Probably the biggest consideration when you have a fire, whether it be an open fire, wood burning stove, pizza oven of even a chimenea or firepit is how much firewood do you need each year and

How much firewood do I need?

Depends on lots of factors such as the size of your stove, house size, insulation, how much the stove you have an average 5kw stove and use it evenings and weekends from say October to April, you will need approx. 3-4m3 of best quality firewood.

What is the best way to store firewood?

Fundamentally make sure the storage area is not only close to the house and easy to take indoors, but most importantly make sure it is convenient for delivery vehicles to deliver the logs right to the front of the store so easy to stack the logs away.

The store needs to be dry making sure no wet weather can get to the logs. The firewood needs to be stacked off the ground to avoid damp coming up through the pile. A pallet provides a really good base on which to stack logs. Make sure that all sides of the store are slatted to allow maximum airflow throughout the stack of logs. Logs are best stacked neatly to allow good airflow.

The store needs a good roof. Putting a sheet over the stack is certainly not ideal as it restricts airflow across the top of the stack and in warmer weather could lead to sweating and mould growth.

In the same way as you always need air around the logs when burning, so lots of gaps for the air to travel round, the same principle applies to log storage – plenty of gaps for airflow.

When is the best time to buy firewood?

Late summer is the best time to buy. Not only are you likely to get the driest wood from your supplier having had the summer months to season, it’s a much easier to make delivery and fill your store when its drier and the days are longer. It’s much more pleasant to stack your logs away in the evening over a glass or wine or beer, than flogging away in the dark evenings when it’s snowing or tipping with rain.

You will also find that many suppliers offer better prices in the summer as they are keen to move stocks.

How long do I need to season logs?

As a general rule logs will take about two years to season, but will depend on species. The denser the species e.g. oak and apple will take up to three years to dry even when the wood is cut into log lengths (av 25cm) and split. However Ash could be as quick at 6-12 months and softwood even quicker.