Stoves and Ecodesign
There are two main types of stoves based on the fuel burnt: Wood only or Multi-fuel. Both types have to be Eco Design approved.
What is Ecodesign approval?
Ecodesign approval is a new test that stoves have to pass, brought into force on 1st January 2022, when the Clean Air Act 2022 became law.
Ecodesign stoves have been tested to burn more efficiently, emitting lower levels of particulate matter, Carbon Monoxide, Organic Gaseous compounds & Nitrogen Oxide.
Particulate matter are microscopic pm.2.5 particles ( and smaller ) that can cause lung & cardiac problems if breathed in over time and are causing concern in built up areas, they also come from other sources like vehicle brakes and exhausts, industry etc.
All NEW stoves have to be Eco Design approved ( since 1/1/2022 ), some stoves have passed more stringent tests and are offered as ‘Clear Skies‘ certified.
What type of stove you need may depend on what fuel you want to burn
Wood logs can be burnt on both wood only and multi-fuel stoves. Kiln dried, well seasoned, and dry logs (less than 20% moisture) are a great heat source, carbon neutral, sustainable and clean burning. Logs give out good heat, but are not good for keeping ‘in’ over longer periods at low heat, as this can cause tarring in the chimney and, in extreme cases, could cause a chimney fire.
Solid fuel is a term used to describe anthracite and anthracite-based manufactured ovals. Anthracite is a naturally occurring approved smokeless fuel and looks like old fashioned house coal (house coal is now a banned fuel in England, since 1st May 2023). The manufactured ovals are based on crushed anthracite and various different binding agents. Solid fuel is good for low level burning over longer periods of time, such as over night or while out at work or shopping. Solid fuel can only be burnt on a multi-fuel stove.
What is a multi-fuel stove?
A multi fuel stove has a raised grate with an ash pan underneath, and a combustion air inlet from below the grate up, this is because solid fuel burns from the bottom up and the ash needs to be emptied regularly. A multi fuel stove is capable of burning both solid fuel and logs.
What is a Wood Burner?
A wood burner is a stove that can only burn wood, they do not usually have a raised grate and ash pan, you normally allow ash to build up in the base of the stove, only emptying occasionally, wood burns best on a bed of ash, combustion air can come from above with wood.
A wood burner can only burn wood logs.
Multi-Fuel vs Wood Burner
Some stove models are available only as wood burning, some only as multi-fuel, but commonly wood burner is standard with a conversion kit to multi-fuel.
Multi-fuel stoves can be easier to light in some cases, the raised grate & low air source help, the ash pan makes cleaning ash out easier.
Multi-fuel stoves are usually slightly more expensive & the grates can need changing occasionally.