charnwoodstoves

When it comes to choosing wood for burning, many people are searching for something that is best in terms of sustainability. Wood is a viable energy source that is virtually carbon neutral and also a cost-effective heat source for many homes. To help you find the best firewood for your needs, we’ve put together this handy chart to show you the different types of firewood available and the benefits they each offer.

Which firewood should I choose?

When choosing your firewood, we would recommend opting for a hardwood as they are generally denser than softwoods and will produce more heat and burn longer. However, softwoods do light quicker and can be cheaper, but they are more resinous than hardwoods, meaning they are more likely to build up tar deposits in your flue.

Common hardwood species include beech and oak.

Common softwood species include cedar and pine.

Kiln dried logs are a good option as these guarantee a low moisture content. ‘Ready to burn’ logs should have less than 20 per cent moisture levels for optimum heat output and efficiency, and with kiln dried logs you can be sure you’re purchasing a consistently dried log that will provide the best source of heat. Naturally seasoned logs are generally less expensive but be sure to test the moisture content before burning. They will need to have been seasoned for at least one year, preferably two.

Which wood burns the longest?

There are several firewoods that burn for a sufficient amount of time, but oak and hawthorn are both favourable hardwoods to choose. These both burn slowly and produce a good source of heat.

Although hardwoods are a more efficient fuel source in terms of heat output and burning time, they can be harder to ignite from cold. This is when softwood kindling comes in handy, as it can help you get your fire up and running, before using the hardwood to fuel and maintain the slow burning fire.

The following chart is a common list of UK firewoods, showing you if they are hardwood or softwood and providing some detail of their characteristics.

 

Firewood Name Hard or softwood Comments Grade
Alder Hardwood Generally considered a low quality firewood as it burns quickly and provides little heat. Poor

 

Firewood Name Hard or softwood Comments Grade
Apple Hardwood Needs to be seasoned. Has a nice smell and burns well with a without sparking/spitting. Good
Ash Hardwood Considered one of the best firewoods. It has a low water content and can be burned green. It is still best when seasoned and will burn at a steady rate. Great
Beech Hardwood Beech has a high water content so will only burn well when seasoned. Good
Birch Hardwood Birch burns easily but also fast, so is best mixed with slower burning wood such as Elm or Oak. A great fire lighter is birch bark. Good -Great
Cedar Softwood Cedar provides a pleasant smell and provides lasting heat but with little flame. You can also burn small pieces unseasoned. Okay
Cherry Hardwood Needs to be seasoned to burn well. Okay-Good
Elm Hardwood A good firewood but due to its high water content, it must be seasoned well. It may need assistance from another faster burning wood such as Birch to keep it burning effectively. Okay-Good
Hawthorn Hardwood A good firewood that burns well. Good-Great
Hazel Hardwood Excellent firewood when seasoned. Burns fast but with no spitting. Great
Holly Hardwood A good firewood that can be burnt green. Good
Hornbeam Hardwood A good firewood that burns well. Good
Horse Chestnut Hardwood Horse chestnut spits a lot and is considered a low quality firewood. Okay
Larch Softwood Needs to be seasoned well. Spits excessively while it burns and can produce a lot of soot. Poor
Lime Hardwood Considered a low quality firewood. Okay
Oak Hardwood One of the best firewoods when seasoned well.  It provides lasting heat and burns at a slow rate. Great
Pear Hardwood Needs to be well seasoned. Burns well with a pleasant smell and without spitting. Good
Pine Softwood Pine burns well but spits a lot and can leave behind soot. It can act as a good softwood kindling. Poor
Plane Hardwood A usable firewood. Good

 

Firewood Name Hard or softwood Comments Grade
Poplar Softwood Considered a poor firewood and produces black smoke. Poor
Rowan Hardwood Considered a good firewood that burns well. Good
Spruce Softwood Considered a low quality firewood. Okay
Sweet Chestnut Hardwood Burns when seasoned but spits excessively. Not for use on an open fire. Poor-Okay
Sycamore (Maples) Hardwood Considered a good firewood that burns well. Good
Walnut Hardwood Considered a low quality firewood. Okay
Willow Hardwood Willow has a high water content so only burns well when seasoned properly. Okay
Yew Hardwood Considered a usable firewood. Okay-Good
charnwoodstoves

Used in many homes, firewood is a sustainable and cost-effective way to heat your property or outdoor space.

Whether you’re looking for suitable wood to burn in your stove or use in your fire pit on chilly summer evenings, it’s important to choose the right type of firewood. Not all types of firewood burn in the same way, so it’s important to understand the differences if you want the best possible results.

Here’s our guide to everything that you need to know about firewood.

What’s the difference between hardwood and softwood?

Firewood falls into two main categories – softwood and hardwood.

The main difference between hardwood and softwood is their reproduction and physical structure. For example, hardwoods are a lot denser than softwoods, meaning that they produce more heat and burn for longer.

On the other hand, softwoods are less dense, meaning they ignite faster and produce more smoke, making them more suited to outdoor fires.

Why choose hardwood?

Perfect for creating indoor fires in log burners and woodburning stoves, there are lots of different types of hardwood, including oak, birch and ash. Hardwood is especially useful for those looking to fuel a stove or heat a house.

Let’s take a closer look at the most popular types of hardwood:

Ash

Ash is particularly good for wood burning, as its properties allow it to burn on its own and produce an intense heat output, with a steady flame.

Oak

Oak is one of the most common types of hardwood used in homes, due to the fact that it is capable of burning for long periods of time and can be used efficiently with a different types of logs.

Birch

Available in black, yellow and white, birch can burn for a long period of time and can also be used as a natural fire starter.

Why choose softwood?

If you’re looking for firewood for an outdoor fire, softwood is a much better option than hardwood – it ignites far more quickly, meaning its ideal for campfires and kindling.

Softwood also seasons more rapidly than hardwood. There are lots of different types of softwood to choose from, including pine, cedar and larch.

Here’s a closer look at their properties. 

Larch

Low maintenance larch is the hardest of the softwood family and requires intense heat to burn effectively.

Pine

Easy to light and burn, pine produces an impressive flame and is great to use as a fire starter. It’s important to note that pine should only ever be used in outdoor environments due to the fact that it burns incredibly fast.

Cedar

Finally, cedar produces a distinct crackling sound with a small flame. One of the main advantages of this type of softwood is that it can be burned unseasoned. It also gives off a lovely wood burning smell.

To find out more about the best type of firewood to use with your Charnwood wood burning stove, please get in touch, we’re always on hand to offer help and support.

charnwoodstoves

When it comes to choosing firewood for burning on your stove or creating an outdoor fire, there’s plenty to consider. The best results rely on opting for the best type of firewood for your needs.

So, to give you a helping hand, we’ve created a guide to everything you need to know about firewood.

First and foremost, there are two different types of firewood, falling under two distinct categories – hardwood and softwood.

What is hardwood?

Hardwoods are denser than soft woods, making them ideal for creating indoor fires. Popular hardwoods include oak, birch and ash. All are ideal for heating your home.

Hardwood is best suited for indoor environments as it produces more heat and burns for longer.

What is softwood?

Softwoods are less dense and ignite faster. This makes them far better for fuelling outdoor fires, as they can produce a little more smoke which can be unpleasant if they are burned indoors.

Again, there are lots of different types of softwood, including pine, cedar and larch. The best type of softwood for your fire will depend on your needs and how you plan to use it.

Seasoning your wood

Once you’ve chosen your firewood, you’ll need to ensure it is seasoned correctly before you attempt to light up your fire.

Seasoning involves ensuring that your wood is properly dried out in order to get the best out of your fire. Wood that contains moisture or is not fully dry won’t burn efficiently and will be slow to ignite. Suitable wood should have a moisture content of less than 20%.

There are a few ways to check whether or not your wood is correctly seasoned. For example, if your wood is light and has cracks on the ends, it’s highly likely that it has dried out. Another way to check is to examine the colour of your wood. Wood is usually yellow, grey or deep brown when it is dry. At Charnwood we do offer a pronged moisture metre that can be inserted in the log to give you an accurate moisture reading.

If buying wood in smaller volumes look out for the Woodsure ‘Ready to Burn label’ which guarantees a moisture content less than 20%.

Split up your logs

A fire will burn far more effectively if you split your logs into halves or quarters. This will help your wood to dry quicker too. As a general rule of thumb, you should try and cut your wood up into pieces that are between three to six inches. For larger outdoor fire pits or wood furnaces, they can be slightly larger.

Avoid storing firewood in your home

Finally, you should avoid storing large quantities of firewood in your home. Why? Firewood is notorious for being the home of choice for ants and other creepy crawlies, so it’s not a good idea to bring your logs into your home, unless you want them to bring their extra guests in with them!

Instead, create a dedicated storage area for your firewood outside such as a woodshed, a ventilated storage container or even a dedicated area protected by a natural bark barrier. Your wood should also be kept well ventilated season to season.

If you have any questions about firewood or any other aspect of using your wood burner or stove, please get in touch.

charnwoodstoves

As the heart of the home, the kitchen is the perfect place to pay attention to when it comes to your interior design. If you love to spend time whipping up a culinary storm and dining together as a family, it makes sense that you give the kitchen the touch of TLC it deserves when it comes to decorating. In the name of creative inspiration, we’re here to help. Today, we’re looking at 3 reasons you should consider bringing a fireplace into your kitchen design - offering tips and advice along the way so you’re left with a space the whole family simply loves spending time in.

1. It can be stunning focal feature

Unlike most other rooms in the home, the kitchen serves several practical purposes, and this means that the appliances often act as the focus points in this space. While you might have an attractive looking fridge or top-of-the-range washing machine, it’s unlikely that you want to draw attention to functional appliances when you’re considering interior decor.

By bringing in a fireplace, you can accessorise the borders and hearth with fireplace tiles to completely transform the look of your kitchen and make the fireside the focal point. A wood burning stove, acts as an eye-catching feature in its own right. However, you can always add the finishing touch by having a basket of wood and any pokers or accessories beside the stove.

2. It will provide warmth in winter

When the winter months set in, home cooked food is what most of us crave. But preparing to spend potentially hours in a frosty kitchen doesn’t hold much appeal, especially when you can be sitting snug and cosy with your throws by the fire in your living room – so how do you remedy that? Bring the fire into the kitchen, of course!

Heating your home using your kitchen fireplace can also be a way to keep energy costs low. Most modern stoves today are highly efficient and very clean burning. From wood pellets and firewood to mineral fuels, there are several options available to you when it comes to using your fire, so you can spend some time figuring out the best option for your home.

3. It will create an atmosphere

Last but not least on our list of reasons for adding a fireplace to your kitchen is the atmosphere that this can create. A fireplace can add character to a room that has perhaps previously been all about being functional. While it still provides a purpose, it can be an attractive centrepiece even when not in use.

If you’re lucky enough to have space for a dining table and chairs in your kitchen, a fireplace could be the perfect finishing touch. In the winter evenings, you can light it up and allow the warm glow of the fire to bathe the kitchen in an ambient light as you eat together as a family. In summer when the fire isn’t needed, use the hearth to display candles and freshly picked flowers.

By choosing to have a fireplace in your kitchen, you can create a truly unique focal point that is practical, yet gives off bags of aesthetic appeal.

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.

charnwoodstoves

Charnwood Cove 1 wood burning stove appears in a temporary exhibition by artist Virginia Overton at Jay Jopling’s White Cube Bermondsey contemporary art gallery

Located in the centre of the building in an 81m² top-lit space, the Cove 1 stove will burn wood supplied from logs stacked on the opposite wall throughout the five-week exhibition. The stove, says the gallery’s website, will “fill the space with a scent of wood and the sound of crackling, contributing to the feeling of being in a welcoming place.”

The 4kW stove is Defra approved for London’s smoke control area and was installed by London wood burning specialists Stoake.

Virginia Overton’s exhibition is situated in the North Galleries and the 9 x 9 x 9 space and will run from September 30 to November 6 2016. For more information about the artist and her exhibition please visit: http://whitecube.com/exhibitions/virginia_overton_bermondsey_2016/

charnwoodstoves

Ecodesign is a new European-wide programme to lower emissions and improve air quality.

The awards aim to discover products that provide new and interesting solutions to future kitchen, bathroom and bedroom projects.

Chosen for its durability and vibrancy the judges described Vlaze as “An innovative use of a familiar material and a welcome cost effective solution”

Vlaze will be exhibiting their range of new finishes at KBB Live from 6-9 March 2016 – including exclusive enamel patterns from design houses Mini Moderns and Voyage and some fresh new surface finishes not seen before in vitreous enamel. There will be a Cove 1 with a wall mounted Vlaze heatshield on display.

For more information and to register for tickets visit www.kbb.co.uk

charnwoodstoves

The Isle of Wight has been home to Charnwood Stoves since 1972. It was also the original home to England’s most creative, colourful and award winning music festival, Bestival. We caught up with the Bestival’s co-founders (and Charnwood stove owners) Josie & Rob da Bank.

Q: WHAT MADE YOU MOVE DOWN TO THE ISLE OF WIGHT?

A: Josie: Bringing three boys (Arlo, eight; Merlin, six and Miller, four) up in London is not really appropriate; we have got a much bigger garden; we prefer it and the festival’s here. Rob: It’s the freedom. The weekends in London you’re left panicking about what you are going to do next and what to do with the kids whereas here, it’s a much more relaxing place to bring the kids up. I love being out in the fresh air, sailing and being in Yarmouth.

Q: CAN YOU TELL ME A BIT ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THE HOUSE AND THE ARCHITECTURAL STYLE?

A: Rob: The house was built in 1750; it was an outhouse to the farm which is next door. I have seen a photo of it in the 1800’s when it was a bee keeper’s cottage so it has been through loads of iterations into the current house! It’s a really old property with a lot of stone, but Josie has designed new bits so it’s a marriage of old and new that suits our style which is a mixture vintage, brand new and shabby chic.

Q: WHAT FORMS YOUR DECORATIVE STYLE AND WHERE HAVE YOU SOURCED FURNITURE FROM?

A: Josie: I don’t think we have a style, we buy things that we like and it all just gels together. A lot of the furnishings and carpets have come from our travels to India and Morocco. There is quite a lot of animal reference in the house; I think that’s because of the children love animals! I’ve commissioned a few animal heads; Emily Warren has made the ones which sit over the fireplace. We have a few mosaics which were made by another good friend, who is a Mosaist. There are a lot of textiles; I really love fabrics by Josef Frank and Liberty London. Rob: and we have some nice stoves from Charnwood!

Q: COULD YOU TELL US ABOUT EACH OF YOUR STOVES AND HOW THEY FIT INTO THE STYLE AND FUNCTION OF THE ROOM?

A: Rob: We bought the Cove 1 first, four years ago when we built the extension. This is an old house, in the summer it’s lovely but during the winter it can get really cold. We have underfloor heating but we wanted a centrepiece as much as a stove so in the winter it serves a dual purpose: it looks great and it’s heating the room! All year round, it’s a great centre piece for the room, especially when you’ve got the fire going and the sun is setting out the window, it’s quite peaceful.

The other stove we have is the Tor Pico, I love the 360˚view of the fire and how it can heat half the house in a very short amount of time. I think that sometimes we are definitely style over content but we love the way the stoves look just as much as using them and they are a great addition to the house.

Q: WHAT’S YOUR IDEAL WINTER’S DAY AT HOME?

A: Josie: Our dream day at home would involve having all the children nice, calm and relaxed. Then a few board games, a dip in the hot tub outside and then a cosy dinner around the fire.  Rob: We are surrounded by great places like Bouldnor Forest, Newtown creek and the river Yar so we’ll quite often go for a walk or a bike ride then pile back inside and get the fire stocked up.  The boys like making the fire, there’s something about the crackling and building of the fire, especially for the boy’s- maybe it’s a primal urge! It’s a lovely thing that takes them away from the iPad and television. I love the whole process of chopping up the kindling and preparing the fire and it involves the boys as well.

Q: FINALLY, WHAT YOUR SOUNDTRACK BE TO LAZING IN FRONT OF THE FIRE?

Rob: Where I work with music, to have no music is quite a luxury. Josie: Especially here, we have so much wildlife to listen to!  Rob: We have a lot of different species living in the garden like owls, woodpeckers, Indian runner ducks, chickens and geese. After three years here the novelty of the wildlife still hasn’t worn off and I don’t think it ever will. We’ve got the crackling of the fire, the whistling of the wind and the nature sounds. Just to sit and listen to that is music really.

Sourcebook

www.bestival.net

www.thestealthyrabbit.com

www.libertylondon.com

www.artontiles.co.uk

charnwoodstoves

If you are looking into buying a stove this winter you may well have heard the term SIA Ecodesign Ready.

At Charnwood we offer a good range of these stoves but what does this mean and how should it affect your choice? Here we try to answer some of your questions:

Q: What is Ecodesign?

It is a new European-wide programme to help lower emissions and improve air quality.

 

Q: When is the new Ecodesign regulation coming into force?

1st January 2022 across the UK and Europe. All products manufactured after 1st January 2022 will have to comply to Ecodesign regulations.

 

Q: What are Sia Ecodesign ready stoves?

Charnwood and some of the key manufacturers within the SIA (Stove Industry Alliance) have risen to the challenge of Ecodesign and have designed a number of stoves that meet the Ecodesign criteria now. These stoves carry the ‘SIA EcoDesign Ready’ label and all have been independently verified by HETAS.

 

Q: Is it really going to happen, especially given Brexit?

Yes it will happen. While this is European legislation all EU laws are being incorporated into UK law via the ‘EU Withdrawal Bill’. In Defra’s latest consultation document on fuel quality they also refer to Ecodesign 2022 confirming that they are expecting it.

 

Q: What are the key differences between non-compliant stoves and Ecodesign ready stoves?

Ecodesign products have to meet a set of clean-burning criteria:

Efficiency must be over 75%       

Smoke particulates less than 40mg/m3

NOx less than 200 mg/m3           

OGC less than 120 mg/m3

CO less than 0.12%

These figures are achieved by clever air management. At Charnwood we have developed an ultra clean burning technology called ‘Blu’ that exceeds all of the above figures ensuring an excellent burn while reducing emissions.

The graph shows how our All New Island I compares to non-compliant models. This stove is 85% efficient too.

 

Q: How do I know which stoves qualify for Ecodesign?

Check the official list of SIA EcoDesign Ready products which is independently verified.

 

Q: If it is DEFRA-exempted, is this better than Ecodesign?

There is no obvious correlation between Defra exemption and Ecodesign as they are tested very differently. As a general rule it is much more difficult to achieve Ecodesign than Defra Exemption whereas most Ecodesign Ready stoves will meet the criteria for Defra exemption.

 

Q: If it is Sia Ecodesign ready, does it mean it’s also DEFRA-exempt?

No not necessarily – so do check if you live in a smoke control area.

 

Q: Can non-Ecodesign stoves be used past 2022?

Yes – although the new Ecodesign stoves are much better for the environment and will burn less fuel. Most good manufacturers will be phasing out non compliance stoves from 2020

 

Q: Will I use more logs on an Ecodesign stove?

No, they are more efficient therefore should burn less wood.

 

Q: Do Ecodesign stoves really work as well – are they highly baffled?

We have heard that in some cases Ecodesign Ready stoves are not performing well. However our Charnwood ‘Blu’ technology ensures the stove meets the new requirements and burns BETTER than our non compliance models.

 

Q: How is the flame picture affected?

With Charnwood ‘Blu’ technology our flame pattern is more impressive than before.

 

Q: Can I burn mineral fuels in a Charnwood Ecodesign ready stove?

Yes – in the Charnwood Arc, Skye and the All New Island ranges.

 

charnwoodstoves

Nestled in amongst the rolling hills of Gloucestershire’s Cotswolds lies Jess and Rob’s countryside retreat. Within the calm, comfortable interior of their home the couple have imaginatively incorporated four Charnwood stoves. Here Jess talks us through her decorative style room by room.

Our house is situated in Hampen, a small hamlet that lies roughly 5 miles outside of Cheltenham. We are central to the most beautiful area: we have the cosmopolitan hub of Cheltenham so close, yet we are in spitting distance of the gorgeous market towns of Stow, Bourton and Northleach.

The house is constructed of Cotswold stone and lies within 5 acres of grounds.
The central part of the property dates back to the 16th century, but has been added to and remodelled several times. The previous owner extended it to the home it is today. It was always a beautiful house, however we wanted to put our stamp on it so before moving in we undertook the two month renovation to bring it up to what it is now.

The interior is I suppose my little bit of the Hamptons in the Cotswolds. I love vintage French chic, eclectic furnishings and Scandinavian antiquities. I wanted a serene interior, with unusual antiques and pieces of interest. It is predominantly a family home though so needed to be practical. I adore a muted palate, but also want my house to feel warm and welcoming with a sense of ease. I found most furniture from The Old Cinema in Chiswick, various antiques stores in Tetbury, a good old boot market rummage and imported several pieces from my favourite holiday destination – Mykonos.  I also tried to use ethical, up cycled items where possible and used clay paint from earthborn throughout to give the walls a rendered feel.  My inspiration for the house lies Zoe Ellison and Alex legendre and their design philosophy, check out their store in Brighton I Gigi.

The kitchen is the heart of my home, as is most peoples. It is where I cook, bake, feed my family, read with my dogs and drink wine! It has to be cosy. My dogs stretched out in front of a dying fire, means I don’t feel guilty tucking them up at night.

My bedroom burner was the ultimate luxury. On a bitter day there is nothing better than lighting it, getting a cracking family movie and snuggling down as a family. It is also cracking when your full of a cold and feeling sorry for yourself.

The snug is my little haven. Somewhere I go for peace and quiet. I wanted somewhere I could read or study that had no television and no distractions. It is also where our Christmas tree goes, and where we hang the stockings. A wood burner was essential here and is a real luxury.

The sitting room is our adult only room, it is where myself and my partner relax and have very rare time to ourselves. We love to watch a movie and chill out with a cheeseboard. We find our fire is perfect to warm up the cheese and keep a hot toddy warm. It is lit every evening we can, and the dogs all stretch out on the sheepskin. No room on the sofa’s for four!

Our Perfect Day

Breakfast in bed with the wood burner blazing. Smoked salmon with scrambled eggs and a Buck’s Fizz if I may!

Wrapping up and taking the kids out for the day, we love fishing, visiting the local farm park, taking our dogs for a walk or playing on the tractors in the garden.

Coming back and Rob cooking his legendary roast in the kitchen, I can curl up with a book in my big chair by the fire, draped in all the dogs. The kids will bomb around the house!

Eating our roast in the kitchen, then we will ultimately give in to the kids and put a fire on in the main sitting room and watch a movie all together. Preferably, with a hot chocolate and a massive bowl of popcorn. Just heaven.

Sourcebook

www.theoldcinema.co.uk

www.igigigeneralstore.com

www.earthbornpaints.co.uk

charnwoodstoves

We’ve teamed up with Certainly Wood once again, to offer you the chance to win a Country Living Bembridge Stove in matt Black.

Certainly Wood are one of the UKs leading suppliers of 100% British kiln dried logs and kindling – all locally sourced from sustainable British woodlands with a guaranteed moisture content of less than 20%.  They are also founding members of the new ‘Woodsure Ready to Burn’ scheme, backed by Defra.

For your chance to win visit https://www.certainlywood.co.uk/win-charnwood-stove

Competition Closes: 31st January 2019

Terms and Conditions: Prizes must be taken as stated and cannot be deferred, though Charnwood reserves the right to change the prizes in the event of unforeseen circumstances. The prize is for a Bembridge wood burning stove in matt Black only and does not include accessories. Installation of the stove is not included in the prize and this must be carried out by an Authorised Charnwood Stockist. The prize is not transferable and there will be no cash alternative. Full terms and conditions apply and can be found here.