Which type of fuel should I burn for my Wood Burning Stove?

There’s been a lot said in the last few months about wood-burning stoves and the impact that they are having on the environment. Rightly so, as 38% of Primary Particle Matter pollution is the result of domestic wood and coal burning, as highlighted in the government’s Clean Air Strategy, released in May 2018. This does not however mean that Wood Burning or Multi Fuel stoves should be banished forever, in fact there are a number of ways to resolve this problem.


You should ideally only burn wood with 20% or less moisture content. This is because:

    • It’s more efficient. Energy won’t be wasted having to burn off the water first, so the heat output will be higher.
    • Fewer potentially harmful particulates/air pollution are released into the air than when burning wet wood.
  • It will minimise sooty deposits building up in your chimney, which can be a fire hazard.

Seasoned logs – ones that you have partially dried out or that have been dried out by the manufacturer – contain around 25% to 40% moisture. Because of this, they have a heat output of around 3kWh per kg.

Kiln-dried logs, which are dried out in a kiln before being sold, contain less than 20% moisture. Burning this type of logs produces a heat output of around 4.5kWh per kg.

Free wood that has been collected could have as much as 90% moisture in it. The heat output could therefore be just 1kWh per kg.

Briquettes – fuel created from crushing recycled wood or paper – have a low moisture content. It can be as little as 10% or less, so they have a heat output of around 5kWh per kg. Only six of the 237 people we asked use this type of fuel.

Read more: https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/wood-burning-stoves/article/wood-burning-stoves-what-you-need-to-know/stoves-and-pollution-aIPXC8g7lbu5

To ensure that you are buying the correct wood make sure that your logs have the Woodsure Ready to Burn logo or purchase it from an accredited supplier. Click here to see our range

Smokeless Coal

At Rigby’s we supply a range of smokeless control, via our manufacturer’s CPL. They are one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of smokeless coal in the UK, and claims on its website that its popular Homefire range of smokeless fuels is “environmentally friendly” because it produces “25% fewer CO2 emissions than regular house-coal”. 

Homefire releases up to 25% less carbon dioxide than house coal, mainly due to its higher heating efficiency. This means less Homefire is required to heat a typical room during the course of a year compared to house coal, resulting in lower annual emissions of carbon dioxide. In addition, Homefire is manufactured using a climate-friendly molasses binder, which is also associated with reduced carbon dioxide emissions. Molasses is a renewable material that is viewed as (almost) carbon neutral, in that the carbon dioxide released when it burns is absorbed by the sugar cane from which it derives.

CPL also sells something called ecoal, the all-new eco-friendly fuel for open fires and multi-fuel stoves. It, too, claims to produce 25% fewer CO2 emissions than housecoal and shares the same attributes as Homefire, in terms of heating efficiency and being produced using molasses binder. However, Ecoal has the added benefit of being manufactured from a feedstock blend containing up to 20% additional renewable materials, giving further reductions in carbon dioxide emissions.  


To see our range of Smokeless and Ecoal click here.