The future of firelighting | Wet wood sales banned from today
The future of firelighting will change from today across England. 01.05.2021
The sale of wet wood and coal for use in domestic fires has, from today, been restricted.
What does this mean for the industry and the millions of wood burners already sold and installed in our homes?
What is the future of fire lighting and fireplaces in our homes?
Some may argue that wood burners should be banned all together. However, at Hot box, we examine why domestic wood burning is here to stay and the future of firelighting.
The future of firelighting | What does it look like?
By no means do the changes surrounding the sale of wet wood affect our rights to light a fire in our homes.
The warmth, as created by fire, is a physiological need.
The new regulations simply place restrictions on suppliers of wood fuel.
These restrictions mean that the supply of logs in England will be regulated to control quality.
Such control measures are no bad thing from a consumer perspective.
Having installed thousands of wood burning stoves over the last 12 years, Hot Box have always been committed to the supply of quality wood fuel.
All to often, especially during the early days, our clients experienced issues with their stoves from the use of wet wood.
These issues were not down to the stoves or their installation, but purely a problem with the fuel being burnt.
So, the new regulations are welcomed by the wider Stove Industry and should help secure the future of domestic wood burning.
Cleaner fuels = cleaner fires = less emissions
The future of fire lighting is, as a result of the new regime, set to become cleaner.
The reasons for this are pretty simple, and the above equation serves as a brief explanation.
Most particulate emissions from domestic wood burning are omitted during ignition and extinguishing phases.
I.e. when you light your wood burner, you will produce more emissions than when your stove is up to temperature.
Further, when your stove is dying down, more emissions will also be produced.
During both phases, the temperatures inside the stove are low. As a result, emissions are higher as the fuel is not being burnt entirely.
The same applies when wood is wet. The heat from the fire is not burning the fuel it is simply boiling, and turning to gas, any moisture inside the logs.
This process results in a less efficient burn and produces more emissions than if the fuel were dry.
Further, the process of burning wet wood fuel not only result in increased emissions, it can also create creosote and tar inside your flue.
The key to an efficient and clean fire when burning wood is therefore as follows:
How to light an efficient fire…
Source dry wood fuel | Dry wood fuel is described as having a moisture content of 20% or less. Alternatively such wood fuel is known as ‘oven ready’.
Add small logs and build your fire | Start with smaller logs and then build up your fire once it is up to temperature.
Importantly, to reduce emissions, raise the temperature inside your stove or fireplace as quickly as possible.
Having dry fuel is only part of this process.
The type of kindling and firelighters used will also play an important part in producing a clean efficient fire.
At Hot Box, we have been lighting fires for over a decade.
This experience has provided us with unique insight into the process of firelighting and the best way to build the perfect fire.
Further, our learning is not just limited to stoves, we are experts in all types of wood burning and solid fuel appliances.
The best wood to burn | Which dry wood is best to use
Importantly, as well as sourcing dry wood fuel for your fireplace, having some understanding of the best wood to burn will a long way to reducing emissions.
The article, available by the above link, outlines the best logs for woodburning and outlines characteristics of the same.
In brief, the top 6 wood fuels are to be considered for your home fire.
- Ash: Is a hardwood that produces a good flame and significant heat. Dry Ash is a great choce for wood burning.
- Beech: Can spit embers but when dry produces a good flame and heat. However, it can spit embers so best used on a stove or closed appliance.
- Birch: a popular hardwood and abundantly available. Imports of this wood fuel in a kiln dried format offers a ready supply.
- Thorn: Is considered one of the best woods. A slow burner with great heat and it does not produce much smoke.
- Cherry: Produces a good smell, less relevant in closed appliances. However, this hardwood produces good flames and heat sun a wood burning stove.
- Oak: A excellent hardwood for burning when dry. However, the smoke can be acrid so oak is one to use on a wood burning stove.
Of course, there are others. However, this article does not intend to examine them. Further reading can be found via Hot Box Stoves.
The future of firelighting | Its all about the base…
As described, the key to a clean fire is not only about dry wood.
There are several component parts that need to be considered before you start building a fire.
Or do they?
Traditionally, firelighting has been undertaken using kindling, small strips of dry wood which will burn easily.
Further, it is usually the case that an accelerant or firelighter is needed to ignite the kindling.
Such fire starters, or firelighters are widely available.
Across the globe, several key manufacturers compete for space in the firelighter industry.
Although no exact figures are available in the public domain, we estimate the market for firelighters to be worth circa £100 million per annum in the UK alone.
In addition to kindling and firelighters, the way in which they are arranged will also play an important part of the initial combustion phases.
It is not the case that you can simply rely on throwing some sticks into your stove, adding a fire lighter and hoping for the best.
Kindling, and firelighters should be arranged to allow a flow of air around each component part to achieve optimal combustion.
This arrangement, although at the discretion of a user, is not always obvious.
Like most things, there are varied schools of thought surrounding the best way to light a fire.
At Hot Box, we have taken our knowledge and experience of firelighting patented and packed it into a handy cube.
Our aim is simple, to provide a user with the best way to light a fire without kindling or firelighters. Hot Box ® Firestarter provides an all in one solution to starting a fire.
Hot Box ® Firestarter | The future of firelighting
Now that the wood fuel industry is finally taking a step in the right direction by controlling the quality of logs. The way we light our fires is also set for a change.
As considered, the supply of dry logs and wood fuels is only part of the solution when it comes to reducing emissions.
The methods by which we build and light our fires can also have an impact in the future.
As stated, the initial combustion phase and extinguishing phase is when most harmful emissions and particulate matter 2.5 are produced.
By improving the initial combustion phase, i.e how quickly heat from fire is produced, will help reduce emissions and particulate matter.
Coupled with dry and proper wood fuel, the future of wood burning may even start to get better press as a renewable heat source.
So how can Hot Box ® Firestarter help?
By cleaning up the wood fuels industry we are taking a step in the right direction.
However, the process of lighting a fire is still fraught with potential issues and user error.
Woodsure, the entity set up to control the supply of dry wood fuel in England, does not take into account kindling or firelighters.
Their role, simply put, is to check that producers and traders of wood fuel offer dry products.
Further, the process is examined from production to retail.
However, without such controls over kindling, suppliers are free to sell wet timber for one of the most important parts of firelighting, the combustion phase.
To us, this seems somewhat shortsighted and could be considered a loop hole for suppliers who may still wish supply wet wood fuel.
Hot Box ® Firestarter solves this issue by eradicating entirely the need for kindling.
Our product means that a wood stove user will not need kindling to light their fire.
Additionally, our unique firelighter is compatible with pretty much any appliance where lighting a fire is needed.
Further, our product is quality controlled by us to ensure each unit produced meets stringent requirements.
Moreover, all of our component parts are carefully sourced to ensure optimum combustion of each unit.
Importantly, our firelighter is completely natural and does not contain harmful chemicals which are common in other firelighters and accelerants.
Therefore, Hot Box ® Firestarter compliments perfectly the new restrictions regarding wet wood that have come into force in England.
The future of firelighting | What is Hot Box ® Firestarter
Derived from our experience in the wood burning industry, Hot Box ® Firestarter eliminates user error when it comes to lighting a range of wood burning appliances.
Further its use extends beyond traditional stoves and fireplaces as aforementioned.
Firestarter can be used to light BBQ’s, Pizza Ovens, Fire pits, Stoves, Open Fires, Garden Fireplaces and camp fires.
By providing a consistent and natural solution to light a fire, our product will help reduce emissions and will allow them to be measured.
By lighting a fire using our product, the results will always be the same. In stoves, Firestarter raises the temperature of the firebox to such an extent that the wood inside, even if not in direct contact, will auto ignite.
For reference, the auto ignition point of wood is between 300℃ and 482℃.
As such, we can safely claim that Hot Box ® Firestarter burns hotter than any other natural fire lighter currently available.
The series of images below depict how it works and the results after around 30 minutes of combustion inside a regular wood burning stove.
Image 1 | Depicts firestarter placed on top of some logs inside a wood stove. Importantly, note that the chimney and air hole are removed.
Image 2 | Depicts the same but displays wider context for the other dry logs placed adjacent to Hot Box ® Firestarter.
Picture 3 | Shows where to light Hot Box ® Firestarter using a standard lighter or match.
Image 4 | The early combustion phases of Firestarter. The best way to light a wood burner and the future of firelighting.
Picture 5 | Firestarter begins to take hold after around 5 minutes.
Image 6 and 7 | Hot Box ® Firestarter has completely burnt away, the temperatures have risen inside the stove and all logs are now fully alight.
The best way to light a wood burning stove | Check out this video…
The Future of firelighting | How to make a clean fire
Implementing control measures over the supply of wood fuel is only part of the solution when it comes to cleaning up domestic wood burning.
The way in which we light our fires should also be considered.
By looking at the way in which a user makes a fire in their homes will help significantly reduce particulate matter emissions often referred to as PM 2.5.
Instead of kindling, not controlled as part of the drive by Woodsure, we need to examine the process of lighting a fire.
By eliminating discrepancy caused by a user when lighting a domestic fireplace or stove, emissions can be further reduced.
The firelighting process is extremely important then it comes to cleaner wood burning.
Consideration of the following key points may help the future of wood firelighting across the world.
- Control the supply of wood fuel, currently this is what Woodsure aim to do.
- Standardise the supply of kindling, not currently part of Woodsure’s remit.
- Eliminate user error and discrepancy when lighting a fire. Hot Box ® Firestarter does this.
- Control ignition components and revert to natural firelighting methods. Again, Hot Box ® Firestarter provides this solution.
In conclusion therefore, by controlling the supply of wood fuel across England, we will reduce harmful emissions from domestic wood burning.
However, it is our view that this can be taken one step further by by offering a clean, natural and consistent method of lighting a fire.
How do you light yours? | Hot Box ® Firestarter vs alternatives methods.
This may be one of our strap lines, however and as argued, the way we light our fires, stoves, pizza ovens and BBQ’s could help make burning wood cleaner.
We believe wood burning is here to stay, let’s make sure it is. Everyone loves a fire right?
A few videos to show our use cases and extol the virtues of Firestarter….
However, in the interest of total transparency, lets compare our offering to others in the ether…
One of the most popular videos online for lighting a wood burner is below:
View count currently 150,266 on Youtube!
At around 5 minutes long, who really has the time to spend watching some bloke (Eco Fires Limited Representative), knelt down in front of a stove explaining why his method of lighting is new and the best?
Arguably, it is one method, known at the top down method, it is nothing new though.
At Hot Box, we really do like to keep things simple.
Further, we like to offer innovative firelighting solutions that don’t take ages to explain or require users to grovel around in front of their stove.
Moreover, our method is completely new, we invented it, we own it and have patented it just to make sure our claims are safe. For the next two decades at least!
So, if you want to light a wood burner, fire pit, BBQ, pizza oven, etc and don’t want to spend longer than necessary or have to crawl around on the floor, give Hot Box ® Firestarter a try.
Ok, so we want to sell the things, but don’t just take our word for it.
What a few of our customers say about Hot Box ® Firestarter
- Took a little while to get proficient using them x it sure if you close door when they lit then open and add fuel or keep door open all time.
Like the simplicity – first use got bit too much smoke but second attempt perfect .
- It is superior to all!
- It’s a great product for lighting logs without much fuss …seems to work well on dry timber not tried yet on less than ideal timber …
- The firestarter is such a quick and easy way to build a fire. No hassle, no fuss just one firestarter and you’re sorted. I will definitely use these again!
- Easy to use, great value, will defiantly recommend to others. Lighting my fire is now super quick.
- Really great product. Saves a good deal of messing around with separate firelighters & kindling etc. Bought in advance of having a new wood burning stove fitted and was not disappointed with its performance when the installation team used one to test the new stove. Very speedy service too: ordered late afternoon and they were with me the following morning. I will definitely be buying more.
Let’s get to the point, rather than watching some bloke, (aforementioned represenatative), on his hands and knees in front of a stove!
Now, sorry to widdle on your fire, so to speak, but clearly we offer a new way to light your wood burner, you seem to offer an old way but have told us its new?
Further, we also have two UK patents and an array of international patents pending for our offering as previously mentioned, we are like proud parents!
Take a look at your very short videos, note the lack of grovelling and faffing around with kindling sticks.
The top down method | How to light a Stuv stove…
Particularly note the lack of grovelling, its not necessary and can be saved for later 🍷.
How to light a fire pit
Ok, so we have stacked a few logs and turned the lights out, but that’s just for the drama! 🪵🔥
How to light a pizza oven | The best way to light a wood oven…
Yu have to love a 🪵🔥🍕, we certainly do. However, sometimes getting your oven going can be a bit of a chore, lets put an end to that…
Cleaner fuels | Cleaner appliances
Let’s consider a few other changes to the wood burning industry for a moment, its all intrinsically linked…
Coupled with the latest guidance on the sale of drier wood fuel, there is also new guidance on stoves and fireplaces.
As with Woodsure, schemes such as SIA Ecodesign Ready and HETAS Ecodesign Compliant promote clean burning stoves.
Such initiatives are recognised by the Government and set out as part of The Clean Air Strategy.
Notwithstanding the recent bad press surrounding domestic wood burning, such initiatives and government strategies suggest that wood as a fuel and wood burning stoves are here to stay.
Targeting the suppliers of wood fuel to control quality forms one part of the plan.
Further, by targeting the manufacturers of wood burners and solid fuel appliances greater controls are introduced.
This ‘double whammy’ subsequently ensures that consumers have access to quality wood burning stoves and proper wood fuel.
Rather than explaining the ins and outs of the scheme using a wordy monologue, watch this…
Better stoves + Better Fuels = Better Air
Let’s look at some closing statements and keep them brief.
- The future of firelighting looks very different.
- Wet wood has been banned, you will only be able to buy decent wood fuel with provenance.
- Woodburners have to meet stringent emissions criteria to be saleable. better stoves = cleaner burn = less emissions.
- Open fires can no longer be installed. Dirty smelly wasteful things!
- Hot Box ® Firestarter has been launched and is the best way to light a wood fire.
- Wood burning is here to stay. Recognised by government as a sustainable heat source. Why legislate otherwise?
The future of firelighting | A few predictions for 2021 and beyond….
The future of firelighting looks to be hotting up across the world.
The industry has had a shake up of several key components for the better.
Gone are the days of soggy logs from a petrol station forecourt.
Kindling and firelighters will be eradicated in favour of more convenience, Hot Box ® Firestarter?
Particulate emissions from stoves will be reduced. Lets get to grips with the cars…
Wood burning will be considered a sustainable source of domestic heating.
The scale of recognition to wood fuel is not just recognised in the UK. Even the US Nature conservancy are in on it. Being America its on a much bigger scale!
Just to give you an idea, the National Trust are aiming for 20 Million whilst over the pond the sights are set on 1 Billion! Go team Biden!
Want to plant some trees?
- To donate and plant a tree in the UK click here.
- Another UK initiative is available via The Woodland Trust.
- To plant a tree in the US click here.
- European forest projects can be found and donations made here.
- Got some space, why not plant your own trees. Saplings available for delivery to you here.
In conclusion, the future of wood burning and the reduction of harmful emissions from the same is being prioritised.
Further, there is a global push towards reforestation which will help lock in carbon emissions created by using wood for fuel.
innovation is happening across the stove and wood fuel industries, our product is no exception.
The future of wood fuel is becoming part of a wider plan for more sustainable heating systems.
Hot Box ® Firestarter | From Yorkshire with Love ♥️