Figures and facts

Wood-fired systems – warmth with a future

Every kilogramme of heating oil which is replaced with wood means more than 3 kilogrammes less CO2 in our atmosphere. Wood is not only a practical alternative to fossil fuels, it is also a renewable raw material which is available regionally. Wood as an energy source – an overview

Storing and burning wood properly

Alongside the technology, proper operation is the most important criteria for a high energy yield and low pollutant emissions. Operating a wood-fired system isn’t witchcraft. You just need to follow the three basic rules below:

  1. Store the wood properly: Store the wood for 1-2 years stacked in a dry, sunny, well ventilated area protected against rain. Allow it to dry in the house for a few days before burning.
  2. Natural: Only burn natural wood in chunks. Any waste or treated wood has no business in a wood-fired system!
  3. Light the fire properly: Light the wood in the system from above with suitable firelighters and fine kindling.

What to do with the ashes?

1-2 percent of the wood weight is left behind in the firebox as ashes, i.e. 5-10 kg per cubic metre of beechwood. For practical reasons, it is best to dispose of the ashes with the household waste. Note: When anything other than pure natural wood is burnt then the ashes are heavily charged with pollutants!

Figures and facts

Logs are traded and measured in cubic metres. A cubic metre corresponds to a wood pile (i.e. wood plus air) which is 1 metre high, 1 metre wide and 1 metre deep. One cubic metre of fir wood weighs around 350 kg, a cubic metre of beechwood weighs around 500 kg.

1 cubic metre of fir wood (350 kg) corresponds to:

  • 150 litres or 120 kg of heating oil
  • 160 m3 of natural gas
  • 1.4 MWh = 1400 kWh = 5040 MJ

1 cubic metre of beechwood (500 kg) corresponds to:

200 litres or 170 kg of heating oil
220 m3 of natural gas
2.0 MWh = 2000 kWh = 7200 MJ

Did you know that ...

  • the long wave heat radiation from a wood fire is proven to be healthy?
  • man has controlled fire for more than 400 000 years?
  • the development of our civilisation wouldn’t have been possible without fire?
  • Rüegg invented the fireplace closable with a panel half a century ago?
  • modern wood-fired heating systems boast the highest efficiency levels with the lowest pollutant emissions?
  • much more wood is grown in Europe than is used here?
  • the use of wood energy could be doubled with sustainable forest management?
  • Wood is a CO2 neutral energy source and thus doesn’t contribute to global warming?
  • there are around 20 million living room fireboxes installed in Central Europe today?
  • each wood-fired system means one slice of independence and security?
  • The provision and use of wood energy is virtually risk-free?
  • Wood fuel is crucial for a sustainable energy supply without gas, oil and nuclear power?
  • a modern, energy-efficient detached house only needs around three cubic metres
  • of wood per year for heating and hot water?
  • the combination of wood energy and solar energy is an extremely intelligent business?