Burn, baby, burn - wood stove inferno

Wood burner

Wood burner - Credit: Archant

Indoors or out, these eco-friendly, money-saving heaters are on the rise in popularity, as Laura Berrill reports.

Cheminee design

Cheminee design - Credit: Archant

The popularity of wood and multi-fuel stoves has been on the rise for some time, with many people seeing the benefits of their eco friendly, energy saving characteristics. Now with the onset of (hopefully) warmer nights they can also be used as an outdoor, as well as indoor feature, with some models combining heat sources with outside cooking facilities so perfect for that summer BBQ even on chillier evenings.

Morley Stoves, which specialises in supplying and installing stoves and fireplaces and works with customers all over the St Albans and Harpenden areas and is Hetas registered, has seen an increase in these products for several different reasons.

Owner, Luke Adams, explained: “The recession and housing market crash helped the industry take shape with people wanting to upgrade their properties rather than sell and also save money with expensive heating bills.

Cheminee design

Cheminee design - Credit: Archant

“We also pushed the green/eco heating aspect that stoves offer, cutting carbon emissions versus fossil fuels and are carbon neutral and so efficient that customers can make sizeable savings on their heating. Due to this stoves have become the latest must haves in any existing or newly developed and designed house whether there is a chimney stack or not. Plus, the increase in housing numbers being pushed by the government means even large developments want stoves installed to set them apart and help them sell.”

And their designs have also come a long way. The common misconception with wood burning stoves is that they are just a black box stuck in a fireplace, but there are more and more designs coming through with more varied colour choices such as cream and white stoves being a real current trend.

Even the black stoves have lots of different options to get a specific look which the customer wants and brands which are freestanding whereby the property does not have a fireplace or chimney, as well as eye-catching roof suspended fires.

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In any case, the lure of a wood burning or multi fuel appliance is hard to deny. It can provide an eye-catching centrepiece for the home and an efficient heating system - providing a more sustainable lifestyle.

Many are designed to burn smokeless fuels, handy if there is no inbuilt chimney stack already in the property and multi fuel stoves and fires are built with a riddling grate which allows for the ash created to fall away from the fuel and disperse into an ash pan which can be emptied by head prior to refuelling.

Conversely, designated wood burning stoves and fires are designed with a fixed grate and a flat base. This is because wood burns more effectively when it is sitting on a bed of ashes and fresh logs are placed on top to fuel the fire. The air flow over the top of the logs facilitates the combustion process. In terms of efficiency and heat generation, wood burning and multi-fuel stoves and fires can be quite similar in heat output so your choice of fuel type is predominantly going to be determined by personal preference and your fuel accessibility. In terms of aesthetics, burning logs can give an outstanding visual effect as the flames from burning wood can be particularly beautiful.

Today, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to stoves or fires. There are a large range of wood burning appliances on the market with manufacturers vying for your custom with ever more gorgeous designs and impressive technology at their core.

Although with their designs firmly rooted in their origins of the past, a wealth of traditional designed stoves today are available with cutting edge advanced firebox technology. Updating an old open fireplace to a modern glass fronted stove, such as a cast iron Tai wood burning and multi fuel stove can maximise your heating return from your fuel outlay whilst still maintaining the unmistakable authenticity and atmosphere from a traditional heating appliance.

When it comes to the outside of the home, fire pits are popular, especially Corten Steel ones which give off the industrial look, currently sought after. This, also known as weathered steel, originated in building bridges and skyscraper due to its strength. It develops a protective, striking rust appearance on exposure to the elements which creates warm, rich textures not usually associated with metal. They can sit as bowl shape in their design, made from 3mm steel and either be placed directly on the floor or a slab and can come with a cast three-legged trivet.

For the more adventurous, foodie barbie lover, Tubby Jack barbecues are much more than a standard model and are available in three different sizes in a selection of colours, offering the usual BBQ option but also with a pizza oven, slow cooker and even a smoker. They are made with thick refactory ceramics, enabling them to withstand heat of up to 1000F degrees and store heat for more than eight hours, allowing the cooking of slow cooked meats. They come with a lifetime warranty.

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