Stoves exude warmth in more ways than one. With their traditional design, typically including a ‘window’ through which to watch the fire crackling away, they’re a very charming and idyllic way of heating up your home.
There is, though, a big question to ask yourself when you’re looking to buy one: would you be better off with a wood-burning stove or a multi-fuel model?
The public seems strongly divided on these different stoves’ merits, with the consumer advice experts at Which? having recently found that 59% of stove owners claimed to have a wood-burning stove, and 41% the multi-fuel variety.
So, let’s have a look at some of the factors that should guide your own choice.
The exact fuel to which you have access
As their respective names suggest, wood-burning stoves are designed solely to burn wood, rather than other types of fuel, whereas multi-fuel stoves aren’t restricted exclusively to wood as a potential fuel.
On one hand, it may seem an obvious decision to opt for a multi-fuel stove in today’s world – after all, this would give you the flexibility of using different fuels, depending on whatever fuel you can access or afford at any given time.
However, the decision isn’t necessarily as clear-cut as that. For example, according to the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA), more than three quarters (77%) of owners of multi-fuel stoves only burn wood. Furthermore, the design differences between wood-burning and multi-fuel stoves mean the latter may not be optimised for burning wood as much as a dedicated wood-burner would be.
In any case, with wood-burning stoves still very popular as shown by the above ownership statistics, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a reputable firewood supplier. Remember that Evans Fireplace Centre sells not only kiln dried logs that are perfect for both types of stove, but also smokeless coal that you can use in your multi-fuel stove.
The environmental impact
The great thing about wood-burning stoves is that despite claims otherwise, they can be considered carbon neutral, due to growing trees absorbing as much carbon dioxide as is released by burning logs.
As for multi-fuel stoves, their environmental friendliness depends on what fuel you are burning in them. Smokeless coal like that supplied by Evans Fireplace Centre is regarded as much better for our Earth than fuel that gives off tarry or other hydrocarbon vapours when heated below its point of ignition.
How much you’ll need to pay
There are, of course, two elements to consider when you are attempting to choose the most cost-effective stove: the price of the stove itself, and how much you’ll be required to pay for the fuel.
As far as the former is concerned, there isn’t actually a huge difference between the purchase prices of wood-burning and multi-fuel stoves. Both less and more expensive models are available for both categories of stove, so you should be able to find one that suits your practical needs, preferences and budget alike.
The price of the fuel, meanwhile, hinges on such factors as the type and quality of fuel that you use. The cheapest wood will naturally be wood that you collect yourself, although you could also save money by purchasing wood with a high moisture content.
Moisture is an important factor to bear in mind, because wood with a lower moisture level will not only produce more heat, but also burn for longer. Unfortunately, you may have to wait one or two years for wood with a high moisture level to dry out.
That’s why you may instead purchase wood that is already dry, such as our own kiln-dried logs. This wood is an efficient and safe option for fuelling your stove, whichever type of stove you choose.
Would you like to receive further advice on how to decide on the perfect new stove for you? If so, don’t hesitate to call the Evans Fireplace Centre team today, on 01162 600 772.