Key Post Wood burning stoves



Hi, I'm looking for advice on what i think are called Wood burning stoves. Basically these are enclosed fires that would be installed instead of an open fire in a living room. I know Waterford Stanley do a range of them, however I am looking for one that we can leave the door/s open on it. Does anyone know who might do these type of fires, and any personal good or bad stories on same? I believe they generate amazing heat on way less fuel (and they look fantastic!)



woodburning stoves

Leaving the door open in a submarine makes it very efficient too......


My parents installed a Jotul woodburning stove in the house I lived in (rural Ireland) about 25 years ago. Unfortunately, I was only a kid at the time and I've no idea who the dealer might have been. But great heat. The model we had is no longer shown (perhaps unsurprisingly) - a shame, because it was simpler and, I think, nicer than the ones displayed here. You can use them with the door shut or open. On some models the open door slides away out of sight - beneath or to the side.
For example:
door closed
door open



They will only "generate amazing heat on way less fuel" with the door CLOSED !!
Otherwise it's the same as on open fire - on which topic there has been a long discussion recently on AAM.


Re: stoves

I bought one some time ago from a company called Ovne I havn't actually lit it yet, so I've no idea on how much heat it produces, but it just looks so cool.


Wood burning stove

Hi and thanks for replies.

Now even though I'm not a regular poster, I'm not stupid so do realise leaving the door open is not fuel efficient. It's the compromise my partner and I have come to. I want wood burning stove for fuel efficiency/heat/look. He wants an open fire for staring into the flames! Although wood burning stoves have glass doors so you can see fire, from what I've heard from people who own them they get dirty so quickly, you can't see through them.

So we want a fire, with a compromise on opening the door.

Does that sound more sensible now?


It does! Check http://
I don't know if you have thought about it: Wood burning stoves need DRY timber.The timber that one can buy at the petrol station is usually NOT dry.It will burn somehow but the heat that you get out of it won't be much,must energy would be used to evaporate the water i.e. the temperature won't get high enough to prevent the build-up of soot in the stove and the chimney.Further on the burning of wet organic substances creates a lot of PAC's which are carcinogenic .When you see smoke coming from the chimney you can be sure that you are polluting the environment with PAC's , no smoke means that the combustion is almost complete-CO2 is invisible-and the amount of PAC's are low.PAC's are the stuff that is called "tar" in cigarettes.The law prohibits to sell cigarettes that create more than a certain amount of tar,When you burn only one single damp log of softwood timber you create more tar than a smoker releases in a year.Ask your neighbours what they think about passive smoking ......
Timber needs to be stored in a dry and well aerated
place for three to four years before you can say it is dry.You need plenty of storage space for a week
heating the house.Unless you have an outhouse you wont be able to meet these requirements.In several EU citys the burning of timber for heating purpose is banned,
as far as I know Ireland hasn't translated the EU regulations on clean air(please correct me if I'm wrong).You could find yourself in the position that you own a stove but you are not allowed to use it.
Burning timber is NOT at all efficient if you have to pay for it and use the car to transport it in small quantities,
it would be more effective to burn the petrol/diesel in your central heating boiler.Unless you have the Forrest starting at the back garden (and the permission to collect timber) plus the storage room for three years demand it is NOT effective,neither for your wallet nor for the environment.There are web sites where you can see the rainforest burning and charring away(live from satellite)-would that be an alternative ?
The other alternative would be "Pellet-Stoves" , which are highly effective - if subsidised by someone like the Swedish or German or Austrian gouvernment.In these countries you get a subsidy of around €1000 or€ 2000 if you turn to pellet central heating.Without these subsidies it is not "worth" it to switch over.And we don't have the infrastructure for the pellet manufacturing process/transport.
Think twice!


In general what you say is correct about ensuring wood is dry for stove burning, but I must correct some of your points.
The drying or seasoning time can vary by wood types, but as a rule of thumb if softwood is split and cut to burning size, typically in Winter then it will be ready to burn the following Autumn. Hardwoods can take up to two years. Three to four years is starting to get too long, as the wood starts to deteriorate at four to five years and is worse for burning then freshly cut or green wood.

Also your arguments for not using wood buring stoves seem to come from the practicalities and efficiency side of things. Most new stoves have higher efficiency rates comparable to the majority of the older style oil boilers which are prevalent in many households today. The practicalities of storing wood ok does not suit everybody, in urban gardens space is often at a premium but this can we worked around with a little effort. A garden shed can store a considerable amount of cut and stacked firewood and is ideal as it has good ventilation. From a cost point of view wood buring is obviously not the most cost efficient way of heating your home, but certainly has major benefits in being used to supplement your main heating source. Indeed from the Green angle we should be trying to depend less on fossil fuels and utilize more sustainable alternatives.

The fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas, etc.) we use up in just one single year account for about 1 million years of the work done by plants and trees to convert the air into the carbon compounds, we now so conveniently use to heat our homes, provide our lights and fuel our cars.
When we burn the wood of a tree, this will release no more CO2 than this particular tree took out of the air when it grew. So as long as we make sure that we grow enough trees to continually replenish the CO2 absorbing capacity of what we burn up, there is a balance.

But just a point from another angle.


wood burning stove

We put in a charnwood wood burning stove approx 4 years ago. Looked at the stanley's but thought the charnwood range was more pleasing on the eye. That's just a personal opinion. We have a grate in ours and have been burning coal for the last couple of years as we found timber burnt quite quickly in it.
All in all quite happy with it.
Hopes this helps.


wood drying

Hi Mac !
In other countries where they have a dry winter (frost,snow) the timber is logged in winter when the tree is not "breathing", not taking up water because it does not evaporate it due to the lack of leaves or the freezing temperature.Irish (softwood-) timber is of low building quality because it sees no real winter ,more like a rain season for the tree,and therefore it is in winter as wet as in summer.Hence the large growth rings .
So a wet winter plus the general humidity of the climate demands a much longer drying time than 2 years.Take in mind that many soft wood varieties contain so much resin (colloid and terpentine) that the wood is practically "sealed" against drying and that the terpentine should be evaporated-at least a good deal of it to avoid the creation of harmful substances whilst burning -than 3 years drying is more at the lower end .
To be at the save side one could use a moisture meter.Or take samples,weigh them ,put them in the oven for a few hours (baking)and weigh them again to calculate the moisture content.You would be surprised how much water in so called -and sold-fire wood is.On the continent there are fuel regulations about quality of fuels ,also about moisture in wood.For Austria and Germany the limit is 8 % . About ten years ago -could have been 12-the discussion was here as well and it was decided by the Forrest industry (COILTE) and their paladins that this was not practical in Ireland.....
We still have the highest rate of respiration diseases in the civilised world (I think only Mongolia scored worse)because every household has it's own incinerator.
Wooden logs with a higher than 8% moisture content are considered on the continent as "waste" and to burn this would be illegal ,you would need a special permission .Here wood intended for fuel with a moisture content of 16% would be considered as top quality.Structural timber with 18% moisture content is considered "dry".We have the same lungs though,people on the continent and us here.
So if you feel responsible for what you do- leave it .Ireland is due to it's climate not suitable to burn timber logs in a responsible way , at least not as a fuel in crowded cities.
The Forrest is an ecological wholesome organism.Dead wood belongs in to it as well as growing trees.Otherwise it would be just an unsustainable timber plantation ,with all the consequences like pesticide use , logging ,erosion.It is not a good idea to take out dead wood on a larger scale , as I said , it is a complex system that knows no waste.
On the other hand there is waste in the sawmill that is already taken out of the Forrest-bringing it back would make not much sense,the environmental account would be negative if we would do so . So untreated waste timber from the sawmill is the ideal source of fire wood ,at least from an environmental point of view.But getting it dry -for the health point of view- is a difficult task.And of course sawmills create no waste either,they can sell the off cuts to the OSB board industry .So one would have to pay for it which makes it uneconomical.
And building a garden shed for drying wood -well,for that money one can buy a lot of solar power in form of panels.
And what is a garden shed good for ? One stores the shovel,spade, bike and so on it.Bringing in wet timber would cause these things to rot or rust....
I fully understand people who have to burn whatever they can lay their hands on for survival.In Kurdistan people collected every bit of scrap in the Turkish refugee camps to survive.A small pot of rice takes about 30 plastic bottles as fuel if carefully managed .But as a luxury , as fun-NO!
Let reason decide.And tread carefully on this planet.


Re: wood drying

I was thinkig of getting a wood burning stove, more for effect than anything, but the above conversation has put me off.

Does anybody know the situation with burning newspaper?

You can get a device whereby you pack your old newspaper in and it compresses them into "logs" which you can then burn, like peat briquettes. Are these environmentally friendly?


wood drying

I did not want to put any one off from buying a stove.All I wanted to say was that they are not "effective" or "economical" or "environmentally friendly".Since the stone age people gather around fires and boil the marrow in the bones of their prey.So it has a socio-historical function , but nowadays this is about as useless as burning witches.
Burning newspapers is certainly not good for the environment.These briquettes burn slowly, more smouldering than burning.Newspapers are made from a good deal of recycled paper which is of unknown source ,even if the newspaper printers use harmless colours you don't know what is in the paper.Paper mills have to get rid of "pollutants" in the pulp like glue and ink.But these useless substances are hazardous waste,so to try to keep costs down the manufacturers leave as much in the pulp as possible,more likely the pulp will be bleached to get rid of the grey color.
The paperbriquets are made with water , so they need drying as well but since the fibers are not "organized" parallel to each other , more mixed than in timber, it might even take longer to dry than timber.


Heinbloed's replies

Hello Heinbloed.
What I find missing from your replies is balance. Your statements make it appear that burning wood in a stove is extremely damaging to the environment, but what you don’t say or show is how relative this effect this is compared to other forms of heating or energy provision. You take into account volume either. Realistically, there will be a very very small number of people who would choose to burn wood in a stove anyway. Now how does the amount of wood burned in this manner, compare to the amount of wood burned annually in forest fires. (Taking a leaf from your book, I will quote statistics: 450 ha of forest are burinded annually in Ireland).

>We still have the highest rate of respiration diseases in the civilised world (I think >only Mongolia scored worse)because every household has it's own incinerator.
I certainly don’t believe this is down to a small number of people burning wood. Have you considered the past effects of smoke filled pubs, carbon monoxide from traffic, industrial pollutants and countless other potential causes for such as statistic.

>Wooden logs with a higher than 8% moisture content are considered on the >continent as "waste" and to burn this would be illegal ,you would need a special >permission .
This is a bit of a general sweeping statement which may have some truth somewhere, but certainly does not apply in a lot of countries. I have previously lived in Europe for a number of years and this certainly does not apply in all countries. In fact I spent the last week visiting some friends in Switzerland. Yesterday was a bank holiday there and lots of people go walking in the woods and have little fires in the woods to bbq on. They burn wood which has been stacked and left to dry in the forest/wood under minimal wooden shelters. This wood is provided by the local councils for use by people who like to bbq in the wood. Now if Switzerland a country renowned for being one of the most law abiding countries in the world and absolutely up to date on all things environmently correct, can allow this then I believe there is probably some justification for such an action.
Perhaps what this says is that although we know there could be some harmful emissions or damaging by-products from burning wood, but relative to the harmful emissions from elsewhere in the environment, the effects are so infinitesimally small that it has little impact relative to other pollutants.

>>And building a garden shed for drying wood -well,for that money one can buy a lot >>of solar power in form of panels.
Let’s see a couple of hundred on a shed compared to a few grand on solar panels … sorry I could be missing something there.

>>And what is a garden shed good for ? One stores the shovel,spade, bike and so on >>it.Bringing in wet timber would cause these things to rot or rust....
Come on stop the nonsense … most bikes and garden tools rust because people are careless and never take a moment to dry them off with a cloth after use.

>> Let reason decide.And tread carefully on this planet.
I notice from some previous posts of yours that you advocate the use of LPG fuel to provide the heating for your house. Pray tell me how it this can be considered an environmentally fuel, I am interested to find this out.

I wait with baited breath for your undoubtedly large and detailed scaremongering reply quoting endless factors and percentages which in the end just once again deflect from the main point. Relative to all other kinds of fuel, burning dry (even reasonably dry) wood in a stove is well within acceptable limits for all harmful emissions and is by a long way more environmentally friendly then using fossil fuels.
This is not a personal attack, just that I honestly find that although you are probably an intelligent person and read and investigate subject matter, your replies tend to be unbalanced.



Oh Mac!
In Switzerland-and in many other countries too-the officials who are responsible for the natural resources understood that people do what they want if they are not watched and controlled.If they provide walkers with firewood than with the hindsight that the same walkers would light a fire anyway,so because they can't put a guardian next to every barbeque place -which are in special areas as you might have realised when you where there,far away from any residence-than just to stop any further damage to forestry and wildlife.As you have said the danger of a fire is high(450 ha in Ireland) ,especially in summer time.So to stop people going into the bush -where they would find plenty of firewood-they bring it out to designated areas,places where there is a much lesser risk of an outbreak and- if it still goes wrong-fire brigade and ambulance have excess.
In Switzerland and most other countries the moisture in the wood is measured by the officials(Forstbehoerde) in the forrest to determine the risk of fire.If the point of danger is reached-nearly every summer- than there is a warning not light any fire-even if your home is in the forrests you are not allowed to have a barbeque in the garden nor are you allowed to light up a pipe or cigarette.This state of emergency can go so far that even entering the forest can be forbidden (Waldbrandgefahr Stufe 3 or 4).When these levels are reached the firewood in the barbeque places is removed.Another point to provide walkers with firewood is to protect wildlife,the continentals are keen hunters(Jaeger) and disturbing wildlife can be disturbing the business with the hunt-if wildlife retreats(summertime is breeding time) than the hunt(die Jagd) can't be sold.
So far Switzerland and the organised world.
I'm not favoring the burning of anything , even not LPG.But I don't want to freeze either or live with a cold kitchen.Using LPG when you have no connection to the gas grid is the most sensitive way using fossil energy at all.An oil tank could leak and cause pollution to my -our-groundwater.Timber is stinking wet in this country when it is burning.At my local petrol station they sell timberlogs for an extreme price in plastic bags . After storing it outside at the petrol station for one or two moth I have seen MUSHROOMS( not edible ones) growing in the bags on the logs.So don't tell me that this timber was ever dry.
What I don't understand is why you don't know the facts of respiratory diseases :the worse the air quality the worse the breathing.I was stating from the "Irish Examiner" two weeks ago about a conference of Irish doctors in Cork( as far as I can remember it was in Cork).
I was citing the head of the respiratory diseases team who was citing the WHO.If you are interested in the matter check the WHO web page and the asthma society of Ireland.12% of our children here are asthmatic(the highest number in the world),plus the ones with other respiratory diseases.
These are facts on which some towns Switzerland makes a living with air clinics/respiratory sanatoriums (Luftkurorte) something unthinkable in Ireland with it's polluted air- a place where asthmatics can breathe freely and have some rest .
In these towns in Switzerland where they have air clinics(Luftkurorte)they certainly have no public barbeque places.
How often I have heard Irish friends asking me why their timber is not burning in the fire .That it is too wet wouldn't occur to them , after all the have "dried " it for so long....
Respiratory diseases are not only caused by burning wet rubbish, but it doesn't help either. Smoking in hospital was not banned to protect the smokers but the PATIENTS......and what is a cigarette with one gram of smouldering cellulose fibre (" tar" we are talking
about) compared to a few kilos of timber?A few kilos of timber -PER LOAD of fire wood.You can sit with smokers in an unventilated room for hours without dying from it .Block the chimney of your fireplace and see what happens within minutes.
If the exhausts of our cars would end inside the car the clean car would have been developed long ago,so polluting the air for fun - we are not talking about the NEED to survive- is only an option when others have to bear the brunt of it.


one more question

Please Mac ask your friends in Switzerland how long they store their logs including the time after felling , sawing in to meter pieces ,curing in the forrest,sawing in the yard and splitting-before they burn them to heat their homes.And let us know.


a link

Thanks 24x7,that was a step forward.I did some research as well.At
Board na mona describes how they dry and press peat into briquettes.They dry it to a moisture content of 10%.
To light easier,produce more heat and less smoke.They safe no effort to get it that dry,they could leaf it wetter and save a lot of manufacturing costs but than it would not be called smokeless.Peat and wood are the same material fuel wise:cellulose.
Another detailed list of fuels and their value at
An Australian web page that describes the fuel values-how much energy is in the different fuels.Wet(green) timber is cited with 50% moisture and dry timber with 8% moisture.I suppose they dry it down that far not for fun.Time and storage capacity cost money.
And an other place to buy smaller stoves ,4-12kw output at
They sell moisture meters as well to be on the safe side.


some more

Good morning Heinbloed.

A quote from the Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) website.

"Like any heating fuel, there are some long- and short-term effects on the
environment. By using fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal, there is not only
the long-term concern of climate change but also the immediate problem of air
pollution created during extraction, refining, transportation and end use. Using
renewable energies such as solar, geothermal, wind, hydro-electric and wood,
lessens the long-term impact on the environment results. However, like
incinerating municipal waste to produce energy, wood does have short-term
impacts on air quality if no precautions are taken to reduce the smoke."

The point here is that from the start you have been saying that burning wood is
harmful to the environment. Right I didn't disagree with that. My point is that
relative to other methods of providing energy it is acceptable. Regarding our
breathing clean air, sure you have a point, burning wet wood certainly
contributes negatively on this score. However SEI and many other green
organisations recommend buring wood and other biomass as energy sources, as long
as reasonable steps are taken to ensure the wood is dry.

The link you posted from the Australian site designates wet wood as having 50%
moisture content and dry wood 8%. These pretty much give the extremes (or close
to)of each end of the scale. From the start you have advocated that wood must be
dried to 8% moisture content. So theoretically you are correct, but you are
setting the limit at the extreme end. The Greenenergy link posted by 24x7 says
moisture content under 25% in wood is acceptable. If the wood we burn can be
dried to 15 to 10% moisture content, which is possible by storing your wood for
a year in a well aerated dry space according the 24x7's link, then we are within
acceptable limits as set by these "Green" organisations. Which is what I have
been saying from the start. So applying simple logic even 15% is a lot closer to
the "dry" end of the scale then it is to the "wet" end.

We can't always reach the ideals and the perfect situation in life. We often
have to apply common sense and accept reasonable tolerances and compromises.

Another quote from this Canadian website:

"In fact burning wood is no bad thing: the efficient use of wood fuel is much
more eco-friendly than more efficient and convenient fuels like kerosene and
natural gas (LPG). LPG emits 15 times more CO2 (carbon dioxide) per kg than
wood, and kerosene nearly 10 times as much. CO2 is the main source of global

Don't forget LPG tanks can leak too or even explode !

One other thing I am curious about is that you come across somewhat negative of
Ireland and your Irish friends in your posts, if this is the case why do you
choose to live here ?

Friends in Switzerland live in an apartment and don't cut or store firewood, but they do use the stacked wood in the forest.

And yes that moisture meter would be a very useful tool for a stove owner or anyone laying wood floors for that matter.


...and even more

We are getting closer.I never said that burning timber is bad per se,what I said was that burning wet timber is bad for the environment.You have to make the difference between the environment and the global warming and you did now.Except for the fine ash that is released by burning forrests there is little damage to the ozone layer or the global climate by burning timber,wet or dry.
Now we should not make the mistake to use the percentages given in various lists as total numbers.A log containing 100% moisture contains actually only 50% water-a log is not made of water but cellulose.So a log containing 25% of moisture -a quarter of its green content does not contain 25% water but less.A log with 25% water content does not contain 25% moisture.
A log with 26% water content would hardly burn,but a log with 26% moisture content would just about smoulder.I think there is a missunderstanding about the issue.
Now LPG : LPG is a waste product of the petrol industry and has to burned-in its pure form butan/propan plus traces of methan,ethan and others it is 8 times more demaging to the climate(ozone layer) than the CO2 resulting from its burning! So if you travel to Switzerland
using cerosine it is actually your fault that LPG is produced.LPG is contained in the crude oil and when that is heated/refined it is released .You might have seen pictures of a refinery,there is a flame coming from it's distill towers.That is to avoid the release of LPG - burned of for environmental (and safety-)reasons if neccesary.
Of course , if there is a market than there is a sale.But plenty of oil is destilled without the infrastructure to
to catch up and sell the LPG,in Arabia,Malaysia,Nigeria etc.
LPG is also contained in natural gas fields and has to be seperated from it to guarantee even quality.I am not sure but I think that most LPG -due to the lack of infrastructure-is burned of without using it's potential.
Shell is working on the matter:They are building(I think 2 exist already)huge,very huge tank ships that are filled with LPG at source-was it in India or Malaysia- to transport it to the coast and fuel powerplants with it.
So LPG is a "waste" product with a market value , especially now and in the future with these prices for fossile fuel.And if you/we wouldn't use so much oil and natural gas than there wouldn't be any LPG .As I said:LPG has to be burned for environmental reasons-because some think they can't menage without fossile fuels.....A bit more information/knowledge doesn't hurt ,Mac.Check and if you don't understand it -it's a swisspage after all-than use the google,type in LPG plus shell and you get similar pages in many other languages.Not in Irish I am afraid...