Category Archives: Wood Burning Stoves

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

 

How to make the most out of your central heating

 

Having a wood burning or multi fuel stove may seem like an extravagance or a luxury fitting for your home. However, having a stove installed in your house will provide you with much more than a decorative centerpiece for your living room, greatly increasing both the efficiency and warmth of your home as well as saving you a lot of money in the long run.

 

Benefits of stoves

Modern log burning and multi fuel stoves are perhaps one of the most effective ways to heat your home when used correctly. By trapping the heat and combustion of the fire in a closed space, stoves are far more efficient at heating a room than open fire places and their metal structure also helps emit the heat they produce.

Most modern stoves are also built with multiple air vents to keep warm air flowing out of the stove and allow cool air in, helping the fire burn at maximum efficiency. Installing a stove fan can also greatly increase the heat spread of a stove, pushing the warm air further away from the fire and out into the surrounding room and house.

There are also a few ways you can increase the efficiency and heat production of a stove even further. Using dried, seasoned wood makes for a cleaner and hotter combustion within the stove and is also a far greener fuel to use than coal. Another fuel option that can help increase the heat production and efficiency of a stove is Eco Fuel. Eco Fuel is designed to burn cleanly and slowly, producing consistent high temperatures for a long time, especially within the enclosed space of a stove.

 

Using stoves to heat the home

Because they are confined to one particular room, it might seem stoves are rather limited in where they can provide heat for your home. However, a wood burning or multi fuel stove can in fact heat far more than your living room and can even heat your whole home.

By installing a back boiler or integrated boiler into a stove it is possible to connect it to the central heating system of your home. Depending on the size of your house, you can either use this to contribute towards an existing boiler or be used to heat the vast majority of your radiator/hot water system. If used in this way, a stove will not only heat the room it is within, but the whole house, as well as saving money on your energy bills. If you really want to make the most out of your stove you can even connect it to underfloor heating systems, providing further warmth and comfort for the house.

Making the most out of your heating

Whilst stoves are an incredibly efficient way to heat your home, they are a number of other ways you can increase the heating efficiency of your home and make sure none of it is wasted.

Here a few simple things you can do in your home to ensure you are getting the most out of your stove’s heat:

  • Insulation: This may seem like an obvious suggestion, however many households may have outdated insulation or you may simply assume your house is insulated when in fact it’s not. Making sure you have modern insulation in cavity walls and the roof can keep huge amounts of heat in your home, increasing its energy efficiency and saving a lot of money. Double glazed windows and closing curtains during the night will also help keep heat in the home.
  • Checking your central heating: Even if subsidised by a stove, your central heating system needs to be maintained and updated to make the most out of the stove’s heat and your boiler’s. Cleaning out pipes or replacing them, as well as insulating them, can go a long way to increasing the efficiency of your central heating system and make sure you have an up-to-date combination boiler.
  • Turn the thermostat down: turning your thermostat down by just a few degrees can save a lot of energy that would otherwise be wasted. This is particularly true if you have your stove burning, and whilst it is not healthy for your central heating system to be completely turned off, it’s certainly worth turning it right down when you are using your stove.
  • Radiators: Fitting thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) on your radiators will allow you to control heating within your home and turn it up or down, room by room, depending on your needs. This can be done in combination with a timed/digital thermostat to create ‘zones’ in your house that will be heated when needed. The efficiency of radiators can also be increased by making sure they are not blocked by any pieces of furniture or covered in any way.

 

By taking these simple measures into account and using your stove as a main heating source in combination with your central heating system, your home will not only be warm and comfortable but incredibly energy efficient, saving money on your energy bills and making the most out of your stove’s heating potential.

 

Are Wood Burning Stoves eco-friendly?

In the 21st Century, protecting the environment has become a major issue which has become increasingly hard to ignore. The need to find renewable energy sources and sustainable ways of living have never been more important to the everyday individual and, when it comes to heating, this concern is no different.

There are currently over 1.5 million households in the UK with a wood burning stove and nearly 200,000 stoves are sold annually. Over the last few decades this large proportion of wood burning stoves has caused some concerns amongst Government institutions, local councils and environmentalists alike.

As recently as September 2017, Sadhiq Khan proposed a ban on wood burning stoves in certain areas of London at certain times of year. Thought to be introduced by 2025, this ban was prompted by fears that particles produced in smoke and other emissions may lead to lung cancer, heart conditions and even death. As part of the Sadihiq Khan’s plan, homeowners that do not conform to these ‘smoke-free’ zones could be fined up to £1000 and all but the most eco-friendly, low-emissions stoves (EcoDesign Ready) would be prohibited from being sold after 2022.

Although there has yet to be an approval of the London Mayor’s plans from the Government, support for his proposals from the Green Party and Client Earth couple together with the ever present threat of air pollution and global warming means that something does have to be done to cut the emissions of wood burning stoves.

With the creation of smoke free zones in most large UK cities and this recent proposal by the Mayor of London, it would at first appear that burning wood is one of the least sustainable or ‘eco-friendly’ means of heating your home. However, in reality the truth is quite different and you may be quite surprised at how ecological they actually are and what you can do to help them produce less harmful emissions.

 

Logs vs Fossil Fuels

The first key element which makes log burning stoves far more eco-friendly than gas or electric heaters, is the fuel itself. Wood is a carbon-neutral fuel which means it does not produce more carbon dioxide (CO2) than is already present in the carbon cycle. Any CO2 that is produced by burning wood is simply reabsorbed by plants and trees and converted back into oxygen or stored as CO2 in the plant.

Fossil fuels, on the other hand, produce far more CO2 when burned and increase the amount presently current within the carbon cycle, the condensed carbon having been locked inside them for millions of years and being released into the atmosphere. Therefore fossil fuels are not carbon neutral and can harm the environment in a way burning wood could never match.  Furthermore, most coal and other fossil fuels also have to be imported, only adding further to their carbon footprint. By choosing to burn wood you are already helping the environment.

Aside from being carbon neutral, the kinds of emissions given off by burning wood are far less harmful than those given off by fossil fuels. What we commonly call air pollution is made up of several particles and gases, the most harmful being CO2, NOx and PM2.5. In terms of climate change and damage to peoples’ health, it is CO2 and NOx which are the key dangers and need a reduction in their production and unsurprisingly it is the burning of fossil fuels which contribute to this the most. Gas and cars are the biggest producers of these dangerous gases, with 38% of central London’s emissions being produced by gas heaters alone.

When compared to gas and electricity equivalents, which produce 0.198 kg and 0.517 kg of CO2 per kWh respectively, modern wood burning stoves only produce 0.008 kg, clearly demonstrating the environmental benefits of switching to a stove. Not only do they produce less CO2 than fossil fuels, they also produce so much heat that you can quite easily heat a room and the rooms around the stove with the log burner alone, with no need to use up fossil fuels heating up your central heating system. This means that you are not only saving the planet but also saving a lot of money on your heating bills.

 

Of course some multi-fuel stoves can burn fossil fuels, in the form of coal, however this has become an increasingly unpopular means of running stoves as coal not only produces more CO2 than wood but also a lot more smoke, something that has become a major issue in many urban areas. Smokeless coals have been developed and these do indeed reduce the amount of smoke released during combustion. However, when compared to burning wood, even smokeless coal falls short in terms of efficiency and sustainability.

It can also be argued that, whilst more sustainable and eco-friendly than fossil fuels, burning wood can still harmful to the environment due to the amount of particle matter (PM2.5) they produce. However, the key issue, and particular in the example of London above, is that it is not necessarily log burning stoves which are contributing to air pollution the UK to a serious degree. 70% of wood burnt in the city is used for open fires which produce far more emissions than their stove counterparts and are far less efficient. In contrast, most EcoDesign Ready stoves can reduce emissions by up to 90% when compared to open fires and make the most out of the fuel they burn. Furthermore, levels of PM2.5 are increasingly being cut by these modern stoves, with many of the factors contributing to their EcoDesign Ready status originating in their ability to reduce particle matter production, and hence air pollution.

 

Seasoned Wood and Briquettes

Yet burning any old wood is not necessarily the most ecological way of fuelling a wood burning stove. To make the most out of your stove and ensure you are causing as little of an impact on the environment as possible, it is important to understand the type of wood you should be burning and even more eco-friendly alternatives.

The type of wood you should burn on a wood burning stove should be dry and seasoned. This means that the fire does not have to work hard to combust the material given to it and, hence produces less smoke. In terms of efficiency this means that your stove will heat up quicker and produce far more heat than damp or unseasoned wood.

The most efficient and environmentally friendly humidity for logs is under 20% whilst newly cut logs can be as high as 60%. To counter act this, leave new logs in a dry place with plenty of air circulation for over a year and, if you want to improve this further you can buy kiln dried logs which have a moisture content of around 18%.

An even better alternative to seasoned wood is the use of briquettes to fuel your stove. These compact pieces of fuel are made up of pieces of old waste wood, harvested from broken furniture and other disposable wood sources.

By their very nature briquettes have the qualities of dry and seasoned wood however they are much more efficient and cost effective. Briquettes produce roughly 50% more heat for each pound spent on them when compared to logs and can last up to four hours. This is helped by the fact that most briquettes have a moisture content of below 10%, furthering their burning capabilities and ensuring they produce the most heat they can for the least amount of smoke and CO2. Furthermore, because of their incredible efficiency and heat production, the use of briquettes instead of logs could save you up to £150 a year when purchasing fuel for your log burner.

 

 

Eco-stoves and EcoDesign Ready

Whilst burning wood rather than coal, and using a stove over traditional central heating systems can be more efficient and ecological for your home, there are even more eco-friendly alternatives to the conventional wood burning stove.

In the last decade the development of the ‘eco-stove’ has been a major breakthrough in ensuring stoves can be as environmentally friendly as they can be.

Certified by DEFRA (Department of Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs) in meeting Government standards on air pollution, these stoves differ to their predecessors as they try to prevent the fire from being starved of air as much as possible. Via secondary and tertiary air in-takes, these stoves ensure air gets to the fire, and hence, ensures that it gets the oxygen it needs to burn at maximum efficiency. Not only does this mean that the fuel inside the stove produces the most heat it can, but also it reduces the amount of smoke produced by the fuel as a result if this efficient combustion.

Eco-stoves always burn at over 70% efficiency and help keep your chimney clean due to their lack of smoke output. Compared to open fires, which have a minimum efficiency of 40%, it is clear to see the immense difference this can have in heating your home. Their minimal smoke production is also a huge benefit as this does not only help the environment but also allows air to flow down in to the fire, feeding it and increasing efficiency even further. Not only will these factors help you keep air pollution down and smoke levels low in urban environments, but they will also save you a lot of money on your heating bills and chimney sweeping.

 

In the coming years, older forms of wood burning stove are expected to be phased out and re-placed by these eco-stoves. Tests by the SIA (Stove Industry Alliance) found that eco-stoves reduced particulate emissions by between 80-84% when compared to older models and the independent standards body for heating appliances, HETAS, is heading a campaign to make sure all wood-burners can be as efficient as possible.

These new eco-stoves are at the heart of the SIA initiative to limit the amount of emissions produced by wood burning stoves. This initiative aims to give an EcoDesign Ready label to most modern Eco-stoves, a label which verifies the low-emission status of the stove in line with requirements outlined in Regulation (EU) 2015/1185 24/5/2015 regarding EcoDesign solid fuel heaters. In partnership with HETAS, the SIA aims to lower emissions further on EcoDesign Ready stoves and meet the ever more stringent guidelines imposed upon them before 2022.

With rising concerns over the impact of fossil fuels on the planet’s atmosphere and the increasing problem of CO2 and smoke levels in cities, eco-stoves look set to be the most efficient and eco-friendly alternative the standard wood burning stove. In the future, only stoves with the EcoDesign Ready label will be able to meet the demands placed on lower-emissions and smoke production and, due their incredible efficiency, these stoves, if fuelled correctly, may prove to be more ecological than your central heating.

What Size Wood Burning Stove Do I Need?

You can find out the appropriate wood burner size in kilowatts by:

  1. Calculate the cubic space of the room by multiplying the width, height and length.
  2. As a rule of thumb, divide the cubic space by 14 and this will give you a KW output needed for the room.
  3. If your room needs a wood burner between 4-6 KW then you need a small wood burning stove.
  4. If your room needs a wood burner between 7-9 KW then you need a small wood burning stove.
  5. If your room needs a wood burner between 10-15 KW then you need a small wood burning stove.
  6. Using our calculator, you can take into account how well insulated your house is.
  7. Using our calculator you can also take into account if you like the room to be warmer than 20°C or not.

When choosing a wood burning stove it is difficult to know what size stove to buy to suit your home. First thing to note is that people often buy a stove that is really too big for their needs, whilst it is tempting to just buy the largest stove possible this isn’t necessarily the best option.

First, any stove that you get which is over 5kw needs an air brick or ventillation kit installed in the room that stove is in to ensure adequate air flow but it is recomended for any burning appliance of any size.

Second, all stoves have an optimal performance efficiency and to acheive this they need to be running at their nominal heat output, if they are running at less or more than this they become less efficient, meaning that you spend more on fuel and the exhaust is more damaging to the environment. Accordingly getting a stove with a nominal heat output that matches your room is desirable.

To get a better idea of what heat output you will need from a wood burning stove you can use our heat output calculator. You should remember that this is only a guide as factors such as how well insulated your room is etc will affect the output that is needed.

Another important factor to consider is the physical size of the stove, you need to physically have enough room for the stove, allowing 150mm of clearance to the sides and rear and 225mm to the front of your hearth to comply with the building regulations. Your stove should also be 950mm away from any combustable materials, so you should always check the dimensions of the stove and measure up before buying.

Once you have spent some time to consider what size of stove to buy you can then look through our range of wood burning stoves that will best suit you. We have a complete range of small 4-6kw wood burning stoves, medium 7-9kw wood burning stoves and large wood burning stoves from 10-15kw.

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Stove care

Caring for your wood burning stove / multifuel stove

Your wood burning stove or multi fuel stove, with the proper care, should last you a lifetime and make a fantastic centre piece to any home. wood burning stoves are fairly easy to maintain but it will need some TLC over the years to keep them functional and looking their best.

What to burn on wood burning or multifuel stoves

All our wood burning stoves can run on a variety of different fuels, that is why they are also referred to as multifuel stoves but this does not mean that you can just burn anything on them. Unsurprisingly, they burn dry wood very effectively and can also run on coal and a wide range of eco fuels. Wet wood, straw and manmade, combustible products should be avoided as these can significantly shorten the lifespan of wood burning stoves and flue systems and can cause chimney fires in extreme cases.

Run your stove in

When your wood burning stove arrives, it is very tempting to light a big fire and sit back and enjoy your new stove but you should be gentle with your new stove and start with small fires. Wood burning stoves burn at very high temperatures and all the components of your stove need to bed in. Start by lighting smaller fires and gradually increase to a large roaring fire, that way wood burning stoves last a lot longer.

Cleaning wood burning stoves

Wood burning stoves will need cleaning but they do not need to be spotless. Allow a bed of ash to build up on the grate as this can enhance efficiency of wood burning stoves and only periodically clean and change this bed of ash.

Your stove glass will need regular cleaning, even with an airwash system to help keep it clear. Your stove’s door glass will become cloudy over time. To maintain that crystal clear view of you fire, you can purchase some stove door glass cleaner, which will restore your stove’s glass time after time.

You should regularly clean the air intakes of your woodburner as these are used to control the fire and to help keep the stove glass clean. Your stove’s air intakes can become clogged over time, so regularly check that they are operational and clean all the vents to ensure they are not blocked.

Sweeping your chimney or flue system

This is something that is easy to put off but it is very important. Clogged flues and chimneys can decrease the draw of your flue system and can cause chimney fires. Whether you have a twin walled flue system, a single walled flue pipe into an existing chimney or if you are using flexible chimney liner for wood burning stoves, you must still sweep your flue system.

With a clogged chimney not only is the risk of fire increased but your stove won’t operate as efficiently. In severe cases, the waste gases might not be vented properly and can start filling your room with deadly CO gases.

For this reason – always have a working CO alarm in the room with you and regularly sweep your chimney. You can purchase a CO alarm here and it could save your life.

You should sweep your chimney at least once a year. See our list of chimney sweeps in your area.

If you have a sealed flue pipe system your flue can be swept through your stove or for ease of access you can purchase a stove pipe with access doors.

Replacing seals on wood burning stoves

Over time the seals around your stove door and glass will start to perish and you will notice that your fires become uncontrollable. You can easily replace these seals with stove rope. You just need to measure the diameter of the existing rope and purchase some more of that size. You will also need some stove rope adhesive to fix it in place.

First, remove the old stove rope by a mixture of pulling and even gentle chiselling with a flat headed screw driver – just be careful not to damage the stove. Then make sure the area is as clean as possible, you can use water but don’t used detergents, as this can react with the rope adhesive. Then simply apply some rope adhesive to the area and feed in your new stove rope. You should now have a good seal once more and a fully working wood burning stove.

Faded cast iron wood burning stoves

Over time cast iron wood burning stoves can start to look a little faded and worn. This might be ideal for some tastes but the good news for those who want a snappier looking stove is that they can be restored to their formed glory very easily. Grate polish on its own can be very effective to bringing your stove back to black or for the more seriously faded stove, try some stove paint, which is easily sprayed onto the stove. If you are feeling creative you could also try painting your stove a different colour.