charnwoodstoves

It was great to return to the beautiful and romantic city of Verona and attend Progetto Fuoco, billed as the world’s most important trade fair for biomass heating systems. Despite a pandemic enforced 3-month delay, it was exciting to finally exhibit alongside our wonderful Italian distributors Zeta Linea and our sister companies Vlaze and Bodj.

We displayed the full range of products on sale in Italy including the Aire 3 and Stove Pod, in addition to several Bodj accessories plus our Vlaze heat shields and outdoor kitchen units. With Italians being renowned for impeccable taste, we were delighted by the positive response and recognition our products received from such a savvy audience. There was lots of international interest all around, and it was a lovely opportunity to catch up with our global customers.

Read on to hear about the products that wowed the crowd!

Charnwood Aire 3

 

The Aire 3 is one of the most efficient EcoDesign compliant stoves on the market, demonstrating 86% efficiency on independent tests and with a maximum ClearSkies rating of 5 stars. It has a modern and sophisticated look, which is perfectly suited to a stylish Italian casa.

The large ceramic glass window is designed to maximise the viewing area and your enjoyment of the fire. The Aire 3 also benefits from being easy to operate, with a single air control, removable ashpan and a cool-to-touch handle for safe reloading. With a 2-5 kW output, it is the perfect size for most small-medium size rooms and provides a crystal-clear burn.

Charnwood Stove Pod

 
Stove Pod
The Stove Pod provides a sleek, safe, and secure enclosure and is designed for ease of installation. The Stove Pod pairs perfectly with the Aire 3 to create a complete fireplace solution designed for small space living.

The Charnwood Stove Pod is designed for cabins, yurts, tents, boats, home offices and other tiny home accommodation. It can be placed on any hard, flat surface without the need for an additional hearth, creating a safe, protected focal point for the room. It is available in a matt black powder coat with the option to add a VLAZE vitreous enamel liner for a stylish, easy to clean finish.

Bodj G-Holder

 

Bodj fireside accessories are handmade, sustainably sourced, and beautifully designed for the ethical and style-conscious home. The ergonomic G-Holder (pictured above) is designed to take up minimal space within the living room or fireside area and holds just the right number of logs for an evening fire. The ironwork frame is tightly handwoven with rattan. Ideal for carrying and storing logs or for use as a magazine holder. A perfect partner for your Charnwood stove!

Vlaze Heat Shields

 

VLAZE heat shields are designed and made in Britain by our company A.J Wells & Sons. The exceptional porcelain enamel surface of VLAZE is a luxurious, durable finish that withstands extremes of heat protecting your home, beautifully.

Over the years Vlaze, in collaboration with Charnwood, has released a wide range of wonderful designer finishes in a multitude of sizes and has established itself as not only the original, but also the best wood-stove heat shield on the market.

Creating the perfect fireplace requires blending several key factors, including functionality/efficiency, safety, and beauty. Once you have chosen the perfect stove, it’s time to consider how you will protect your space. Click here to find out more.

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It was wonderful to meet so many people from across the globe and share everything we are working on with you all. We are as determined as ever to lead the way with the very latest in woodstove technology and contribute to providing a sustainable energy solution that benefits both the homeowner and the environment. Finally, thank you to all who stopped by to visit us – it really was a pleasure to meet you all! Thanks to the team at Progetto Fuoco and of course, Zeta Linea – we hope to see you all soon!

charnwoodstoves

Are you part of the 85% of UK homes that are currently relying on mains gas for heat? With the volatility of international gas markets leading to unprecedented price rises, these feel like uncertain times. In this blog we will look at how owning a wood-burning stove can redress the balance and bring some much-needed certainty to our lives.

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What are the benefits to Investing in a wood-burning stove?

With the energy price cap rising 54%, millions of households will see their bills rise by around £700 to £2,000 per year. According to The Office for Budget Responsibility, this represents the largest fall in living standards since 1956. With this being the case, there’s never been a better time to look at the benefits of investing in a wood-burning stove.

Eco-design wood burning stove benefits:

• Affordable and good value for money

A good quality stove can last many decades and provide an affordable source of heat for low-income households. The upfront costs are significantly less than wind or solar power and indeed far less than a heat pump. The majority of 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.

• Locally sourced fuel

Using a wood stove means you can source reasonably priced fuel locally and sometimes for free. Wood is an energy source that doesn’t rely on the destructive practices of fracking and deep-sea oil drilling. You are not reliant on gas or oil!

• Whatever the weather

Wood-burning stoves can produce heat for prolonged periods whatever the weather conditions.

• Work in conjunction with wind and solar

This allows them to work in conjunction with wind, solar and other energy solutions which helps make these great technologies more viable – They are not in competition with each other.

• An ideal emergency/low-frequency heat source.

A wood-burning stove provides a 100% self-contained heat source. For those of you who live in a region that suffers occasional power cuts you will know just how valuable this is! A wood-burning stove can provide heat and even a way to cook food when you need it most.

• Environmentally friendly

Wood is a carbon-neutral fuel as it gives off the same amount of carbon whether it is burnt or decays naturally. The carbon released from burning wood is balanced out by the carbon absorbed by the tree during its lifetime. Charnwood stoves and packaging are all fully recyclable.

• Wellbeing benefits

Owners report significant wellbeing benefits directly as a result of owning and using their wood-burning stove.

Read about the Charnwood wellbeing survey and all the amazing benefits of owning a stove for your wellbeing.

 

Wood-burning stoves vs wind, solar and heat pumps

We support all these other technologies, however, there are significant upfront costs for these solutions that make them less realistic options for many people. Also, battery storage is not where it needs to be to fully support the world’s energy needs. Therefore in 2022, a wood stove is the most viable option for the majority of people affected by energy price rises. The table below breaks down and compares some of the key financial information surrounding the different technologies.

 

Up-front cost for family of 3 (inc. installation) Maintenance costs P/A Constant supply? Potential to sell energy surplus to the grid?
Solar Power £6000 – £8000 £150 – £250 No Yes
Wind Power £9000 – 30,000 £150 – £450 No Yes
Heat Pumps £8000 – 30,000 £90 – £150 Yes No
Wood-Burning Stoves £2500 – £5000 £60 – £100 Yes No

How to save on your fuel bill – free sources of wood for your wood-stove!

1. After a storm

Storms bring wood foraging opportunities! After a storm, fallen trees and branches become available which, with permission, you can collect, season and use for firewood – all while helping to tidy up your local area.

2. Industrial woodworkers

Woodworkers, sawmills, and joiners near to your home are worth contacting to find out if they ever have any off cuts of wood that they need to get rid of.

3. Freecycle websites

Whether it is left over wood from a recent home improvement or a tree that had to be cut down, people often advertise free wood on sites like Gumtree and Freecycle if you are happy to collect it.

 

It is however very important to make sure that wherever you source your wood from, it is untreated and free from paint, finishes or other potentially harmful substances. Also, do not burn it unless it has a moisture content of less than 20% which you can check with a moisture meter. This reduces harmful emissions and will increase the lifespan of your stove. For a list of the best types of firewood check out our Firewood chart.

 

The elephant in the room!

Are wood burning stoves bad for the environment?

There are lots of myths circulating about wood burning stoves being bad for the environment, but they simply aren’t accurate.

Whilst wood burners can give off fumes containing microscopic specks of soot, using approved fuels and a modern appliance significantly reduces the risk of this. As of January 2022, all stoves sold must now meet with Ecodesign regulations which ensure a much cleaner burn. If you are burning wood correctly, it can become part of a carbon-neutral process, being balanced out by the carbon absorbed by the tree as it grows.

It’s also important to keep in mind that, as long as trees are replanted and woodland is responsibly managed, using wood for fuel can be part of a sustainable energy process.

Find out more about the environmental impact of wood burning stoves here.

 

Does my home suit a Wood-burning stove?

So now you know the economic and environmental benefits of owning a wood-burning stove, you may be wondering if your home is suitable?

Well, another huge benefit of wood-burning stoves is the flexibility in terms of where you can place them and the spaces that they can heat. From tiny homes, to large farmhouses and townhouses, Charnwood has the ideal woodstove to suit. Follow the checklist below before contacting your Charnwood stockist.

Checklist before buying a wood-burning stove

1/ Firstly, measure the height, width, and length of the room you plan to install your stove. This will allow a stove supplier to recommend a suitable stove with enough kW output to heat the space.

2/ We recommend taking a photo of your fireplace (if the room has one) and the outside of your property including the roof area.

3/ Contact environmental protection at your local council to find out if you live in a smoke control area and require a DEFRA approved stove. Please note: Charnwood offers many DEFRA approved stoves so there’s still plenty of choice!

4/ Contact an approved installer to arrange an appointment to survey your home and get a quote for works required.

Here is a list of approved installers.

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We have seen demand rocket for Charnwood stoves and despite increasing our factory capacity, there is still some delays for some models. The same can be said for installation specialists – they are in high demand! Therefore, now is a great time to start preparing for next winter so that you are up and running and saving on your heating bill when the cold snap arrives!

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It’s wonderful the weather has turned towards spring and summer, but for wood-burning stove users there can be mixed emotions about saying goodbye to the regular warmth and light of their stove. A helpful ritual this time of year is giving your stove a well-deserved Spring clean, so you know that it is ready and in perfect condition for next winter!

Read on to learn how to keep your wood-burning stove in tip-top condition.

Wood burning stove spring cleaning tips and guidance

Cleaning your chimney

Chimneys need regular cleaning to prevent creosote buildup and to reduce the possibility of a chimney fire. How often you clean the chimney depends on the amount you use your stove, the type of wood you burn, the type of wood-burning unit you have and the way you operate the unit. We recommend cleaning your chimney on a yearly basis as a minimum, with springtime being the perfect opportunity after a long winter.

We recommend hiring a professional chimney sweeper for the first chimney cleaning and ‘health check’. Use this as an opportunity to learn and see if this is something you would be willing to do yourself moving forward. A Charnwood stove is fitted with a drop-down throat plate allowing you to sweep through the appliance with minimum mess.

Please note if a chimney fire does occur, follow these steps to reduce your losses:

Call your local fire department immediately and give them your name and address.

If there is a fire in the stove or fireplace box, extinguish it with a multipurpose dry-chemical extinguisher. As some of the chemical travels up the chimney, it may extinguish the chimney fire.

Cleaning your stove’s surface

A wood-burning stove is a great aesthetic complement to your home even when not in use. To clean the exterior of your stove, all you need is a soft brush and a vacuum cleaner to wipe away and remove any soot or dust.

If you use a cooking plate and have made a little more mess, then a stove cleaning product and a lint-free cloth works well. All cleaning is best undertaken when your stove is unlit and cool.

Maintaining your stove’s glass

Burning well-seasoned, dry logs on your stove will help reduce the amount of soot build up that occurs on your stove’s glass. However, occasionally soot will accumulate, especially if you have been using firewood with a moisture content over 20%.

There are a few methods that can be used to wipe away soot listed below:

· Charnwood Schott dry wiper

· Fine wood ash and damp newspaper

· WD40 and a lint-free cloth

For more details read our in depth article on how to clean wood-burning stove glass

It’s important to clean your stove’s glass frequently to reduce the amount of dirt that builds up. If you do this regularly, you won’t have to attempt scrapping stubborn dirt and risk scratching and weakening the glass surface.

Empty your ash pan

When leaving your stove unused for extended periods it is worth emptying out the ash pan as well as the firebox completely. Removing the throat plate and opening the air inlets allows a flow of air through the stove that helps prevent any rust forming.

With some care, any dust escape into the air can be minimised during ash removal. We recommended opening your windows for a short period afterwards to allow the air in the room to circulate.

Inspect the door and flue seals

Take the opportunity when cleaning your wood burning stove to inspect the rope seals on the doors and flue. The seals can succumb to everyday wear and tear, so it’s important that these are checked frequently and changed if necessary.

If these or any other parts of your stove need replacing, Charnwood offers a range of spares for all current Charnwood stoves, as well as most legacy models, in our spares shop.

A fresh coat of stove paint

If after inspecting your stove closely you notice some scratches or general marks of wear and tear, it is worth considering some Charnwood stove paint. Whether it’s a quick touch up or a complete colour change, we offer cans of our heat resistant stove paint in the 8 Charnwood colour options. This is a simple yet brilliant way to give your stove a new lease of life.

Before painting your stove, you should make sure that the surface is dry, clean and free from any grease. Before spraying your stove we recommend masking off the glass and handles and gently rubbing down any areas to be retouched with a Scotchbrite pad.

You can purchase Charnwood heat resistant stove paint from your local Charnwood stockist.

Take care of your stove so it takes care of you

Regular maintenance in conjunction with a yearly deep spring clean is the best way to extend the life of your stove and make sure that performance remains at an optimum level. When you consider all the benefits a wood-burning stove brings to our lives, it’s a no-brainer to give it the TLC it deserves so that it’s ready to keep you warm through next winter and beyond.

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The research and analysis show that there are higher levels of PM created inside the home from cooking than from modern wood burning stoves!

Read on to learn more about the report on indoor air quality associated with wood burning and get a new perspective on PM 2.5 in the home.

There has been much debate on the topic of indoor air quality and PM 2.5 emissions in relation to wood-burning stoves over the last few years. To get an accurate picture, the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) commissioned a literature review looking at studies into the contribution from wood burning stoves to indoor particulate matter (PM). This looked at evidence from over 35 different studies into the impact on indoor air quality in the developed world from solid fuel combustion, including the 2020 study by Chakraborty et al, Indoor Air Pollution from Residential Stoves: Examining the Flooding of Particulate Matter into Homes during Real-World Use.
 

The report was undertaken by Dr Amanda Lea-Langton, senior lecturer in Bioenergy Engineering at the University of Manchester. We have listed some of the key findings below:

• No scientific evidence found for adverse health impacts from exposure to the indoor air

typically associated with modern, enclosed wood burning stoves

• No association shown between exposure to indoor wood burning and risk of asthma in

developed countries

• Use of modern wood burning stoves may help to improve air quality inside the home due to

the natural draught created during wood stove operation that pulls air from the room into the

appliance and from outside

• Other sources of particulate matter in the home, such as cooking, can release much higher

levels of PM compared to modern, enclosed wood burning stoves, and could therefore have

greater health risk potential

• In one study, oil-based cooking, such as frying food or grilling meat, had peak value PM

concentrations significantly higher than the WHO recommended average 24hr exposure limit

• In the same study the Ecodesign wood burning stove indoor air quality averages during

operation were below the WHO recommended limits

Not all stoves and wood-burning are equal!

A common misconception is that the use of wood-burning stoves is detrimental to our health due to their contribution to indoor air quality. This assertion often comes from conflating the performance of modern Ecodesign stoves with less sophisticated solid fuel combustion practices common in the developing world.

The findings in this report do not support this assertion and one broad literature review by a public body indicated that there was no association shown between exposure to indoor woodburning and the risk of asthma in developed countries. Additionally, a Manchester University study conducted in 2021 found that cooking, candles, incense, and hairspray all gave higher PM10 and PM2.5 readings than the use of a modern Ecodesign stove.

Wood-burning stove PM 2.5 best practices

The report recognises that indoor PM exposure for wood burning stove users peaks when refuelling and during ash removal. Andy Hill, chair of the SIA, advises ways that this can be easily mitigated:

“When refuelling a wood burning stove it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Refuel when the fire-bed has become glowing embers. Never simply swing the door open as this will lead to a rapid change in pressure within the appliance and may trigger some small escape of fumes (what was described as “flooding” in the 2021 Chakraborty study). Instead, by releasing the door catch and opening the door very slightly the air pressure will settle within a few seconds, then the door can be opened fully and more logs added. Similarly, with a little care any dust escape can be minimised during ash removal.”

The report gives information about reducing emissions even further:

“…those using wood burners could reduce their emissions by following improved firing and fuel practices. Recommendations for firing included the use of kindling or natural cubes rather than paper, cardboard or newspapers; stacking according to the Swiss method with largest logs at the bottom; wood moisture to be between 10-20% and use of a hard wood fuel (e.g. beech, oak) rather than softwoods or prunings. This led to improved combustion and hence lower emissions so reduced the risk of exposure.”

Modern wood-burning stoves are safe

This report gives valuable insight into how everyday household activities contribute to PM 2.5 emissions in the home. It accurately highlights the major contributors and crucially shows there is no scientific evidence linking adverse health impacts from exposure to PMs in indoor air and the use of modern wood burning stoves.

When considering the many benefits of a modern wood-burning stove to wellbeing, the fuel crisis, and environment it is wonderful news that people can now confidently enjoy all these benefits safely.


The report, which can be downloaded in full via the link below, was commissioned by the SIA and has been independently peer reviewed by Prof Alan Williams, CBE FREng FRSC, Emeritus Professor in Combustion, The University of Leeds.

https://stoveindustryalliance.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/22-04-11-Indoor-air-final-V5-AL.pdf

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If you’re searching for a timeless decor style that feels warm, comforting and characterful, you’re in the right place.

Today, we’ll be sharing some timeless rustic home decor ideas for the entire home. From cosy living rooms and country-style kitchens to charming outdoor areas, this post will give you all the inspiration you need to introduce evergreen rustic interior design inside and outside your home.

1. Champion neutral colours

Country chic design is all about creating a close connection to nature – and finding the right colour palette is key to getting this right.

To nail the rustic vibe, neutral hues are an absolute must. The right blend of white, cream, beige, brown, grey and even black will evoke an earthy, grounded feel in interiors throughout your home.

Soft, pale tones work beautifully as base colours for walls and floors throughout your home, while darker shades like brown, black and grey are better used as accent colours to bring depth and variety to your light canvas.

This restrained and considered colour pallet can add longevity to rustic decor, ensuring it ages effortlessly with just a few minor tweaks. These could include introducing colourful, on-trend decorative touches like artwork, fabrics and more for an affordable and easy refresh.

2. Go organic with integral materials

The concept of rustic decor is continually being reinvented and can refer to a huge variety of styles, from wood-centric alpine chalets to elegant Tuscan villas and everyday farmhouses. However, all rustic decor styles centre around the use of organic materials and lots of texture.

So, if you want to successfully pull off that rustic feel, choosing the right materials for integral design elements like structural features, furniture and flooring is key.

Whether you’re redecorating your bathroom, bedroom or garden, wood, stone and organic materials are essential. Firstly, they tie in perfectly with a neutral colour scheme. Secondly, many natural materials come with exceptional durability, not to mention bags of textural value and charm.

Inside your home, celebrate original features like chunky wooden fireplace mantles, exposed ceiling beams or stone feature walls. If you don’t have these, create your own with decorative touches like wood panels, handmade furniture, stone-look floor tiles and more.

Outside, you can revel in nature to convey a truly authentic rustic feel. Use your garden’s natural elements – like established trees and flowerbeds – as focal points, as well as structured elements like raised beds made from wood, stone. For pathways and patios, champion practicality and style with durable, rustic outdoor tiles in a neutral colour.

3. Add your own finishing touches

 

The right colour and materials will go a long way towards creating a homely, welcoming rustic interior design that has timeless appeal. However, you need to embellish these spaces with your own personal touches to add character and prevent them from feeling bland and boring.

The trick here is to champion classic designs and adopt a less-is-more mentality. Rather than stuffing rooms with lots of trendy trinkets and kitsch features, take a pared-back approach using a selection of key rustic-themed features that add bags of charm.

We’re talking focal points like an attention-grabbing firepit in the garden or a wood burning stove in the living room which will instantly make the space feel cosy and warm. Elsewhere, double up on soft furnishings that bring texture and a layered look. For long-lasting natural fabrics, wool, leather, hessian and linen give that earthy vibe, while faux fur and even crushed velvet can create a soft and indulgent finish.

When it comes to decorative elements, rustic interior design allows you to channel your eclectic side. But to ensure this doesn’t feel cluttered and dated, practise some restraint here. If possible, stick with a rough colour scheme for added cohesion – and choose a few anchoring accent pieces like a vintage rug, an oversized mirror or antique planters to draw the eye in. For smaller trinkets, go with clusters of mismatched, differently sized items in groups of 3 to 5, as these will add a little extra character to spaces inside and out.

While rustic interior design has changed over the years, if you follow these golden rules of rustic home decorating, you can create a stunning aesthetic that will stand the test of the time.

Whether you’re revamping your garden, living room, kitchen or bedroom, the right colour, materials and finishing touches will instantly give your home a bonafide country feel that will never be off-trend.

Author bio:

Suhayl Laher works at Tiles Direct, one of the UK’s largest independent tile distributors and retailers – bringing design inspiration to homeowners, architects and developers.

Header photo by Alisha Hieb on Unsplash

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Last week marked A.J Wells and Sons’ 50th anniversary and when taking a moment to reflect it is quite staggering to see how far we have come. From a local Island business to reaching markets across the globe, it is a testament to how much has been achieved that we can honestly say the time has just flown by. We look back with a sense of pride and look forward with real excitement – read on to hear about our amazing 50-year adventure!

The story so far…

Charnwood

 

In 1972, Alfred Wells and his two sons Alastair and John started a small engineering business in the idyllic coastal village of Niton on the Isle of Wight. Against the backdrop of the ‘70s oil crisis and the spread of Dutch Elm Disease in the UK, the trio decided to produce a small woodburning stove as an alternative way to help people heat their homes and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

The first step was to take a prototype stove to a small agricultural fair, where, to their amazement, a man came over and placed an order for twenty stoves! This kicked started the company and throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s the Charnwood range of stoves continued to grow and were sold across the UK. This momentum has never let up with new stoves regularly coming to market, with the latest, the Charnwood Cranmore, being incredibly well received.
 

Over the years, more family members joined, and the company moved the factory to Newport and invested in machinery and equipment in order to bring the manufacturing under one roof. From the original 3 in their ‘shed’ to now employing over 180 people in a site spanning 50,000 sq. ft, the business is enjoying record demand for its market-leading stoves.

A.J Wells Vitreous Enamellers

 

In 1990 A vitreous enamel plant was installed enabling the stoves to be enamelled in-house. This major investment was the start of a new arm for the company: A.J Wells Vitreous Enamellers. Shortly after, the Company began to produce signage specified for its long-lasting and durable finish. One of the first major contracts included London’s iconic Barbican Centre. This began a relationship with TFL which has seen A.J Wells become the principal supplier of signage and cladding for the London Underground. In 2007 the company manufactured much of the new DLR signage and London Overground in preparation for the London 2012 Olympics. There have been many standout projects since, with two of our most recent (below) getting a significant amount of media exposure.

Crossrail Elizabeth Line
 

The Elizabeth line railway, built by Crossrail for Transport for London, is now spanning more than 100km across the capital. The railway serves 41 stations including 10 major new London stations from Paddington to Abbey Wood. A.J Wells & Sons designed, developed, manufactured, and installed a range of signage and cladding solutions across the network including Tottenham Court Road, Paddington, Whitechapel, and Canary Warf. Read more…

TfL Northern Line Extension
 

London saw the first major tube expansion this century open to the public on Monday 20th September 2021. A.J Wells & Sons are proud to have surveyed, designed, manufactured, and installed the signage throughout the 1 billion pound Transport for London Northern Line Extension (NLE) project.

The NLE extension will serve two new stations; Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station. The whole area is undergoing massive redevelopment, with homes being built and many jobs created. Read more…

Bodj

 

 

The Bodj initiative was first conceived in 2001 when Ced Wells (under funding from The RSA and The British Council) travelled to Cambodia to work for a fair-trade business support organisation, Bright Arrows Development Ltd.

Upon his return to the UK and after learning about the experience and wonderful work that had taken place, A.J Wells & Sons (the family business) decided it wanted to get involved. As a long-established British manufacturer of Charnwood wood-burning stoves, the company decided to support one of the villages’ mini enterprises by selling their terracotta tiles. The product married well with the wood stoves and hence ‘Bodj’ was born.

A further three projects were established involving basketware, ironworking and recycling facilities which now produce a wonderful range of fireside products. Bodj seeks to strike a balance between western design practicalities and age-old Cambodian traditions.

A.J Wells and Bodj aim to continue assisting in building up these and other communities with carefully monitored fair trade practices: to relieve poverty and to improve social and environmental conditions – while respecting the culture and environment these villagers live in.

Vlaze

 

In 2013, A.J Wells & Sons featured as one of the faces of the ‘Business is Great Britain’ campaign. At the same time as being recognised for our existing business we were well on the way to starting a new division focused on a new exciting opportunity. In 2014 A.J Wells established Vlaze: a brand to focus on vitreous enamel for the living environment. Debuting enamel fireplace panels and heatshields for stove surrounds in collaboration with Charnwood. The business grew from strength to strength and undertook commissions for restaurants, hotels, and residential projects with a range of leading designers and architects including Thomas Heatherwick, Tom Dixon, Yinka Ilori and the Soho House Group.

Awards

 

Over the years we have received a number of awards we are proud of. In particular, the Green Business of the Year Award from our local chamber of commerce resonated strongly as it recognised a key part of the company ethos. However, the most significant award to date remains the honour of receiving the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade. The Queen’s Award is the UK’s most prestigious for business performance, recognising exceptional achievement by UK companies.

Today
Today, A.J Wells continues to design and make stoves, signage, cladding and export products worldwide reaching markets in Japan, South Africa, Australia, Europe and the US. We remain a privately owned British manufacturer and design house run by the second and third-generation family members and employing a fantastic team that continues to grow.

After two challenging years in which everyone has had to be cooped up, we are relishing the start of venturing out again towards new horizons. The end of 2021 and beginning of 2022 saw the launch of Charnwood.US and Vlaze.US to help us reach our customers and grow our market across the pond!

Charnwood.US

 

As part of this launch, we were proud to reveal another new stove – the revolutionary Charnwood Skye E700. It has a new intelligent microprocessor that is set to revolutionize the way we burn wood. Load the fire, close the door, set your room temperature using the Charnwood app on your phone and let the stove do the rest. A blissful stove experience!

The Skye E700 is coming soon to the U.S.A & Canada and then to other markets. Read more…

Vlaze.US

 

We’ve long heard the calls from our friends across the pond, so we were delighted to announce our Vlaze porcelain enamel indoor/outdoor modular kitchen units will be available in 2022.

Vlaze is perfect for both the UK and the US. While completely at home in the windy and wet weather we’re known for here in the UK, it is also perfect for the sunny Californian climate due to its unrivalled heat-resistance and durability – The colours won’t fade in the sun and won’t rust from the rain.

Now in its 50th year, A.J Wells has grown from humble beginnings to making Charnwood a leading global stove brand, while becoming the UK’s leading vitreous enamellers. Vlaze is equally promising, maintaining the same high stands for design and craftsmanship – characterising the very best of British.

Now, in 2022, with significant global challenges to face, A.J Wells and Sons will continue to be led by its core principles. Our vision across all businesses is to build relationships, transform lives and create products that delight people. We feel incredibly fortunate to be working on projects that inspire the whole team and want to finish by thanking all of you who have made the last 50 years so incredibly special.

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We welcome the latest UK government figures for particulate matter emissions. It reveals that indoor wood burning is responsible for less than half the emissions previously speculated (17% rather than 38%). This is based on the latest data which now recognises errors in the previous data set. 

17% is still significant, however, this figure includes all wood burning from open fires and old closed faced stoves. This suggests there is significant room for improvement as we know that Ecodesign stoves are 90% more efficient than open fires and 80% more efficient than stoves 10 or more years old. The SIA has established that Ecodesign stoves are in fact currently contributing just 2.7% to emissions. 

A government study in 2016 reports 40% of domestic burning is from open fires, while we know that Ecodesign regulations only just came into force this year. Therefore, there is real potential for significantly reducing the PM output of domestic wood-burning by encouraging open fire users and those with an old stove to upgrade to an Ecodesign stove.  

Commenting on the latest data Andy Hill, chair of the Stove Industry Alliance, said: 

“We welcome the revisions to the government’s statistics on PM2.5 from domestic combustion sources that have been announced. The SIA has long maintained that the volume of wood fuel used to calculate the previous figure had been significantly overestimated, and this has now been officially acknowledged.” 

“There is huge potential to lower PM2.5 emissions from domestic combustion even further by encouraging homeowners to upgrade their open fires to an Ecodesign stove, such as a clearSkies certified appliance. These stoves produce up to 90% less particulate matter emissions than an open fire so the further reduction in emissions levels that could be achieved is significant. A professionally installed, regularly serviced modern Ecodesign stove used with correctly seasoned wood fuel* is a very low carbon, low emission, sustainable and cost-effective way to heat our homes.” 

It is important to remember that a world without any PM emissions is not a realistic goal – certainly not with the current technology available and so it is right to pursue a strategy that seeks to minimise PM levels while maximizing the benefits of various heating solutions. With oil and gas prices rising and with the existing limitations of wind and solar power, there is absolutely a need for an efficient domestic combustion solution which Ecodesign stoves provide.

Read more on what to do about rising energy prices

Eco-design wood burning stove benefits:

1/ They can produce heat for long periods.

2/ Allowing them to work in conjunction with wind, solar and other energies helps make these great technologies more viable – They are not in competition with each other.

3/ An ideal emergency/low-frequency heat source.

4/ Wood is a carbon-neutral fuel as it gives off the same amount of carbon whether it is burnt or decays naturally. The carbon released from burning wood is balanced out by the carbon absorbed by the tree during its lifetime.

5/ Ability to source fuel locally and without fracking and deep-sea oil drilling.

6/ A good quality stove can last many decades and provide an affordable source of heat for low-income households.

7/ The right to repair. The majority of 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.

8/ Charnwood stoves and packaging are fully recyclable.

9/ Significant well-being benefits as a result of owning a wood-burning stove. Read about the Charnwood wellbeing survey and all the amazing benefits of owning a stove for your wellbeing.

The perfect open fire replacement

 

The Charnwood Cranmore is perfect to replace an open fire or old stove and suits an open fireplace beautifully. It is a classic new wood-burning stove that is traditional in style, however, benefits from the very latest in clean burn technology. The Cranmore draws inspiration from the Regency era with a single framed glass door and archetypal detailing. The stoves’ pleasing proportions make it well suited to a traditional fireplace and with its large picture window and mesmerising flame pattern it is an ideal replacement for an open fire. Read more about the Cranmore here… 

Proper stove usage is key

The benefits of an Ecodesign stove can only be realised with proper usage and by selecting the right type of fuel. – This is wood that has been stored and allowed to dry until the moisture content has reduced to 20% or less. Freshly cut or ‘green wood’ holds up to 70% water which causes far more smoke to be produced. It is for this reason we have long stressed the importance of using seasoned wood because it produces a significantly cleaner burn – reducing emissions by up to 50%. Additionally, improved efficiency equals cheaper running costs, while a cleaner fuel means your stove and chimney will require less maintenance. It’s a win-win. 

More information on sustainable firewood choices. 

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We believe that Ecodesign regulations will have a hugely positive impact and will improve emission targets further. Since regulations have only just come into force this year, most stoves surveyed were older inefficient stoves and open fires. Therefore, as more people make the switch to new efficient Ecodesign stoves, we will see emission output for domestic woodburning fall significantly – particularly if you help us spread the word! 

 

Sources:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/emissions-of-air-pollutants/emissions-of-air-pollutants-in-the-uk-particulate-matter-pm10-and-pm25 

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/517572/Summary_results_of_the_domestic_wood_use_survey_.pdf 

https://www.clearskiesmark.org/ 

charnwoodstoves

Wood burning stoves are incredibly popular, with many people using them to heat their homes. It is estimated that around 2.5 million households in the UK have them.

If you’re thinking of joining them and investing in a wood burning stove, you’ve probably got some questions. We’re here to help.

Here are some of the questions we are most frequently asked:

 

What to put behind a wood burning stove?

Because wood burning stoves must be kept away from combustible objects and materials, it’s important to only place fire-resistant materials behind them. As a result, brick, stone, and tiles are commonly used behind wood burning stoves.

If the stove backs onto the wall, many people choose to use firebacks or heat shields – decorative features that are placed behind the stove to protect the wall.

 

How to install a wood burning stove?

Your wood burning stove must be installed by a registered HETAS engineer or fitted in line with Building Regulations (document J) before being signed off by Building Control.

If you’re buying a Charnwood Stove, your official stockist will offer full installation, or recommend a registered installer – find out more here.

 

How to light a wood burning stove?

To follow your wood burning stove, follow these steps:

 

1. First, clear the grate of ash, then place 2-3 smaller logs on the stove bed.

 

2. On top of the logs, build a stack of 6-8 kindling sticks, before placing a natural firelighter inside.

 

3. Open the air control fully to allow for maximum air intake. This should enable quick and easy ignition.

 

4. Next, light the firelighter.

 

5. Close the door to the stove, but leave it slightly ajar to help heat the chimney flue for a clean burn.

 

6. Once the fire is burning well, close the door and reduce the air control.

 

7. Every time you add a log to the fire, open the air control again until the fire is burning well, then return it to normal.

 

To run your stove at maximum efficiency, with minimum emissions, try to refuel little and often.

Find more tips for lighting and using your wood burning stove here.

 

How to use a wood burning stove?

Before using your wood burning stove, make sure you familiarise yourself with the instructions and user guide, so you know what you’re doing from the start.

Next, you’ll need to choose the right fuel – either hardwood or softwood. Failure to do this will impact how long the fire burns, increase fuel costs and potentially damage internal parts of the stove, as well as the body and flue system.

When you’ve chosen your fuel, light the stove, following our guide.

Finally, once you’ve finished using the stove, make sure you clean it to keep it in optimum condition.

 

How much does it cost to install a wood burning stove?

Your wood burning stove must be installed by a qualified, HETAS registered fitter. The cost of installation will depend on a number of factors, including the installer you use, the scale of the job, and whether you are using an existing flue or not.

As a general guide, in 2022 a wood burning stove will cost around £2,000 to install.

When you buy a wood burning stove from Charnwood, your supplier will either provide installation or recommend an installer. They will be able to provide a quote.

 

How to clean a wood burning stove?

If you want to keep your wood burning stove performing efficiently and looking its best, it’s important you keep it clean.

Here are some tips for keeping your wood burning stove clean:

 

• Clean the exterior surface using a soft brush, damp cloth and vacuum cleaner, when the stove is cool and not in use.

• Empty the ash pan and firebox when the stove is not in use (although keep in mind that in the colder months, it’s easier to light your fire on a bed of ash).

• Inspect the rope seals on the doors and flue to ensure they are working properly.

• If your stove is looking tired, give it a fresh spray of paint.

 

Find out more about cleaning your wood burning stove here.

How to clean wood burning stove glass?

If you use your wood burner regularly, soot can build up on the glass door, reducing your view of the fire. To avoid this build-up and keep your stove looking its best, follow these tips:

 

• Take a damp paper towel or newspaper, crumple it up, and dip it in the fine wood ash. Use this to rub the stove glass clean.

• To remove significant build-up, burn a fire at a high temperature before you clean the glass.

• Always wait until the glass is cool before you clean it, spraying water on the glass when it’s hot can lead to cracking.

 

Get more tips for cleaning the glass of your wood burning stove here.

 

How much is a wood burning stove?

The cost of wood burning stoves varies from model to model. Explore our range of stoves and look for a stockist near you who will be able to provide a quote.

 

Are wood burning stoves bad for the environment?

There are lots of myths circulating about wood burning stoves being bad for the environment. But they simply aren’t accurate.

While it’s true that wood burners can give off fumes containing microscopic specks of soot, which can lead to air pollution, using approved fuels significantly reduces the risk of this. As of January 2022 all stoves sold must now meet with Ecodesign regulation which ensures a much cleaner burn. If you are burning wood correctly, it can become part of a carbon-neutral process, being balanced out by the carbon absorbed by the tree.

It’s also important to keep in mind that, as long as trees are replanted and woodland is properly managed, using wood for fuel can be part of a sustainable energy process.

Find out more about the environmental impact of wood burning stoves here.

 

How to fit a wood burning stove?

When it comes to fitting a wood burning stove, there are a host of things to consider, including whether you have a chimney breast or fireplace, the distance from any combustible materials, the size of the room, and the age of the property.

Your wood burning stove must be fitted correctly. If you’re in the UK, that means it must be fitted by a registered HETAS engineer or fitted in line with Building Regulations (document J) before being signed off by Building Control.

When you buy a Charnwood Stove, your supplier will offer full installation, or recommend a registered installer. Find out more here.

 

 

We hope we’ve answered your wood burning stove questions. If you didn’t find the information you were looking for, please get in touch.




Your wood burning stove questions answered




charnwoodstoves

Will energy prices rise in 2022?

Martin Lewis of Money Savings Expert fame has recently said “I’ve been calling for Government intervention to prevent an energy bill crisis before 1 April, when the price cap – which most bills are now based on – is predicted to rise 51%, adding typically £600/year to bills.”

This is sobering reading and it is understandable that this situation is leading people to question what alternatives there are that could help in the short, medium, and long term.

For most families, the optimum long term home energy solution involves a combination of renewable energy systems (such as wind and solar) alongside an Eco-design wood-burning stove.

Comparing alternative domestic energy solutions

This unprecedented price rise is coinciding with a greater appreciation of the need to do more to help our environment and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. We are big supporters of wind and solar energy – in fact, our factory roof on the Isle of Wight is covered with panels and many of us have installed solar on our roofs at home. However, they are only a part of the solution as they don’t offer a constant supply and there are still significant upfront costs involved. Heat pumps are also expensive and are not suitable for a substantial portion of housing stock.

Fossil fuels on the other hand are non-renewable and, as we all know, polluting. The main advantage is the ability to provide power 24/7 – but they are not a sustainable part of the world’s future and as we have seen they are no longer the cheap option!

Fortunately, there is a more sustainable way to provide consistent heat energy that doesn’t require burning fossil fuels – Wood-burning stoves! To be clear we are not advocating open fires, nor old stoves, we are talking about new EcoDesign that provide superb efficiency and are a far greener alternative.

Here is a useful breakdown of information for the domestic user regarding solar power, wind power, heat pumps, and eco-design wood-burning stoves:

Average up-front cost for family of 3 (including installation) Average maintenance costs P/A Can it offer constant supply? Potential to earn money selling back to the grid?
Solar Power £6000 – £8000 £150 – £250 No Yes
Wind Power £9000 – 30,000 £150 – £450 No Yes
Heat Pumps £8000 – 30,000 £90 – £150 Yes No
Wood-Burning Stoves £2500 – £5000 £60 – £100 Yes No

These figures are estimates

Analysis: Renewable energy systems benefit significantly from working alongside clearSkies wood-burning stoves as any shortfalls in energy production are mitigated. It depends on your budget and if you can afford to go straight to wind or solar, however for most families, adding a woodstove will be the most straightforward and affordable next step.

Eco-design wood burning stove benefits:

• They can produce heat for long periods.

• Allowing them to work in conjunction with wind, solar and other energies helps make these great technologies more viable – They are not in competition with each other.

• An ideal emergency/low-frequency heat source.

• Wood is a carbon-neutral fuel as it gives off the same amount of carbon whether it is burnt or decays naturally. The carbon released from burning wood is balanced out by the carbon absorbed by the tree during its lifetime.

• Ability to source fuel locally and without fracking and deep-sea oil drilling.

• A good quality stove can last many decades and provide an affordable source of heat for low-income households.

• The right to repair. The majority of 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.

• Charnwood stoves and packaging are fully recyclable.

• Significant wellbeing benefits as a result of owning a wood-burning stove. Read about the Charnwood wellbeing survey and all the amazing benefits of owning a stove for your wellbeing.

The latest data on domestic wood-burning supports the use of Eco-design stoves

There have been some reports in recent years that have attributed inaccurate emissions figures to domestic wood-burning stoves. It has long been argued that lumping open fires, bonfires and stoves together is misleading. Now, a new study has just released new data that confirms this. An overview of the results can be found below. For a deeper look click here.

“Outdoor wood burning was found to account for 51% (17,518 tonnes/year) of all domestic wood-burning PM2.5 emissions (total of 34,465 tonnes/year). These results therefore signify the importance of accounting for these outdoor sources and has implications for the future design of regulations which currently largely neglect outdoor domestic burning.

This therefore suggests that bonfires are one of the major sources of domestic PM2.5 emissions, possibly contributing as much as all wood burnt indoors.

Lastly, it was found that Ecodesign stoves contribute just 2.7% of PM2.5 emissions from the burning of wood logs (including waste wood and briquettes) despite using 9% of the fuel. On the other hand, open fires contribute 39% of the emission from burning of wood logs whilst burning 26% of the wood. These results therefore highlight the substantial improvements in emissions from indoor sources that can be made by switching to modern Ecodesign stoves.”

Wood burning best practices

Sustainable firewood choices

Wood can be a renewable energy source as trees suck carbon out of the atmosphere as they grow. Of course, there are best practices that need to be followed and selecting the right type of wood from the right sources is key.

Ideally, rather than felling a healthy tree, it is always much better to use wood from trees that have fallen naturally or have been removed via coppicing. When that isn’t an option, it is still important to source locally which experts consider to be within an 11mile radius. This way non-native insects and parasites are not introduced into new regions while emissions from transportation are reduced.

3 essential steps to burning wood with your stove efficiently

1/ Good fuel – This is wood that has been stored and allowed to dry until the moisture content has reduced to 20% or less. Freshly cut or ‘green wood’ holds up to 70% water which causes far more smoke to be produced. It is for this reason we have long stressed the importance of using seasoned wood because it produces a significantly cleaner burn – reducing emissions by up to 50%. Additionally, improved efficiency equals cheaper running costs, while a cleaner fuel means your stove and chimney will require less maintenance. It’s a win-win.

2/ Efficient stove – Charnwood is proud to have stoves certified in the inaugural clearSkies listing, an independent emissions and energy performance certification mark for stoves. Many Charnwood products carry a level 5 certification (the highest available rating) which guarantees performance levels and exceed the minimum EcoDesign criteria by a sizable 30%. This is only awarded to stoves that significantly reduce particle emissions while ensuring high efficiencies and a superior flame picture.

3/ Correct use – this is a variable that has until now been dependent on the experience and diligence of the end-user, providing mixed results. That is why Charnwood are developing new technology that will give the user the option of automating this process. This will mean the stove will burn at the most efficient rate possible, further improving its green credentials. Watch this space!

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References:
https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2022/01/martin-lewis–the-energy-price-cap-s-now-predicted-to-rise-a-hor/
https://stoveindustryalliance.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/22-01-31-The-contribution-of-domestic-outdoor-burning-to-UK-particulate-matter-emissions.pdf

charnwoodstoves

Using your wood-burning stove every day for cooking is not for everyone, however, for special occasions, it can be a real treat and add something memorable to a meal. With Valentine’s Day coming up it’s the perfect opportunity to do something a little different and impress your partner or just treat yourself if you are on your own this year. Here are a few ideas and best practices for cooking some simple recipes with your stove that will help add a little magic.

A wood stove that is installed using the rear outlet, allowing one of our fantastic cooking plates to be fitted to the top of the stove, is the ideal scenario for regular cooking. This will allow you to cook with a much wider array of pots, pans and trivets and gives more control over the cooking temperatures. It’s a surprisingly versatile and delicious way of cooking with soups, stews, roasts and even baking possible. However, for those without this option, there are still some simple, but wonderful, ideas to try. Here are a few of our favourites!

Valentine’s Day Wood-Stove Breakfast.

 

Breakfast in front of the fire feels luxurious and is invigorating – the perfect way to start a special day. Here are two great options:

1/ Warming croissants in some tin foil on top of your stove will fill the house with lovely fresh-baked aromas. Lather with real butter and your choice of conserve – it’s simple but truly feels special.

2/ Toasting bread, muffins or crumpets with a Charnwood Toasting Fork is such a treat – for the eyes, nose and mouth!

Designed for use on all our models, simply fix the magnetic holder to the stovetop and suspend the fork in front of the glass for perfect toasting. The fork and holder are British made from stainless steel with a turned beech handle – doubles as a great Valentine’s Day gift! You can purchase yours here.

A Valentine’s Day Starter on Your Wood-Burning Stove

A simple much-loved starter is the trusty baked camembert. This also works well with a vegan camembert substitute, several options now widely available.

• Simply unwrap the cheese and remove/throw away the plastic covering.
• Add some complementary ingredients (see below) and put the cheese back in its box.
• Wrap the box in some tin foil and warm slowly on top of your stove until the cheese is oozy and delicious.
• You can even warm some baguette in tinfoil to accompany the dish. Cheese, warm bread and a glass of red – what’s not to love?!

We recommend rosemary and garlic as flavourings. Slice the garlic into thin disks, break off a sprig of rosemary and insert evenly throughout the cheese to taste. Alternatively, if you aren’t feeling the garlic breath, here are some other flavour options you can combine and experiment with:

• Herbs: rosemary / thyme
• Veg: garlic / caramelised onion / chopped chilli
• Jams & chutneys: chilli jam / cranberry jelly / fig jam / spiced apple chutney /
• Sweetness: a drizzle of honey

Finally, a great tip is to enjoy your starter in front of the fire while your main course is happily cooking away in the oven – the time will fly so set a timer!

Valentine’s Day Dessert on Your Log-Burner

As far as we’re concerned it has to be chocolate and our simple hot chocolate pot recipe is a decadent way to end a special meal – plus it’s fun!

• Place a heatproof bowl about 50 cm from your lit stove.
• Break up the chocolate and add to the bowl, which will then melt slowly from the ambient heat – stir to help things along.
• Adding a small pinch of salt brings out more of the chocolatey flavour – stir well.
• Once the chocolate has melted you can dip fruit, marshmallows, pretzels, churros etc for a treat that can’t fail to please.

This one is flexible to fit around your plans. A great idea is going out to a restaurant for your meal and either skipping or sharing a dessert then coming home to enjoy the ultimate chocolate treat in front of the fire. There is nothing better than when finally feeling full, not having to go anywhere and just relaxing with the romantic light and warmth of your wood-burning stove.

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We hope you have a wonderful time, but we urge you to be careful, particularly if you haven’t cooked with your stove before (we have to say, do so at your own risk). The main thing is to not leave food unattended on/near your stove. However, we feel it’s well worth giving these recipes a go, as any one of them will add something extra special to your Valentine’s Day this year.