charnwoodstoves

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!

charnwoodstoves

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/

charnwoodstoves

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

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

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

 

What to put behind a wood burning stove?

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

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

 

How to install a wood burning stove?

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

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

 

How to light a wood burning stove?

To follow your wood burning stove, follow these steps:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

4. Next, light the firelighter.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

How to use a wood burning stove?

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

How to clean a wood burning stove?

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Find out more about cleaning your wood burning stove here.

How to clean wood burning stove glass?

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

How much is a wood burning stove?

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

 

Are wood burning stoves bad for the environment?

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

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

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

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

 

How to fit a wood burning stove?

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

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

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

 

 

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




Your wood burning stove questions answered