charnwoodstoves

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 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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The next in a series of essays by Charmain Ponnuthurai explores the importance of real fire in a modern world.

Sometimes we don’t, as the classic saying goes, see the wood for the trees. The argument against wood fires has reached this territory, and there is the danger that any understanding becomes lost in a forest of soundbites and clickbait headlines. Each side of the argument of course has biases towards their own interests, and there are, of course, holes in both. However, with the question of peoples’ wellbeing at stake, it is in everyone’s interests to ensure that we are considering all angles and understanding how serious the holes are.

We understand more than ever that physical and mental health do not stand in isolation from each other: instead they feed into one another in a symbiotic relationship. According to Cell Biologist Dr Bruce Lipton, our subconscious is the most potentially harmful component to our overall health, as without an understanding of our subconscious needs and desires, we cannot change our outside circumstances to match. The most harmful action towards our cells, according to Dr Lipton, is our ability to de-program the learnt behaviours from ages one to seven that determine how we react to 95% of dealing with daily life. This stagnation means we are not in touch with ourselves and fail to follow the much simple advice by all spiritual teachings, ‘of being in the moment’.

Technology has irrevocably changed the lives of all of us: we have a constant bombardment of information and data thrown at us, a stream that doesn’t even pause as we walk down the street, or take a journey on a train. We are constantly locked into our phones. This has resulted in an increased sense of anxiety both just when we speak to each other but from the data itself. Endless stimulation is a hard drug to unwind from. The majority of us spend our days behind a screen, on a phone and or talking on zoom calls, rather than meeting each other face to face, compounding the sense of anxiety we all at times share. One of the best ways to relax, then, is to find ways to be still and understand what is determining our actions, through daily rituals such as cooking. As we found in the Charnwood survey, which sampled over 1,200 people, many found solace in their woodburning stoves. The majority of participants in the survey said the most important use of their stove was the sense of wellbeing it brought them. The naturalness and sense of calm of seeing the element of fire and watching the flickering of a flame is something we can all relate to, whether that be from candlelight or a campfire.

It is important, however, to consider how we may use our stoves in the most healthy and environmentally efficient way. We must first consider the difference between efficient stoves and other forms of indoor fire. In the World Health Organisation report on Household Air Pollution it specifically lists that open fires and inefficient stoves, “generates harmful household air pollutionClick here to read more

At Charnwood, our central and ongoing commitment is to efficiency and the environment, to allow you to experience the maximum positive wellbeing effects, without compromising your physical health, or risking damage to your natural surroundings. We ensure efficiency by a constant refinement of the wood-burning process and technology, incorporated within our Eco Design. The key feature is our Quattroflow® Air Management System. You can read more about this here.

Our stoves are designed to run on seasoned or kiln-dried wood. It is very important that the logs you burn have a moisture content of less than 20%.

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.

Split wood into logs to a size to suit your stove’s firebox. 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%. 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 is another widely available alternative. 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.

The broader medical understanding we now have of the importance of the link between the body and mind for overall well being reminds us that in order to manage the stress of modern daily life, we need simple rituals that take us back to nature and ourselves. Lighting a fire is one simple beginning, Chef & co-founder of Acme Fire Cult says, “without fire we would never have evolved from having fur”. As long as you follow our tips to ensure your fire is as environmentally and human health friendly as possible, it is sure to work wonders for your physical and mental health.
 

Lighting your fire

Follow our four simple steps when making your fire. By running your stove in

this way you will achieve maximum efficiency with minimum emissions.

● Place 2-3 smaller logs on the stove bed. On top of this build a Jenga

stack of 6-8 kindling sticks and place a natural fire lighter inside

● 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.

● Fully open the air control for maximum air intake and a quick and easy

ignition. Light the fire lighter.

● 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 Charnwood 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 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 Charnwood 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 air

tight and the doors close firmly. A well sealed stove will burn much

more efficiently and effectively.

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. Your Charnwood stove is fitted with a dropdown

throat plate allowing you to sweep through the appliance with

minimum mess.

Read more about the argument surrounding wood fires and why there is more to the story

” Therefore see whether the light that is in you isn’t darkness. If therefore your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly full of light, as when the lamp with its bright shining gives you light.”

Luke 11:34–36

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The SIA have written a fantastic blog to address the anti-woodburner’s misleading, ambiguous and, in some cases, untrue media campaign. It was released in time for Clean Air Night to give consumers a chance to get both sides of the story. Here we will share the key information as we want to amplify their important voice in this ongoing debate.
 

The claims made here by the London Wood Burning Project (above left) and cleanairhub.org.uk (above right) rely on the grouping of all methods of burning wood (including garden bonfires & firepits) at home. However, the data from the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI) shows us that burning dry wood on an Ecodesign compliant stove accounted for less than 0.1% of total UK PM2.5 emissions in 2021.

Modern stoves offer a range of benefits and you can get both sides of the story and learn more about that here.

Just like the posts above, the term ‘wood burning’ in this post (below) is deliberately ambiguous and takes no account of the type of appliance or quality of the wood fuel.
 

There is reliable evidence that using dry wood and other sustainable solid fuels can help consumers reduce their home heating bills. A recent study by Gemserve for Homefire found that households with gas central heating that adopt zonal heating using dry wood fuel could save up to 7% on their annual heating bill and up to 11% using smokeless solid fuel in the same way.

The same study also found that using renewable, sustainably sourced wood fuel instead of fossil fuel gas results in typical carbon savings of over half a tonne of CO2e / year.

You can read more about this study here
 

The claim (above) that a wood burning stove is six times more polluting than an HGV is hugely misleading.

The claim is based on a report by the European Environmental Bureau published in 2022 that looks at the amount of emissions given off by generating a GJ of heat in a stove compared to the emissions releases generating a GJ of power in an HGV.

The claims made by the study rely on a simplistic calculation using permitted rates of emission. The study also fails to factor in the non-exhaust emissions of the HGV.

What we end up with is an apples and oranges comparison that fails to consider the impact of real-world use. According to a 2020 Defra report, on average stove users light their stoves for between 3.7 and 4.5 hours a day during the winter months. An HGV can be driven by the same driver for up to 9 hours per day, and the vehicle potentially operates 24/7 up to 365 days a year.

This means that over the course of 1 week’s real-world use a Euro 6 HGV actually produces 13 times more PM2.5 (271g) than an Ecodesign stove (20.16g). You can read more on this comparison here.
 

This claim (above) by campaign group Mums for Lungs is ambiguous and relies on the reader not seeking any further information on the data.

The data from the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI) which breaks down UK PM2.5 emissions by activity and source, shows us that in 2021 cigarette smoking accounted for 12 times more PM2.5 in the UK than burning dry wood on an Ecodesign compliant stove did.

Some of the adverts by the cleanairhub.org.uk, part of Global Action Plan, in support of Clean Air Night even contain false claims (see below).
 

This is one example. Contrary to the information given in this post, wood logs have the lowest carbon emission factor of any domestic heating fuel at 0.01kg CO2e per kWh. That’s 1/20th the carbon emissions of natural gas or electricity, and 1/29th that of oil.

Burning dry wood is a modern, Ecodesign compliant stove is a low carbon way to heat you home and can play a key role in helping the UK to meet its net zero objectives.

You can find out more about the benefits of choosing modern stoves here.
 

This statement (above) is false. Woodland management is needed to ensure healthy forests and the ecosystems they support.

Wood fuel is a key component of the woodland management cycle and the economies attached to it. Using wood as fuel also plays a vital role in maintaining woodland diversity, health, and resilience. Locally sourced wood fuel helps support small businesses and reduces the carbon footprint of fuel transport.

You can learn more about the importance of woodland management here
 

This is another misleading statement (above) and one which is actually disproved by the findings of a recent Imperial College study which found that a “clearSkies Level 5 stove demonstrated some benefits for indoor air quality” and that “the biggest increases in PM2.5 concentrations indoors did not relate to indoor wood or solid-fuel burning but instead were a result of cooking…”.

A literature review by commissioned by the SIA and carried out by the University of Manchester found no scientific evidence for adverse health impacts from exposure to the indoor air typically associated with modern, enclosed wood burning stoves.

You can read more about this here

And lastly for something positive. We could not agree more with this post and there are significant reductions (up to 90%) possible in the emissions created by domestic burning by switching from open fires and older stoves to modern, Ecodesign compliant stoves.
 

The SIA encourages all solid fuel stove users to educate themselves on the importance of:

Using the right appliance – if you use an open fire or an older stove it is time to upgrade. A modern Ecodesign compliant stove releases up to 90% less emissions than an open fire and up to 80% less than many older stoves.

Ensuring your stove is fitted by an appropriately qualified competent person e.g. HETAS or OFTEC registered.

Always use good quality fuel. Look for the Ready to Burn logo and never use chemically treated wood or burn waste on your stove.

Get your stove serviced and your chimney swept at least once a year. We recommend NVQ qualified sweeps for this.

You can download this page as a PDF here.

These blogs by SIA members are also well worth a read:

Charnwood Stoves

Certainly Wood

Charlton & Jenrick

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A negative narrative is being unfairly manufactured around the wood-burning stove industry, by anti-woodburning groups such as the ‘London Wood Burning Project’ and ‘Clean Air Hub’.

The TRUTH is that UK PM 2.5 emissions have been steadily decreasing over the years despite record stove sales. In this blog, we summarise the flawed data and unfair generalisations anti-woodburning groups are using.

1/ What do they mean by ‘Wood-Burner’ & ‘Domestic Burning’?

They combine emission sources (Inefficient Old Stoves, Open Fires, Bonfires and Modern Ultra Efficient Stoves) to create a bigger more impactful number, and then claim 17% of London’s emissions come from ‘domestic wood burning’ or ‘wood burners’. Catch-all terms the public understandably associates most often with wood-burning stoves – especially because they create ad campaigns prominently featuring images of wood stoves. However, the actual contribution of modern wood-burning stoves is estimated by the UK government’s official figures at just 1-2%! (1)

2/ They use Weak Science & Manipulate Data

Imprecise methodology

Their data collection relies heavily on estimations and ambient air sampling, offering a blurry picture at best. Traffic, construction, industrial processes and even natural dust all contribute to PM2.5 and cannot reliably be controlled in their methodology.
 

(Pg.20 of the LWBP report)

Walking around with modified backpacks does not allow them to distinguish in any way what the source of PM2.5 is in a given area.

Small sample sizes and insufficient testing equipment.

One of the major studies often cited, is by Rohit Chakraborty et al, and based on a sample size of just 19 homes that took measurements using, as they admit, “low-cost air quality monitors” (7)

Manipulated data

They exclude critical data to stack the narrative against wood-burning stoves. For example, comparing the emission rates between wood stoves and HGVs has caused unnecessary concern.

Closer inspection revealed their data excluded brake and engine wear and in fact, just one Euro 6 HGV produces 13 times more PM2.5 emissions than an Ecodesign wood-burning stove over the course of a week’s real-world use. Furthermore, emissions from HGVs are emitted at ground level (nearer head height) while wood smoke is dispersed more safely, higher up via a chimney flue. (8)

3/Claims Based on Their Opinion NOT Fact

In the bottom left-hand corner of every page of the London Wood Burning Project report you can see the following disclaimer:

“This report is the independent expert opinion of the author(s)”

Firstly, anyone can claim to be an expert, however, the key word here is ‘opinion’.

Well, the SIA has commissioned extensive independent research which casts serious doubt on the estimations and ‘opinions’ provided by anti-woodburners (6)

We highly encourage you to read this report undertaken by Dr Amanda Lea-Langton, senior lecturer in Bioenergy Engineering at the University of Manchester:

https://stoveindustryalliance.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/22-04-11-Indoor-air-final-V5-AL.pdf

4/ The Official Data is POSITIVE!

 

At the time of writing the original blog post (11/01/2024) on a very cold winter’s day when wood stove usage would typically be higher, here is the PM2.5 picture for the UK taken from DEFRA’s official website.

So, when the anti-woodburners say 17% of emissions. It is 17% of a very low amount in the first place. Then, remember modern wood-burning stoves are just 1-2% of that low amount.

5/ Modern Stoves Equal Lower Emissions with HUGE Benefits

-They produce heat reliably for sustained periods and are unaffected by the weather.

-Allowing them to work in tandem with wind, solar and other green heating solutions. A stove makes these great technologies more viable – They are not in competition with each other.

-Energy Security – a wood-burning stove is an ideal emergency/low-frequency heat source.

-Wood stoves are essential for off-grid, sustainable, eco-friendly living. Perfect for yurts and other tiny home accommodations.

-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.

-Wood fuel can be sourced locally 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.

-There are significant well-being benefits from using a wood-burning stove. Read about the Charnwood wellbeing survey and all the amazing benefits of owning a stove for your wellbeing.

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For more information check out the main article:  

Smoke And Mirrors: Exposing The Flawed Data Behind The War On Wood Stoves 

& 

Wood-Burning Stove’s Co-Heating Future (A Nuanced Look At PM 2.5 Emissions)   

 

 

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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.

Also, explore the top room heating stove accessories.

 

Why Choose Us?

Elevate your wood-burning stove experience with Charnwood Stoves, your trusted partner in warmth and style. Our commitment to excellence shines through in every product, ensuring you receive top-notch quality and functionality. Choosing Charnwood Stoves means selecting the epitome of innovation, as seen in our most popular stove accessory.

Discover unparalleled craftsmanship and design finesse, perfectly complementing your lifestyle. With Charnwood Stoves, you’re not just acquiring a product; you’re investing in a seamless blend of form and function. Join a community that values sophistication, efficiency, and a cosy ambiance. Make the smart choice — choose Charnwood Stoves for a warmer, more inviting home.

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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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The next in a series of essays by Charmain Ponnuthurai is about the joy of ‘Tiny Home Living’. Charmain (Dammy) is the author of Midnight Feasts: An Anthology of Late-night Munchies, and founder of Larder and Crane cookware.

Read to the end to find out how you can experience the joy of Tiny Home Living for yourself!

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It is He who sits upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants are as grasshoppers, who stretches out the heavens as a curtain, and spreads them out as a tent to dwell in. 

Isaiah 40:22

Anyone who has experienced camping, will be able to gauge a sense of what living in a yurt feels like. Camping in the UK is strictly governed by the weather, with the most dedicated campers battling against lashing rain, high winds and dampness. Whilst struggles with bad weather may not feel pleasant in the moment, they force us to exist entirely in the moment and sense nature – in touch, sight and sound. Even within a stormy landscape we now begin to see a seemingly infinite glimmer of light, one that we would likely not notice within the daily grind of our routine.

The first yurt dwellings, known by the Mongolians who used them as ‘Ger’, can be traced back thousands of years to Central Asia. Today over half of the Mongolian population live in Gers, meaning a life led in a far more shared and communal way than other city dwellers. In 2013, the Ger became part of Unesco’s intangible cultural heritage for Mongolian customs, reflecting the fact the innate cultural richness is both physically and inherently sewn into their homes.

The circular structure of the Ger means that it can be efficiently heated, whilst the crown of the yurt allows fresh air to circulate. The structure’s conception is directed by some of the Mongolian cultural and spiritual beliefs in terms of the sense of, ‘ the eternal blue sky’ and the principle of impermanence and embracing of the moment. The outer structure of the tent reflects the wheel of the Dharma and the principles of teaching known as the ‘Eightfold Noble Path’, (Understanding, Thought, Speech, Action, Livelihood, Effort,

Mindfulness and Concentration), whilst the infinity knots are about the universal interconnection between all things.
 

The opportunity to experience nature outside the cosseted walls of our homes is opened to us by time spent within a yurt. The interior of a yurt in its circular nature, also creates a different openness to how we interact outside of the compartmentalised ways that the dominant linear philosophy of life’s expectations sets our clocks too. Camping is almost an opportunity to renew a connection to our childhoods. Where we hopefully can recount innocent childhood pleasures such as finding that favourite stick, gathering petals, examining shells for the sound of the sea, writing and drawing freely on a myriad of surfaces, first attempting to pretend to read and the endless questions of why. Finding pleasure in puddles, collecting leaves, and enjoying the dirt of the outside world are all small infinite pleasures from childhood grounded in nature.

Young children look at the world with such untainted freshness. For them, there are no thoughts of expectation or judgement. The closest we get to such unabated joy in adulthood is the experience of mandatory snow days that come up from time to time, when nature holds society in a deep silence, like a soft canopy. With an enforced slow pace on us, as we again are captivated by the slowness that such a moment in nature gives us.

As we made our journeys to school, we begin our passage to goal setting, judgement of and by, and expectation. We are influenced not only by our family expectations, but those set by school and classmates. As the pre-teen age begins this is added to with the intensity of expectations set by a myriad of social channels. Sitting on a bus or train you can probably count on one hand the number of us that travel without the aid of some technical device that isn’t taking up our attention. This conveyor belt of existence has placed us perhaps in a gilded cage of our own making where the natural world around us, is relatively unnoticed. If a robin appears at your window and pauses, you are likely to miss the resonant joy of seeing it flitter and bring us back to childhood wonder.

Children are the ultimate minimalists; we have all heard a story where the cardboard box proves more of a play item than its contents. Minimalism and interconnectedness are two principles that go hand in hand, as a somewhat answer to the overwhelming pursuit of materialism. Minimalism considers not only the quality of an object, but the joy it brings, and subsequently reducing ownership of items that don’t meet this condition. Circular living takes this further, with the inherent goal to prevent waste and ensure that how we live is aligned to the limits of natural resource use. We look to value not necessarily productivity, but how we may share, reuse and think of regeneration and others in the way we consume. We see in circular thinking an unlimited connection to nature and a way of living that reaches out to those around us.
 

The Danish word ‘hygge’, shows us how we may think of the whole as a concept, at the most simplest level. Hygge means cosiness: feeling warm, comfortable, and safe. The Danes depict this sense as being achieved through such simple acts of lighting a candle, baking and spending time with people you love.

As we head to the end of the year to Christmas and the darkness of winter, light becomes increasingly important. We see it within the reassurance of a roaring fire, the lit candle, the warming oven, but most especially in the light we find in each other. That light can be found just through simple acts in thinking of others and sharing what we can give to make life brighter for all whom we encounter. We can draw that ‘Ger’ living into the walls of our own home, as we take those moments just to sit still and watch the simple magnificence that we see outside our window.

“The most important light is the one you cannot see”  Anthony Doeer

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If you haven’t read Charmain Ponnuthurai’s piece on ‘storytelling’ click here – we highly recommend it!

If you want to experience Yurt Living for yourself, in one of the most beautiful locations on the Isle of Wight, then check out our range of wonderful self-catering holiday accommodation at Moor Farm.

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We love December and the magic, tradition and festivities it brings. Nowhere is that magic stronger than in the Cotswolds at Charlie and Josie’s beautifully restored Grade II listed 14th Century home. We recently made our annual pilgrimage to visit them and film roaring log fires and the cosiest of festive decors. We even ended up featuring in Josies’ Vlogmas episode which you can check out below!

Read on for some behind the scenes fun and why a wood stove really brings the Christmas feels!
 

Fireplace dressing 

 

There are so many ways to dress a fireplace and we think you’ll agree that Charlie and Josie have achieved an absolutely stunning result! Their attention to detail and bauble strategising was totally worth it. You can’t help but feel in the Christmas spirit in a space like this – Father Christmas will be pleased to visit! 

At the same time as getting into full festive swing, it’s good to consider some ‘Elf and Safety measures’ and we have just the right blog for you!  8 Tips For Wood-Stove Users Over The Holiday Season 

The wood-burning stove lifestyle 

 

From collecting wood from the store, to building a fire and enjoying the unique bone warming heat that emanates, the process of owning a stove is a delight that puts you back in touch with yourself. 

Charnwood’s rich heritage 

 

Charnwood is over 50 years old, so despite the fun banter in the video, we can confirm Ced is not a founder, but he is one of the current directors and part of the 3rd generation of family to run the business. The ethos remains as strong as ever with a passion for British Made products (on the sunny Isle of Wight) using British materials. To find out more about the company’s history click here. 

Lights, camera, action 

 

Initially, there was a fair bit of cloud and natural light was lacking for the shoot. Thankfully Reuben, our fantastic videographer, had some tricks up his sleeve. He used some powerful video lighting, shot from outside, to create a really lovely low winter ray of sunshine through the window to light the fireplace. 
 
Fortunately, light improved, and the shoot was blessed with a rather fabulous sunset, which spurred Reuben into action. He fired up his drone and took to the skies filming the gorgeous old church against a beautiful winter sunset backdrop. 
 

Whilst lighting is important in a photoshoot it can be even more so in our everyday lives. The beautiful warm glow created by a wood-burning stove can help illuminate the dark winter evenings. Helping you create your own cosy winter ambience, that soothes the soul and lifts your spirits. 

Beyond aesthetics 

There are a range of Charnwood wood-burning stoves throughout this beautiful property providing a warmth that truly makes a home feel like a home.  

Beyond aesthetics, there are so many other reasons to invest in a stove for your home. Including energy independence and security, significant well-being benefits, supplementing other renewables, off grid living etc. Here is a blog that outlines in detail some of the many other reasons people choose to install a wood-burning stove.   

https://www.charnwood.com/news/the-real-reason-people-install-a-wood-burning-stove/ 

Here’s what our customers have to say 

These Charnwood customer quotes give great insight into owning a stove and why they are such an important part of their winter lifestyle! 

“I find the process of building and lighting the fire therapeutic and sitting watching the flames is very relaxing.” 

“Something the whole family enjoy doing together and it makes us all feel incredibly relaxed and happy.” 

“It’s a ritual on Christmas morning to rekindle the stove, and to unwrap the presents without a fire is unthinkable. There’s something magical about children in their pyjamas sitting on the rug in the cosy space in front of a blazing stove.” 

“My young nephew visited at Christmas & we built the fire together. It was the first time he had ever lit a real fire. We celebrated with toasting marshmallows! It wasn’t just building a fire – it was building a memory.” 

“After a day of sledging and building snowmen and having snowball fights with the family it was very relaxing and comforting for us all to warm up in front of the fire.” 

“My grandchildren ask for the fire to be on when they are having a hot chocolate on a frosty day.” 

“The stove is the catalyst for family bonding, which helps with relaxation & mood improvement. It helps to unwind after a days exertions at work.” 

“Christmas spent with all the family and grandchildren gathered around our stove brings happy memories all year round.” 

(Source: Charnwood Well-being Survey) 

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Finally, from everyone at Charnwood, we wish you the merriest and toastiest of Christmas’s! 

 

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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. 

 

charnwoodstoves

The next in a series of essays by Charmain Ponnuthurai is about ‘Going Inwards’. Charmain (Dammy) is the author of Midnight Feasts: An Anthology of Late-night Munchies, and founder of Larder and Crane cookware.

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And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? – Kings 19 verses 12-13

The first shiver of Autumn, brings to us thoughts of roaring fires, cosy layers, soft blankets and warming food. Though with the drawing in of the nights and the reduced length of daylight, we increase our time for contemplation and the opportunity to hear that still small voice within us. We live in a time of rapidly progressing AI, which some fear will render much of all work obsolete. In such a scenario, many of us would have to find meaning elsewhere. Regardless of whether our lives are reimagined by AI, a human search for meaning exists, a humane search for empathy and connection. The most independent of us are not immune to feelings of loneliness and a requirement for warmth that no matter how clever the robot, it cannot be surpassed by what tactility offers.

One simple reach towards feeling connection can be found in the simple daily need for nourishment. There are so many off the shelf prepackaged solutions for our ‘busy lives’, that tie in with the materialistic goals of efficiency and valuable results. Though it is in the very act of cooking and sharing food, where we can find the time for a moment to connect and be entirely present with ourselves and others. As winter draws closer, we may wake up feeling uninspired by the rain lashing at our window, and the daily news grind of the troubles that face us both in our own communities and together as a planet. The act of being nourished and nourishing others holds a sacred place; such a basic act comprises a rare, untarnished purity, like the simple comforting sound of a purring cat. The process of preparing, cooking, and laying the table gives us the opportunity to listen to that still small voice which can be so hard to hear within us, in the midst of burgeoning communication channels that keep us distracted.

The journey inwards brings us solace against the chill of the elements and brooding skies. We become concentrated on our homes as a solace from the hibernation of the sun and look forward to the thought of lighting a fire, playing some music and enjoying the pleasure of comfort cooking. We think of tucking into slow cooked stews, silken soups and puddings that invoke the nostalgia of childhood such as old school rice pudding, or a constantly renewing stack of pancakes. As the song by Spike Jones goes, “Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag, And smile, smile, smile. Don’t let your joy and laughter hear the snag…”

In the essay ‘A Purple Future’, Daniel Pinchbeck speaks of how we have lost the knowledge of ancient and indigenous cultures, of our connectivity with one another. Pinchbeck suggests this is, ‘an underlying consciousness that is indivisible, instinctive, timeless and spaceless and without boundary.’ We have instead turned to a way of living that quantifies everything by measurable value and outcomes. It is of course hard to sometimes reach into this thought process, when we are faced with the rising costs of living and an uncertainty of basic material requirements. Though as with all human progress, our fears have become so strong that they curtail the freedom to be creative as we try to grip onto certainty. We can see as a simple observation that with young children, who are unencumbered with anything but the moment that joy is always present and experimentation paramount as they learn about the world around them.

The lead into winter and the early nights drawing in some way gives us this sacrosanct time in which to pause, to cook that slow stew and undertake simple acts such as lighting a fire. These moments allow us to open ourselves to the silent possibilities and creativity that arise from ‘hunkering in’ so we may begin to see new shafts of light as we navigate our way through the darkness.

“The goal of life is not to possess power but to radiate it’ Henry Miller

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If you haven’t read Charmain Ponnuthurai’s piece on ‘storytelling’ click here – we highly recommend it!