Any dry untreated wood can be used on a stove but not all woods are equal. Man made products such as chipboard, plywood and MDF should not be used as the glues and additives can damage both your stove and flue.
Moisture content is critical - wood with more than 25% water content is not yet ready for burning. It can be made to burn but will do so inefficiently and will greatly increase your risk of chimney fire as well as causing many other problems with your stove. 20% moisture is ideal, perfect firewood.
The process of drying firewood is known as seasoning, traditionally this is done by stacking the split firewood under cover in a well ventilated area and rotating it over a period of two years to ensure even drying. Firewood can also be kiln dried as most constructional timber is these days, this a much quicker process but results in a more expensive product.
It makes no difference how the wood is dried providing the moisture content is correct. When buying firewood you should always ask what the moisture content is, too many suppliers large and small wrongly label their logs as seasoned when the moisture content is way above 25%.
Log moisture meters are inexpensive, we strongly recommend that anyone burning wood buys and uses a meter to check the moisture content of the logs they are buying and burning. The correct way to take a reading is to split a log and push the probes into the centre, readings taken on the outside of the log will usually be much lower than those taken in the centre.
Hardwood vs softwood
Softwood is an ideal fuel for kindling or for mixing in with hardwood if you have a free supply, it isn't really suitable for use on its own as it burns very fast and has a low calorific content. All our firewood is 100% hardwood.
Weights and measures
We suggest that you avoid buying firewood by weight, well seasoned logs are much lighter than fresh unseasoned logs so fixing a price by weight encourages the supplier to cut corners on seasoning.
As a rough guide 1.25m³ is about a pickup truck full or two dumpy bags full (also known as builders bags or tonne bags these measure 0.9x0.9x0.9m so in an ideal world they would hold 0.729m³ in practice 0.6m³ is about right).
A typical household using a 5kw stove in the cooler evenings of the year will consume about 2.5 m³ of seasoned firewood per year but this will vary according to your home insulation, preferred temperature, stove efficiency etc.