Those Magnificent Multi-Fuel Stoves
One of the joys of life is coming home on a cold day to the welcoming feel of a multi-fuel stove glowing with warmth and atmosphere. And just like music, these wonderful burners can help create the perfect ambience. Let’s take a closer look at those magnificent multi-fuel stoves.
What is a Multi-Fuel Stove?
In truth, they share many similarities in both design and use to a wood-burning stove, but of course the name is a giveaway. Multi-fuel burners are more versatile and, depending on the particular model, can burn:
- wood pellets made from corn or sawdust
They also have two extra special tools:
- a grate for the fire to burn on
- that all-important removable ash pan
First developed to conform with the Clean Air Act in 1956, passed in response to the 1952 great smog of London, smokeless fuels can also be used in multi-fuel stoves. These are generally regarded as a more environmentally friendly option.
Remember – Warm air is pushed around the stove, warming as it goes by, and further heat is radiated via the glass door. In this sense multi-fuel stoves can create an efficiency rating of more than 80 per cent, saving some of your hard-earned cash. But it’s important to remember not all multi-fuel stoves are optimised for burning compatible fuels with the same efficiency.
We all know trying to create the perfect fire goes back to the earliest days of human life on earth. But how did the fire burner itself develop from the open flames used by our ancestors?
History of the fire burner
As early as the late medieval period, before what we now know as ‘houses’ were constructed, the so called ‘hall’, provided invaluable shelter. This was simply a very big room with a pitched roof and a hearth in the centre for cooking purposes. If people were quite well off, they could create a separate chamber or bower. Naturally the cooking heat would also warm the nearby space. Open fires needed a chimney to stop everyone being surrounded by smoke from the fire. The fuel used was, of course, wood burning logs, or indeed any form of spare wood that could be found. As time progressed the discovery of coal slowly replaced wood as a major source of heat and warmth. In parts of Europe there was much less coal to be had, and this in itself inspired the development of wood burning stoves. Logs for wood burning would create an efficient fire from a flat-bed base, but for those people burning coal, there was one clear lesson to be learned: to burn coal well a smaller grate was needed. Furthermore, this grate must also be raised up to allow for it to cool and for the collection and removal of ashes.
With open fires in mind, things moved forward again following the Second World War with the introduction of the convector box. A double skin fire box was used to divert convected hot air off the back of the fire, doubling the heat output for the same amount of fuel. And of course people were delighted to find their fuel bills quickly halved. There was one slight setback however, as the air flow forced the heat out of the room through the chimney and wasted some of the energy provided by the fire itself.
Multi-fuel stoves come into their own
As our modern world took shape it was clear a multi-fuel stove would provide a much more efficient way of heating the home and serving several other needs. Today, the great thing is that there are lots of excellent multi-stoves on the market and the range of burners can be mind boggling. From Hunter to Parkray, Woolly Mammoth to AGA, Vermont To Dovre, Villager to Invicta, they all come in different shapes and sizes.
Logs for a wood burner must ideally be kiln dried in the first instance and be as clean as possible – much like the logs we provide ourselves. This will make for a hotter burn as there’s little moisture, and much less smoke is produced. This is very much a healthier option in the long run, and keeps things as simple as possible.
Best wood for burning?
Wood can generally offer a variety of heating and burning characteristics, but a mixture of oak, ash and beech will offer the perfect quality clean burn. It’s true to say hardwood and softwood can both be used, but the majority of hardwoods can save you money in the long run.
The Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) revealed 77 per cent of multi-fuel stove owners only burn wood.
The environmental benefits of wood burning
Wood burning is looked upon as a carbon neutral form of energy. In fact, during growth, a tree will absorb a similar amount of carbon dioxide to that released when it is burned on a wood burning stove or fire. It is in every sense a provider of ‘green’ heat. This means everyone wins, including Mother Nature herself.
Don’t forget we can meet all your wood supplies and we’ve got bag weights and prices to suit all budgets. All our firewood bags are incredibly secure and delivered by truck. You don’t even need to be at home when we deliver.
Once you’ve chosen your multi-fuel stove, years of pleasure lie ahead. There’s so much enjoyment to be had from life’s simple pleasures. If it’s logs for your wood burner you seek, FirewoodFund.co.uk is the place to come.