN have been developing the best way to target combustion air around the fire chamber to produce beautifully efficient clean-burning flames. Here are the three different ways…
- PRIMARY AIR:
Primary combustion air is mainly used for mineral fuel fires, for example coal. It is delivered from under the riddle grate and directed through the grate into the fuel.
- SECONDARY AIR:
Secondary combustion air provides the main combustion air for wood fuel. In a DAN SKAN stove the secondary air is pre-heated before entering the fire chamber to keep the fire chamber temperature as high as possible for effective and clean-burning performance.
- TERTIARY AIR:
This third type of combustion air is post-combustion air, which is automatically let into the fire cham-ber above the top of the flames by the patented DAN SKAN i-AIR system discussed earlier and is the main reason for DAN SKAN‘s exceptionally low fine particle values.
When choosing your new convection stove bear in mind that a small stove body working very hard could overheat, whilst a stove with a bigger body will provide a gentler heat – a healthier and softer warmth. Your DAN SKAN partner will be happy to advise you on best heat output of your new stove after consideration of your room and lifestyle.