Guest Blog by Ian Sams, Commercial Director, Specflue

Guest Blog by Ian Sams, Commercial Director, Specflue

Sustainable stoves for tomorrow’s world, available today…

According to forecasters, 2020 will be the decade in which environmentalism is at the forefront of everyone’s minds. From the bushfires in Australia to Greta Thunberg’s address to the UN, society has been shocked into action. The majority of the world’s population are now moving away from single-use plastics and fossil fuels, beginning instead to embrace positive change. To preserve the planet for future generations, we may well find ourselves enjoying insect protein and 3D printed meals in the coming years, getting from place to place in electric pods driven by AI.

During the past ten years, organisations have been facing increasing pressure to adopt a genuine and responsible approach towards the environment that we live in. It is a truth recognised the world over that commerce generates a great deal more waste than consumers, whether it is produced by a small family-run enterprise throwing their cardboard in the general waste bin or a multinational corporation with a global environmental impact.

Specflue has long been a leading UK provider of products and services related to wood burning stoves. Therefore our products have always offered a low-carbon alternative to fossil fuels; and if logs are locally sourced, a wood burning stove is virtually carbon neutral. However, since the sector was identified as a legacy generator of particulates, Specflue has put environmental responsibilities at the heart of a twin strategy to become an active carbon-reduction enabler.

Firstly, as DEFRA has introduced Ecodesign legislation as part of its Clean Air Strategy to which all wood burners must conform by 2022, Specflue proudly promotes the fact that all of its products are already compliant. Conventional wood burning stoves offer a host of powerful benefits to householders. They are reliable, reduce heating bills, use a renewable fuel source, and Ecodesign ready technology is particularly energy efficient and clean burning compared with older incarnations. One of many exceptional examples of this technology is our Termatech range, available from the Fire Engine.

Secondly, Specflue has become the UK’s primary advocate for the use of ‘pellet burners’, which provide an even cleaner, next-generation evolution of the much-loved wood burner.

Amy MCZ pellet stove for the fire engineOne perceived drawback of woodburning stoves is that although you can regulate their air flow and heat output to a limited amount, you can’t simply switch them on and off, or expect instant heat. That’s where pellet stoves come in. Pellet stoves burn compressed wood or biomass pellets to create a source of heat. By slowly feeding fuel automatically from the storage container (the hopper) into the burn tray, a constant flame is created and monitored to ensure maximum efficiency.

Probably the biggest benefit of a pellet stove to its owner is its ease of use thanks to automatic ignition, power modulation and the fact that these stoves can be programmed; in fact, they can also be operated remotely as this film illustrates… MCZ pellet stove

But greater still is the benefit to the planet. The University of Manchester SUPERGEN Bioenergy Hub focuses on research relating to the use of sustainable bioenergy systems. Its director, Professor Patricia Thornley, recently advised: “Biomass heating [which typically uses wood pellets or wood chips as fuel] is a technology available today that can immediately reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with heat production. Calculating the exact extent to which this reduces greenhouse gas emissions is complicated because you have to look at where the wood comes from, how it has been processed, etc.”
“We have done those calculations for many different types of system and find that you do get good reductions in greenhouse gas emissions – 58% for a pellet boiler replacing a natural gas boiler in a home; 94% for a chip boiler in a district heating system.” If you’d like to find out more about this technology, ask one of the heating experts at The Fire Engine.

As Kermit the Frog once philosophised, it isn’t easy being green. However, necessity is the mother of invention – and we at Specflue are proud of the work we have been doing to innovate, to drive change and to continually operate some distance ahead of the legal requirements. Working with trade installers and retail partners, such as The Fire Engine in North Devon and North Cornwall, we continue to invest in leading our sector’s work towards the UK Government’s 2050 net zero carbon objectives, and we are always seeking to continually improve.

Call in to the showroom to find out more about Termatech stoves or MCZ pellet burners, or phone us on 01237 420904 to book your free survey.



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Enjoy ApplePie at the Fire Engine

Enjoy ApplePie at the Fire Engine

We are delighted to announce that you can now get ApplePie at the Fire Engine! Well that is, a new range of wood burning stoves – ApplePie by Ekol.  So, we  have been busy this week installing this new range of stoves which are ideal for small spaces.

apple pie by ekolIf you are looking for a small stove to fit in to your home, boat, yurt or glamping pod, it’s now as easy as pie.  This compact wood burning stove gives you great efficiency as it is EcoDesign 2022 compliant so will push out the heat even though it is small in size, it is powerful in performance.

And not only is it a wood burning stove but you can also decide to cook on it too.  The ApplePie is small, it is extremely versatile so you can really specify exactly what you want. It has been called ‘the Swiss Army knife of stoves’.  What this means is that you can choose to have your own individual styling and multiple cooking options including stainless cooktop, top baking oven, pan supports to one or both sides as well as griddle plate and pizza shelf inside.

Come along to our preview day in the showroom on Saturday January 18th from 10am till 2pm. 

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Guest blog – Catharina Björkman from Contura in Sweden

Guest blog – Catharina Björkman from Contura in Sweden


I’m Catharina Björkman, marketing communications manager at Contura in Sweden, happy to appear here at the Fire Engine and share some thoughts this cold January. It’s been 11 years for me and Contura and I’ve been constantly focused on building our brand to meet our customers in the best way.

Contura, the Swedish stove manufacturing company, is found in the dark woods of Småland in southern Sweden and we share many of our values with another Swedish furniture company with the same origin (IKEA…), where I actually also spent many years of my work life. It’s always been important for me at work to be able to help people feel good at home, so moving from home furnishing to heat and cosiness was a very easy choice for me!

Contura – the Swedish stove manufacturer in Markaryd

Contura Hq for the fire engineAt Contura, we offer an extensive range of classic and contemporary wood burners; from traditional insert stoves suitable for existing fireplaces, to freestanding statement models made with innovative materials such as soapstone.

We design and assemble our stoves at the factory located in Markaryd, Sweden, and manufacture to the highest standards.

Speaking of feeling good, one of the best ways, I believe, to create wellbeing at home, is to allow some cosiness in everyday life. That’s why we have created Cosyology by Contura – the art of creating cosy. Let me share some of our Swedish lifestyle tips here.

‘Cosyology’ – the art of creating cosy

The objective of Cosyology is to convey knowledge and create value by providing tips, advice and information on how to boost the cosy in everyday lives. A far reaching theme? Without doubt, but it also opens the door to dialogue on a variety of subjects which is almost unlimited. Which firewood creates the warmest glow? What is the most fun card game for the whole family? How do you bake the tastiest biscuits to enjoy by the fire?

Within Cosyology, we can spark a dialogue about pretty much anything – as long as it involves cosiness!

Winter in Sweden

Winter in Sweden is all about enjoying cosy as temperatures can drop to as low as -30°C. There is even a dedicated Swedish term to describe cosiness and the pleasure that being cosy provides: Mysig.

At Contura, we believe that ‘creating cosy’ can really help to elevate our mood, allowing us to celebrate the season rather than scorn it. After all, there is so much to love about winter – cosy nights in, dimmed lighting, intimate gatherings with friends or family, comfort food and drink, roaring fires and snuggling up in layers or blankets.

The ritual of Fredagsmys

Fredagsmys translates, quite literally, to “cosy Friday,” and refers to the Swedish end-of-the-week ritual of holing up at home to relax, indulge in comfort food, watch movies and enjoy quality time after a week of hard work.

Be Lagom

‘Lagom’ is a Swedish term describing ‘just the right amount’ or ‘not too little and not too much,’ and denotes a mindful approach to all areas of life, focusing on moderation, balance, sustainability and frugality. This thoughtful approach encourages a life less frivolous, more authentic, and most importantly, endeavours to ensure that we strive for the right balance to feel happier and more fulfilled in whatever we do.

My favourite Contura stove

Contura for the fire engineThe Contura 500 Style stove is our most popular stove. First launched in 2003, it has continued to be our shining star. The sideglasses shows a lot of the fire and the size fits most homes. And there are so many models to choose from! In May 2019, we launched the new Contura 800 Style stove. This is actually my favourite stove series. The design is so easy to love and there are many good features, like the automatic start function and refuelling boost function, both developed to enhance the everyday fire.

I wish you all a lovely start of 2020 and don’t forget to add some mysig (cosiness) and lagom (not too much or too little) to your life!

Call into the showroom to find our more about Contura stoves or phone us on 01237 420904 to book your free survey.

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