Stoves and Open Fires
A pound of fuel will produce at least three times more heat when burned in a stove than when it is burned on an open fire. Your British Standard open fire will be roughly 15% efficient where as your stove will be any where from 55% to 85% efficient depending on the quality of the fuel you burn and the stove quality.
In addition to this, a stove requires considerably less air in order for combustion to take place than does an open fire and so cold draughts are usually eliminated when a stove is fitted. An open fire will continue to suck warm air from the room as long as the room is warmer than air outside, and so all the heat produced by your fire is lost up the chimney. Heat produced by other sources such as a night storage heater or radiators is also sucked up the chimney.
The modern day stove has come along way since first invented and are not just room heaters but super efficient controllable heating appliances, they can come with ‘clean burn technology’, ‘air wash systems’ and even remote control options. Stoves can be left to there own devices with out much attention and can run for up to 12 hours on there own, where as your standard British open fire will need constant attention and burn with out any real control.
In many cases a simple room-heating stove can go a long way to heating a whole cottage, or take a load off an existing central heating system in a sizeable house.
Heating with wood or solid fuel has few limitations; the limitations are our independence and how much we wish to reduce our reliance on the nuclear, oil and gas industries
Wood Burning Stoves will provide a flat bed for the wood to burn on, its advisable you let the ash in the stove build up to give the wood a bed to burn on. The controls on a wood burning stove will allow air at a controlled rate into the burn chamber, bringing the air in over the top of the wood as this allows for the most efficient combustion process.
Multi-Fuel Stoves will have a raised grate in the burn chamber as coal or smokeless fuel burns best with the air bought in from underneath the grate, multi-fuel stoves will have two sets of controls so you can regulate the stove accordingly in conjunction with your fuel.