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Wood fired heating - overview

Why burn wood?

wood burning

Wood is a renewable resource for timber structures, high grade insulation and as a fuel. It is one of the most important locally-produced and renewable energy sources. It can be obtained in quantity from sustainably managed woods and forests without needing to transport it a great distance. Wood is a natural fuel that grows by converting solar energy. Leaving wood to rot releases as much carbon dioxide (CO2) as when it is incinerated. Heating with wood is therefore CO2-neutral. Wood as a fuel can be obtained in different forms, in billets, wood chip and wood pellets, the last as a by-product of wood machining.

Wood can be burned cleanly and efficiently by well designed modern systems. There are two ways in the way that it can be used for heating. The first is to produce radiant heat, the second is for heating water.

Radiant ceramic wood-fired stoves

Ceramic stoves produce radiant heat that allows comfort at lower air temperatures than found in normal radiator based heating systems. Ceramic stoves are available in a variety of styles and heat outputs to suit the room.

The key factors in good stoves are that they are made of refractory material and have a long internal flame path. The refractory material allows the wood to burn rapidly and fully at temperatures in excess of 1200t .
A long flame path allows the maximum heat transfer to the refactory heat store which then reradiates the heat into the room slowly.

These features allow around 70% of the heat to be used in the room instead of being lost up the chimney, typical of a draughty open fireplace. By being so effective less timber is required to heat a space. Effective combustion, a clean chimney and low pollution go hand in hand.
For heating water a wood-fired boiler should be used.

Wood-fired boilers

Sophisticated boilers are available to heat water for both domestic and commercial installations. They are available in heat outputs from 15kW to 550kW.

They feature low pollution using computer control and lambda probes to optimise combustion and have efficiencies up to 90%. They are capable of burning logs, wood-chip and pellets. Wood-chip and pellets are automatically fed. Pellet fed systems are as convenient as gas or oil boilers. Contact Construction Resources for further details.

To maintain low emissions and high efficiencies the heat produced is fed into a heat store such as the Sandler heat management system. The system provides domestic hot water and space heating. Visit Construction Resources to see one in action.


Modern wood-fired ceramic stoves are easy to install. They are accurately made and easy to assemble or even reassemble in a different location.

And finally...

For your safety, permanent ventilation is required for wood-fired systems and flues should be designed and installed in compliance with the Building Regulations. Where very high levels of air tightness of the building are required by Building Regulation or by specification, we suggest the use of direct air supply options as available for these stoves. In order to enjoy the best of your wood-fired stove we recommend that you use dry timber with a moisture content below 20%. Unseasoned timber takes a minimum of two years to dry sufficiently in a dry store.The timber should be free of preservatives, paint or galvanised nails. Little ash is produced by these wood-fired stoves, the little that is should be disposed of safely.

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