The Heat Installers guide to using your stove efficiently

If your home in Greater Manchester has a solid fuel stove, you will know that nothing quite beats that lovely real flame. However, you may also be concerned that burning sold fuels can cause pollutants. The Heat Installers guide to using your stove efficiently explains how Manchester homeowners can use their stove and still reduce those nasty emissions.

Upgrade your stove

If you have a stove that is over five years old, it may not be as efficient as the new ones currently on the market. By 2022, all European manufactured stoves have to be Eco-design Ready (making them 80% efficient) but some manufacturers are already there. Look out for the logo when buying a new stove or upgrading your old one. The Heat Installers team is happy to recommend the correct stove for you home as well as ensure it is correctly installed.

Only burn dry wood

This may seem obvious but there is wood – and then there is wood! You need to ensure the wood you buy is well seasoned, in other words as dry as it can be. If you only buy wood that carries the Ready to Burn logo you can be confident that it has a moisture content of less than 20%.

If you have your own wood, dry it out yourself in a dry wood store for between one to two years. This is important because damp or wet logs create far more particulate matter than dry logs.  Kiln dried wood is usually the most expensive – but also the most efficient. The best woods for a stove are a variety of seasoned soft and hard woods and if you want a lovely aroma, try a fruitwood – although these are usually more expensive.

And remember, that while you can use your own wood and that of your neighbours with their permission, it is in fact illegal for you to walk through Alkrington Woods or Worsley Woods, or indeed anywhere in Greater Manchester, and simply take logs home with you. In this country, all trees are owned and so picking up bits of wood for your log burner without the land owners permission could see you in court for theft!

If you have a multi fuel stove, remember that wood is more environmentally friendly than coal – even smokeless.

Use smokeless fuel

If you have a multi fuel burner then make sure you only use smokeless coal.  The term smokeless coal refers to several types of coal (anthracite, semi-anthracite, gas and low volatile steam coal) that will produce a minimal amount of smoke and you should not see any smoke while it is burning.  It is more environmentally friendly and produces less ash than house coals, which means you don’t have to clean out your stove as much.

Correct use of your stove

Your stove manufacturer will produce clear instructions on how to use your stove. Please follow the instructions as this will ensure optimum efficiency and will give your stove a longer life. You should never allow your stove to smoke, this not only creates emissions but will also cause of a build-up of soot in the chimney.

  1. Use the air control to give a good supply of oxygen – look out for visible flames
  2. Keep the door open slightly and open the air vents as you get the fire going.
  3. Keep the fire at a constant burn – this keeps the fire at the right temperature and reduces the chance of carbon monoxide build up.
  4. Having your chimney swept on a regular basis (at least once a year) which will prevent sooty deposits building up. The Heat Installers in Manchester can arrange servicing and sweeping of your stove.

The future

The governments Clean Air Strategy aims to cut particulate matter and from a domestic stove point of view, this means using energy efficient stoves and burning only energy efficient fuels. If you need any further clarification, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.