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You just bought or had a house built with a fireplace. It's great, but how do you go about buying your wood when you are new to the subject? Yann Fortunato, manager of Woodyflam, answers all our questions.
What is the first question to ask when buying firewood?
The first thing is whether you want dry or semi-dry wood. Semi-dry wood is cheaper because the drying has not matured. You have to buy it a few months in advance, in the spring, and have room to store it. If you want wood to use right away, buy dry wood with a moisture content of less than 20%. Thus, the combustion will be perfect: it will not give off too much smoke, and therefore greenhouse gases, and its calorific value will be optimal.
What wood species should you buy?
The best species are oak, beech, ash and hornbeam, which are hardwoods. Each of them has an identical calorific value but is consumed differently. Beech and hornbeam burn quite quickly and are perfect for an outbreak of pleasure and an immediate feeling of warmth. Oak and ash make smaller flames but burn more slowly, which is good for a continuous fire.
Are there standards for firewood?
There is the NF standard, which guarantees several things: a certain quantity, first of all. In other words, if you order four cubic meters of wood, four cubic meters will be delivered; respect for essences, then; and finally a good "dryness", that is to say a good level of drying. The NF Firewood standard is therefore a security as well as a guarantee. Some suppliers offer their wood according to a charter, but this is self-declaration. The guarantee is therefore not the same. In addition, it is preferable to buy wood with an FSC or PEFC label, which guarantees that it comes from sustainably managed forests.
How can you be sure you're dealing with a good firewood professional?
By ensuring its notoriety, to start. Above all, a serious professional must provide you with an invoice. This is essential to return to the supplier in the event of a problem, and possibly to be able to turn to consumer associations. The firewood market is very disorganized and there are many unreliable suppliers who do not hesitate to sell you poor quality, wet wood and bad species. Consumers must be very vigilant. By buying wood to the NF standard, the customer has a guarantee.
Where can you buy firewood?
Directly to professionals, making sure to address serious companies, which have a strong reputation and visibility. In general, companies that have a website are quite serious because they are exposed. However, do not hesitate to go to the supplier. He must necessarily have stock in his warehouse. You can also buy wood at petrol stations and supermarkets but you have to check the source of the wood. To keep wood clean energy, French wood must be favored.
There is also compressed wood. What is it, exactly?
It is sawdust recovered from sawmills and then compacted. At equal volume, its calorific value is three to four times that of a natural log. Compressed logs, also called densified logs, are particularly well suited to wood stoves, and very practical when living in the city because it takes less fuel to heat. In addition, it creates less dust during storage. On the other hand, they make fewer flames and crackle less than natural logs.
Remind us how to make a chimney fire in the rules of the art?
We start by disposing of newspaper, the crate and small wood, then we place logs of beech or hornbeam. We ignite from below. After having a nice outbreak, we then add oak or ash logs. You can also buy ready-made fire starters, favoring ecological products such as pebbles of compacted and paraffin sawdust or paraffin bundles. Avoid petroleum-based products, which are harmful to the environment.
How do you store semi-dry wood for future use?
If possible, store it indoors in a dry and ventilated place. If it is stored outside, it is left uncovered for a few months so that it can be washed in the rain. A fortnight before the consumption period, around October, we cover it so that it dries. You should know that the humidity of the rain stays on the surface and is evacuated much faster than the natural humidity which is at the heart of the wood.
What is the price of firewood?
The price depends on several elements: if you are near or far from a forest, if the wood is dry or semi-dry, if you are in rural or urban areas, if you buy it in small or large quantities. Basically, it takes between 55 and 65 euros per cubic meter in rural areas and 65 to 85 euros in urban areas, for dry logs of 50 cm. But 33 cm logs, for use in stoves or small fireplaces and whose market is growing, cost more than 50 cm logs because the costs of cutting and material loss are higher. To buy wood on the Internet: www.lemarchedubois.com. It is a portal that brings together firewood professionals with a storefront, including Woodyflam. All will issue you an invoice.