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10 things you should never burn in your wood-burning/multifuel stove

10 things you should never burn in your wood burning/multifuel stove

There has been a lot of media coverage in relation to wood burning/multifuel stoves and what it is safe to burn. The UK government has launched a new clean air strategy and highlighted an array of different pollution sources. The simple fact is that burning any material creates heat but can also create an array of different pollutants.

The stove industry has improved the efficiency of both wood-burning and multifuel stoves enormously over the last decade. So far as to say, used correctly and burning the appropriate fuel, a modern day stove can be in excess of 80% efficient. It will also create 80% less air pollutants than stoves from just 10 years ago. In summary you should only use the following fuels:

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Gas or wood-burning stoves, what is your preference?

Gas or wood-burning stoves, what is your preference?

Even though wood-burning stoves and multifuel stoves continue to grab the headlines we have also seen the emergence (or should that be re-emergence) of gas and electric stoves in recent times. There is a growing interest in gas stoves although many people are not quite sure about the pros and cons of gas stoves when compared to wood-burning stoves.

We have therefore put together a basic guide as to the pros and cons of gas and wood-burning stoves giving you some pointers and issues to think about.

The appearance

From a distance, it is difficult to notice the difference between a gas and a wood-burning stove. It is only when you get closer that you will realise the flames are different and the “inside decor” is different. A wood-burning stove creates a glow and the rustic feel of a burning wood which for many people epitomises the product.

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Wood-burning stoves, maximising heat output

Wood-burning stoves, maximising heat output

While many wood-burning stove owners will have their own tips and tricks to maximise heat output, the process is fairly straightforward and in many ways a scientific approach does best. Whether utilising the draft to light your fire, using the right type of wood or simply maintaining your stove, there are ways and means of maximising your heat output, reducing fuel costs and extending the life of your stove.

Air control

When you think about it, fires do not burn in a vacuum therefore it goes without saying that air control is an integral part of maximising fuel efficiency. When starting your stove in the morning, many people fully open the draft control which lets air in. You may need to reduce the amount of air entering your stove once the “fire has caught hold” but in the early days the draft will certainly help. It is also worth noting that once the stove is burning it is the amount of wood not the air control which will regulate the temperature.

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10 things you should never burn in your wood-burning/multifuel stove

Simple safety checks for your wood-burning stove

While the UK weather is difficult to predict (to say the least!) there are a number of simple safety checks you can carry out on your wood-burning stove. These will ensure that you squeeze maximum efficiency from your stove which can cumulatively have a significant impact on your fuel bills.

Sweep your chimney

The general consensus seems to be that you should have your chimney swept at least once a year, if not twice a year, to ensure everything is okay. If issues are found at a relatively early stage they can be rectified while those left can eventually cause serious damage. Any blockages can also lead to potentially fatal gas escaping into your room although thankfully carbon monoxide metres are now commonplace.

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Room with a Hwam 3420C Wood Burning Stove

Choosing a wood-burning or multifuel stove

Once you have decided to get a wood-burning/multifuel stove, or perhaps you are upgrading your existing model, where do you start? We hear of many people who simply jump on Google and then get totally lost and confused about what they need to do. There are many different things to take into consideration when looking at a new multifuel/wood burning stove. Remember, the cost of the stove and installation can be significant so you need to make the right decision.

Different styles of stove

Historically we have had traditional and contemporary stoves but now we have what is known as a “modern traditional” stove. So, where do you start? It really depends upon the style of your home/room and your personal preference. If ever there was a case of “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” this is it. What one person might see as a very attractive contemporary stove might have zero appeal for somebody else, and vice versa. So, stick to your own guns, do not be swayed by other people and choose a style of stove that you like.

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Sheraton 5 Woodburning/Multifuel Stove

Simple safety tips when using a wood-burning stove

As the cold nights begin to draw in, many people will be firing up there wood-burning stove to create that deep seated heat which makes them stand out from other forms of heat. While many people will be aware of the simple safety tips associated with using a wood-burning stove, it does no harm to remind ourselves.

Maintaining a distance between the stove and surrounds

It is imperative that you maintain the appropriate distance between flammable and inflammable materials around your stove. This information will be detailed in the user guide you receive with your new wood-burning stove and should be followed to the letter of the law. Over time we have seen major problems where surrounds have dried out and eventually combusted. Whether or not you are there when it catches fire we can all imagine the potential outcome. Read the book and follow the guide!

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ACR Elmdale Stove, class in glass

Benefits of a wood-burning stove

Over the last couple of years we have seen politicians and environmental groups looking to tarnish the reputation of wood-burning stoves. Granted, any combustion process will release particles into the atmosphere, many of the real benefits of wood-burning stoves have been lost in recent press comment. So, we thought it might be useful to remind ourselves of the benefits of a wood-burning stove and exactly what they have to offer.

Deep seated heat

In reality, until you have experienced the deep seated heat created by a wood-burning stove, you have not lived! This is a heat which literally warms you to your bones and creates an atmosphere which is extremely relaxing. There is nothing better after a hard day at the office than coming back, kicking off your shoes and drifting off to sleep in this special kind of heat and atmosphere.