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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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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!

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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/

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As we head into the cooler months many of us are preparing to light the log burner or, if we don’t already have one, considering installing one. Wood burning has been around since the dawn of civilisation and there is undoubtedly a primal connection with fire within us as humans. At Charnwood, we have 50 years of expertise in wood burning technology and the stoves we sell across the globe today are among the cleanest, greenest appliances available on the market.

However recently there have been a number of reports circulating within the media that suggest stoves may be polluting our environment and are bad for our health. What is the truth about wood-burning stoves and air quality? In this article, we delve into the real facts and why many of these reports are very misleading and damaging to an industry that is a part of the solution to clean, sustainable, low carbon energy.

Is particulate matter (PM 2.5) from wood-burning stoves damaging our health?

The term particulate matter, also known as fine particles or PM 2.5 refers to tiny particles or droplets in the air. They are about thirty times smaller than the width of a human hair.

The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) safe level for PM 2.5 particulates in the air is a daily average of ≤ 10 µg/m3 (1). For reference, air outside in Central London averages 18-25 µg/m3.

A US study in 2019 of 137 homes published in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology, found that the average daily level of PM 2.5 particulates in homes (2):
– with a wood stove measured at 6-8 µg/m3
no wood stove measured only a fraction less at 6-7 µg/m3

So, we’re really talking about a minuscule difference that is well within the WHO safe level. Hard to believe? It really shouldn’t be because a correctly functioning wood stove draws air, smoke and particulates out of a room and up the chimney.

In contrast, the UK media bases its negative assertions on a study of just 19 homes that took measurements using, as they admit, “low-cost air quality monitors” (3).

It is impossible to remove PM 2.5 completely from our lives and some measured thinking on this subject is required. When you consider that brakes from an electric car and even a burnt piece of toast (as well as a host of other everyday items) produce significant amounts of PM 2.5 particles, it helps put things in perspective!

However, we welcome regulation and continue to innovate to reach even greater levels of efficiency and emission reduction. We are proud that we are now creating stoves that are 90% more efficient than open fires and new innovations are forthcoming.

We welcome more studies being undertaken, but what is clear is that the most comprehensive data available to date indicate that the dangers presented from wood-burning stoves are exaggerated, to say the least.

Are wood-burning stoves environmentally friendly?

In most cases yes they are. But it is worth noting that not all wood-burning stoves are the same. At Charnwood, we only produce stoves that meet the criteria for EcoDesign 2022 which significantly reduces particle emissions while ensuring very high efficiencies.

The Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) have produced this short film to help dispel some of the myths around wood-burning stoves with the real facts.

It’s worth considering that as wood burning stove sales have increased in record numbers during the recent lockdowns, with more opportunity for their use, measurements for 2.5 µg/m3 actually decreased. Coincidence? No, it’s because modern wood-burning stoves are not the problem.

Much of the confusion has come from DEFRA lumping in wood-burning stoves with open fires and bonfires and then presenting a grouped figure for emissions – this totally distorts the data (4). An EcoDesign Ready stove produces 90% fewer emissions than an open fire and 80% less than older designed stoves. Despite this fact, modern wood-burning stoves continue to get tarnished in the press for the faults of open fires and the like and continue to get attributed to an unrepresentative figure. It is open fires that need to be scrutinised and those who have made the switch to an EcoDesign Ready wood-burning stove should be commended for doing so and more people should be encouraged!
 

At Charnwood, we recently released the Cranmore, which is the perfect open fire replacement. Super-efficient, clean and with an EcoDesign score of 5 (the highest possible), its dimensions and aesthetic are perfectly suited to an open fireplace. If you have an open fire, we encourage you to make the switch!

Wood burning stoves are part of our home heating solution

At Charnwood we are big fans of wind and solar energy – indeed our factory roof on the Isle of Wight is covered with panels and many of us have installed solar on our roofs at home. They are a big part of the solution, but it’s important to remember that even these much-lauded technologies have some downsides. Firstly, they don’t offer a constant supply and then there are environmental costs, although relatively low, involved in their production. However, overall, the net benefit for the world is clear and demonstrable.

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’re not a sustainable part of the world’s future.

These are just a few examples, but they highlight that no energy source can be 100% perfect. It’s about finding energy sources that are, on balance, positive for society and wood-burning stoves fall into this category as a very viable solution.

Wood burning stoves

Wood is a renewable energy source, sucking carbon out of the atmosphere as trees 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.

Wood burning stoves have numerous 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.

Wood Burning Stoves: An antidote to the digital age

In addition, the mental health benefits absolutely shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s no coincidence sales of stoves rocketed during the hardships of the last couple of years. People recognised the need to make their homes as comfortable and stress-free as possible. Restorative spaces that help us face the trials and tribulations. This isn’t trivial in the slightest. This is a benefit that no other energy source we’ve talked about can provide. You don’t get a visceral connection to nature by flicking on a switch. Fire affords a primal connection that genuinely helps people unwind and reconnect.

We’ve spoken to many customers about their stove and the responses are strikingly similar. Their stove provides much more than just heat. It’s clear from our conversations that burning wood provides enormous well-being and associated mental and physical health benefits. People report it helps them “switch off” and “after a day in front of a screen, chopping wood [and] preparing the fire really helps me to reconnect to the real world”, “brings the family together”, “helps me sleep better”, “almost like a meditation”. You simply don’t get this from another heat source.

To the individual and family, this is clearly hugely beneficial. Now consider this extrapolated across a population and the effect multiples – it becomes powerful. Improving people’s wellbeing and reducing stress allows people to take more actions/decisions from a healthier state of mind. This in turn can only contribute positively to society.

It is widely accepted that few things are as unhealthy as chronic stress and from our personal experience as well as our customers few things can relieve it as consistently well as the process of wood-burning.
– The pleasure of foraging (optional)
– Exercise/stress relief from chopping wood (optional)
– Feeling connected to a historical and natural process
– Lighting a fire – satisfaction of a job well done.
– Enjoying the long-lasting and penetrating warmth
– Deep relaxation with the crackle and flicker of fire
– A focal point for friends and family

So in conclusion an EcoDesign Ready wood burning stove is a clean and environmentally sound choice for heating your home. It is of course important that it is used correctly and the fuel burnt is properly seasoned but this is a source of energy that provides not only warmth but can be key to our wellbeing.

Golden rules. 3 steps to burning wood on 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 dependant 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!

1/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_quality_guideline
2/ https://www.nature.com/articles/s41370-019-0151-4
3/ https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4433/11/12/1326/htm
4/ https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/summary-results-of-the-domestic-wood-use-survey

Other useful sources of information:
5/ https://stoveindustryalliance.com/
6/ https://www.readytoburn.org/

 

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A wood burning stove is a brilliant addition to any space, helping to optimise heat in the rooms you spend the most time in, while also adding a stylish focal point.

Affordable and practical, wood burning stoves continue to increase in popularity in both traditional and modern properties, and are a striking focal point in any room. However, one of the main reasons why they are so popular is that they can heat your entire household – keeping your energy bills to a minimum, which makes them a great investment.

Whether you’re thinking about investing in a wood burning stove or you already have one, we’ve created a guide outlining our top accessories to maximise its use, allowing you to get the most out of your stove in an efficient and safe way.

Room Heating Stove Gloves

As a general rule of thumb it is advisable to use stove gloves when using your wood burning stove. Fireside stove gloves will not only protect your hands and lower arms when you’re loading firewood or fuel, but they are also ideal for cooking on a BBQ with too.

Room Heating Stove Ash Vacuum

Everyone loves firing up their wood burning stove,  but cleaning it can be a different matter! While it is not particularly time consuming, cleaning your stove can be a dirty job but it will need to be done on a regular basis.

The good news is, there is a solution. A stove ash vacuum is perfect for cleaning up the ash with minimum mess and hassle. Easy to use and empty, this is sure to become a welcome addition to your home.

Room Heating Stove flue pipe thermometer

It’s important that your wood burning stove is always burning at the right temperature. One of the best ways to do this is to use a flue pipe thermometer.

Compact and easy to use, this thermometer will help you run your stove at its optimum level. It helps to improve efficiency and identify any over or under firing issues straight away.

Room Heating Stove Log Basket

If you have a wood burning stove, one of your first purchases should be a stove log basket. These come in all shapes and size. Stove log baskets are a great way to keep your logs neat and tidy, ensuring that they’re always to hand when you need them.

Moisture Metre

Finally, a moisture metre is a great tool for those looking to keep burning levels at their cleanest and most efficient.

Affordable and easy to use, a moisture metre is a handheld device that allows you to check the moisture content of your wood. This is important as you will need to make sure that the moisture content of your logs is under 20% to burn effectively.

At Charnwood, we offer a range of room heating stove accessories. Explore our range and get in touch if you have any questions.

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A primary consideration when getting a wood-burning stove will be making sure it is installed and situated safely. If you have limited room, a heat shield can play an important role in protecting your surrounding space. Furthermore, a wood stove heat shield offers a great opportunity to elevate the visual appeal of your fireplace to even greater heights.

 

The importance of a wood stove heat shield

Without adequate clearance from your stove, a combustible wall or object can overheat, dry out and present a fire hazard. The Fire Protection Association recommends that in general the common radiant-type stove maintain 900mm of space from a combustible surface. When this is not possible a heat shield is your only option. Situated between your stove and the exposed surface, a heat shield can reduce the required distance for safety. For more information on the minimum standards for heat shields and their installation, HETAS provides a comprehensive guide.

 

VLAZE Heat Shields

 

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3 stunning heat shield options from VLAZE

VLAZE, our sister company, fabricate heat shields from vitreous enamel, a superior material known for its many outstanding properties. It is heat-resistant up to 650°C, which allows you to reduce the distance between your stove and another surface to 95mm. For Charnwood stoves that reduces even further, to just 75mm – a vast improvement on HETAS regulations. This allows you to maximise space, providing greater flexibility when configuring your room layout. VLAZE’s heat shields are easy to install and available in 3 sizes and 30 luxurious glazes – ample options to match your fireplace dimensions and your style.

 

Design

The images above show the potential of heat shields to add a splash of colour, texture, and designer flair to your fireplace surround. VLAZE have developed a wide range of styles drawing on both historical and contemporary references.

Heat shields are available in a wide range of flat colours, subtle textures or with screen-printed graphics. Once fired in the furnace, the surface is colour-fast, meaning the colours and artwork will never fade. Working alongside several designers, they have created many beautiful options catering for both modern and classic tastes. From statement patterns to minimalist hues, there are plenty of options available to accent or blend with your existing colour scheme.

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A wood-burning stove, whether alight or not, is something that draws the eyes of whoever is in the room. With such a beautiful piece of craftsmanship providing the focal point of your home, it makes sense to give equal consideration to the other elements that will complement it.

For more information on VLAZE Heat Shields click here. To keep up to date with the latest news follow us @charwoodstoves.

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On May 1st new government regulations came into force that restricts the types of fuel you can burn at home. We welcome DEFRA’s announcement, that going forward, only fuels that reduce air pollution can be burned in stoves and open fires in the domestic setting. That means coal and wet wood are no longer allowed to be used. Charnwood fully support this change and have long been producing exceptionally high-performance stoves already designed to run on approved wood-burning stove fuel.

 

The Best Wood-Burning Stove Fuel Options

Seasoned wood

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 around 60% 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 win-win.

How to season wood in 4 Steps

1/ Split wood into logs in a size to suit your stove no larger than 15cm (6”) in diameter.
2/ Stack the wood in a place that gets plenty of sun and allows the wind and air to circulate. To avoid injury from falling logs, never stack above head height.
3/ Cover the stack to protect it from rain and snow. Make sure to cover the top and if you cover the sides as well, make sure the air can get in and that moisture is not getting trapped.
4/ Store the wood for 18-24 months, until the moisture content is below 20%. Test this with a moisture metre.

Different species of wood have varying qualities that effect their wood burning capability. We have compiled a useful chart with more information.

Kiln dried wood

Another fuel that is DEFRA approved is kiln dried wood that is cut, split, and then dried in large ovens. This speeds up the drying process and means that there is always readily available fuel for your stove if your supply is short. Look out for the Woodsure Ready to Burn label which guarantees a moisture content of 20% or less.

 

Ecodesign Ready

 

 

While choosing the right wood to burn is important, having an efficient stove is also key. Most of the stoves we sell are Ecodesign Ready and our Island Stove is one of the very cleanest on the market.

Charnwood are 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 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.

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We hope you embrace these new regulations and continue to enjoy the wonderful wood-burning experience with the knowledge that you are helping reduce pollution levels. Additionally, due to the carbon-neutral benefits of wood-burning, you are helping to significantly reduce CO2 levels and contributing to the fight against global warming.

Find out more about Ecodesign ready stoves here.

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Increasingly people are turning to wood-burning stoves to create warm, comforting, and restorative spaces — hugely beneficial at the best of times, but particularly during this period. A wood-burning stove can be the beating heart of a happy household, a focal point to gather round and converse or sit silently while absorbing the hypnotic and healing power of glowing flames. In this blog we will look at how carefully considered fireside accessories can be wonderful furnishings in their own right and enhance the fireside experience even further.

 

A Fresh Coat of Paint

 

Whether you want to match your stove’s colour to your latest renovation project or simply give your stove a touch up, we offer cans of our high temperature stove paint in the 8 Charnwood colour options. Designed for easy application, they are a simple yet brilliant way to give your stove and space a new lease of life.

 

Vlaze Panels

Vlaze is a unique material, both in its capacity to resist heat and protect, but also with the aesthetic potential it offers. It is well proven as a fireside accessory, with exceptional durability and thermal resistant properties. Vlaze is colour-fast, allows for printed graphics and offers limitless scope for design. With unrivalled heat resistant and anti-static properties, a Vlaze panelled surface will stay looking clean and sharp.
 

From left to right: Vlaze Heat Shield, Insert Surround, Hearth and Chamber Plate Forest Design

Heat Shields

The design of this heat shield is one of 30 finishes that allows you to add real character and satisfy your aesthetic impulses.

The vitreous enamel panel features a dual skin that provides thermal protection and an effective convection system that distributes heat back into the room.

Our rail mounted system included allows for quick and easy installation and when installed the shield reduces the stoves distance to the face of the panel to 95mm. In the case of a Charnwood stove this is reduced to just 75mm which is a vast improvement on HETAS regulations and really allows you to maximise the size of your space.

 

Vlaze Insert Surrounds

The designer finish of this stunning insert surround adds so much to the look and feel of the space. A beautiful backdrop to your wood-burning stove, whether the flames are flickering or not. Made to measure in one piece to fit around any insert stove, preventing cracking and discolouration on the chimney breast. They feature a slim 9mm radius edge insulated with fire rated fibre board, minimising intrusion into your space, supplying a neat and elegant finish.

 

Vlaze Hearth and Chamber Plates

We love this Forest Design hearth and chamber plate. This contemporary design offers a clean, modern platform on which to stand your stove. An excellent alternative to glass or polished stone they can be used on their own or alongside our heat shields and insert surrounds for a seamless floor to wall solution.

The smooth gloss surface finish is heat resistant, easy to clean and is available in over 30 colours & designer finishes. Each hearth features a smooth radius edge and is insulated with fire rated fibre board to take the heat and weight of the stove.

Our hearth plates are available in 5 sizes which is suitable for most stoves and are constructed to a solid 12mm depth which conforms to UK building regulations for non constructional hearths.

 

Bodj Accessories

 

The beautiful range of Bodj fireside accessories above are a perfect complement to your fireplace. The minimalist, elegant lines married to high-quality natural materials, create fireplace furnishings that add style and sophistication.

Bodj is a fair-trade initiative that aims to develop local Cambodian businesses in order to relieve poverty and improve social and environmental conditions for the future. They produce a range of sustainably sourced, beautifully designed fireside accessories for the ethical and style-conscious home.

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Having the perfect fireplace at the heart of the home involves careful consideration of all aspects of the process. A beautiful stove is unquestionably the most crucial element, however choosing the right accessories can have a significant impact on performance and your personal satisfaction.

 

For frequent fireside inspiration, we encourage you to follow along with our Instagram accounts @charnwoodstoves and @vlazesurface.

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At Charnwood we feel strongly about caring for the environment. We consider design, packaging, transportation, the materials we use and how we handle them, all with a view to being as environmentally friendly as possible. With far better eco credentials than oil, coal or gas, a wood-burning stove is an opportunity to make a positive environmental impact. However, to maximise this, it’s important to use your stove the right way.

Whether you are a new owner or eagerly awaiting your new order’s arrival, it’s wise to do a little research before lighting your first fire – however tempting it may be to strike that first match! In this blog we will discuss the essential stove tips that will give you a significant head start on your journey into the wonderful world of wood-burning — enabling you to optimise your stove for both the environment and your personal satisfaction.

 

Choosing your wood

 

 

A key factor in creating that warm, cosy fire is the choice of wood you burn. Charnwood stoves are designed to run on seasoned or kiln-dried wood with a moisture content of less than 20%. This is important because it produces a significantly cleaner and more efficient burn.

Hardwoods such as ash, birch, beech, or oak are renowned for burning hot, clean and for longer periods. Softwoods such as fir, pine and sycamore can be used but will burn faster with moderate heat output. Freshly cut logs generally contain over 60% water and should be dried for 18-24 months before the wood is ready to burn. Here is a useful chart that gives more detail about different species and their various qualities.

 

There are four key stages to seasoning wood

 

 

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 wind. A 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. 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 metre). 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.

 

Kiln dried wood

This is another widely available alternative and an excellent choice! The wood is cut, split and dried in large ovens, which speeds up the seasoning process. Look out for the Woodsure Ready to Burn label which guarantees a moisture content of 20 % or less.

 

What not to burn

If you are a new owner, it’s tempting to burn almost anything you can get your hands on, however for environmental and health reasons we strongly recommended against this. What to avoid requires a certain amount of common sense as the list is long, but here are a few key ones to be mindful of.

-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.

 

Lighting your fire
 

 

Now you have the right wood for your needs, there are several stages you should know to building and lighting a successful fire in your stove. Following our four simple steps when making your fire will allow your stove to run at maximum efficiency and with minimum emissions.

1/ Clear the grate of ash then place 2-3 smaller logs on the stove bed. On top of this build a ‘Jenga style’ stack of 6-8 kindling sticks and place a natural fire lighter inside.

2/ Fully open the air control for maximum air intake and a quick and easy ignition. Light the fire lighter.

3/ Close the door but leave it slightly ajar. This helps to heat the chimney flue for a clean burn. Once the fire is burning well close the door and reduce the air control.

4/ Every time a log is added open the air control again until the fire is burning well and then return the air control to normal. Re-fuel little and often.

 

Maintain your stove

 

 

The winter months are when your wood burning stove will see the most use. Regular maintenance will ensure your stove burns safely and efficiently while giving you many years of service.

CLEAN THE GLASS

If soot accumulates on the stove glass, we offer an effective Atmosfire dry wiper for cleaning. For any stubborn stains you can use a stove glass cleaner or ceramic hob cleaner but avoid using any abrasive cleaning products.

CLEAN THE SURFACE

When it comes to cleaning the exterior surface of your stove and the surrounding area, you can’t go far wrong with a soft brush and a damp, lint free cloth. It is important you only clean your stove when it is unlit and cool to the touch.

EMPTY THE ASH PAN

When burning wood, it is helpful and effective to start your fire on a bed of wood ash but avoid letting the ash build up too much. When your stove is not in use empty out the ash pan and firebox completely.

INSPECT DOOR SEALS

Take the opportunity to regularly check the rope seals on the doors and around the flue to ensure your fire box is airtight and the doors close firmly. A well-sealed stove will burn much more efficiently and effectively.

A FRESH COAT OF PAINT

For a quick touch-up or a complete colour change we offer cans of our high temperature stove paint in the 8 Charnwood colour options. This is a simple yet brilliant way to give your stove a new lease of life.

SWEEP FREQUENTLY

It’s important to keep your flue clear of blockages and soot and we recommend you have your chimney swept at least once a year. A Charnwood stove is fitted with a drop-down throat plate allowing you to sweep through the appliance with minimum mess.

 

Enhance your stove experience

 

 

Charnwood offer a wide range of accessories designed to optimise the performance of your stove and enhance your fireside experience.

COOKING PLATE

Available for most of our models this cast-iron plate replaces the blanking plate on a Charnwood stove where a rear outlet has been fitted to create a highly effective hot plate for cooking. It comes complete with 4 trivets.

TOASTING FORK

The perfect gift for any stove fanatic. Simply place the magnetic holder onto the stove top and suspend the fork in front of the glass. The fork and holder are made from stainless steel with a turned beech handle.

You can find our full range of accessories along with spare stove parts on our website charnwood.com.

 

Bodj Fireside

 

 

Our sister company Bodj offer a beautiful range of fireside accessories which are a perfect complement to any fireplace. From elegant log baskets to the fireside tools needed to help maintain the daily glow and warmth emanating from you stove. It’s award winning design, handmade by experienced craftspeople, using sustainable and locally sourced materials.

 

View the whole range at Bodj.co.uk

 

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Woodburning stoves make for a great addition to any home and can completely change the atmosphere and ambiance of a room. As well as an efficient and clean source of heat, a wood-burning stove should also be a focal point within a room and compliment the overall aesthetic.
Whether you want a cosy homely feel, or something more dramatic and contemporary, we’ve put together some wood-burning stove design ideas for inspiration.

How do you decorate a room with a wood-burning stove?

How you choose to decorate your room with the addition of a wood-burning stove will depend on several factors, including the style of your home, where the stove will be positioned and whether you want to achieve a modern or traditional aesthetic.

What do you put behind a wood-burning stove?

Stone and brick are popular materials to use behind a wood-burning stove if you want to achieve a rustic, natural look. However, you may wish to use patterned tiles, stone veneer or specialist fireplace chamber lining panels such as vitreous enamel. Again, what you put behind your wood-burning stove will depend on its position in the room.

How far off the wall should a wood-burning stove be?

Generally, a wood-burning stove will need at least 100mm clearance from the wall, however, it may vary depending on the stove you choose. It is worth considering a wall mounted heat shield if you are tight on space. This will allow you to safely place your stove upto 95mm from the wall even if it is made from a combustible material. When you purchase a stove from one of our recommended Charnwood Stockists, they will be able to provide the exact information for the stove you choose. They will also tell you all you need to know about finding a qualified installer.

Woodburning stove design ideas

Classic stove

If you have an alcove or fire chamber in which to place your stove, opt for exposed brick with a wooden mantel above for classic charm.

Corner stove

Wood burning stoves placed in the corner of a room with an exposed flue look great in modern homes. They also come in a variety of unique shapes and colours for you to choose from.

Make it a centrepiece

Stoves don’t always need to be against a wall. If you have a larger room and are able to run a chimney up to the roof, consider making it a centrepiece and choose something tall and dramatic with a large picture window.

Add colour or pattern

Stoves come in a range of beautiful colours. If you choose black, you can still have fun with colour and pattern by tiling the hearth or surrounding area, or even by painting the brickwork a bold colour.

Go minimal

If you prefer a more minimalist approach, choose a black or white stove against a plain neutral coloured wall.

Stone veneer

Stone veneer is an affordable way of creating a traditional and luxe-looking fireplace that works in both contemporary and rustic homes.

Industrial look

Use a metal backdrop to create an industrial, modern look that gives the feel of a New York loft. You could also create a custom structure with metal or vitreous enamel panels for something truly unique.

Contact Charnwood today

Are you ready to transform your space with a woodburning stove? Please get in touch with Charnwood today. Our experts are on hand and ready to answer any queries you might have. Alternatively get some inspiration from our Instagram page or explore our range here.