Heating: choosing the right wood

Wood energy is gaining ground with the trend of returning to nature and ... the increase in the price of fuel.

Did you know that almost 30% of the surface of our country is covered with forests? We don't have oil, but we have wood!

In addition, we know how to use it in economical and ecological. To compensate for the areas cut, forest nurserymen replant young trees every year, which means that the CO2 emissions linked to heating are theoretically reabsorbed by the young trees.

Knowing that wood reserves are renewed a million times faster than oil or coal, it is no lie to say that wood is a " renewable energy ". Four cubic meters of wood save the equivalent of one ton of oil and prevent the release of 1.5 tons of carbon dioxide!

Firewood, in practice

The first precaution to take when purchasing your firewood is to check that it is very dry. Because if it is too humid, not only will you pay for water at the price of wood (count from 55 to 100 € per cubic meter or m3), but it will burn less well and clog your chimney. It takes a minimum of two years of drying so that the humidity level drops to a reasonable value of 20%. Although the calorific value of wood varies between species, the moisture content is even more important.

Tip: take two logs and hit them between them. If they produce a dull sound, the wood is good to burn. However, to check that it is dry enough, nothing beats a test with a moisture meter or hygrometer.

Once home, store your wood in a non-humid place: under a tarp or shelter outside or better, in a well-ventilated attic or garage.

Which species to choose?

Favor deciduous trees over hardwoods (Oak, beech, walnut, charm, fruit trees...) hardwoods to softwoods (birch, poplar…) Which burn faster. Buy only "NF firewood" certified wood and do not burn pallets (impregnated with toxic products) or softwood. Producing a lot of soot, conifers can clog the duct and encourage chimney fires.

It is prudent to have the duct swept once a year, or even twice a year if this is your sole means of heating. Also consider buying a smoke detector: since 2015, it is mandatory in every home.

Pierrick The Gardener

Visual credits: Fotolia, Lorflam

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