Woodburning or multi-fuel stoves
Woodburning or multi-fuel stoves make an attractive focal point, as well as potentially providing a cleaner, greener source of heat in any room in your home.
Choosing which type of stove you should buy , and how much are you likely to pay for it can be a difficult process. Your first call should be to Heating Naturally and we will come and visit you to talk with you, to assess the space and offer selection advice
Choosing a stove – wood versus multi-fuel?
Woodburning stoves are only suitable for burning mainly wood but can take up to 20% coal. They have a flat bottom (so no grate) as wood produces very little ash. Coal produces ash and klinker but there is no where for the ash to drop, resulting in a fire that does not burn so well. Coal may help your stove to stay in over night but ashes need to be removed more regularly.
Multi-fuel stoves burn wood and coal. They are fitted with a grate to collect the extra ash generated when burning coal. They tend to burn longer and hotter as you can burn anything on them.
Remember, never buy a stove because it is cheap or it has a brand name; it will not last and may not be safe. Taks a look at our Links page for reputable (and non-affiliated!) suppliers
Where to buy
You can buy woodburning stoves from local fireplace and stove specialists, but bear in mind the people serving there are often not qualified to offer advice on installation and will try to sell you their brand of stove.
Online retailers such as Stoves Online, offer good advice and carry a wide range of stoves, so as to make a wider selection possible. The What Stove website offers advice and reviews and delivery to France
Used stoves can be made like new for a fraction of the cost of a new model if done properly. I am happy to offer advice on selection and restore any used appliance.
According to the National Energy Foundation, you should expect to pay in the region of €1,500 for a new woodburning or multi-fuel stove, or several hundred pounds more if you’re going to connect the stove to your boiler and radiators. The price also varies according to which size stove you require for your room.
Growing sales and popularity are helping to drive down prices, with smaller stoves starting at around €400.
You’ll also need to factor in installation costs, as well as the ongoing cost of using wood and/or coal as fuel.
How ‘green’ is a woodburning stove?
Wood is a carbon-neutral fuel because the carbon released as it burns has already effectively been offset by the carbon absorbed during the lifespan of the tree – leading to a net zero carbon footprint.
This makes using a woodburning stove to heat a room more eco-friendly than burning a non-renewable fossil fuel, such as coal or gas. An even greener approach would be replacing the wood you’ll be taking out of the ecosystem by planting trees or buying fuel from a sustainable source. And if you live in a rural area, you might be able to salvage fallen wood yourself.
All woodburning stoves on sale should include an efficiency percentage in line with French and European standards, representing the proportion of energy in a fuel transferred to heating the room.
Installing your wood burning stove
Do not attempt to install a woodburning stove yourself. Always use a professional installer.
You do not need an existing chimney to have a woodburner, these are relatively simple to install.
Using your stove
Here are a few tips for using your woodburning or multi-fuel stove:
- Clear all old ash from your stove before each use.
- In a multi-fuel stove, you can burn coal or wood, but don’t burn coal on top of unlit wood.
- Keep a stock of wood logs at an accessible distance, not around the fire like the brochures show! you will end up with two fires!
- Check that there’s an adequate supply of air to keep your fire burning strong and effectively, never cover up an air vent.
Sourcing wood fuel
It’s important to locate a reliable, local and sustainable source of wood fuel that you can use to feed your stove, particularly ahead of the winter months. You’ll find local wood fuel suppliers in both rural and urban areas.
Wood must be dried out to less than 20% moisture before use, a moisture meter is an excellent purchase.
You’ll need a dry, airy and adequately sized storage area to keep your log pile in a good condition.
An existing chimney or a new flue or chimney installation must be given a visual inspection to check that it is in good order, clear of obstructions and is of a suitable size and type for the appliance you plan to install. It may be necessary to sweep the flue (which should always be done anyway before fitting a stove or lining a chimney) and also, if necessary, to do a smoke test to check for gas tightness.