FUEL FORMS AND THEIR PROS AND CONS
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.