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At Charnwood, a key part of our mission is to maximise wood-burning efficiency. Our revolutionary Blu technology means our stoves achieve ClearSkies ratings of 5/5 stars, while easily outperforming Ecodesign regulation requirements. We believe this is vital work when considering all the myriad benefits wood burning offers the individual and society. Carbon neutrality, significant well-being benefits, heat security and perhaps most importantly right now, low-cost fuel.

If you’ve already upgraded to an Ecodesign stove but are still looking for ways to improve efficiency, then please read on. In this post, we will discuss 7 great ways to make your stove work even harder for you and the environment!

1. Use a stove pipe thermometer

A Stove or Flu 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.

“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.” Charnwood customer from the 2022 stove accessory survey

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

2. Burn only dry, seasoned wood for better combustion

It’s important to burn only dry, seasoned wood with a moisture content of 20% or below. Wet wood (anything above 20%) doesn’t burn as well, leading to low efficiency and more smoke and pollutants.

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.

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

3. Use a heat shield to direct more heat into the room

 

You can reduce your stove’s clearances to combustibles and direct more heat back into the room with a Vlaze heatshield. Vlaze heat shields and hearth plates protect walls and floors from high temperatures and help reflect heat back into your room – they look great too!

4. Harness your stove’s heat for cooking and boiling the kettle

If you have a wood-burning stove, you can harness your stove’s heat for cooking with cast iron pots and pans. This is a fantastic way to save energy while heating your home! For everything you need to know about cooking with your stove click here.

5. Check the seals on your stove

It’s important to make sure that the seals on your stove are tight. If the seals become too loose, this will reduce the efficiency of your stove and could allow smoke into your home. To check the seals, simply look at the gasket (rope seal) around the door of your stove. If it’s not snug against the door, then it needs replacing. You should also check the seal around the chimney to prevent any escape. Taking just a few minutes to check the seals on your wood-burning stove, will help you keep your home safe and warm all winter long.

If you’re still not sure how to check the seals, consult your stove owner’s manual or contact a qualified technician.

6. Don’t overfill the stove – allow for air circulation

When using a wood-burning stove, it is important not to overfill the firebox. Allowing for proper air circulation is key to ensuring that the fire burns evenly and efficiently. A good rule of thumb is to fill the firebox no more than halfway. If the wood is too tightly packed, it will not be able to get enough oxygen and will smoulder rather than burn. This can be a hazard, as smouldering wood can cause creosote buildup, a flammable substance that can cause chimney fires. So next time you’re stoking the fire, be sure to leave enough space for the air to circulate and maximise efficiency.

7. Regularly clean out ash and soot from inside the stove

Another important maintenance task for a wood-burning stove is to regularly clean out the ash and soot that builds up inside. Not only does this help to keep the stove looking clean, but it also helps improve efficiency. Ash and soot can block the airflow inside the stove, making it difficult for the fire to breathe and reducing 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.

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

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Using a wood-burning stove is a great way to heat your home, cook meals, and save money on energy costs. However, it is important to take proper maintenance steps to ensure optimal performance. With these tips, you can enjoy the warmth of your fire this winter knowing you are being as efficient as possible!

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Every year we send a limited-edition Charnwood calendar to each of our fantastic Charnwood stockists. It has become something of a tradition and a nice way to share some beautiful artwork and our latest wood-burning stove images.

We are delighted that the wonderful author/illustrator, Rachel Bright, has generously given us a beautiful graphic poem to take pride of place on this year’s front cover.

It’s so wonderful, in fact, that we just had to share it with you.

Meet me by the fire at midnight 

by Rachel Bright

Doesn’t it just capture the imagination? It weaves a story that surely resonates with anyone lucky enough to own a wood-burning stove – it really makes you want to light the fire and snuggle!

Most of us have our own magical stories that were only possible due to the warm and cosy focal point the fire provides. Bone warming heat and mesmerizing flames that draw loved ones together and into orbit around the woodstove on a cold winter’s night.

And to some peoples’ surprise, many of us actually look forward to winter precisely because of the joy our wood-burning stove brings.

With all the uncertainty in the world, it’s truly comforting to sit back on a cold night with a warm fire blazing. Knowing that you can depend on it whatever the weather and circumstances in the wider world. This is a huge motivator for us to continue creating the latest, most efficient stoves on the market and contribute to a more sustainable future.

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All of us here at Charnwood and A.J Wells & Sons wish you a very merry, warm and toasty Christmas.

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Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, well known to us all from our lockdown television screens, has just released an annual report on air quality in the UK. The Stove Industry Association (SIA) made a significant contribution, and the resulting report provides a fair and balanced appraisal. The findings confirm much of what the wood-burning stove community has been saying for some years now. 

The report highlights the issues with open fires and old woodstoves and endorses the use of modern Ecodesign wood-burning stoves and encourages the use of best wood-burning stove practices. 

Air pollution emissions can be significantly reduced “…using modern, less polluting stoves and burning wood that is dry”. Additionally, “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.” 

Chair of the SIA, Andy Hill, commented: “In this Report the CMO and his team have considered a wide range of contributors to air pollution from industry, transport, and transboundary sources, as well as domestic solid fuel heating. We are pleased that the report recognises the huge advances in stove appliance technology that have been driven by the Ecodesign regulations and that it calls for the Clean Air Act requirements for smoke control areas to be properly adhered to. The report also highlights potentially ground-breaking new technology in some industries, and, similarly, the stove industry continues to develop and invest in new technology to reduce emissions even further.” 

The myriad benefits of wood burning 

 

The report recognises that the reasons for burning solid fuel in the home are varied with Professor Whitty noting that these include “aesthetic as well as practical, ecological or economic reasons”. 

This line is important and acknowledges the unique qualities wood-burning stoves possess. It is something that we feel should be more fully recognised when making evaluations and comparing the overall impact of each home heating solution. 

The myriad benefits wood burning offers the individual and society cannot be fully replicated by any other heating solution. Wood-burning stoves offer potential carbon neutrality, significant well-being benefits, heat security and perhaps most importantly right now, low-cost fuel.  

Wood burning – the past, present and the future 

With the recent positive progress of nuclear fission in the news, there is real hope on the far horizon for an energy source that transforms our society. However, even when this possibility is realized, likely many decades into the future, there will still be a strong argument for wood burning stoves. Perhaps not as a main source of domestic heating, but as a tool for connection and social bonding, while offering a supplementary heat source for when inevitable interruptions of supply occur.  

Until then, wood-burning stoves have a key role to play in helping families through the challenging times we all face. No other heat solution can provide such a range of benefits that help so directly with the cost-of-living crisis and contribute to the environmental goal of Net Zero 2050. 

 

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Charnwood recently surveyed over 1000 wood-burning stove users to better understand stove accessory preferences. Many interesting and useful insights were gained, including wood-stove users’ top 7 must-have stove accessories!

Read on to learn about the Charnwood Stove Accessory Survey and the top wood-burning stove accessories you should consider next!

Stove accessories are an important consideration for wood-burning stove owners. Not only do they help you ensure the optimal running of your stove, but they look great too! From vintage pokers to contemporary log storage, there are so many to choose from. That is why we asked the Charnwood wood-burning stove community to share their ‘must-have’ stove accessories.

The Top 7 ‘Must-Have’ Stove Accessories.

The following quotes are from Charnwood wood-burning stove owners.

1/ Log Storage/Basket

This is a great accessory, especially if you plan to burn wood in your Charnwood Stove on a regular basis. It helps keep your logs and kindling organised so they are ready for use at any time.

“Having a full wood basket during these crazy days makes me feel safe and secure, whatever happens I know I have heat and hot water and light.”

“Keeps all the logs tidy and looks great beside the stove. Also useful for carrying in logs from the store outside!”

“It reminds me of my grandparents’ days as they always had one. It also keeps all my logs safe and tidy away from the children.”

“It adds to the ambient feeling of the room when partially or fully loaded but I suppose more importantly it stops me from having to pop outside too frequently to get more logs, thus letting me enjoy the fire uninterrupted.”

“It saves us fighting about who is going to get more logs when it’s cold!”

For a full range of log holder storage click here!

2/ Stove Pipe Thermometer

A thermometer is an essential piece of equipment that allows accurate monitoring of your stove’s temperature. This helps burn wood efficiently, protecting your stove and chimney, while reducing emissions and maximising heat output.

“Makes it so much easier to see if my fire is working at optimum temperature and if I need to adjust amount of wood/air flow.”

“It means that I always burn my logs in the most economical and environmentally friendly way.”

“I hadn’t realised just how hot the stove gets at full output making this an essential piece of it when topping it up with firewood.”

“It allows me to regulate my stove temperature to maximise the life of the stove and have efficient burning of my wood”

“Ensures the fire is hot enough to keep down the accumulation of creosote. Wouldn’t be without it!”

“I constantly use it to check that the stove is burning in its optimum range for efficiency and to prevent damage and tarring.”

You can get a Charnwood Stove Pipe Thermometer here!

3/ Stove Gloves

Good quality heat resistant stove gloves are a necessity for protecting your hands from burns and splinters.

“Without them it would be very difficult and dangerous to use the burner”

“Provides confidence in 100% protection when refueling the stove.”

“Just love them, total safety when loading the stove”

“Offers safety when handling logs, opening & closing stove and promotes attention to avoiding burns.”

“They just make life so much easier handling logs and placing logs in the stove. No splinters or burns!”

Watch this space – Charnwood stove gloves are on the way!

4/ Dustpan & Brush

A dustpan and brush are essential for keeping the area around your stove clean. We recommend a metal version so that you can be confident when dealing with any errant hot embers.

“It makes emptying the stove so much easier and cleaner, the house is relatively dust free after clearing.”

“Keeping the hearth clean and tidy stops ash and debris, from the stove and wood pile underneath it, from spreading to the floor and messing up the room.”

“Whenever the stove is used it is necessary to clean up small amounts of ash that fall out. The brush and pan are thus used very frequently.”

“The dustpan & brush makes removing the ash so much easier, our charnwood is used every day from October to February so we collect a lot of ash which we use as compost.”

5/ Poker

A poker is great to have on hand when you need to move logs around to ensure an even burn.

“An absolute must have accessory to reposition burning logs and coal.”

“Can re-arrange wood in the stove when going, safely.”

“Brilliant for getting fire going”

“I can poke the logs to get maximum burn.”

“Great to look at, well made and does the job perfectly.”

“You can move the logs about to create space and so regulate heat a bit better.”

Our sister company Bodj offer a beautifully hand-crafted blow poker. Click here for more information!

6/ Ash bin/carrier

Having an ash bin or carrier is important for easy and mess-free disposal of ash and embers. Once you use one, you won’t want to do without!

“Easy to use. Metal. Compact. Stops dust flying around. Carry handle is useful.”

“I have two Charnwood stoves. One has the ash bin/carrier and the other doesn’t. It’s SO difficult to get the ash out of the stove that doesn’t have the ash bin/carrier.”

“It is a safe and clean way of dealing with the only downside to a log burner, the ash.”

“Makes it easy to empty ashes no fear of dropping them all over the floor.”

“Makes it more convenient to remove ash over several days without having to fill smaller bin bags thus reducing plastic waste.”

“Easy to use with minimal dust released when moving around can hold at least 1 month’ worth of ash.”

“Simplifies the worst job – cleaning out the ashes and getting them to the bin without being covered in ash from head to foot in a gust of wind.”

Charnwood ash carriers are available here.

7/ Tongs

Tongs are great pieces of equipment to have around the stove. They can help you move logs or stoke the fire safely and they look great too!

“Can’t beat a good solid pair of tongs for keeping away from the heat and flames, whilst topping up the stove.”

“I can position logs to maximum effectiveness.”

“Handy for falling logs.”

“Fantastic for putting more wood in when the stove is really hot!”

“Looks rustic and very useful”

“Allows me to place logs where I want them in my stove, but it is also the most universal tool”

Hand forged tongs are available here.

Having the right stove accessories can make all the difference when it comes to getting the most out of your Charnwood Stove. We hope this list helps you choose. Happy Burning!

It’s that time of year again. To enjoy the holiday season to the max with your wood-burning stove we strongly recommend reading our list of Elf and safety tips!

 

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With fuel prices going up across the board it is hard to know which fuel now offers best value for money. Well, the SIA’s latest data release reveals that seasoned wood is now the cheapest domestic heating fuel!

Read on to find out how much you could save by switching to wood-burning

Seasoned wood logs are now the least expensive domestic heating fuel, costing 74% less per kWh than electric heating and 21% less than gas heating. The Nottingham Energy Partnership have also found that using a modern Ecodesign wood burning stove costs 29% less to run than an air source heat pump.

Not only does using seasoned wood save you money, but it also has by far the lowest carbon intensity of any domestic heating fuel. Wood logs release 87% less carbon than gas, 88% less than electricity and 74% less than an air source heat pump.

In addition to reducing your energy bills and carbon footprint, modern wood burning stoves also help lower harmful emissions, by replacing open fires and old wood stoves.

A recent survey of wood burning stove retailers and installers showed that, of the stoves installed in the last 12 months, 82% were replacements rather than new installations. A modern Ecodesign compliant wood burning stove emits up to 90% less particulates than an open fire and up to 80% less than an old, basic model.

Here are some top wood-burning tips from the SIA

Choose an Ecodesign compliant wood burning stove such as a clearSkies certified appliance. If you currently use an open fire or an older, very basic wood burning stove consider upgrading. A modern Ecodesign compliant wood burning stove, such as a clearSkies model, releases up to 90% less emissions than an open fire and can be up to 80% less than some older stoves. Your local SIA Retail Group member can help advise on the best stove for you and your family.

-If you live in a Smoke Control Area, your stove will also need to be Defra exempt. All clearSkies Level 3 and above models are certified as Defra exempt.

-Visit your local stove retailer for guidance on choosing the right size stove for your property and for a detailed installation quote. You can find your nearest SIA Retail Group member showroom here.

-Use seasoned wood with a mositure content of 20% or less. Never used chemically treated wood or burn waste on your stove.

-Ensure your stove is fitted and maintained by an appropriately qualified competent person such as one who is HETAS or OFTEC

-Have your chimney swept at least once a year by a registered sweep. The Federation of British Chimney Sweeps has links to all the main sweep associations. Chimney sweeps are a valuable source of information for good practice and advice – and they are happy to engage and encourage you to “Speak to a Sweep”.

-Keep your stove in tip top condition by having it regularly serviced.

Best Firewood Chart UK

When it comes to burning seasoned wood, most people are looking for the most sustainable option. Wood is not only a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, but it’s also an extremely affordable heating source. To make things simpler for you, we’ve put together a chart with all the different types of firewood and their benefits. Click here, to find the best option for your needs.

The importance of using seasoned wood

Whatever wood species you choose it will require seasoning (drying) until it reaches a moisture content of 20% or less. This will keep harmful emissions to a minimum and significantly improve efficiency while protecting your stove and chimney.

Look out for the Woodsure Ready to Burn label which guarantees a moisture content of 20% or less.

For a list of approved firewood sellers in your area click here.

Related reading:

Why burning the RIGHT wood saves you money & protects the environment!

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If you own a wood-burning stove, you may be wondering if you can use it for cooking. The answer is yes! A wood-burning stove is a great way to extend your cooking options. Not only does it add a touch of rustic charm, but it can also be used to cook up some delicious meals. In this blog post, we’ll share everything you need to know about wood-burning stove cooking, from what type of equipment to buy to what kinds of recipes are best suited for this method of cooking.

Wood-burning stove cooking tips

Here are a few tips to help you start cooking on your wood-burning stove:

– Keep a close eye on the stove while it’s in use, and never leave it unattended.

– Make sure the area around the stove is clear of flammable materials, such as curtains or furniture.

– Use heavy-duty cookware that will conduct heat evenly.

– Keep an eye on the food as it’s cooking, as the wood-burning stove can fluctuate in temperature.

Finally, as always, use dry, well-seasoned wood. Wet wood produces smoke and creosote buildup in your chimney, which can cause a dangerous fire.

Wood-burning stove cooking

It’s important to use heavy-duty cookware that will conduct heat evenly – think Le Creuset, Crane or similar. A cast iron Dutch oven is a wonderfully versatile option and perfect for many recipes including the ones below!

There will be some trial and error required when testing out recipes to get timings spot on. Also, it’s important to remember to keep an eye on the food as it’s cooking, as the wood-burning stove can fluctuate in temperature. We recommend using a stove pipe thermometer to help your accuracy.

What is a wood-burning stove cooking plate?

 

A wood-burning stove cooking plate is a metal plate that sits on top of the wood-burning stove. It helps to distribute heat evenly, reduce stove wear and tear and provides stability for pots and pans.

A Charnwood cooking plate is a cast iron plate that has conduction fins on the underside and can replace the blanking plate on a standard Charnwood stove.

The cooking plate is ideal for stoves installed into open-plan living areas where the boundaries of cooking, dining and lounging are merged. The set includes four cast iron trivets for versatility when cooking and the plate is available in two sizes; five or six inch outlet diameters to suit most Charnwood models in addition to the Island II.

Please note: the stove will need to be installed using the rear outlet to allow the cooking plate to be fitted on the stove top.

How to use a wood-burning stove toasting fork?

 

A wood-burning stove toasting fork is a long, metal fork that is used to toast bread with a wood-burning stove. The Charnwood toasting fork is a neat, highly effective stove accessory designed for use on all our models. The British-made fork and holder are made from stainless steel with a turned beech handle.

The magnetic holder suspends the fork in front of the glass, toasting bread, muffins or crumpets perfectly. The bread will start to toast quickly, so be sure to keep an eye on it. Once it’s done, simply remove from the fork and enjoy!

It’s the perfect gift for any stove fanatic!

What kinds of recipes can I make with a wood-burning stove?

Just about anything! A wood-burning stove is a versatile cooking tool that can be used to make all sorts of dishes. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that wood-burning stoves take longer to heat up than other types of stoves (such as gas or electric). That means you’ll want to choose recipes that don’t require high heat or that can simmer for long periods of time without burning. Some great examples include stews, soups, chili, pot roast, and casseroles.

3 simple wood-burning stove recipe ideas

 

1. Sausage and lentil Stew

Recipe: https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/sausage_and_lentil_stew_90967

2. Baked bread

Recipe: https://traditionalcookingschool.com/food-preparation/recipes/fresh-bread-on-a-woodstove/

3. Mulligatawny soup

Recipe: https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/soup

You can toast bread to go with it on your toasting fork!

Bonus super simple jacket potato recipe:

Prick some potatoes and wrap them in foil. Then carefully place in the embers of your fire (wear stove gloves). They take approximately an hour to cook depending on the size of the potato.

It is safe to cook with your wood-burning stove, however, please take care and do so at your own risk.

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Cooking delicious meals while heating your home is one of the great things about owning a Charnwood wood-burning stove. With a little bit of practice, you’ll be an expert at wood-burning stove cooking in no time!

Where to buy?

As well as excellent after-care, by purchasing through an official Charnwood stockist you will qualify for our dealer-backed 10-year guarantee.

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latest cutting-edge equipment and exceptional craftsmanship. In this blog, we will share with you some of the processes involved in making a Charnwood Stove from our UK-based factory on the Isle of Wight.

Metal fabrication

 

To create a high-performing and durable stove, we select the best of British sheet steel as the base metal substrate. The steel meets BS EN 10209 standards.

Laser cutting the steel

 

Our high-tech laser cutter is then used to produce accurately shaped component parts. The tolerance of this system is 0.2 mm with the ability to cut materials from 0.5mm up to 25 mm in thickness. This level of accuracy allows us to achieve sleek finishing touches on even the smallest details.

Shaping the metal

 

The stove’s body panels are formed to the required shapes and sizes with just a 2mm margin of error.

Welding the metal

 

Our welding process involves cutting-edge robotics as well as our extremely experienced and skilled team members, who have a combined 50 years of experience in the manufacturing industry.

Refining components

 

Smaller components receive finishing touches by hand.

Spraying high-temperature stove paint

 

After rinsing and neutralising the metal, our skilled team uses a spray gun to apply even coats of our specially formulated high-temperature stove paint. In addition to the standard Charnwood Black, we also offer you a choice of seven other beautiful shades.

Drilling & Assembly

 

After the drilling is complete, we move on to assembly. We carefully put all the pieces together, making sure that everything is aligned correctly and functioning optimally. Once the stove is assembled, we conduct a series of tests to ensure that it meets our high standards.

Packing & Shipping

 

Each stove is signed off by one of our experts before being processed for shipping. We continue to look for ways to reduce excess packaging while aiming to use environmentally friendly materials and encouraging reuse where possible. You can read more here.

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We take great pride in the products we produce at Charnwood. That’s why every one of our wood-burning stoves is handcrafted with care and precision. We hope that this behind-the-scenes look at how we make our stoves has given you a better understanding of the love, care and attention that goes into every Charnwood Stove.

If you are interested in finding out more, we highly recommend contacting an official Charnwood stockist.

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Our favourite time of the year is fast approaching! For some it’s watching ELF, others their first advent calendar window, for us the festive season kicks off at the Ideal Home Show Christmas event! From the 23–27 November at Olympia London, this wonderful Christmas shopping extravaganza provides everything you need to prepare your home for the festive season.

You can browse and shop from hundreds of brands across 4 Christmas themed show sections; Gifts, Pets, Home and Decorations. There’s live entertainment, expert demos, celebrity chefs, and thousands of festive gift, home and food ideas that will leave you feeling festive and ready for the season ahead!

Christmas Past (2021)

 

Last year a Charnwood ‘Bembridge’ wood-burning stove took centre stage in Good Homes Magazines ‘Updated Heritage’ roomset. The team also gave a talk on the Interiors Stage discussing all the latest Charnwood developments as well as the introduction of EcoDesign regulations. It was wonderful to meet so many of you to chat and answer your questions.

Good Homes Christmas Roomsets

The Good Homes style team return with 4 beautiful roomsets each with their own distinctive decorating scheme. Created in association with Next Home, they are called Scandi Luxe, Arctic Shimmer, Winter Berry and Woodland Jewel.

It’s a showcase that delivers for a range of tastes, each providing inspiration to help you fill your home with festive spirit in line with the latest trends. A Charnwood Island I and Aire 5 were selected for two roomsets and the sneak peek photos below indicate a perfect setting for the warmth of a Charnwood wood-burning stove.

Arctic Shimmer x Charnwood Island I

 

Photo: Next Home

A Charnwood Island I will feature in a serene Arctic Shimmer roomset with winter whites, soft greys and sparkling silver alongside a host of tactile materials.
 

The Island I is the smallest stove in the Island collection, delivering an output of 2-7kW of heat. Its uncomplicated looks and gentle curves ensure it sits well in any situation, be it modern or traditional. This stove meets Clean Air Act requirements with excellent efficiency of over 85% and an extremely low smoke particle level of 9mg/m3 (the Ecodesign limit is 40mg/m3).

Woodland Jewel x Charnwood Aire 5

 

Photo: Next Home

A Charnwood Aire 5 has been chosen to feature in the elegant Woodland Jewel roomset. Comprised of rich colours from dark evergreen hues to on-trend amber paired with tortoiseshell accessories and sumptuous soft furnishings.
 

The Charnwood’s iconic Aire 5 wood burning stove has been designed to maximise the view of the fire. The minimal styling of the Aire 5 fits comfortably into virtually any fireside situation whether it be freestanding or within a traditional fireplace. The stove delivers a comfortable 2-5kW of heat to the room with a crystal clear burn – a wonderful focal point for the room.

The Aire 5 incorporates Charnwood’s unique BLU burning technology. Not only a vast improvement on the new 2022 Ecodesign standards, BLU also meets with Defra exemption limits; allowing wood to be burnt cleanly and safely in smoke control areas.

Vlaze Hearths

Vlaze Hearths will be used to create a clean, modern platform on which to stand our stoves. Vlaze is our sister company and are experts in using porcelain enamel for the living environment and creating luxury fireside products.

The smooth gloss surface finish is heat and fire-resistant, easy to clean and available in a wide range of colours & designer finishes. The hearth plates are available in 5 sizes to suit most stoves and boast a 12mm depth conforming to UK building regulations for non-constructional hearths.

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As with Vlaze, the quality of Charnwood Stoves can only be fully appreciated in person. To book your tickets and discover a world of festive delights click here – we hope to see you there!

If you can’t make it to the Ideal Home Show Christmas, then we recommend searching for your local official Charnwood stockist here.

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This blog is a review and closer look at the results of the Charnwood Stove Accessory Survey 2022. A survey of over 1000 wood-burning stove users with the aim of better understanding stove accessory preferences and usage.

We were delighted to receive such an incredible response from our engaged wood-stove community. From discovering the most popular stove accessory to users’ other must-haves and how easy people find them to use – many interesting and useful insights were gained!

Read on to learn about the Charnwood Stove Accessory Survey and the other top wood-burning stove accessories!

The results

A woodstove is a wonderful addition to the home. Those of you who are new owners will be starting to notice how much more you are enjoying the colder evenings than before. What you will also notice is the ritual of building and maintaining a fire is much easier with the right tools.

The answers to the following questions will provide some ideas about which stove accessories you should consider next!

What is the most popular wood-burning stove accessory?

 

The results in the graph above show that the trusty Stove Pipe Thermometer is the most popular wood-burning stove accessory with 29% of the vote. 99% of respondents also found it easy to use.

Stove Pipe Thermometer

 

It’s perhaps no surprise that the trusty Stove (Flue) Pipe Thermometer is the favourite accessory of stove users. It is a crucial tool for conscientious wood stove users who prioritise safety and efficiency.

The ideal wood burning temperature range is between 140 and 240 degrees Celsius (284 to 464 degrees Fahrenheit) which avoids damage to the stove and a potential fire hazard from creosote buildup.

How to adjust the fire temperature?

To reach a sufficient temperature, ensure a good draft, use seasoned wood and build the fire correctly ensuring your fire burns hot enough. To reduce the temperature of your fire when in use, you can close the air vents.

Which of the following do you consider ‘Must Have’ stove accessories?

 

Here are some quotes from survey participants relating to the top 7 ‘Must-Have’ stove accessories.

Log Storage/Basket

 

“Having a full wood basket during these crazy days makes me feel safe and secure, whatever happens I know I have heat and hot water and light.”

“Keeps all the logs tidy and looks great beside the stove. Also useful for carrying in logs from the store outside!”

“Add to the aesthetics of the fireplace and is obviously useful for keeping wood supplies topped up.”

“It reminds me of my grandparents’ days as they always had one. It also keeps all my logs safe and tidy away from the children.”

“A good quality basket enhances the look of the stove as well as being practical.”

“My log basket really enhances both the look and the “feel” of my log burner.”

“Keeps my living room very tidy. Really neat and elegant looking item. Sturdy and robust”

“Looks great and saves having to leave the room/ go outside for logs.”

“It adds to the ambient feeling of the room when partially or fully loaded but I suppose more importantly it stops me from having to pop outside too frequently to get more logs, thus letting me enjoy the fire uninterrupted.”

“It saves us fighting about who is going to get more logs when it’s cold!”

For a full range of log holder storage click here!

Stove Pipe Thermometer

“Ensures I always know the temperature my stove is at as to whether I need to add more fuel or calm it down.”

“Makes it so much easier to see if my fire is working at optimum temperature and if I need to adjust amount of wood/air flow.”

“Because it allows us to check whether we are burning at too hot a temperature or too cool. We use both hardwood and softwoods so it would be difficult to know without this vital tool.”

“It means that I always burn my logs in the most economical and environmentally friendly way.”

“I hadn’t realised just how hot the stove gets at full output making this an essential piece of it when topping it up with firewood.”

“It allows me to regulate my stove temperature to maximise the life of the stove and have efficient burning of my wood”

“Ensures the fire is hot enough to keep down the accumulation of creosote. Wouldn’t be without it!”

“I constantly use it to check that the stove is burning in its optimum range for efficiency and to prevent damage and tarring.”

“Invaluable, the little thermometer lets me know when the fire is at optimal temperature and I can then maintain that temperature throughout operation. Probably helps conserve wood too, a great bit of kit.”

“Just gives you so much information in regards to heat output from different fuel types, different wood species, hard woods, softer woods. It really allows you to dial in the stove to get the best from it.”

“This provides us with an idea of how well the stove is burning. For example, over the last two years we have been testing wood purchased from sellers and our own seasoned wood and the stove pipe thermometer gives us a real measure of the heat output (even though most of the time, we can tell the difference ourselves based on how nice the room feels). It also helps us regulate the flu for optimal burn. We learned a lot using the stove pipe thermometer about our stove and the wood we burn.”

“It reassures me that I have the right burn, low emissions and great heat output.”

“As an engineer I love indisputable visual indication of when things are operating correctly! Such a simple device and has definitely altered how we ‘set’ our stove.”

You can get a Charnwood Stove Pipe Thermometer here!

Stove Gloves

“Without them it would be very difficult and dangerous to use the burner”

“Only burn your fingers once to realise they are useful!!!”

“Provides confidence in 100% protection when refueling the stove.”

“Really effective and protects hands while loading logs”

“Just love them, total safety when loading the stove”

“Because it stops me blistering my hands.”

“Offers safety when handling logs, opening & closing stove and promotes attention to avoiding burns.”

“Makes me feel safe when stove has become very hot”

“They just make life so much easier handling logs and placing logs in the stove. No splinters or burns!”

Watch this space – Charnwood stove gloves are on the way!

Dustpan & Brush

“It makes emptying the stove so much easier and cleaner, the house is relatively dust free after clearing.”

“It helps to keep the room relatively dust free”

“Keeping the hearth clean and tidy stops ash and debris, from the stove and wood pile underneath it, from spreading to the floor and messing up the room.”

“Whenever the stove is used it is necessary to clean up small amounts of ash that fall out. The brush and pan are thus used very frequently.”

“The dustpan & brush makes removing the Ash so much easier, our charnwood is used every day from October to February so we collect a lot of Ash which we use as compost. We have other accessories but they don’t see as much use as the pan & brush.”

Poker

 

“An absolute must have accessory to reposition burning logs and coal.”

“Can re-arrange wood in the stove when going, safely.”

“Brilliant for getting fire going”

“I like poking the fire! Breaking it down to a bed of hot burning wood so I can get more fuel in!”

“I can poke the logs to get maximum burn.”

“Great to look at, well made and does the job perfectly.”

“You can move the logs about to create space and so regulate heat a bit better.”

“It’s so satisfying prodding at red hot embers on a freezing cold evening and feeling the heat on your face”.

“Great quality and have stood the test of time with good amount of use. Quality product.”

“We have a wrought-iron poker made by a friend from years ago..handle in the shape of a hare’s head..love it, wasn’t cheap but a real beauty.”

“Simple basic tool allowing rearranging of fuel to ensure even burning and helping keep glass door clean.”

“Get the fire going. Can push the logs back into the fire so they burn probably.”

Our sister company Bodj offer a beautifully hand-crafted blow poker. Click here for more information!

Ash bin/carrier

“Easy to use. Metal. Compact. Stops dust flying around. Carry handle is useful.”

“Great 4 carrying ashes out on a windy day.”

“Ease of use in keeping ash contained and not flying all over the place.”

“Allows dust free disposal of ash.”

“I have two Charnwood stoves. One has the ash bin/carrier and the other doesn’t. It’s SO difficult to get the ash out of the stove that doesn’t have the ash bin/carrier.”

“It is a safe and clean way of dealing with the only downside to a log burner, the ash.”

“Ease of emptying.”

“Makes it easy to empty ashes no fear of dropping them all over the floor.”

“Makes it more convenient to remove ash over several days without having to fill smaller bin bags thus reducing plastic waste.”

“Easy to use with minimal dust released when moving around can hold at least 1 month’ worth of ash.”

“Simplifies the worst job – cleaning out the ashes and getting them to the bin without being covered in ash from head to foot in a gust of wind. Neat to store, fits the ashcan perfectly and contains the dust when you tip the ashes in.”

Charnwood ash carriers are available here.

Tongs

 

“Can’t beat a good solid pair of tongs for keeping away from the heat and flames, whilst topping up the stove.”

“I can position logs to maximum effectiveness.”

“It’s a really nice bit of blacksmithing, lovely rams head on the end.”

“Don’t get burnt and can place logs where you want them.”

“Handy for falling logs.”

“Fantastic for putting more wood in when the stove is really hot!”

“Looks rustic and very useful”

“Allows me to place logs where I want them in my stove, but it is also the most universal tool”
 
Hand forged tongs are available here.

Moisture Meter

 

Surprisingly only 23% of those surveyed own a moisture meter. We consider a moisture meter a must-have stove accessory to ensure wood is properly seasoned before burning and we urge you to get one!

It is very important to only burn wood with a moisture content of 20% or less. This will keep harmful emissions to a minimum and significantly improve efficiency, while protecting your stove and chimney – saving you money!

Look out for the Woodsure Ready to Burn label which guarantees a moisture content of 20% or less.

For a list of approved firewood sellers in your area click here.

Here are what some moisture meter owners had to say:

“I know I’m complying with byelaws and also prolonging the life of my Island 2 stove”

“Because I like to know that the logs I’m burning are dry and safe to use”

“Allows us to keep the stove clean by making sure we only burn the driest wood”

“This plus thermometer can’t really be replicated using non specialist tools.”

“It means I know when I can burn the wood that I’ve collected myself from the neighbourhood.”

“Vital for the whole seasoning process.”

“Especially Important given that the cost of kiln dried logs has doubled compared to this time last year!”

“I know I’m complying with byelaws and also prolonging the life of my Island 2 stove”

“Because it saves me burning wood which is too wet. Genuinely get a buzz when I ‘detect’ anything too moist on my meter!”

If you are seasoning your own wood, make sure you test it with a moisture meter before burning. You can get yours here.

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As you can see, there are a whole host of useful stove accessories that will enhance your wood-burning stove experience. For more information on all the stove accessories available, click here.

Finally, thank you to everyone who took part in the survey!

charnwoodstoves

With the cost-of-living crisis biting, we are all looking for ways to save money – particularly on our bills! If you own a wood-burning stove you are in a stronger position than most, however, we urge you not to cut corners and always use appropriate fuel. Following stove best practices are vital for the environment, your health and ultimately in the medium to long term, your pockets!

Read on to learn more about woodstove best practices and how following them saves you money!

Burning the right fuel

It is very important to only burn wood with a moisture content of 20% or less. This will keep harmful emissions to a minimum and significantly improve efficiency while protecting your stove and chimney – saving you money!

Look out for the Woodsure Ready to Burn label which guarantees a moisture content of 20% or less.

For a list of approved firewood sellers in your area click here.

What not to burn

Here are some of the key things to avoid burning. Please note this is not an exhaustive list.

-Unseasoned or wet wood (moisture content above 20%)

-Plywood offcuts, chipboard and MDF are not advised due to the glues used to make them.

-Avoid old/recovered wood that has been treated or old painted wood as these can be toxic.

-Do not burn rubbish.

-Printed papers are coated with chemicals and can cause troublesome ash deposits.

-Natural or synthetic fibres, such as fabric, burn too fast and can be toxic.

-Any solvents or chemicals and substrates potentially exposed to them.

How long does firewood usually take to season/dry?

Firewood takes approximately 12 months to season, however, there are ways (set out below) that can help reduce the time it takes.

How to speed up the seasoning/drying process

SPLIT wood into logs in a size to suit your stove no larger than 15cm (6”) in diameter. Split some smaller pieces to use as kindling.

STACK the wood in a place that gets plenty of sun and ventilation. An untidy pile of wood may rot before it has time to season, so make sure the logs are stacked in a way that allows air to circulate. Ideally, keep the stack off the ground and away from the house and stack the wood bark side down, except for the top row:

Never stack logs above head height to prevent injury from falling logs.

COVER the stack to protect it from rain and snow. You can cover just the top, or the sides as well – just make sure the air can get in and that moisture isn’t getting trapped.

STORE the wood for 18-24 months or until the moisture content is below 20% (you can test this with a Moisture Meter). It’s a good idea to bring wood inside two or three days before you intend to burn it to make sure it’s properly dried out and ready to use.

Caution – what not to do

Don’t stack wood against your wood-burning stove! Whilst it may look attractive, stacking wood to dry around or against your stove is a significant fire risk. It is vital that safety clearances to combustibles are maintained.

For all the required info please read: Setting Clearances & Installing Heat Shields for your fireplace.

Potential free sources of wood

1. After a storm

After a storm, fallen trees and branches become available which, with permission, you can collect. This would need to be seasoned before use.

2. Industrial woodworkers

Woodworkers, sawmills, and joiners near to your home are worth contacting to find out if they ever have any offcuts of wood that they need to get rid of. This is likely to be dryer than other sources with the potential to be used straight away.

3. Online

Whether it is leftover wood from a recent home improvement or a tree that had to be cut down, people often advertise free wood on websites like Gumtree and Freecycle if you are happy to collect it. Make sure to check it with a moisture meter before using.

What is the perfect wood-burning temperature?

The ideal wood-burning temperature range is between 140 and 240 degrees Celsius (284 to 464 degrees Fahrenheit) which avoids damage to the stove and potential creosote buildup.

How to adjust the fire temperature?

To reach a sufficient temperature, ensure a good draft, use seasoned wood and build the fire correctly ensuring your fire burns hot enough. To reduce the temperature of your fire when in use, you can close the air vents.

You can use a Flue Pipe Thermometer to make sure you are burning wood in the perfect temperature range.

For more wood-burning stove tips please read:

https://www.charnwood.com/8-tips-wood-stove-users-holiday-season/