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Expert tips, advice and recommendations to help you buy and maintain your perfect fire or fireplace

How to identify good firewood

Homeowners are considering burning wood as it is better in environmental terms as the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere is approximately the same as that absorbed by the tree during growth. As the popularity of burning wood increases, it is important to understand how best to utilise your wood burning stove or fire efficiently and effectively. What is seasoned wood? Seasoned timber refers to wood that has been left to dry for 12-18 months or more to achieve a moisture content that is below 20%. Why choose seasoned wood? One of the important aspects to consider is the type of wood to burn. It is highly recommended that you only burn seasoned timber. Do not burn green or wet wood as a large percentage of heat energy created by the fire will be used to burn of the excess water contained within the logs rather than heating your room. It will also result in poor quality combustion, increased smoke and the production of tars and creosotes that will damage your flue. Seasoned wood increases the efficiency of combustion hence reducing your running costs. It is also important to consider buying your wood from well-managed woodlands as they improve biodiversity, support jobs in forestry industry and of course ensure that there is enough timber to meet the future demands in years to come. How to identify good firewood An essential part of ensuring that your wood burning stove or fire is performing to its maximum potential is looking at the wood you are using to fuel it. Firewood should be left to dry for a minimum of...

Your guide to choosing a stove

Here are a few key points that will help you make your decision on a stove to best suit your lifestyle as well as your property. Which fuel type? Are you drawn into the idea of loading logs into a real fire, or are you looking for instant heat as soon as you get home? Solid fuel There are two types of solid fuel stoves: the dedicated wood burner that only burns logs, and the multi-fuel appliance that can burn either logs or smokeless fuels. Stovax’s wood burning and multi-fuel stoves offer beautiful authentic flames, creating that fireside ambience so many of us love. Ecodesign Ready solid fuel stoves are ultra-green, burning so cleanly that they minimise emissions and comply with Ecodesign emissions limits ahead of their implementation in 2022. Gas & electric Gas stoves will give you heat at the touch of a button – offering you a highly-realistic flame picture with ultra-convenience. They are almost indistinguishable from real wood burning fires, along with designs to suit both traditional and contemporary home styling. If convenience and ease of installation are at the top of the list, electric stoves make a great solution. Providing instant localised heat, and only requiring a standard three-pin plug socket, a Gazco electric stove creates a striking focal point while being installed almost anywhere in the home. What design? Now that you have settled on the fuel type you’d like, you’ll be thinking about the design of your stove next. Consider if your home is contemporary or traditional, smaller or more spacious. A stove can be freestanding against a wall or looks just as attractive tucked into an inglenook. What if I don’t have a chimney?...

Benefits of a double-sided stove or fire

A double-sided stove or fire offers a creative way of interconnecting two rooms, while heating two spaces at once. Here are the benefits of installing a double-sided stove or fire in your home. Heat two rooms at once One of the main benefits of a double-sided stove or fire is that it will heat two rooms at once. If your home has an open plan feel, with walls to separate areas, a double-sided fire helps to warm multiple living spaces. You also only need one flue to fit the fire. An artistic feature to interconnect two rooms If you are looking for a way to join two spaces, a double-sided stove or fire can create both a central focal point and a connecting feature. If you don’t have an open plan layout, you can achieve a similar look by creating an opening in the wall between two rooms. Can be viewed from either side A double-sided stove or fire allows you to enjoy the flame visuals from either side, making a stunning statement to two interior spaces. They can only be installed where there is a central chimney between two adjoining rooms, but if you don’t have a chimney, you may be able to have a pre-fabricated system fitted which works in the same way an ordinary chimney would and could allow you more flexibility regarding placement of the stove. Available as both wood burning and gas fuel types   Information supplied by www.stovax.com...

Which wood to burn?

There is a growing interest in using wood as a sustainable, renewable, low carbon alternative. With the depletion of fossil fuels, wood is being accepted as a viable energy source that is not only virtually carbon neutral, but also economically feasible. But which wood is best for burning? Ultimately, there are many suitable firewoods to choose from that will burn well. Choosing Logs Hardwoods (deciduous, broadleaved tree species) tend to be denser than softwoods (evergreen, coniferous species). To keep a log stove burning on fewer logs, dense woods tend to be the best as they will burn longer. Softwoods, however, are easier to light and tend to be cheaper to buy. Here is a list of a variety of different woods, and what they are best for – from slow burning to aroma.* Which wood burns for a long time? Oak (hardwood) – Oak is a favoured firewood because of its density, and burns slowly. It is best burnt when it has been seasoned for a long time – usually 2 years or more! Hawthorn (hardwood) – Hawthorn is most recognised for its sharp thorns. It burns slowly, and produces good heat, but must be handled with care. Which firewood produces good heat? Ash (hardwood) – Ash is one of the favourites when it comes to wood fuel. It produces a steady flame and a good heat output. Some may say that it can also be burned ‘green’ because of its relatively low moisture content while living, however, it is essential that you only burn seasoned or kiln dried wood. This is because green woods, when burnt, can produce particulates, tar and creosote...

How to spring clean your woodburner

Servicing and maintenance An annual service includes stripping and cleaning the appliance thoroughly, and one of the first things to do is to clean the inside of the firebox. To do this, wait until the stove is completely cool, and then remove all of the excess ash. Finer particles can be vacuumed up. Next, the firebricks should be checked using a soft brush. Any that are broken or damage need to be replaced, but for smaller cracks, you can use fire cement to repair them.   Likewise, the door glass of your woodburner needs to be checked for any signs of damage. If the glass has cracked, it will need replacing, but if not, go ahead and clean thoroughly by removing it from the door and cleaning with an appropriate glass cleaner. It’s important to remember that different kinds of glass need different cleaning products – check which one is appropriate for your stove or fire by contacting us if you are unsure. Check your stove’s door rope seal for signs of wear, as these can also become loose over time. If needed, change the door rope seal for a new one. If both your seal and door glass are in good condition, you can fit the glass back into the door – your woodburner is now thoroughly cleaned and serviced. Get your chimney swept Just as your woodburner needs maintaining, so does your chimney. Anything from tar to birds’ nests can get stuck in your flue, so it’s essential to consider when you last had your chimney swept and whether or not you’ll need to do it again soon. How often...

New Supplier – Oak Stoves

We are happy to announce that we have a new supplier, Oak Stoves, with a stunning range of multifuel stoves and gas stoves. All their ranges are a lovely contemporary style with a round  design, and their stoves can either go into an existing chimney or can go through an outside wall. We have the Serenita Grand gas stove on display in our showroom which shows their beautiful design, and can get any of their range, gas or solid fuel. The gas stoves can get up to 6kw of heat output with 83% efficiency, and the multi fuel stoves range from 4kw to 11kw heat output and efficiency from 74% upwards, depending on the model in question. Come instore to see more stoves on display, or check out their range at http://www.oakstoves.co.uk/   We will also have the new multifuel model on display soon....