All posts by Duncan Colman

What does EcoDesign mean?

If you have been looking at getting a wood burning stove this year, then you may have heard the term ‘EcoDesign ready’ being used as well as a lot of media coverage on the environmental impact of wood burning stoves. These issues, however, have raised quite a few questions. What does EcoDesign actually mean? Do you need an EcoDesign wood burning stove and why should you consider buying one?

Well, here at Glowing Embers, we thought we’d guide you through everything you need to know about EcoDesign wood burning stoves, their benefits and the implications for stoves of in the future.

The Government and EcoDesign

With recent Government legislation aimed at improving air quality and creating a benchmark of environmental standards for wood burning stoves, it is important to know what is changing.

The Government have already made some moves towards making Britain’s air cleaner, including talks about clean air zones and introducing a ban on the sale of wood burning stoves that don’t meet environmental standards. Furthermore, a specific certification has recently been introduced for wood burning stoves, denoting whether they are eco-friendly or not.

These stoves have been checked by DEFRA (Department of Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs) and awarded an ‘EcoDesign’ certificate. This means they produce less smoke and particle emissions than other woodboring stoves. Part of a European wide programme to lower harmful emissions in the atmosphere, the Government aims to make nearly all wood burning stoves DEFRA approved by 2022.

In the case of smoke control zones, which are currently being talked about by the Government and local authorities, such as Sadihiq Khan’s latest proposals for London’s pollution problem, having an EcoDeign wood burning stove may not only be beneficial but soon necessary.

EcoDesign Wood Burning Stoves

Wood burning stoves that have met the regulations set down by DEFRA differ from conventional stoves in a number of ways. Firstly, EcoDesign wood burning stoves are designed to allow as much air to the fire as possible, ensuring the fire is not ‘starved’ and, hence, smoky. According to the independent researchers SIA, Ecodesign stoves can reduce particle emissions by up to 90% when compared to an open fire and 80% when compared to a traditional stove.

Not only does this design reduce the amount of smoke and harmful particle pollution emitted by the fire, but it also increases its burning efficiency (over 70%) of the fire creating more heat with less fuel, creating less emissions and saving fuel in the process.

Here are a few examples of EcoDesign wood burning stoves you can buy today:

Jydepejsen Senza Steel Stove

Featuring a very modern and sophisticated design, the Jydepejsen Senza Steel Stove is also an incredibly efficient burner with an output of up to 5 kW and a fully DEFRA approved status. The stove comes with options for side glass panels and incorporates Jydepejsen’s own DuplicAir fire control system which allows you to control the primary and secondary air intakes to improve the efficacy and heat production of the fire further.

Aduro Asgard 2

Compact and contemporary, the Aduro Asgard 2 is the perfect EcoDesign wood burning stove for small properties or small spaces in households. Developed alongside the Danish Technological Institute, this wood burning stove has achieved DEFRA certification due to its high efficiency and incredibly low smoke emissions which also make it an ideal wood burner for smokeless zones.

Flavel Arundel Multifuel Stove

The Flavel Arundrel is a brilliant example of an affordable yet incredibly efficient wood burning stove which meets DEFRA’s EcoDesign standards. With an output of 4.9 kW and an efficiency of 78.4%, this wood burning stove is both cost effective and eco-friendly, with its low emissions making it more than suitable for smoke control areas.

Here we have highlighted just a few of the wood burning stoves that are EcoDesign ready and at Glowing Embers we have a wide selection of these eco-friendly stoves to choose from. If you would like to browse our range of DEFRA approved, EcoDesign wood burning stoves then flow the link here. For further information on how to reduce your stove’s emissions and help the environment, DEFRA have put together a useful guide which is full of useful tips for maintaining a wood burning stoves and keeping them eco-friendly:

https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/assets/documents/reports/cat07/1712041200_171010_open_fires_wood_burning_stoves_FINAL.pdf

 

Creating the Perfect Garden Party

Summer is certainly on its way and as the nights get longer and the days warmer, it’s a perfect excuse to get your friends round and enjoy the weather together. Garden parties are a great way to bring people together, and with the right music, aesthetic as well as good food and drink, you can create a truly magical atmosphere that you and your guests will remember for years to come.

Here we’ll give you some great hints and tips for creating the ideal garden party for this summer with as little stress and hassle as possible. With these few simple ideas and a plan in place you can make sure your guests remain comfortable, well fed and suitably merry!

 

 

The Space and Setting

The most obvious first step to take is to consider where your garden party is going to be. Yes, it’s in the garden (!), but where in the garden? Do you have a patio, a large lawn? Is there a conservatory and enough room for seating and tables?

It’s always a good idea to create a kind of ‘dedicated’ space for the party, even if it’s boundaries are by no means enclosed. This way you can picture the setting more clearly and where things like furniture, lights, heating, etc. will go.

If lots of guests are coming, make sure they have plenty of room to move and mingle, and if only a few are attending, try not to make them fell lost in a large open space far away from drinks and food. Additionally, make sure everything is accessible and visible, you don’t want that table of canapés you spent hours assembling being forgotten about!

 

Once you’ve decided where you’re going to have your party and how big or small it will be, you can begin thinking about the type or party you’re going to have. Is it going to be a sit-down meal or a buffet-style cocktail party? A celebration or just an excuse to socialise and have fun?

Whatever you decide for your party, you need to stick with the theme you choose. This means you can stay focussed on making that party special for everyone. Think about the kind of arrangement you want, whether a large central table for dining or smaller ones for drinks and nibbles. Try and stay committed to the visual theme of the party too. Whilst you don’t want the party to appear bland and boring, sometimes it’s best to stick to mantra less is more when selecting things like decorations and other visual elements.

 

 

Food and Drink

Whilst in theory you can have a party without food or drink, suffice to say, it would not make for a memorable experience. Sharing food and enjoying a cooling drink on a hot summer’s day is the perfect way to get conversation flowing and guests mingling.

As with any other element of the party, getting the food and drink right is all about planning. Decide what you’re doing and a stick with it!

If you are having a barbeque, make sure you test out recipes beforehand, so you know how long they take and whether they work. Have a dedicated barbeque ‘manager’ too. Whether this is yourself or someone else, this means the barbeque can be set up and managed without too many people getting in the way.

Whatever you’re doing for food, pre-preparation will make the whole experience much easier and more enjoyable. Marinate meat in advance and prepare snacks and canapés well before the party. Just keep fresh stuff in the fridge until it needs to be served and it will be all ready to go when the guests arrive. Also keep in mind any dietary requirements for your guests and make something special for them as well; no one wants to make do with a bland salad!

 

When it comes to drinks, it’s best to dedicate an obvious area for them, whether this is just a specific table, or a full bar set up. Offer a drink to guests when they arrive and keep any drinks that need to be cool in ice buckets or, if you have one, a portable fridge. Have plenty of glasses at the ready and a good selection of both alcoholic and soft drinks means no one gets left out and anyone can help themselves as they please.

If you’re going to have cocktails, test them out first and try to keep your choices fresh and concise, you don’t want too many different bottles taking up all the space. Also, if you’re worried about breakages on your patio, try using plastic alternatives for the glasses as there’s plenty of brilliant mock-Champaign flutes, wine and cocktail glasses out there to choose from.

 

 

Atmosphere and Comfort

Creating an atmosphere and ensuring your guests are comfortable are both vital elements for making your party truly something to remember. Following the theme you have chosen, try and make your outdoor space somewhere exciting and interesting, whilst at the same time making it seem natural.

Themed table cloths, crockery and napkins can all go along way towards giving the party an identity. Try not to go overboard in this respect but keep decorations both vibrant and natural. If a significant part of the party is going to be during the day, also think about shade for your guests. Parasols should be enough to keep your guests comfortable but, if you really want to go to town, you can invest in a gazebo if you want.

 

Table centre pieces such as wild flowers in jars and/or candles can help bring atmosphere to their surroundings, and fairy lights amongst any foliage or nearby trees make the setting an incredibly magic place to be in the evening. Lanterns can also lend natural light to the party when the sun begins to go down and it’s always good to keep in mind some form of heating when it starts to get a bit chilly. Firepits and outdoor heaters are a great way to keep your guests warm, and, with nearly a 50% increase in the number of people searching for garden heaters last month, they are certainly proving to be a popular garden feature this year.

Another key element is music. Depending on the theme of the party, make a playlist in advance to match the mood and you may want to invest in some portable speakers which you can dot around the perimeter of the main party space. Remember though, don’t have the music too loud; people want to be able to hear each other!

 

 

Relax and Have Fun!

Once you have everything for your party sorted out beforehand, the most important thing to do is to enjoy yourself! Stress and tension will not only spoil the party for you, but can make your guests feel awkward too.

Remember, it’s your party too and there’s no reason why you can’t be yourself and have fun. As long as you’ve done everything in advance, you can kick back, relax and enjoy the summer sunshine, safe in the knowledge you’ve created a garden party your friends and family will remember forever.

 

Choosing the Right Patio Heater

Summer evenings can be a brilliant time to host outdoor parties and gettogethers. However, as the sun goes down, the chill can begin to bite and sometimes you want to use your patio space at other times of the year. Electric patio heaters are a brilliant way of providing warmth for outdoor spaces during these times, keeping the area comfortable and pleasant even as the night draws in.

However, there are a quite a few options to choose from when selecting an electric patio heater and choosing the right one can ensure you make the most out the heat it produces and the cost of running one.

Think about your patio space

A key point to keep in mind when choosing a patio heater is the space you want if for. Is your patio large or small? Is the space enclosed or open? Do you have tables and other surfaces on or around the patio?

All these factors play an important role in your choice of a patio heater as they dictate the style, fitting and power of the heater needed. To begin with, in large open areas, with few surfaces, it is perhaps best to choose a standalone heater or ‘parasol’ heater. These free standing and tall patio heaters are great for either placing at the centre of your patio or using multiples of them around the perimeter of particularly large space. Using their height and reflective metal interiors, these patio heaters can spread their infrared energy across large areas in equal amounts.

Smaller enclosed spaces can also benefit from these tall heaters; however it is more cost effective to invest in a smaller, less powerful patio heater. If you have surrounding buildings around the patio, wall mounted heaters, positioned high above the patio, make a brilliant alternative to parasol heaters. Similarly, if there are any overhead features going across your patio, you can install hanging heaters above the space, however always make sure these are well above head height.

Finally, the need for adjustability needs to be considered. If you have a large patio space that is of asymmetrical design, you might want a patio heater which is easily adjustable and controlled to keep the entirety of the patio space warm.

How much power do you need?

To prevent wasted energy and expensive running costs, always keep in mind the amount if heat you actually need for your patio space. Is the space large or small? Do you use it often or occasionally? How many people do you regularly have on your patio?

Typically, if you are trying to provide heat for a lot of people over a wide space, then a higher wattage heater is likely to be required, usually between 2000W and 2970W. Conversely, in a smaller space with lots of people, a much smaller energy output is needed, preferably around 1500W. If you use your patio space for only a few individuals then a similar wattage, or an even lower one should suffice.

Remember, electric patio heaters allow for instant infrared production and can be easily turned on and off which means they should always be switched off when not in use to save energy. This is particularly true if you only use a patio heater infrequently and it is a high wattage for either space or occupancy reasons.

The IP (ingress proof) rating is also something that should be taken into account when assessing the need for a highly powered heater or a lower one. IP 24 should usually be enough for most patio spaces and occupants and the use of control systems on some heaters can greatly enhance the efficiency and power conservation of a patio heater whilst still keeping the area warm and comfortable.

 

If you want to browse our range of outdoor, electric patio heaters, you can click the link below to find the right heater for you:

https://www.glowing-embers.co.uk/outdoor-heaters/patio

How to light a multi-fuel stove with coal

Lighting a multi-fuel stove with coal is pretty similar to light any fire, only with the addition to the wood needed to start it. This easy, step-by-step guide will show you how to light your multi-fuel stove in no time at all and show you how easy it is to achieve.

Step One: Prepare the stove

First of all, clear out any excess debris at the bottom of the stove, such as ash and charcoal, including the ash pan below the grate. Make sure to leave a thin layer at the bottom of the fire box however as this will help insulate the fire when you start it. Finally, open up the Air wash and Primary Air control system to allow air into the firebox and keep the stove glass clean.

Step Two: Building up a base for the fire

Before doing anything, you will need a base upon which the fire can take hold. This is done by first placing a firelighter or two at the centre of the fire box. Make sure this is behind the log guard at the front. Around the firelighters build a small pyramid using kindling, leaving plenty of gaps to allow air to fow to the fire.

Step Three: Lighting the fire

With the firebase built, use a match or a lighter to light the firelighters. Allow these to burn and for the kindling to catch alight and, when burning vigorously, carefully add more kindling to the firebase. Make sure you do not smother the fire however and only begin adding larger pieces of wood when the blaze has taken hold. At this point, close the stove door but making sure to leave a small gap to allow the fire to breathe.

Step Four: Adding coal

When the fire seems to be burning well and white embers begin to form at the bottom of the fire, you can start adding coal to the fire. Carefully open the stove door using a heat proof handle or a thick cloth and then gently begin adding a few small coals to the firebase. Be careful not to collapse the firebase at this point as this could smother the fire.

As the first few coals begin to catch fire and glow you can then start adding more and larger coals on top of these, making sure to stack them with gaps in between the coals. Now you can enjoy a glowing coal fire inside your multi-fuel stove, topping up the coal when needed.