Month: January 2018

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Wood vs Coal

What can I burn on my stove?

There are 2 main types of stove, a wood-burning stove and a multifuel stove, which between them offer an array of different fuels to use. Initially many people might be tempted to burn “waste” materials under the false impression that they simply burn off with no repercussions. Unfortunately, this is not the case and you need to be very careful about what you burn on your wood-burning and multifuel stove.


It will surprise many people to learn that wood is not considered a smokeless fuel because unless it is dried correctly, between a period of one year and two years, it can retain moisture. This moisture gives off steam and water vapour which can in certain circumstances create flammable acidic tars that can stick to the inner lining of your flue. There have been situations where this tar has seeped into the inner workings of a chimney or indeed ignited causing a chimney fire. It is therefore imperative that you use correctly dried wood and do not rush the drying process if doing this yourself.

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Are wood stoves safe?

Using a stove fan to circulate heat

Those who have experienced heat from a wood-burning or multifuel stove will be well aware that it is deep-seated and very different from “normal heating methods”. The only real issue from time to time is that of cold spots which are created as the hot air rises and in certain areas of your room it will be replaced by cold air. As that cold air increases in temperature so that rises and more cold air is drawn in. There is a very simple, very efficient and free method of circulating stove heat around your room which many people will never even have considered.

Stove fans

The beauty of stove fans is not only the fact that they evenly circulate heat around your room, due to the unique pattern of the rotating blades, but the fact they are powered by heat from your stove. These extremely simple but extremely efficient fans simply sit on the top of your stove with the heat differential between the base of the unit and the top of the fan driving the motor. As the motor drives, the blades rotate which helps to circulate heat across your room thereby eliminating cold spots. This is such a simple but such an effective method of maintaining broadly similar temperatures throughout your room.

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How to avoid smoke seeping into your room from your stove

Do I need roof flashing to secure a stove flue pipe?

While the experts make the process of installing a wood-burning or multifuel stove look fairly easy, there are many factors to take into consideration. One area is the introduction of roof flashing which effectively secures a stove flue pipe to the roof of the property. While some flue systems will pass through the sidewall and be connected in the appropriate manner, there are still many occasions where the flue pipe simply goes straight up through the roof. So, what does roof flashing do and is it really required?

Weatherproof seal

In simple terms roof flashing offers a weatherproof seal against the elements. The last thing you want is for rain to leak through your roof into your joists as this can not only cause major damage but is unsafe where electrics are involved. Therefore, the introduction of a simple piece of roof flashing will secure your property from the elements and ensure that the exit point for your stove flue pipe is safe and secure.

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Wood-burning stoves, maximising heat output

Perfecting the draw on your wood-burning stove

Many people will notice that it can sometimes be difficult to light your wood-burning stove in the mornings. We have heard of instances where the stove fills with smoke, which is released into the room often causing breathing difficulties. When lighting your stove in the morning there is a very simple technique which will ensure that the hot gases escape out of the flue into the open air. Before we look at this simple technique, it is worth having a quick recap of the mechanics behind the modern day wood-burning/multifuel stove and exactly how it works.

Constant airflow is the key

In order for any fire to burn one of the key elements is fresh air which encourages the flames and ignites the fuel. If we look at the mechanics in layman’s terms, as the fuel burns within the stove this creates heat which is released into the room while the excess gases are rerouted through the flue and into the atmosphere. The simple way in which these gases are encouraged to escape from the flue revolves around the fact that hot air rises.

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Is it time to upgrade your stove?

Should I insulate my flexible flue liner?

While building regulations are vital when looking to install a wood burning or multifuel stove, there are areas in which the guidelines/regulations are a little vague. One such area is the potential insulating of a flexible flue liner within a chimney stack. We know that the flexible flue liner plays a vital role in the efficient use of any wood-burning or multifuel stove, but do you need to insulate the flexible flue liner?

Controlling hot gases

The flexible flue liner is used to funnel hot gases out of your wood-burning/multifuel stove, up the chimney stack and into the atmosphere. This not only ensures there is no buildup of potentially dangerous gases but it creates the vital vacuum in the fuel combustion process which is filled by fresh cold air. This area is pivotal to the efficient burning of fuel therefore creating not only a constant flow of heat to release back into the room but also hot gases to escape out of the flexible flue liner.

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Four reasons to install a wood-burning stove

The attractions of a wood-burning stove

The idea that a wood-burning stove is something of an expensive piece of furniture is a myth which was busted many years ago. The modern day wood-burning stove, while similar in look to counterparts of years gone by, is much more efficient, much more technologically advanced and altogether more productive. So, what are the attractions of a wood-burning stove?

Highly efficient

Those who hanker for their own wood-burning stove probably enjoy the deep seated heat which is created by a traditional coal fire. This is very relaxing and creates a heat which is very different to that of a central heating system. The problem is that a coal fire is anywhere between 20% and 30% efficient which means up to 80% of fuel burned is not enjoyed by the household. The vast majority of heat created by a coal fire simply escapes up the chimney.

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How to replace cracked glass in your stove door

Eye-catching contemporary stoves

There are so many different types of woodburning and multifuel contemporary stoves to choose from that many of us fail to appreciate what they have to offer. There are some absolutely stunning contemporary stoves on the market today which are not always as expensive as you might assume. We will now take a look at some of the more popular contemporary stoves and what they have to offer.

Hwam 7150 woodburning stove
Hwam 7150 woodburning stove

Hwam 7150 woodburning stove

As you can see from the image, the Hwam 7150 woodburning stove is a classic amongst classics when it comes to contemporary stoves. Not only is the cylindrical shape of the stove extremely eye-catching, but the soapstone surround will literally take your breath away. Many people automatically assume that the soapstone surround is for visual purposes only when in fact soapstone is a fascinating material. It is one of the most absorbent materials you will find, which allows the heat from your woodburning stove to be radiated into your room many many hours after the stove has burnt out.

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Installing a stove

New Year’s resolutions for a stove enthusiast

As the number of stove enthusiast continues to grow up and down the UK, and we say goodbye to 2017 and hello to 2018, what better time to put your stove related New Year’s resolutions to the test? We know there are many stoves out there which are highly efficient but there are also many older stoves which have been overtaken by the latest technology. There are ways and means to improve the efficiency, increase your financial savings and basically get the best out of your woodburning or multifuel stove.

Install your stove today

Stoves are obviously more popular in the colder periods of the year and as a consequence towards the end of 2017 and early 2018 means you will need to plan ahead to install your stove as soon as possible. It is possible to catch the second half of the UK winter and the colder elements of spring to lock in some welcome fuel savings in the short term. There will also be periods of the summer time when the cold nights will prompt you to fire up your stove but by far and away the most cost savings are up for grabs in the cold winter period.

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Useful cowl

Choosing the best chimney cowl

While a basic chimney cowl is used to increase the draft of a chimney, prevent back flow as well as rainwater from entering your flue pipe, they come in an array of different shapes and sizes. Though all provide a basic necessity it can sometimes be difficult to choose the best chimney cowl for your particular situation. However, if you live in the UK there is no doubt you will need to appreciate rainfall when choosing!

Bird guard chimney cowls

Bird guard chimney cowls
Bird guard chimney cowls

It is unfortunate that birds can often find a way down your chimney and into your flue pipe. When you bear in mind the heat created by a wood-burning or multi-fuel stove, this can obviously be distressing for the birds as well as the householders. There are also specific dangers if birds manage to nest in your flue pipe which can not only increase the risk of a chimney fire but also of carbon monoxide leaks into your room. These are perhaps the most basic of chimney cowls but they do a job and they do it well.