General advice for using wood or solid smokeless fuels with your stove

Advice for when burning wood

Burning wood correctly requires a little more effort and planning than using solid fuel.

Softwoods and Hardwoods

Hardwoods have approximately half the calorific value of solid fuel, so twice as much in weight terms and about six times as much in volume terms will be required to match the heat production of solid fuel.

Softwoods will burn well but it tends to produce much more impurities and will tar up the flue far more quickly. As softwood has a much lower density than hard wood the volume of fuel required will increase significantly, to maybe 8 times the volume for a comparable coal output.

Choosing your wood fuel

If you are unable or prefer not to source and season your own wood supply, there are many sustainably-sourced kiln-dried wood fuels available that are suitable for use in Arada stoves. While these offer a convenient fuel option we cannot test or comment on quality or typical heat output for any specific product and it will be up to the user to determine the best fuel for their own use. You should avoiding burning any wood that has not been seasoned or that which might be made containing an accelerant, additive or binder.

Seasoning and storing wood

Seasoning and storing your own wood is great for wood burning efficiency. For best results, firewood should have a moisture content of 20% or less. Freshly harvested wood has a naturally high water content of between 65 and 90%. For natural air drying, it’s recommended that you season your logs for up to two years. For the best results, keep your freshly chopped logs in a sheltered store and allow plenty of airflow around them.

Sufficient quantities should be stored indoors to allow a ready supply to be at hand. Avoid burning straight from the outside store if possible as it will probably have a high surface moisture level. If you bring seasoned logs into the house from your outside store in the morning, the surface moisture will have disapated such that they are ready to burn that evening.

Wood Burning and stove air controls

When burning wood you will use the stove's air controls differently from when burning solid fuel.. When wood is burnt, it is in fact wood gases that burn this combustion requires a good supply of air from above the fuel. 

The primary air control should be used only during initial lighting or to revive a fire during re-fuelling. Subsequent burning control should be achieved using the airwash and with the primary air control closed. As much as 40% of the heat from burning wood is obtained from secondary combustion and this is severely hampered by air entering the fire box from below, as for example, via the primary air inlet control.

Wood should be burnt with a clearly visible energetic flame to avoid the window glass from becoming blackened and increased tarring of the flue.

Slumbering / sustained wood burning at low levels

Banking up a wood stove and shutting down overnight is not an efficient way to use fuel and is not good for your chimney. It is not recommended to burn your stove unsupervised for sustained periods and at consistently low levels, a fire in slumber can encourage soot or tar deposits in the stove and the flue. A build up of deposits in the flue combined with irregular chimmey flue sweeping is a recipe for a potenial house fire.

Advice for when burning smokeless solid fuels

Solid fuel burning is quite straight forward, the burn is controlled with the primary air control.

The primary air control adjusts the amount of air coming into the fire chamber underneath the fuel via the grate. A very small amount of airwash air is required only to keep the glass cleanand plays no part in the normal burning of solid fuel.

Solid fuel requires regular riddling of the grate to prevent ash-masking and the stove will need to be de-ashed each time it is refuelled for the same reason.

Note Only smokeless solid fuel should be used in our solid fuel stoves, Do not use house coal, petrocoke or any solid fuel with a high petroleum or bitumen content.