What is an Electric Stove and a Wood burning Stove?

An electric stove is one that uses electricity to produce heat and a wood burning stove, quite simply, burns wood for heat. They both have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to cost, heat output and ease of use. This article will help you weigh up the pros and cons for your particular situation.

Electric Stove Benefits

Electric stoves are very easy to use, usually at the flick of a switch and can even be activated with a remote control. They also have relatively low purchase prices with many costing between £100-£500.

Because they use a heating element to warm up the room, there is no mess to clean up. This also means they also don’t need any vent or chimney, meaning they are easier to install, can be installed in more locations in the room and can easily be installed in apartments. This means the installation costs are lower than a wood burning stove.

If you have solar panels (or another form of harvesting renewable energy at home), you could be heating your house at a reduction.


Electric Stove Drawbacks

Perhaps the biggest drawback of electric fireplaces is if there’s a power cut, there’s no heat. One of the biggest causes of power cuts is storms damaging power supplies, and these usually take place in winter, which is just when you need your fireplace the most! This is a particular concern issue for those who live in rural or more remote locations.

The price of electricity is greater than that of wood and it’s sensitive to global fluctuations, meaning it can soar easily – as seen in the winter of 2022/23). In many cases, the production of electricity relies on burning fossil fuels, which isn’t sustainable.

While electric fireplaces can imitate the appearance of flickering flames, they lack the appeal of real flames and don’t have the comforting crackle or homely smells of a real fire.

Most electric fireplaces are only able to produce around 1.5kW or 5,000 BTU (British Thermal Units), whereas wood burning stoves typically generate 4 -10 kW (14,000 to 35,000 BTUs), with some going as high as 15kW (50,000 BTU). Also, the heat generated from electric fireplaces only stays in one room.


Wood burning Stove Benefits

Logs are the cheapest fuel for households, costing 74% less per kWh than electric heating. After installation, a wood burning stove is far more cost-efficient in heating your home than an electric fireplace.

Wood-burning stoves also generate a lot more heat than electric fireplaces, comfortably producing 4-10kW (14,000-35,000 BTUs. This level of heat output, combined with the low costs of the logs, makes wood burning stoves incredibly efficient.

With a wood burning stove, you can funnel the heat to other parts of the house, not just the room it’s in; this additional use increases the efficiency of your wood burning stove.

Beyond their warmth, they make the real sounds and smells of a crackling fire, making for an unparalleled experience of comfort and have many well-being benefits.

Wood burning stoves need no electricity to work and so are immune to power cuts and price hikes.


Wood burning Stove Drawbacks

The initial installation of a wood burner, and a flue if necessary, isn’t cheap. The average installation, including the purchase of the stove itself, is about £2,000.

Requires the chimney to be swept at least once a year – as well as improving the efficiency, this is vital for safety reasons.

You need to have somewhere dry for you to store your wood.


So which is better?

While both have pros and cons, the low running costs and high heat output of wood burning stoves make them a clear winner in our book (even if we are slightly biased!)

Here at Charnwood, we sell a range of wood burning and multi-fuel stoves in contemporary and traditional styles, incorporating the latest in clean burn technology.

We’ve been committed to providing quality wood burning stoves since 1972 and we know all there is to know about wood burners, and how to get the most out of the wood you burn. If you have any questions about heating your home with a wood burning stove, please get in touch.



Seasoning wood refers to the drying process used in preparing firewood for being burnt. Wood that has been seasoned has been dried so that, when it is used in a fire, it has a lower moisture makeup and therefore produces less smoke and is easier to light.

Wood that is not properly seasoned and burnt in a wood stove or fireplace can lead to high creosote build-up in the chimney, which can cause chimney fires.

There are a few physical differences between seasoned wood and unseasoned wood:

• Unseasoned wood, due to its higher water content, is heavier

• The ends of seasoned wood are dark and cracked

• Seasoned wood, when tapped against one another, makes a hollow sound

• The bark of seasoned wood is a lot easier to peel than that of unseasoned wood

• There may be green patches on unseasoned wood


Factors to Consider when Drying Firewood

Water Content

For a log to be considered seasoned and suitable for burning, it needs to have a low moisture content. If you are drying your own firewood, you should use a moisture meter to determine how much water content your logs still have.

Using your moisture meter, you should keep drying your firewood until it is at least below 20% as a minimum but, ideally, under 10%. The more water there is in a log, the more smoke and less heat it will produce. Most green wood has a water content of around 50%+ when it’s freshly cut.

When acquiring wood you plan to use in a fire, a general rule of thumb is that the greener it is, the longer it will take to seasoning firewood.


Average Humidity and Temperature

Wood is a hygroscopic material, meaning the humidity around it can cause the wood to either absorb or release moisture. In areas with high humidity, wood will absorb moisture from the air, and in areas with low humidity, wood will expel moisture.

When it comes to seasoning wood, the obvious ideal combination is low humidity and high temperature, which makes the later days of spring and throughout the summer the best time to season wood.

In an environment with 99% relative humidity, the moisture content of wood will (with enough time) become 23-30% however, when the air has a relative humidity of 75%, the moisture content will work its way down to 14% – an ideal % for burning wood.


Wood Species

The kind of wood you use has a bearing on the rate at which wood is seasoned, whether that is hardwood or softwood.

Hardwoods produce more heat when they are burned but take about 18 months to properly season, whereas softwoods can be seasoned in 6-12 months and have the added bonus of being easier to cut and split, making them more appealing for many who cut and prepare their own wood.

The terms hardwood and softwood don’t actually apply to the woods themselves, but to the trees’ seeds: hardwood seeds have a covering while softwood seeds don’t.

When it comes to burning wood, a top tip is to use softwoods to get the fire going then hardwoods to have a long, enduring heat.

Cedar and pine are good softwoods to burn, while ash, oak, birch, fruit trees and even eucalyptus wood are great hardwoods for fires.


Proper Stacking

Wood should be stacked off the floor so as not to absorb ground moisture, and you need to allow plenty of ventilation between stacked logs so that moisture can escape.

When you are cutting your wood, cutting it to similar sizes will make it easier to stack. Cutting each log into 16-inch long cords is standard, and then cutting the wood into quarters is a popular and effective method.

Seasoning your wood outside is best, ideally in a location that gets plenty of sunlight. If you live in an area with high levels of rainfall, keeping it outside but covered (like in a barn or shed) is an option, so long as there is plenty of airflow around the wood. Don’t season your wood in your home as there is a risk the drying wood will attract termites; it will also not season properly when it’s indoors.

You can use a firewood log rack to help with the seasoning; these are metal frames that keep the logs off of the ground, promote airflow around the cords and can be positioned for optimal sunlight.

When stacking, you need to be sure any rain (or snow) won’t soak your logs. Avoid this by either storing them in a sheltered area or by protecting them with a waterproof cover, but be sure to keep the ends exposed to the air.

To find out everything you need to know about firewood, check out this blog.


Average Time to Season Wood

There are many variables when it comes to firewood seasoning and many ways to help speed up the seasoning process, however, the average time to season wood that you’ve cut from a tree is approximately 12 months. It can take an average of 6 months if you’ve bought the wood from a supplier.

Wood will dry out more quickly when it has been chopped into smaller pieces – the smaller the piece, the quicker it’ll wood seasoning. You can expect wood to dry at a rate of approximately one inch per year – i.e. a log that is one inch wide will take one year and a log that is two inches wide will take two years to seasoning firewood.

As well as splitting the wood into smaller pieces, you can also speed up the seasoning process by:

• Drying it in late spring or summer

• Stacking it correctly – plenty of ventilation between logs and ends exposed to the air

• Stacking it in bright, direct sunlight

• Dry it in a kiln


Also explore our Wood-Burning Stove FAQs.


Why Choose Us?

Charnwood has been committed to providing quality wood burning stoves since 1972 and we know all there is to know about wood burners, and how to get the most out of the wood you burn. If you have any questions about heating your home with a wood burning stove, please get in touch.


Log burner fireplaces are a popular feature in many homes, adding warmth and ambience to any room. There are many ways to make the most of your log burner fireplace, from creating a warm welcome to colour-coordinating it with your decor. In this article, we’ll explore some log burner fireplace ideas to inspire your next home renovation project.


Ideal Fireplace Ideas for Your Home

You’ve had a wood-burning stove installed and are, quite rightly, loving the cosy comforting warmth that it brings, but you notice something’s just ever-so-slightly off. Framing your wood burner in a fireplace that ties into your décor can pull the whole room together. Keep reading for fireplace inspiration…


Create a Warm Welcome with a Modern Log Burner

A log burner fireplace creates a natural gathering spot in any room, making it the perfect place to entertain guests. To create a warm welcome, consider incorporating seating around your fireplace. This could include a comfortable armchair or a plush sofa, paired with blankets and decorative cushions.

To further enhance the cosy ambience, you could also add some soft lighting. This could include a few small lamps dotted about the room, some well-placed candles or even fairy lights. Adding a flame-retardant rug in front of the fireplace can also boost the welcoming vibe while protecting your floor from stray embers.

Another great way to create a warm welcome is to add some natural elements to your decor. Consider placing some plants or a vase of fresh flowers around your hearth, or adding some natural stone accents. These touches can help to create a comforting and rustic feel in your space.


Colour Coordinate Your Log Burner

When it comes to decorating your log burner fireplace, colour coordination is key. You want to choose colours that complement your log burner and create a cohesive look throughout your space. Some popular colour choices for log burner fireplaces include earthy tones like brown, beige, and green, as well as rich jewel tones like navy, emerald, and burgundy.

When choosing decor for your log burner fireplace, consider incorporating these colours into your cushions, rugs, curtains, and wall art. You can also add some decorative accessories in complementary colours, such as vases, candle holders, and picture frames.

Alternatively, if your log burner has a black finish, as most do, you could opt for black or dark grey accessories to tie the look together or contrast it with white décor for a monochromatic motif. For example, a white or cream fireplace surround would create a striking contrast against a black log burner. This leads us to the next section…


White Fireplace Surround

A white fireplace surround can add a clean and classic touch to your log burner fireplace. When paired with a black log burner, a white fireplace surround creates a timeless and elegant look and can work with both traditional and modern design schemes. White is also a great choice for smaller spaces, as it can help to create the illusion of more light and space.

To create a cohesive look, choose white decor accessories, such as candles, vases, and picture frames. You can also add some texture and interest to your space by incorporating natural wood elements.


Painted Fire Surround

A great way to add some personality to your wood burner fireplace is to paint your fire surround. This is a great option if you want to add a pop of colour to your space or create a bold statement. You can choose a colour that complements your decor, or go for something more daring, like a bright red or vibrant turquoise.

When choosing a paint colour for your fire surround, it’s important to consider the overall aesthetic of your living space. You want to choose a colour that complements your existing decor, rather than clashes with it.

Be sure to use high-quality paint that can withstand the heat from your log burner. You’ll also want to take your time and use a steady hand to ensure a smooth, even finish.


Utilise a Hearth Surround

The hearth surround is the area directly in front of the log burner fireplace and a hearth surround not only enhances the look of the fireplace but also provides a practical space to store firewood and display decorative items.

A mantel can add a touch of elegance to your fireplace and provide additional space for displaying decorative items. Whether you prefer a rustic wooden mantel or a sleek, modern design, adding a mantel can elevate the overall look of your fireplace.

The material of the hearth surround can make a significant impact on the overall look of your fireplace. Popular materials for hearth surrounds include natural stone, tiles, brick, and wood. Each material can create a different aesthetic, so consider what style you want to achieve when choosing your hearth surround material.

A log burner fireplace needs firewood, and incorporating storage into your hearth surround can be a practical solution. Not only does built-in shelving or a firewood nook provide designated storage space for firewood, but it also adds a decorative touch to the fireplace.


Why Choose Us?

Charnwood has been committed to providing quality wood burning stoves since 1972 and we know all there is to know about wood burners, and how to make sure they look great in your home. If you have any questions wood burning stoves, please get in touch.



From Shepards huts, yurts, and local authority housing to the most impressive London townhouses and countryside estates, we are proud to manufacture wood-burning stoves for a diverse range of homes which house people from all backgrounds. 

Far from being just a trendy middle-class luxury as some newspapers have suggested, wood burning stoves offer perhaps the most inclusive and accessible heating solution on the market. Providing a long list of benefits and an affordable heat source for all. 

Read on to learn about all the advantages of owning a stove and how anyone in society can benefit! 

History of the Charnwood LA (Social Housing Solution) 


In the early 1990s Charnwood pioneered the LA (Local Authority) Multi-fuel Roomheater and became the UK’s leading supplier to Housing Associations and Local Authorities for many years. The Charnwood LA was installed in thousands of homes throughout the whole of the UK and Ireland. It was designed, in particular, to help in areas that had good access to solid fuels/wood but where open fires were predominantly used.  

Our founders were early to recognize the inefficiency of open fires and set about designing something that was affordable and that could be slotted into an existing fire opening to provide a far more efficient heating solution. 

Charnwood also developed the ‘Firefront’ which effectively used the existing chamber of an open fire to retain and convect heat and burn fuel more effectively. The majority were sold in rural areas, in Wales, northern England and Scotland and provided an affordable and efficient heating solution for thousands of homes.  

This origin story runs counter to the false media narrative that wood-burning stoves are only for the middle classes in major cities. We are proud of our heritage and having contributed to families’ warmth and well-being across the UK for generations. 

Wood-Burning: A Heat Source for All Budgets 

In 2023, with multiple ongoing global crises, wood-burning stoves continue to be a home heating solution for all budgets, playing a vital role in helping families survive these challenging times.  

Low start-up costs 

A wood-burning stove is one of, if not, the cheapest heating solutions to install and maintain. Upfront costs of a few thousand pounds are far more accessible compared to the tens of thousands it can cost to install a heat pump, solar panels, wind turbine etc.  

There is a modern ultra-efficient stove available for nearly all budgets, making it a widely adopted heating solution. Our Country 4 is our current entry-level stove and has replaced the LA providing more style and greater efficiency. Its traditional good looks and competitive price means it is perfect for a wide range of homes. 

These figures are estimates 

Lower fuel costs  

Wood has remained more competitive than rising fossil fuel prices, and offers the potential to save even more on fuel bills by accessing free sources of wood. Fallen trees, industrial woodworkers and online sources like Gumtree and Freecycle are often fruitful sources of free wood.  

Find out how/why burning the RIGHT wood saves you money & protects the environment!  

Long-term savings 

Ultra efficient modern wood-burning stoves can last 20 years plus with good care and upkeep. Additionally, most components used within a Charnwood stove are modular and can be replaced when or if they wear out, further extending the life of your stove. 

Wood stoves enable eco-conscious & alternative ways of living 


Wood-burning stoves are fantastic in virtually any home environment. In fact, they are often one of the only options for people seeking to live sustainably off-grid in log cabins, yurts, shepherds’ huts, and other ‘tiny home’ accommodation. 

Tiny homes are a fantastic way to bring comfort and relaxation to the most beautiful and remote locations and help people seeking to live with the lowest possible environmental impact. Typically, in these situations access to mains energy supplies is unavailable and a wood-burning stove is the only option for a constant heat source.  

Our Stove Pod is perfect for tiny home accommodation – click here for more information 


Here is a list of some of the benefits enjoyed by wood-burning stove owners from all areas of society: 

-Renewable source of energy  

-Local fuel 

-Lower start-up & maintenance costs 

-Provides energy independence & security (Independent of weather variability & supply issues) 

-Supports other renewables 

-Promotes sustainable living practices 

-Significant well-being benefits 

We believe wood burning stoves are for everyone and when used responsibly can be a massive positive for society and the environment. For this reason, we take our responsibility seriously to educate our customers about wood burning best practices. We acknowledge the need for ultra efficient wood burning stoves and we have made it our mission to continue innovating and leading the industry forwards in this area.  

We are aware that many families on lower incomes rely heavily on wood burning to heat their homes more affordably. So, we find it incredibly rewarding to supply people across the world from all walks of life with the most efficient stoves on the market today. 


In response to the recent headlines, the SIA set about investigating the data to see if negative rhetoric around pollution from wood burning in modern Ecodesign stoves was justified.

Spoiler alert, the answer is a definitive no, but please read on to see for yourself.

Monitoring London’s air quality

London has been at the centre of the controversy and as it is monitored extensively for air quality, with information readily available, it is an ideal place to focus investigations. The London Air website, a platform run by Imperial College London, holds data from no less than 131 monitoring sites located across the capital.

You can look at the data for each site using the drop-down boxes within the monitoring section of the website. It allows you to select air pollutants, including PM2.5 and PM10 particulates, and display the data for each.

Below is a summary of the results presented by the SIA’s communications manager, Erica Malkin:

-PM2.5 (tiny particles caused by things like construction, road traffic, aviation and shipping, agriculture, domestic and commercial combustion, outdoor burning, and wildfires) values in 2022 at every London monitoring site that has information for last year (22 in total) were below the current UK legal limit of 20ug/m3 annual mean, without exception.

-For 2023 year to date, 41 out of 42 sites record levels below the UK legal limit, with the average being 13 ug/m3.

-7 out of the 42 sites monitoring PM2.5 record 2023 YTD levels as falling within the much lower previous WHO recommended limit of 10 ug/m3 annual mean.

-In 2022 the average PM2.5 level recorded across all sites was 10 ug/m3 which means London met the WHO recommended limit (at that time) last year.

-For PM10 there is not a single monitoring site showing levels this year or last that exceed the current UK limit of 40 ug/m3 and, again, many are within the WHO recommended limit which is HALF the current UK limit at 20 ug/m3.

Looking beyond the headlines

As you can see, these results paint a very different picture than what is being published by the media. In fact, you’d struggle to find a single newspaper with even the slightest reporting on this positive news.

However, it is much easier to find hyperbolic news articles that continue to muddy the water by using the catch-all term “wood burners” instead of analysing the data in depth and acknowledging the fundamental differences between open fires, older stoves and modern ultra-efficient stoves.

If the media could only communicate this distinction between the different forms of wood-burning, they would achieve so much more in the pursuit of reducing overall PM2.5 emissions.

Erica Malkin rightly observes:

“What is becoming increasingly clear from the data, is that it is “modern, technically advanced stoves, coupled with effective stove user education, Smoke Control Area enforcement and industry regulation, that are the key to helping us do better and reduce air pollution linked to indoor domestic combustion.”

“The Environmental Improvement Plan points out, it is vital that we “Design and implement measures to drive a shift away from older, more polluting appliances, to newer appliances which meet our tough new emission standards.”

We can all do our part in reducing emissions by replacing an open fire or older closed stove with a clearSkies 5 certified stove (the most advanced currently available). In conjunction with wood-burning best practices, they can drastically reduce emissions from this sector by up to 90%!


It is essential that we examine air quality monitoring data rather than attention-grabbing headlines. This is the only way to ensure that statistical information is presented in an unbiased manner to provide the accurate information required to make sensible decisions that benefit society.


You can read Erica Malkin’s excellent article in full here.


Eucalyptus trees, also known as gum trees, are fast-growing trees whose wood produces a lot of heat, making them an ideal sustainable choice for your wood burning stove. While not native to the UK, some eucalyptus species have been able to thrive on these western European islands, giving us access to this superfuel.


Benefits and Disadvantages of Using Eucalyptus


It produces a high heat output – 34.5 million BTUs (British Thermal Units) per cord; for context, oak produces 24 million BTUs.

Eucalyptus grows quickly, only taking a few years to mature, making it one of the more sustainable firewoods and it doesn’t taper much over lengths.

It’s also cheaper than other traditional hardwoods.



Eucalyptus trees aren’t native to the UK, and, because of their numbers in this part of the world, eucalyptus wood is rarer than other woods.

Its high oil content can lead to a build-up of creosote, but otherwise, it burns clean.

It’s also a very hard wood to split – more on this in a later section.


Types of Eucalyptus

There are over 700 different species of the eucalyptus tree and they are mostly found in Australia, although some are also found in areas like the Philippines, Indonesia and New Guinea. Some have been successfully introduced to grow in Britain (see above).

Of the 700 different species, only 35 (5%) are suited to growing in the UK. Two of note are the cider gum and Tasmanian blue gum trees, which grow quite happily on the Essex coast and in Cornwall, respectively.

The best eucalyptus trees for firewood that can grow in the UK are eucalyptus nitens (Shining Gum) and eucalyptus viminalis (White Gum).


Is Burning Eucalyptus Poisonous?

If you were to eat (great swathes of) eucalyptus leaves, you may become unwell, however, the smoke of eucalyptus wood is not toxic.


Is Burning Eucalyptus Bad for the Chimney?

If eucalyptus wood is properly seasoned, the wood is not bad for the chimney. Eucalyptus wood has a naturally high oil content and this may be considered dangerous, however, seasoning the eucalyptus removes much of this oil and, consequently, the risk.

You should have your chimney cleaned every year as a minimum, regardless of which wood you use. This is to remove soot, cobwebs, bird nests, other blockages and creosote to allow for the safe passage of smoke and to prevent chimney fires.


Does the Wood Split Easily?

No. Eucalyptus wood is notoriously difficult to split. If you can buy it pre-split, it’ll save you a lot of effort.

If you want to split the wood yourself, you are best to leave it for 5-7 days after it’s been cut, and before you season it. Just before it reaches the week mark, cracks will start to form in the wood; this is the best time to start splitting the wood.

Also explore our Wood-Burning Stove FAQs.


Heat Output and Efficiency of Eucalyptus

As mentioned above, eucalyptus packs a punch in the heat department: it produces 34.5 million BTUs and has a very strong flame.

Eucalyptus wood also produces good coals, keeping your home warm for longer after the fire itself is out.

Some worry that burning eucalyptus wood produces too much heat, so you can mix eucalyptus wood with other woods if you are concerned about excess heat.


Why choose us?

Charnwood has been committed to providing quality wood burning stoves since 1972 and we know all there is to know about wood burners and the best woods to use in them. If you have any questions about heating your home with a wood burning stove, please get in touch.


The government’s Environmental Improvement Plan 2023 outlines its strategy for the continued improvement of regulations for burning fuel at home. It will tighten limits on new stoves in Smoke Control Areas (not banning), expand solid fuel legislation to fuels burnt outside and implement measures to encourage the replacement of older appliances with modern wood-burning stoves.

These are regulations we support and believe will make a real difference. Despite this balanced government plan, there continues to be a fair bit in the news about wood burning stoves with some sensationalist headlines, untruths and misrepresented information.

Understandably these scare-stories can cause concern, so with this blog we will show you how to heat your home with a wood-burning stove without having to worry about PM 2.5 emissions.

Benefits of Using Wood-Burning Stoves

Wood-burning stoves offer a carbon-neutral and cost-effective way to heat your home without relying on electricity or other fuel sources. They provide energy independence and can be used in conjunction with renewables, helping make these technologies more viable.

They are an ideal source of emergency heating and can even be used to cook food – in fact a Charnwood Cooking Plate can transform your stove giving you even more cooking options. Wood-burning stoves also last for decades, providing an affordable source of heat for low-income households as well as significant well-being benefits.

Read everything you need to know about wood burning stove cooking!

Understanding PM 2.5 Emissions


PM 2.5 is fine particulate matter with a diameter of just 2.5 microns, which is approximately 30 times smaller than the width of a human hair. These microscopic particles or droplets present in the air can be damaging to health when inhaled in sufficient quantity and come from a wide range of natural and human-made sources.

The good news, however, is that PM 2.5 emissions have been steadily decreasing over the years despite record stove sales (please see the short video above). This is data taken directly from DEFRA and is a scientific and unbiased representation of the air quality in the UK. Whilst there is more we can all do, the evidence is clearly positive.

When you consider that a candle, cleaning spray or even making toast can produce levels of PM 2.5 in the home far in excess of a wood stove, it does put things in perspective. However, whilst it’s impossible to remove PM 2.5 completely from our lives, there are ways to minimise your wood-burning stove’s contribution both inside and outside the home.

Choosing the right Wood-Burning Stove

The first step to minimising PM 2.5 starts with choosing a wood-burning stove that is the appropriate size for the space and is certified to the highest possible efficiency standards.

Whilst all Ecodesign rated stoves provide improved efficiency, some are undoubtably better than others. In fact, ClearSkies 5 rated Charnwood stoves are up to 48% more efficient than standard Ecodesign. This reduces emissions by up to 90% compared with an open fire and by up to 80% compared with older, basic stove models.

This is an exceptionally clean burn which unlocks all the benefits of wood-burning while keeping emissions to a bare minimum!

Minimizing PM 2.5 Emissions from Wood-Burning Stoves

Once you have the right wood-stove installed, the next part of the equation is using the best wood burning practices – we all have our part to play. Trusted Chief Medical Advisor Chris Whitty in his latest report acknowledges this saying, “For air pollution emissions, there is substantial difference between the different open fire and stove designs, the age of the appliance and how well maintained it is, and the moisture content of the wood, for those who want to burn wood.”

Read more about best-wood stove practices to save you money and reduce emissions!

Using the right wood

Achieving the perfect cosy fire requires choosing the right wood. Charnwood stoves are designed to run on seasoned or kiln-dried wood with a moisture content of less than 20%, which results in a cleaner and more efficient burn. This keeps harmful emissions to a minimum and significantly improves efficiency while protecting your stove and chimney – saving you money!

Seasoned wood is wood that has been cut and usually allowed to dry for at least 6-12 months. You can roughly estimate if wood is seasoned by its lighter weight when compared to wet wood and telltale cracks in the end grain. However, to be sure, we strongly recommend using a moisture meter to accurately check the moisture content.

Alternatively, you can purchase kiln-dried wood from an approved firewood seller. Click here to search in your area.

Maintenance Tips for Wood-Burning Stoves

To ensure optimal performance and efficiency, regular inspection and maintenance of wood-burning stoves is essential. This includes cleaning the stove and its components, inspecting for signs of wear and tear, and examining the flue and chimney for any blockages or other issues. Here are some of the key proactive steps to take, so you can enjoy the warmth and ambiance of your wood-burning stove for years to come while keeping PM 2.5 emissions to a bare minimum.

Use a stove pipe thermometer

A Stove or Flue pipe thermometer is an essential piece of equipment that allows you to accurately monitor your stove’s temperature. This helps burn wood efficiently, protecting your stove and chimney, while reducing emissions and maximising heat output.

As one Charnwood customer from the 2022 stove accessory survey said, “It makes it so much easier to see if my fire is working at optimum temperature and if I need to adjust the amount of wood/air flow.”

Additionally, we recommend keeping your stove glass clean so you can monitor your fire and gauge its intensity. As you become more experienced, you’ll be able to anticipate the necessary interventions for maximum efficiency.

Check the seals on your stove

Ensuring the seals of your stove are secure is essential to maintaining its efficiency and keeping any smoke out of your home. Visually inspect the gasket (rope seal) around the stove door; if it is not snug against the door, replace it. Additionally, check the seal around the chimney to prevent any leakage. Taking a few minutes to check your wood-burning stove seals will help you stay safe and warm all winter long.

If you’re unsure how to check the seals, refer to your stove owner’s manual or contact a qualified technician.

Don’t overfill the stove – allow for air circulation

When using a wood-burning stove, it is important not to overfill the firebox. Filling the firebox no more than halfway ensures that the fire has enough oxygen to burn evenly and efficiently. A tightly packed firebox can cause the wood to smoulder instead of burning, which can lead to creosote buildup. Creosote is a highly flammable substance and can be the cause of dangerous chimney fires. For a safer and more efficient burn, make sure to leave enough space in the firebox for air to circulate.

Clean out ash and soot from inside the stove regularly

Regularly cleaning out the ash and soot that builds up in your wood-burning stove is key to its performance and appearance. Clogged airflow caused by a buildup of ash and soot can cause the fire to struggle and reduces efficiency.

How often you clean will depend on how often the stove is used, but generally, it is best to do a thorough cleaning once every couple of weeks during the colder months.

We highly recommend using an ash carrier to make the process much easier and mess-free!


It is important to remember that all energy sources, including renewables, require compromise and tradeoffs to receive the benefits they provide. The key is to maximise the benefits while reducing the negatives. Wood-burning stoves are playing a pivotal role in helping families get through the energy and cost of living crises. However, we agree it is important to understand PM 2.5 emissions and to take steps to minimize them. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can heat your home with wood-burning stoves without excessive worry about PM 2.5 emissions.


In light of energy prices rising to unprecedented rates, more people than ever before are looking at alternative ways to heat their homes and stay warm. The cost of gas and electricity is more expensive than ever before due to factors such as a rise in import costs, an increase in global demand, and supply issues caused by global conflicts.

This has led to many people looking for alternative sources of heat, especially as the cost of living crisis pushes households to their limits financially. One source of heat that has experienced a noticeable increase in demand is the wood-burning stove. But is it more cost-effective to use a wood-burning stove rather than central heating?

We’ve created a helpful guide outlining everything you need to know about wood-burning stoves and whether or not they are a cheaper alternative to gas.


The rising price of gas and electricity

Domestic energy prices are at an all-time high due to the extremely volatile nature of the energy market, causing prices to increase at rates we have never seen before.

The cost of gas has increased by 141% since winter 2021/2022 and experts are advising that these eye-watering prices will continue to soar with bills going up again in April 2023, many households have found themselves in the position where they are simply not able to afford to heat their homes.

The good news is, there are alternatives available, including the wood-burning stove.


The advantages of using a wood-burning stove

There are a number of advantages of using a wood-burning stove, including:

•  A wood burner could reduce your heating bills by up to 10%, according to the Energy Saving Trust.

•  Under the current price cap, a woodburning stove costs around 13% less than gas central heating, and one-third of the price of electric heating.

•  Efficient – log burners have around 75-90% efficiency.

•  Eco friendly and wood is a renewable, sustainable fuel source.

•  Increases the value of your property.

•  Aesthetically pleasing and good for mental well being.


The drawbacks of using a wood-burning stove

If you’re considering investing in a wood-burning stove for your property, it’s important that you also weigh up any potential cons too. After all, installation can be expensive, so it’s vital that you understand what is involved with the upkeep of a wood-burning stove and the costs involved.

Here are some of the potential drawbacks to keep in mind:

•  If you don’t already have a wood burner, the initial expense can range from £500 – to over £5000, with installation costing on average £2,000.

•  You will need enough space to accommodate a wood-burning stove.

•  Storage space is required for logs to ensure they get plenty of air and stay dry.

•  On-going upkeep and maintenance.

•  A wood-burning stove can’t always be used to heat your entire home, although residual heat can spread around the house.


The advantages of using central heating

In order to evaluate whether or not a log burner is cheaper and better than a wood-burning stove, we’ve also taken a look at the advantages that come hand in hand with using central heating:

•  Central heating creates a warm and comfortable home pretty much instantly. After all, on a freezing cold day, there really is nothing better than stepping into a home that is warm and toasty!

•  Convenient and flexible.

•  Central heating creates an even temperature.

•  Modern central heating makes minimal noise.


The drawbacks of using central heating

Like any heating system, you should also take into account the drawbacks of using a central heating system when deciding whether this is the best option for you.

The most common drawbacks of using a central heating system are as follows:

•  Installation is expensive

•  Operating costs are significantly higher

•  Poor duct connections can lower the efficiency of the system

•  Costly repairs

•  Costs vary depending on the cost of gas and electricity, which are currently increasing.



The end result

As you can see, there is a lot to weigh up when it comes to the pros and cons of both log burners and central heating systems.

However, if you are looking to cut the costs of your heating bills, a wood-burning stove wins every time. A wood-burning stove can cost around a third of the price of electric central heating to run.

If you would like to find out more about our wood-burning stoves, view our FAQs page here.


Why choose us?

Founded in 1972, Charnwood Stoves are a privately owned, family-controlled, British company specialising in the design and manufacture of high-quality wood-burning and multi-fuel stoves. We are committed to providing the highest quality stoves, at the best possible price.

We also have a firm focus on protecting the environment and ensuring our operations are sustainable and responsible.

We operate a policy of caring for the environment in all aspects of the business; from the products we design and the way we package and we transport them, to the way we deal with the disposal of waste products, as well as the vehicles we use and our choice of raw materials.


Get in touch now

If you have any questions about our wood-burning stoves, please get in touch with a member of our team today.