wood burning in a stove

Hardwood V Softwood


Firstly there is still a lot of softwood firewood sold in the Irish market, most likely in nets sold in garage forecourts and whilst in recent years there has been a move towards hardwood, there may now be a move back to more softwood as prices for hardwood timber continues to rise.

Firstly, its quite important to know the difference between the two types of firewood. Hardwood firewood fundamentally comes from trees that lose their leaves in the winter, so trees such as Oak, Ash, Birch etc. They are slow growing (80-100 yrs to maturity) and therefore provide a dense timber. In contrast softwood firewood grows much faster maturing in 25-30 yrs and the timber is therefore less dense. Trees include Pine, Larch, Spruce and Douglas Fir etc.

So, how about their burning qualities? Lots of people say that you shouldn’t use softwood either because it burns too fast, produces too much resin in the chimney or smokes too much.The advice I revived from Galway Chimney Cleaning helped in this regard.

In summary softwood is great for burning, but as with all wood fuel it has to be dried properly to below 20% moisture content. Whilst it has the same calorific value as hardwood by weight, being less dense you need sometimes up to as much as twice as many logs for the same weight, or energy output. As regards resins, there seems to be conflicting advice on this, but it seems that as long as the wood is dry the resins can actually act as supercharged fuel, so better, not worse than thought! As for smoke, well just like any other wood, if it’s not dried properly it will smoke.

One of the biggest advantages of softwood, if drying it yourself, is that it dries very quickly and probably takes half the time to dry and its also great for kindling. When drying hardwood firewood yourself this can take a lot longer, this is why kiln dried hardwood firewood is often the best option. Much of the kindling sold today is softwood for this reason and the other benefit is that it gets the stove up to temperature very quickly which helps stove performance, increases ‘draw’ and reduces smoke.Check out our guide to starting your wood fire here.

fire burning in a stove

Lighting a Wood Stove Fire


We are going back to basics, starting with how to light a fire. I know I know this is exactly what you need to learn about right now and you’re welcome, honestly were glad to help.

Set all air controls to fully open, sometimes i find it good to leave the door of the stove slightly open which really helps the draw when lighting.

Use plenty of kindling/sticks and a suitable firelighter, once lit allow the fire to establish quickly, flames should fill the fire chamber. What you are doing at this stage is warming the flue/chimney to encourage the draw. When established add small sized logs taking care not to choke the fire.

Allow a reasonable burn for 10 to 15 minutes. The flames should fill the Stove without being sucked up the chimney.

Re-fuel now with slightly larger logs and allow a few minutes to establish. It is only when these small logs are burning that full size logs should be added.

If your stove has more than one air control then this is the time to close the one which allows air directly in from the room. This is often called the primary control. See the manufacturer’s instructions.

Once the “primary” air control has been closed the temperature will continue to rise. Using a “flue pipe thermometer” will help you know when you have reached the best temperature. If you are using a thermometer then aim for the middle of the “best operation” range.

Once you reach optimum temperature you may now be able to reduce the amount of air using a “secondary” control. Reducing this air will slow the rate of burn but it is vital not to close it off too much. There should always be a reasonable amount of flame in the box and glass should stay clear.

When the stove has been running at optimum temperature for 15 minutes or so, you can check to see if you have set the controls correctly by simply looking at the top of your chimney. If you see smoke, then there is not enough air getting into the stove. Open the control up a bit, allow the fire to build for a few minutes and have another look.



Buy your Kiln Dried Firewood


We offer a safe secure and convenient online marketplace for home fuel delivery service’s.

Wow that’s a mouthful! Simply put we work along side fuel delivery company’s up and down the country from Galway to Dublin, Cork to Limerick  and everywhere in between.

From Galway where we are based we offer a nation wide kiln dried firewood delivery service with most orders fulfilled within 48 hours of being ordered.

All our kiln dried firewood are hardwoods we stock mainly oak, ash and birch sold primarily in 1 m3 pallets or 2 m3 pallets we also sell a selection of kiln dried firewood in 15 kg (40 l) net bags which can be delivered in multiples of 10.

We also stock a full range of wood pellets, wood briquettes and eco logs all  delivered small or large volume for your convenience.

Order Now

  • 3 x 1/2 tonne bag of seasoned oak (excelent quality >20% moisture)
  • 1/2 tonne bag of seasoned oak (excelent quality >20% moisture)
  • 90 x Native Irish Hardwood Ash (Seasoned 20 – 25%)
  • 45 x Native Irish Hardwood Ash (Seasoned 20 – 25%)
  • 20 x Native Irish Hardwood Ash (Seasoned 20 – 25%)
  • 10 x Native Irish Hardwood Ash (Seasoned 20 – 25%)
  • 90 x Native Irish Softwood (Avg 12% moisture)
  • 45 x Native Irish Softwood (Avg 12% moisture)
  • 20 x Native Irish Softwood (Avg 12% moisture)

Need a chimney sweep in Galway?

If you have an open fireplace in Galway City and County, it’s very important that you get regular chimney cleaning service in order to prevent fires and improve your indoor air quality.

Any home that is equipped with a stove, open fireplace or range will need to have regular chimney sweep services completed in order to make sure that build up within the chimney does not cause a risk for fire. As debris begins to build up within the chimney this can often lead to an extensive amount of smoke or the chance that a fire could begin as a result of the buildup within the chimney area.

If your chimney is not properly secured or capped from threats there’s also a chance that you could experience birds living within the area of your chimney. Through the assistance of a professional chimney sweep, you can make sure that any type of birds nest can be removed from your chimney in Galway City and County and that the chimney can be properly secured to prevent the chance for birds nesting in the future.

Our company can be hired for regular chimney cleaning services throughout the year as preventative maintenance. Scheduled maintenance is available for commercial clients or residential clients throughout Galway City and County. We are also available for one-time appointments with chimney cleaning service or animal removal services within the area.

If you need a reliable chimney cleaning service within Galway City and County please contact our staff today and we can schedule a service visit for your needs. We can make the process of getting reliable chimney cleaning easier than ever before. Don’t settle for an unsafe fireplace, work with our company today for the best in chimney sweeping.