FUEL FORMS AND THEIR PROS AND CONS

Country Homes & Interiors - - ROOM ELEMENTS -

Wood is the clas­sic fuel choice and is con­sid­ered a ‘car­bon neu­tral’ op­tion, be­cause the CO2 given off when burn­ing is the same as the tree took in while grow­ing. Look for the Wood­sure logo when buy­ing your logs to be cer­tain the wood comes from a cer­ti­fied source.

Biomass is an eco-friendly ma­te­rial, avail­able as com­pressed wood pel­lets for a ‘pel­let stove’. This is not yet a pop­u­lar choice; the flames are less dis­tinc­tive than with a wood­burner, and the stoves are fed the pel­lets by a space-con­sum­ing hop­per.

smoke­less solid fuel or coal can be burned in a mul­ti­fuel stove de­signed with a grate that’s adapt­able to burn both wood and solid fuel such as an­thracite.

if you live in a smoke-con­trol area – check with your lo­cal au­thor­ity – the wood­burner or mul­ti­fuel stove you choose must be cer­ti­fied by De­fra to prove that vir­tu­ally no smoke or harm­ful par­ti­cles are emit­ted.

oil-burn­ing stoves are few and far be­tween, but may be an op­tion for a home that al­ready uses oil for heat­ing.

gas stoves use a gas burner to heat ce­ramic logs or coals for a con­vinc­ing liv­ing flame ef­fect. Those with a con­ven­tional flue can sit within a chim­ney breast like a wood­burner, oth­ers have a bal­anced flue which takes gases straight to the out­side via an ex­ter­nal wall.

elec­tric stoves need no flue or chim­ney but sim­ply plug in. They’re con­ve­nient, pro­duc­ing heat from a 2kw fanned elec­tric heater. Some flame ef­fects are bet­ter than oth­ers – check in store be­fore pur­chas­ing.

Larch­dale wood­burn­ing stove, 9kw, De­fra ap­proved, £1,775, ACR.

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