Choosing a Wood Burner: Wood only or Multi-fuel?
Posted on 28 March, 2014
 Choosing a Wood Burner: Wood only or Multi-fuel?

Should you get a wood-only stove or a multi-fuel stove?  As the name suggests wood-only stoves are designed to burn only wood, whilst multi-fuel stoves can burn both wood and smokeless fuels such as anthracite.  It is not advisable to burn coal in a multi-fuel stove because coal is very carcinogenic and over time it will damage the stove.

There are differences in the way wood and smokeless fuels burn; wood burns best on a bed of ash whilst the smokeless fuels burn better on a grate that lets more air in from underneath. 
Multi-fuel stoves are as a general rule less efficient than wood only stoves and the majority of people who buy a multi-fuel stove end up only burning wood.  If you are intending on only burning wood, getting a dedicated wood-only stove is advisable.

Also bear in mind that if you are buying a stove to be more environmentally friendly, smokeless fuels are not a carbon neutral fuel like wood.

Case Study: On the same day in 2012 we installed two identical stoves into two identical semi-detached properties in Twickenham.  A year later we went back to the customers to do an annual service and chimney sweep.  The first customer had been burning mainly smokeless fuels whilst the second had been burning only kiln dried firewood.  On inspection the first stove was filthy and a huge amount of soot came out when the chimney was swept.  The second stove however, was very clean and hardly anything came out of the chimney.  This demonstrated to us that burning good, dry wood is by far the best option.


By continuing to use this site, you agree to the use of cookies. Learn more about cookies