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In my charming but chilly Victorian end of terrace, winters were not something I particularly looked forward to. It was a constant battle against drafts, and strategising when to crank up the central heating to get most bang for the buck. So, after two cold dreary winters I decided something had to change – it was time to invest in a wood burning stove! 

Read on to learn how I turned chilly evenings into toasty nights by the fire 

I moved into my home 2 and half years ago now and in the centre of the main living space a large open fire place was sealed off and not being used. Mould was an ever present issue during the winters as the home was designed to have the heat and airflow created by a working fire. Whilst the gas central heating works, it is expensive and never gets the house feeling truly warm and doesn’t contribute to ventilation. 

I didn’t want an open fire as I knew well enough that they weren’t very efficient and I am not a fan of a smokey living space. So, I feel the stars aligned when I started working at A.J Wells & Sons and I was finally presented with the perfect solution – one of their Charnwood wood-burning stoves!  

As I researched, learning about Ecodesign and different outputs I was happy to discover that all Charnwood stoves outperform those standards offering greater efficiency and even lower emissions. Therefore I felt I could choose based on what would look best in the space which in my opinion was the Charnwood Country 4 Blu. It’s a classic looking design, the perfect size, and I was told one of the easiest stoves to use – I was sold! 
 

I arranged for my installers to visit to measure up and assess my fireplace and chimney. They were intrigued by my slightly unusual fireplace which is open from two sides – a modification made by a previous owner no doubt. They assured me all would be well and we arranged a day for installation. Quick tip, stove installers are, unsurprisingly, incredibly busy in the autumn/winter months so it is well worth planning ahead and locking in your install date as soon as possible. 
 

Installation day arrived, and the folks from Stoveteciw were fantastic. They set about first installing the chimney register plate which seals the large chimney opening and is where the flue from the stove can attach to create a seal. Next thing I knew they were up on the roof and threading the chimney flue liner down the chimney to attach to the register plate.  

I chose a rear flue adapter for two reasons. It allowed me to place the stove where I wanted in the fireplace, but also it allowed a Charnwood cooking plate which was installed at the same time. As my confidence grows I’m going to be experimenting with a bit of stovetop cooking and whipping up some winter warmers. At the very least, boiling water for a cup of tea on a chilly morning is easy and way more atmospheric than the kettle. 

After some final tinkering and fine tuning the stove was in place and the room was transformed. A focal point where there once wasn’t any. This wasn’t just any appliance; it was a promise of warmth, comfort and good times – all in less than a day.  

It was a fantastic effort from the guys and it was clear they had done an expert job and left the place cleaner than they started! I strongly recommend using a HETAS registered installer to ensure the job is done properly and to get a HETAS safety certificate. This can be important for insurance purposes and is also useful if you ever want to sell your house. 

I’d already purchased my bags of Kiln dried wood (read why that’s important here!), fire lighters and kindling in preparation for this moment and I was ready to go! I checked the stove essentials pamphlet that comes with all Charnwood stoves (also available online), to remind myself of the best way to light the fire. 
 

Then came the moment of truth – lighting the first fire. Now, as with most household appliances with heating elements, the first time lighting your stove can create a slight smell, but that quickly passes and then your stove is fully cured and ready to be enjoyed. Following the top down, Jenga stacking method meant I had crackling flames and radiating warmth in no time – pure magic!  

I’m now enjoying the end of the cold weather and far from dreading next winter. In fact, I think I’m going to miss the fire for a few months. It has become my go to way to unwind in the evening and the best way to put down the phone/laptop and let my mind decompress and relax away from a screen. I now fully understand what other wood-stove owners were saying when they described the many ways owning and using a wood-stove enhanced their wellbeing. 

My final thoughts to those of you interested in a stove, I’d say, of course, do your research, speak to a Charnwood registered dealer/installer for advice on what your space needs and plan well in advance for next winter. Your future self will thank you! 

P.s Oh and don’t forget to register for Charnwood’s amazing 10 year guarantee! 

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We are proud to amplify the Stove Industry Association (SIA) and their excellent article that highlights the many benefits of having a modern wood stove in the home. We encourage you to visit the SIA website to read the full article and learn more about the SIA’s valuable work. 

Here, we will look at some of the key takeaways!   

General benefits & wellbeing 

Modern sustainable wood-burning stoves offer a low-emission and highly efficient way to heat your home. When used correctly, they contribute to a reduced carbon footprint while warming your main living space with ease. This gentle radiant heat extends throughout your property, creating a consistently comfortable living environment. 

A real fire can help promote feelings of warmth and security and provides a focal point for the whole family,  benefiting mental wellbeing.  

Read more about the well-being benefits here  

Anti-mould and damp 

They’re highly effective at heating your space which combats drafts and cold spots, creating a consistently warm environment. Additionally, they help circulate air and ventilate your property, helping reduce condensation and moisture buildup, a common issue in older homes.  

A roaring stove typically draws air and moisture from the room it’s in, before evaporating and expelling it through the chimney system. This can help alleviate the formation of mold and damp, creating a healthier and more comfortable living space. 

Fuel security & independence 

A wood-burning stove provides independence from the grid, ensuring you can heat your home even during power cuts. And unlike fluctuating mains energy bills, with a pre-purchased fuel supply, you gain control and cost-efficiency, knowing exactly what you’re using/paying to stay warm. 

Read more about best-wood stove practices to save you money and reduce emissions!  

The SIAs key facts on PM & Carbon Emissions 

“There is a world of difference between an open fire and a modern stove designed for precision combustion and maximum efficiency. Switching from an open fire to a modern stove will reduce PM emissions by up to 90%.”  

“Scaremongering tactics about “domestic combustion” as a whole are unhelpful. Modern Ecodesign compliant stoves burning dry wood make up a tiny fraction of UK particulate matter emissions – less than 0.1% in fact. Source: NAEI 

“Using dry wood fuel is both sustainable and renewable; wood logs have the lowest carbon emissions factor of any domestic heating fuel at 0.01 kg CO2e per kWh. That’s 1/20th the carbon emissions of natural gas or electricity and 1/29th that of oil. Source: gov.uk 

“Burning dry wood (e.g. Ready to Burn certified) in a Ecodesign compliant stove (e.g. clearSkies certified) makes up just 0.09% of total UK PM2.5 emissions. Source: NAEI. Take care when choosing your appliance and your fuel to ensure that you minimise emissions and maximise efficiency.” 

Read more here: https://www.charnwood.com/news/smoke-and-mirrors-exposing-the-flawed-data-behind-the-war-on-wood-stoves/  

Biodiversity & the wood fuel industry  

 

Choosing locally sourced wood fuel supports small businesses, reduces transportation emissions, and contributes to the health of our woodlands. 

Sustainable wood management is crucial for maintaining their health and diversity, while helping reduce wildfires and providing a vital habitat for wildlife. By choosing responsibly sourced fuel, you can contribute to a more resilient ecosystem. 

“Unmanaged woodland is bad for wildlife. At present 42% of UK woodland is unmanaged. Source: Small Woods Association 

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These are just some of the many reasons to consider getting a wood burning stove. For even more reasons, check out this article here. However, if you’ve heard enough you can click here for help choosing the right stove for your home.

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We have been eagerly anticipating the updated figures for PM 2.5 emissions from ‘domestic burning’ as we knew this should go a long way to settling the debate that has been raging on socials and in the wider media this winter. The reason all eyes are on this data is because it reflects a period of emissions that coincided with record stove sales. Therefore, if anti-wood-burning campaigners were right then a significant increase in PM2.5 should, logically, be observed. However, as reported by the SIA, Defra have finally released their figures and it is official: PM2.5 from domestic burning has DECREASED despite record wood-burning stove sales over the same period.

The release of the latest air pollution data by Defra shows an 18% reduction in PM2.5 emissions nationally between 2012 and 2022.

Particulate emissions from “domestic combustion” fell between 2021 and 2022 with a 3.9% reduction in PM10 and a 4% reduction in PM2.5 from “domestic combustion”. The latest data also shows that PM2.5 emissions from the domestic use of wood fuel specifically fell by 2.7%.

Chair of the SIA, Andy Hill, commented:

“SIA members reported annual sales of over 200k units in 2022, a 40% increase on 2021. This increase was driven by several factors including spiralling energy prices and increasing consumer apprehension regarding grid reliability. What is clear from the latest data is that, despite an increase in stove sales, domestic emissions have come down. This points clearly and conclusively to the improvement in air quality that can be achieved by replacing open fires and older stove models with modern, Ecodesign design compliant stoves such as clearSkies certified appliances.”

“The SIA looks forward to being able to apportion the numbers more accurately once the NAEI publishes the detailed source and activity name data that drives the top-level figures released by Defra. Last year this clearly showed that PM2.5 emissions from Ecodesign stoves burning dry wood fuel accounted for less than 0.1% of the UK total.”

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We are delighted this data finally confirms what we have been trying to communicate about the benefits offered by modern wood burning stoves. But rest assured, it is our full intention to go even further in reducing emissions. Through further investment and technological advances and extending our hand to those across the aisle to collaborate.

In one of our most recent blogs, we called upon those seeking to ban wood-burning to open constructive dialogue so that we can potentially work together to make even greater progress reducing emissions. The data is conclusive, and it’s time to come together and focus on the pragmatic changes that will move the needle further in the right direction.

Please read more here: Shared Goals, Cleaner Air: Reimagining The Wood Burning Debate With Healthy Dialogue & Believing The Best In Each Other

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Whilst the notion that a colder winter follows a hot summer isn’t necessarily supported by science, it’s smart to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. With temperature records recently broken and weather impossible to predict, who is going to bet against it being a particularly chilly winter?!

With talk of gas and electricity prices rising significantly from October, it is understandable to feel somewhat alarmed. Rather than just feeling a sense of helplessness, we will discuss some tips for how stove owners can be proactive and soften the effects of the cost-of-living crisis. After all, the trusty wood-burner helped many homeowners through the oil crisis of the 1970s, and we’ll show you why it can still be relied upon more than ever in 2022.

Read on to get some stove owner tips (for all budgets) to help prepare for the winter energy crisis.

 

Get winter ready now!

Whether you’ve owned a stove for several years or are still considering buying one, it makes sense to start your preparations now. During the summer months, demand for stoves and spare parts, as well as stove installers and chimney cleaning services, reduces slightly and can make the process easier and sometimes a little cheaper.

 

Wood-stove owner tips to prepare for winter:

 

Clean your chimney and service your stove

We recommend an annual service for your chimney and stove. This ensures optimum performance and safety, meaning you are burning wood efficiently/cost effectively and avoid potential (expensive) problems down the line. We recommend speaking with your local dealer or installer about organising an annual service.

Explore how to clean your wood-burning stove!

 

Buy a great value & highly efficient stove

The Charnwood Country 4 Blu is fantastic value and a great long-term investment suitable for most homes. While the Country 4 is the smallest model in the Country collection, it still incorporates the ingenious features of the larger stoves and is exceptionally fuel efficient.

The Country 4 takes a decent sized log length of 332mm (13”) and has a rated output of 5kW and can be installed in certain situations without the need for external air – this is ideal for most sizable family rooms.

 

Fix up your existing stove

If you can’t afford a new stove, then the spares site could be just the solution to give your existing stove a new lease of life! We still recommend everyone upgrade to one of our new ultra-efficient stoves as soon as possible, but for those who are currently struggling financially, we hope the spares shop can help tide you over.

 

Heat Shields

Protect your home and benefit from redirecting your stove’s heat back into the heart of the room, further improving efficiency. Vlaze, our sister company, offer the original and best heat shields on the market. Check out our broad range of heatshields!

Source your wood early

Demand for wood has skyrocketed recently and this may have knock-on effects. It is prudent to source your wood from a local supplier now, so that you are winter ready and avoid any potential price rises as we approach the colder months.

 

Reduce your fuel bill – free sources of wood for your log burner!

1. Fallen trees

After a storm, fallen trees and branches become available which, with permission, you can collect, dry out/season, and use for firewood.

2. Industrial off-cuts

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

3. Freecycle

People often advertise free wood on sites like Gumtree and Freecycle for those who are happy to collect it.

Wherever you source your wood from, it must be untreated and free from paint, finishes or other potentially harmful substances. Also, check wood with a moisture meter and do not burn it unless it has a moisture content of less than 20%. This reduces harmful emissions and will increase the lifespan of your stove. For a list of the best types of firewood check out our Firewood chart.

Explore more on how wood is a sustainable fuel.

Save energy by cooking and heating at the same time

As well as heating your home you can save energy by cooking on your stove at the same time!

For some recipes, our blog has some great ideas…

Four things to cook on a stove top

If you want to take your stove cooking to the next level, keep your eyes peeled for our autumn stove release. The Charnwood Haven is a brand-new compact wood-burning cooker to celebrate Charnwood’s 50 years in business.

It has the functional charm of a rustic range cooker, but with all our clean burn technology included. It provides a 6kw output and comes equipped with a well-sized oven and large hot plate enabling you to cook with a wide array of pots, pans, and trivets. The integrated thermometer allows for greater temperature control and cooking accuracy. We are all excited by this one!

Also explore how to prepare your wood-burning stove for winter.

 

Fuel/Energy independence = Positive wellbeing!

Another significant reason to get a wood-burning stove is to protect yourself from fuel supply disruptions. Whether it is the result of a localised storm or wider national disruption, it is extremely reassuring to know that you can warm your home and cook food for the family with your trusty stove!

Here are some customer responses to our Wellbeing Survey in relation to owning a stove:

“We love our log burner. It makes us feel warm, safe and secure. It helps heat the whole house, which has proved an asset in power cuts. Nothing beats sitting in the living room with the warmth of the fire in the depths of winter.”

“Lighting the stove after a walk by the sea during winter is a joyful experience. Has helped to alleviate the worry of power failures as we live in an area prone to electricity outage during bad weather. Just knowing that we have our lovely stove for independent heat and low light is fab.”

“Back up for central heating given no of power outages,”

“As an electric only house, we wanted a plan b during a power cut to heat the home”

“more efficient than previous coal fire and, in extremis, if gas supply fails or is too expensive, will provide warmth.”

“Having a wood burner means I am less vulnerable in power cuts. I can still have heating, boil a kettle, cook food if I need to.”

The peace of mind our customers get from knowing, whatever the weather or economic or political climate, they can access fuel locally to heat their home is huge.

Explore other wellbeing benefits of owning a log burner!

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We believe our products can contribute positively towards combating the environmental and cost of living challenges we face. Therefore, we are passionate about sharing ideas to be proactive and turn anxiety and uncertainty into confidence and optimism. We hope you will consider sharing this article with someone you think might benefit from reading it.

 

Why Choose Us?

Charnwood Stoves stands out as your trusted partner during the winter energy crisis. Our wood stoves are meticulously crafted to offer optimal efficiency and warmth, ensuring you stay comfortable while minimising energy consumption. With a commitment to sustainability, our team prioritise eco-friendly solutions that help combat climate change.

Choose Charnwood for reliable performance, innovative design, and a dedication to reducing your carbon footprint. Join us in creating a greener, more sustainable future without compromising on comfort or quality.

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Charnwood is passionate about championing wood as a sustainable and eco-friendly fuel source. As the world transitions towards cleaner energy, wood continues to be a renewable, local, and efficient option that works perfectly in tandem with other renewable heat solutions. 

Wood fuel has multiple benefits 

Wood isn’t just great for generating heat; it also contributes to the health of our environment and the well-being of our communities. So, it is great news that, according to the Woodland Trust’s 2021 report, the UK’s woodland cover has more than doubled in the last 100 years, reaching 13.1% of the total land area. Forest coverage is set to continue increasing which provides a host of benefits, including: 

Carbon Sequestration: Wood absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it grows. When wood is burned responsibly, a closed-loop carbon cycle can be created with the carbon dioxide released being reabsorbed by new trees. 

Biodiversity Enhancement: Woodlands are the habitat for a diverse range of wildlife, including many insects and birds. When done sustainably, harvesting wood encourages new growth and benefits biodiversity. 

Local Jobs: Wood fuel production and distribution creates jobs and supports economies in rural areas. This is crucial for maintaining the vibrancy of local communities. 

Harvesting & using wood sustainably 

To ensure the long-term sustainability of wood as an energy source, it’s essential to adopt responsible practices including: 

Silviculture: Silviculture encompasses the nurturing and management of woodlands. It’s the practice of controlling the growth, composition/structure, as well as quality of forests while supporting timber production. A wide spectrum of silvicultural systems exists, each tailored to specific woodland types and areas.  

Practicing coppicing: a traditional method of harvesting trees by cutting branches and shoots, allowing them to regrow and provide a continuous supply of wood. 

High-Efficiency Stoves: Using high-efficiency stoves that burn cleanly and efficiently, minimising emissions and maximising heat output. 

Avoiding Freshly Felled Wood: Avoiding burning freshly felled ‘wet’ wood, as it produces higher emissions due to its high moisture content. 

Why seasoned wood matters 

 

Seasoned wood is wood that has been dried so that its moisture content is 20% or lower. This is crucial for several reasons: 

Reduced Smoke Emissions: Seasoned wood burns with a cleaner flame, producing significantly lower levels of smoke and harmful pollutants. 

Better Burning Efficiency: Dried wood ignites more easily and burns more evenly, ensuring maximum heat output and minimising waste. 

Extended Stove Life: Burning seasoned wood helps to protect your wood stove from damage caused by excessive moisture and creosote buildup. 

 At Charnwood, we recommend using Woodsure wood. Woodsure is a UK-wide wood fuel certification scheme that ensures the wood you’re buying is sourced responsibly and is of the highest quality. Woodsure wood is always seasoned to the correct moisture content, ensuring you enjoy a clean, efficient, and eco-friendly heating experience. 

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Wood, when harvested and used responsibly, can play a significant role in a sustainable energy future. Charnwood are committed to creating a cleaner, greener future powered by renewable energy sources while preserving the natural beauty and wonders of our woodlands. Choosing your wood wisely and using best stove practices, you can be confident that you are contributing to a sustainable future while enjoying the warmth and comfort of a wood-burning stove. 

 

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When it comes to heating our homes, firewood is a popular choice. However, using wet or improperly seasoned firewood can lead to reduced efficiency, increased smoke and even potential chimney fires. This article will guide you through the process of checking firewood moisture content, understanding the ideal moisture levels, and recognising the importance of properly seasoned firewood for optimal burning.

 

Checking Firewood Moisture Content

 

What should the moisture level of logs be?

To achieve efficient and clean burning, firewood should be properly seasoned to reach an ideal moisture level. The optimal moisture content for firewood is generally considered to be around 15-20%. Anything above 20% is considered wet, while below 15% is considered overly dry.

 

How do you know if firewood is dry enough?

There are a few methods you can use to check how moist your firewood is.

 

Visual Inspection

Inspect the firewood for visible signs of moisture such as bark that is still attached, discolouration of the log, or a dull appearance. Wet wood tends to be heavier (because of the weight of the water) and may show signs of mould or fungi growth.

 

Sound Test

Tap two pieces of firewood together. If they produce a dull thud or a heavy sound, it indicates higher moisture content. Dry firewood will sound hollow and produce a sharper noise.

 

Moisture Meter

Investing in a moisture meter is an excellent way to accurately measure the moisture content of firewood. These devices use metal prongs to penetrate the wood and provide a digital readout of the moisture percentage. Because they provide a specific number, moisture meters are the most accurate method of determining firewood moisture content.

 

Why is firewood’s moisture level important?

Understanding the importance of firewood moisture levels is key to efficient and safe burning. Here are a few reasons why it matters:

 

Energy Efficiency

Wet firewood contains a significant amount of moisture, which requires extra energy to burn off. This energy is wasted as it is used to evaporate excess water rather than generate heat. Properly seasoned firewood with ideal moisture levels (15-20%) maximises energy efficiency.

 

Reduced Smoke and Pollution

Burning wet firewood produces more smoke, particulate matter and harmful pollutants. By using dry firewood, you can minimise smoke production and reduce environmental pollution.

Check out the best firewood to burn chart UK here.

 

Chimney Safety

Wet firewood can create excessive creosote build-up in the chimney, which increases the risk of chimney fires. Properly seasoned firewood has the right moisture content and thus reduces the likelihood of dangerous amounts of creosote building up in your chimney.

Find out our firewood storage suggestions here.

 

Can firewood be too dry?

While it’s essential to avoid using wet firewood, excessively dry firewood can also pose challenges. Extremely dry firewood burns quickly and can lead to an overly hot fire that may damage your fireplace or wood stove and is likely to be uncomfortable for you and your family.

The best way to check if certain firewood is too dry is with a moisture meter as it will give you an easy-to-read percentage – anything less than 15% is too dry. In the rare event that your wood is too dry, mix it in with regular firewood to help raise the moisture content.

Find out everything you need to know about firewood here.

 

Why Choose Us?

Charnwood has been committed to providing quality wood-burning stoves since 1972 and we know all there is to know about wood burners, and how to get the most out of the wood you burn. If you have any questions about heating your home with a wood-burning stove, please get in touch.

 

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Wood-burning stoves are a popular way to heat homes because they offer an unparalleled source of comfort and warmth, however, it is important to be aware of carbon monoxide (CO) and the potential threats associated with its emissions.

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas that can be very dangerous if inhaled in high concentrations. In this article, we will discuss the dangers of carbon monoxide, symptoms to look out for and, importantly, effective strategies for preventing carbon monoxide issues when using a wood-burning stove.

 

Why CO Is So Dangerous

Carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas because it binds to haemoglobin in the blood and reduces its ability to transport oxygen effectively. This can lead to oxygen deprivation and carbon monoxide poisoning. The gas can accumulate indoors and pose a severe threat, especially in poorly ventilated spaces. Even low levels of carbon monoxide exposure can result in long-term health issues.

Find out our commonly asked questions around wood-burning stoves here.

 

CO Exposure Symptoms to Look Out For

Recognising the signs of carbon monoxide exposure is key for early detection and prevention of severe consequences.

Headaches and dizziness are common initial symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning; exposure can also cause nausea and vomiting, often accompanied by a general feeling of being unwell.

Excessive tiredness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating are further signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. These symptoms can be particularly dangerous as they may impair judgment and hinder your ability to recognise the risk.

If you or anyone in your home experiences any of these symptoms while using your wood-burning stove, immediately ventilate the area and seek fresh air, and consult a medical professional.

 

How to Avoid Carbon Monoxide Problems

While the effects of carbon monoxide inhalation can be severe, it is thankfully easy to minimise the risk by following some simple precautions.

 

Clean Out Your Wood-Burning Stove

Regular maintenance is essential for the safe operation of your wood-burning stove. Cleaning the stove and its flue system helps prevent the build-up of creosote, a highly flammable substance that releases carbon monoxide and can lead to chimney fires.

Regularly remove ash (leaving about an inch in the base) and debris from the stove’s interior, including the firebox, grate, and ash pan. Use a metal scoop or shovel designed for this purpose. Dispose of the ashes in a metal container placed away from flammable materials.

Find out how to clean your wood-burning stove here.

 

Get Your Flue Inspected Annually

It’s also important to have a clean chimney and flue. Schedule annual professional inspections and cleanings to remove creosote and other blockages from your chimney and flue system. A qualified technician will ensure that the flue is clear, reducing the risk of carbon monoxide build-up.

An annual inspection should include:

• Inspecting the flue for any cracks, leaks or damage that could result in the escape of carbon monoxide.

• Ensuring that there are no blockages or obstructions in the chimney, such as nests or debris. These can impede proper ventilation and increase the risk of carbon monoxide buildup.

• Assessing the combustion efficiency of your wood-burning stove. They will ensure that the stove is operating at its optimal level, minimising the production of carbon monoxide.

 

Provide Sufficient Ventilation

Proper ventilation is crucial to minimise the risk of carbon monoxide build-up. Ensure your stove is installed in a well-ventilated area, and that your home has adequate fresh air intake. Keep air vents unobstructed and consider installing a vent fan to improve air circulation.

 

Install Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Installing a carbon monoxide alarm is a crucial safety measure for any home with a wood-burning stove. These alarms can detect the presence of carbon monoxide gas and alert you to its presence, allowing for swift action.

Install a carbon monoxide alarm on each level of your home and near sleeping areas. Ensure they are mounted in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions for placement, and test your carbon monoxide alarms regularly to ensure they are working properly.

Explore how to use a wood-burning stove here.

 

Burn the Correct Fuel

Another important precaution to take is using only the correct fuel – this is paramount for safe wood-burning. Burn only seasoned hardwood that has been properly dried; it burns more efficiently, produces less smoke and reduces the risk of carbon monoxide emissions.

Do not burn treated or painted wood in your stove. These materials can release toxic chemicals when burned, including carbon monoxide.

 

Why Choose Us?

Charnwood has been committed to providing quality wood-burning stoves since 1972 and we know all there is to know about wood burners, and how to use them safely while providing the utmost in warmth and cosiness. If you have any questions about heating your home with a wood-burning stove, please get in touch.

 

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With the colder, darker months fast approaching, autumn is well and truly upon us.

And, with chunky knits, boots and jumpers already making an appearance, many people are thinking about how they’ll keep their homes warm and snug during the winter months.

Over recent years, wood burners have increased in popularity, with many people considering them to be an effective way to heat their homes for less during the ongoing energy crisis.

However, it’s important to remember that not all types of fuel are suitable for use in a wood burner. In fact, using the incorrect wood can increase maintenance costs, deliver poor stove performance, and even prove to be dangerous.

 

Types of wood to avoid

Within this guide, we’ll take a look at the types of wood you should avoid or burn with caution when using your wood burning stove.

 

Old pallets and treated timber

However tempting it may seem avoid burning pallets and treated timber. Paint, varnishes and oils can give off harmful emissions and can damage your stove and chimney.

Pine

Because pine has a high resin content, it is not considered the best wood to burn on a log burner. It burns quickly and the resin can seep out and clog up different parts of the stove system, which can lead to a whole host of operational problems. If you do choose to burn pine ensure it is well seasoned.

 

Larch

Much like Pine, Larch contains high levels of resin, which forms sticky deposits inside of the stove and flue.

 

Poplar

Poplar doesn’t burn for long periods of time and, when it does burn it can be smoky. As a result, it isn’t a good choice for a wood burner.

 

Laburnum

Laburnum is poisonous when used as firewood so should not be used as fuel for a log burner.

 

Alder

Alder produces a relatively low heat output, and is renowned for popping and sparking as it burns. This type of wood burns quickly but produces very little heat.

 

Chestnut

Most varieties of chestnut are okay to burn on a log burner, however, you should be aware that they tend to spit and spark, meaning many people are reluctant to use them.

 

Cypress

Cypress isn’t ideal as your main firewood source as it provides a low heat output and doesn’t produce very good coals.

 

Spruce

Spruce produces little heat making it an ineffective fuel for a log-burning stove.

 

Willow

Firewood should contain a moisture content of below 20%. Willow tends to grow in wet soils or beside water bodies, giving it a high moisture content so if you choose to burn it ensure it is dry and well seasoned.

 

Learn more about the different types of firewood.

 

What wood can I burn on a log burner?

Although there are many types of wood that shouldn’t be used on a wood burner, there are also many that you can use for fuel, including:

 

Hardwood firewood

Hardwoods, including ash, birch, maple, oak, and the majority of fruit trees, are some of the best fuels for wood burning stoves due to the fact that they can burn for long periods of time while generating plenty of heat. Hardwood is also cleaner to handle than other types of wood.

 

Softwood firewood

Some softwoods tend to be cheaper than hardwoods and can also be used in your wood burning stove.

 

Explore the best firewood to burn in the UK.

 

Why choose us?

Founded in 1972, we are a privately owned, family-controlled, British company specialising in the design and manufacture of high-quality wood burning and multi-fuel stoves. Our team are committed to providing the highest quality stoves, at the best possible price.

We also have a firm focus on protecting the environment and ensuring our operations are sustainable and responsible.

We operate a policy of caring for the environment in all aspects of the business; from the products we design, to the way we package them, to the way we transport them, to the way we deal with the disposal of waste products, to the vehicles we use, to our choice of raw materials.

 

Get in touch now

If you have any questions about our wood burning stoves, please get in touch with a member of our team today.

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As environmental concerns continue to shape the UK’s regulatory landscape, advancements in stove technology have been made to meet stringent eco-friendly standards. Multi-fuel stoves, widely popular for their versatility, efficiency, and aesthetic appeal, are not exempt from these regulations.

In this article, we will explore the latest regulations and rules governing multi-fuel stoves in 2023, with a focus on Ecodesign, planning permission, fuel liners, hearth requirements, and ventilation regulations in the UK.

 

What is Ecodesign?

Ecodesign is an initiative by the European Union to improve the energy efficiency and environmental performance of products, including stoves and fireplaces. It came into effect in the UK on January 1st 2022.

In the UK, Ecodesign regulations have been embraced as part of the government’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions and mitigating climate change and, as of 2023, all newly-manufactured stoves must meet the Ecodesign standards, ensuring lower emissions and higher efficiency compared to older models. Ecodesign sets out maximum emission levels of PM (Particulate Matter), CO (Carbon Monoxide), OGC (Organic Gaseous Compounds) and NOx (Nitrogen Oxide).

Ecodesign only affects those room-heating appliances made available for sale from 2022 onwards; stoves and fireplaces already installed will not be affected.

 

Will Ecodesign affect the heat produced in a multi-fuel stove?

No, the implementation of Ecodesign regulations does not necessarily impact the heat output of multi-fuel stoves. The primary aim of Ecodesign is to reduce harmful emissions, making these stoves more environmentally friendly. Manufacturers have adapted by employing innovative design features and technology to maintain or even improve heat output while complying with the Ecodesign standards.

Discover more about multi-fuel stoves.

 

Is planning permission required to install a multi-fuel stove?

In most cases, installing a multi-fuel stove in the UK does not require planning permission. Permitted Development Rights (PDR) allow homeowners to make certain improvements to their property without seeking planning permission. Under PDR, you can install a multi-fuel stove, provided it meets specific criteria, such as not being installed on a listed building or within a designated conservation area. However, it is always recommended to consult with your local planning authority or a professional installer to ensure compliance with local regulations.

 

Is it a legal requirement to have a flue liner?

While it’s not a legal requirement, using a fuel liner is highly recommended when installing a multi-fuel stove. A flue liner is a flue or chimney lining that ensures proper venting of combustion gases and helps prevent dangerous emissions, such as carbon monoxide, from entering your living space. A fuel liner will increase efficiency, help keep your chimney clean and improve safety.

Your wood burning stove needs to meet the building regulations listed in Document J, which recommends (but does not require) that flue liners are used.

 

Top Hearth Requirements

The hearth is the base on which the multi-fuel stove sits, and it must meet certain requirements to comply with UK regulations. The top hearth, also known as the stove hearth or constructional hearth, must be made from a non-combustible material, such as stone, concrete, or a suitable hearth pad such as enamel. It should extend a certain distance beyond the stove’s footprint to prevent accidental fires. The specific dimensions and constructional requirements may vary based on the stove’s heat output and other factors, so it is vital to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and UK building regulations.

 

Ventilation Requirements

Proper ventilation is essential to ensure the safe operation of a multi-fuel stove. Adequate air supply allows for efficient combustion and reduces the risk of carbon monoxide build-up.

The ventilation requirements of your home will depend in part on when it was built; homes built after 2008 are designed to have an air permeability of 5m3/hm2 or less, due to the increased energy efficiency. Homes built before 2008 are unlikely to meet this level of air permeability. You can have your stove fitter test your home’s air permeability.

For homes with an air permeability of 5m3/hm2 or more, i.e. most older homes, ventilation is only required for stoves with heat outputs above 5kW, and this is done in increments of 550mm2. For example, a 6kW heat output would require 550mm2, a 7kW heat output requires 1100mm2, an 8kW heat output requires 1650mm2 and so on.

For homes with an air permeability of 5m3/hm2 or less, i.e. any home built since 2008, and some homes built before, the increments of 550mm2 start from 0, so a 1kW heat output would require 550mm2, a 2kW heat output requires 1100mm2, and a 3kW heat output requires 1650mm2.

This ventilation can be achieved through vents in the wall or an air brick. Installers must carefully calculate the required ventilation to meet building regulations.

 

Why Choose Us?

Charnwood has been committed to providing quality wood burning stoves since 1972 and we know all there is to know about wood burners and their regulations. If you have any questions about heating your home with a wood burning stove, please get in touch.

 

charnwoodstoves

If you’re looking to transform your shed into a cosy retreat or a functional workspace, a wood burning stove can be the perfect addition. Not only does it provide efficient heating during cold months, but it also brings a rustic charm and warm ambience to your shed space.

However, before embarking on the journey of installing a log burner in your shed, there are crucial aspects to consider. From regulations and safety requirements to cost estimates and proper sizing, this comprehensive guide is designed to equip you with all the essential information you need to make informed decisions and ensure a successful installation.

 

Can I install a log burner in my shed?

In short, yes. A wood burning stove can be a fantastic addition to a shed, providing warmth and comfort while also giving the space a cosy atmosphere. However, they need to be installed properly and you may be better off in the long run hiring a professional to do it.

Firstly, size does matter – your shed needs to be big enough to accommodate not only the log burner but also the space required between the burner and any combustible materials, which may include the shed’s walls!

As part of scoping out your shed’s suitability for housing a wood burning stove, check the materials used to construct it. Wooden sheds are common, but some materials might not be suitable for log burner installations due to fire safety concerns. You may be required to fit non-combustible surfaces around and behind the log burner to make it safe. Take a look at our stove pod or Vlaze wall and floor panels : Both of these offer a very practical solution.

You also need to make sure that your shed has proper ventilation. Combustion requires oxygen, and without sufficient airflow, the wood burning stove may not burn efficiently or could even become a safety hazard due to the build-up of carbon monoxide.

 

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

The cost of installing a wood burning stove in a shed can vary depending on several factors, including the type of log burner, shed size, materials, and labour costs.

The price of the stove itself ranges from a few hundred to £1,500 or more, depending on the features. You’ll also need a flue pipe and a chimney installation. The cost of these components typically ranges from £150 to £500. Installing a non-combustible hearth beneath the stove is essential and can cost around £100 to £300.

Hiring a professional installer is highly recommended to ensure safety and compliance. Labour costs might range from £500 to £1000 or more, depending on the complexity of the installation. While this is a sizeable outlay, it could save you money overall.

 

Regulations for installing a wood burning stove in a shed

In the UK, installing a wood burning stove in a shed is subject to a number of safety guidelines.

There must be a safe distance between the wood burning stove and any combustible materials like wood, plastic, or insulation. Typically, the required distance is 60cm from the sides and 80cm from the front of the stove. There isn’t a legal minimum requirement so these distances vary by model and manufacturer.

The chimney height should conform to specific requirements, usually at least 4.5 meters from the top of the stove to the flue exit point. The chimney should use an appropriate flue liner to ensure the safe passage of smoke and gases.

A carbon monoxide detector must be installed in the shed to alert occupants if there is a potential build-up of this harmful gas.

The installation should be carried out by a qualified and registered professional who is familiar with building regulations and safety standards.

Does dampness affect the appliance?

Yes, dampness can impact the efficiency and safety of the log burner. Moisture can affect the structural integrity of the stove and its components. Additionally, damp wood can lead to incomplete combustion, producing excess smoke, creosote, and harmful gases.

To prevent dampness from affecting the appliance:

• Use only well-seasoned firewood with a moisture content of around 20% or less – dry firewood burns more efficiently and produces less smoke.

• Store firewood off the ground and protect it from rain and snow by using a woodshed or covering.

• Ensure your shed has adequate ventilation to allow for proper air circulation. Good ventilation helps to prevent moisture buildup inside the shed.

• Invest in a moisture meter to regularly check the moisture content of your firewood.

• Clean your wood burning stove and flue regularly to remove any accumulated ash, debris or creosote.

• Install a chimney cap on top of the flue to protect it from rainwater and debris

• Regularly inspect the roof, chimney, and flue for any signs of leaks. Address any issues promptly to prevent water from entering the shed and affecting the wood burning stove.

• If possible, position the log burner away from potential sources of dampness, such as leaky windows or doors, or anywhere water might drip onto it.

• In cases where dampness is a persistent issue, consider using a dehumidifier inside the shed. A dehumidifier helps to reduce excess moisture in the air and creates a drier environment.

 

Best Wood burning Stove Sizes

The best size will depend on your shed’s dimensions and insulation levels. A stove that is too large may overheat the space, while one that is too small may not provide sufficient heat. To determine the best size, calculate the cubic meters of the shed by multiplying the length, width, and height, and take note of your shed walls’ thickness and composition. Then, consult a specialist; they’ll be able to recommend a stove size based on your shed’s measurements and insulation.

 

Sealing a Roof When Installing a Wood burning Stove

Properly sealing the roof where the flue penetrates is crucial to prevent leaks and maintain the shed’s weather resistance.  Install a flue pipe collar around the flue pipe where it exits the roof, then use a weatherproof sealant to fill any gaps or joints. This provides a watertight seal and prevents water from entering the shed.

Always consider hiring a professional roofer or installer to ensure the roof sealing is done correctly and complies with building regulations. Remember to check and comply with local regulations and obtain necessary permits before installing a wood burning stove in your shed. Safety should always be the top priority, and professional installation is highly recommended.

 

Why Choose Us?

We’ve been committed to providing quality wood burning stoves since 1972 and we know all there is to know about wood burners, wherever they’re installed. If you have any questions about heating your home with a wood burning stove, please get in touch.