Will Lloyd

Woodburning stoves and the environment

Woodburning stoves and the environment

Whatever we do in today’s world has an impact on the environment in some way. So, thinking about woodburning stoves and the environment. One way to contribute to a reduced environmental impact is to choose a modern stove with efficient woodburning design.

Light an environmentally-friendly fire

The first step is to choose a modern stove.  Modern stoves today have an efficiency of over 80%.  This compared to an open fire at 30% and a stove produced ten years ago, with an average efficiency of 65%. Efficiency varies by manufacturer so look for an EcoDesign ready stove.

The efficiency of the appliance impacts on the amount of wood required, as shown in this diagram . Significantly fewer logs are required in an Ecodesign Ready stove. Saving money and reducing emissions.

Installing a wood burning stove for space and water heating can help you be more energy efficient and reduce your carbon footprint.

Think about woodburning stoves and the environment.


CO2 neutral stoves from Contura

A Contura stove is CO2 neutral, because the quantity of carbon dioxide produced during the efficient combustion of bioenergy is taken up when new trees grow. By lighting, you get a natural supporting heat in the house, which relieves the load on the house’s main heating. It benefits both you and the environment.

We are members of the SIA Retail Group so you can find out more about the wood burning stoves and the environment here.

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How to choose the right gas fire for your home

How to choose the right gas fire for your home

If you are looking for a heat source that is the focal point of your home at the push of a button then a gas fire is a good option. But, which one? Here we give an overview of some of the key points to think about before having a gas fire installed.

1. Do you have gas?

Before you choose your gas fire this may seem an obvious question but not all homes have a gas connection. However, even if you do not have mains gas it is possible to have a connection for propane gas.

2. Where do you want the fire to go?

Do you have a gas fire right now? Then you can either leave the new gas fire in the same position, or you can choose to install the gas fire in a different location in your home.

3. What about the flue?

The outlet for flue gases (the flue) can be installed through the wall or roof. This means that you can even choose to place a gas fire in the middle of your living room or between two rooms. You do not have to be restricted by an existing location but can have the fire installed in the most convenient location in your home. To find out what would work for you ask us to come along to do an installation survey.

4. Think about gas consumption

Capacity and consumption of your gas fire is a key point for consideration. A fire with a high capacity is often chosen. You may think that a fire with a high capacity is better by definition and that it will heat the room more quickly. However, a fire with a capacity that is too high will heat the surrounding area too quickly. As a result, you will soon be forced to turn the fire down or even off, and you will no longer be able to enjoy the flames. Also, a fire with a high capacity cannot dissipate the heat evenly. That is why it is important to choose a gas fire or gas heater that is a good match for the room you want to heat in terms of capacity. We will establish the right capacity for your gas fire when we undertake our survey.

5. What is the right capacity?

What you need depends on several factors. It depends on the volume of the space to be heated and how well your home is insulated. The capacity is determined by multiplying the length, width and height of the space and thus calculating the cubic meters of efficiency.

chart describing gas fire capacity

A – for well insulated homes
Is your home equipped with good insulation, such as roof insulation, floor and/or cavity wall insulation or double-glazing? This is usually true for new, recently built houses or homes that have not been professionally.

B – for reasonably insulated homes
Is your home fitted with older insulation? Do you have double-glazing, but only basic wall and floor insulation?

C – for moderately insulated homes
Is your home poorly insulated and do you not have double-glazing? If you allow your home to be better insulated in the future, you may have a fire that provides too much capacity.

We are the South West stockist of gas fires from Dru and Global, find out more here.

Call us to arrange your free gas installation survey on 01237 420904.

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Time to close that open fire – and replace it with an EcoDesign wood burner

Time to close that open fire – and replace it with an EcoDesign wood burner

New generation wood burning stoves are now so clean and efficient. Not only can you clearly see the flames, but the radiant heat comes straight at you. It looks and feels just like an open fire.

Whilst traditional open fires do allow you to see the flames, they have now been identified as a major source of air pollution. This makes it hard to justify still lighting one. Not only does 80-90% of the heat go up the chimney but also particulate matter is released direct into the air. By installing a new Eco Design 2022 clean burning wood stove you can personally reduce emissions by up to 90%.

In its Clean Air Strategy, Defra recognises that all wood burning is not the same. Also, reductions in particulate emissions (PM) can be achieved through the installation of EcoDesign Ready stoves burning dry wood.

Stove industry alliance chart about impact of open fires against woodburnersBurning wood produces particulate matter (PM) but the amount produced depends on how the wood is burnt. Independent research conducted by Kiwa Gastec on behalf of the SIA has shown that SIA EcoDesign Ready stoves can reduce particulate emissions by 90% compared to an open fire and 80% compared to an old stove.

To deal with domestic burning, the government will ban the sale of the most polluting fossil fuels and ensure that only efficient and clean wood burning stoves are available for sale by 2022. The government is also consulting on phasing out the sale of traditional house coal and on limiting the sale of wet wood, the type found on garage forecourts. Look for the Ready to burn logo on bags of logs to ensure your firewood is dry and suitable for your stove.

So, if you love a real open fire but are concerned about what to burn once house coal becomes unavailable the answer might just be to install a wood burning stove.

Wood burning stoves are not only much more efficient when compared to open fires, they are environmentally more friendly especially when compared to burning coal on your open fire.

When harvested from efficiently managed forests, wood logs are obtained as a natural by-product of the thinning process. This is a form or renewable and sustainable biomass fuel. This is essential to the conservation of the forest, as it ensure there is enough light and space for the remaining trees to thrive. On a continuous cycle, felled trees are replaced and replanted, thereby preserving the woodland for future use. Firewood logs are therefore virtually carbon neutral, and as a result, woodland is being increasingly recognised as a valuable resource for sustainable fossil free fuel.

Contact us on 01237 420904 to find out more or visit our showroom to speak to our experts.

Posted by Will Lloyd in News
Multi-fuel or wood burning stove?

Multi-fuel or wood burning stove?

Multi-fuel stoves can burn wood, smokeless fuel and coal and there are some differences in the way these fuels burn. Not all multi-fuel stoves are optimised for burning all fuels with equal efficiency.

To burn efficiently, coal needs air to reach it from below. Multi-fuel stoves have a grate for the fuel to sit on, making them ideal for coal. Some also have a riddling plate.  You can then remove any ash that’s built up, letting more air through from underneath.  Wood, on the other hand, burns best when sitting on a bed of ash, with air circulating from the top.

Because of this, a multi-fuel stove may not be optimised for burning both types of fuel. It’s best to work out what type of fuel you want to burn first, and then base your buying decision on that.  Interestingly, The Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) found that 77% of people who have a multi-fuel stove only burn wood. If you are planning on only ever burning wood, getting a dedicated log burner is advisable. However, if you want to burn both types of fuel, and especially if you think you may not have regular access to one, then go for a multi-fuel stove.

Multi-fuel stoves may not be optimised for burning both types of fuel.  If this is the case, look out for a multi-fuel stove that has primary and secondary (sometimes called airwash) air vents. These allow you to control whether more air circulates from above or below, depending on the type of fuel. Also look for a stove that will allow you to either remove the grate, so wood can be burnt on the base of the stove instead of the grate, or to adjust it. A lot of manufacturers have designed grates that can be altered to enable both types of fuels to burn efficiently.

In the showroom we have multi-fuel stoves from Dik Geurts, Peanut and Hunter on display. Give us a call on 01237 420904 or come into our showroom in Bideford to discuss the right stove for you.


Posted by Will Lloyd in Home Page
Contura 310

Contura 310

Also, Contura is a leading Scandinavian manufacturer of wood burners.  The Contura 310 is a contemporary style, typically Scandi, wood burning stove and suits a free-standing installation.  These amazing contemporary designs look so good and burn so well. As you might expect from the country that brings us the Volvo, safety and concern for the environment comes built in and these are some of the most highly efficient and cleanest burning stoves available.

The generous side lights mean that you can see the fire from different angles in the room. With cleaner lines and a large glass door it gives a light and modern impression. The new handles do not get hot and are integrated into the front of the stove. The white stove, Contura 310 Style, with glass door is one of the hottest newcomers of the year.

For more information about the Contura range click here.  Or, to see them on live display call into our showroom in Bideford.

The design and product development of Contura stoves occurs in Sweden.  Also, the stoves are assembled and quality controlled before leaving the factory in Markaryd, Sweden. This gives Contura full control over the quality in all stages of production. They take care to ensure that the stoves are suitable for the modern home and conditions.  Contura are proud to mark their stoves “Made in Sweden”.


Posted by Will Lloyd in Home Page
10 things you can do with wood ash from your wood burning stove

10 things you can do with wood ash from your wood burning stove

Wood burns better on a bed of ash as it helps combustion of the new wood so no need to empty everyday. However, now and again you will need to empty the ash (how often depends on how often you burn your wood burner.) Take the top layer away and rather than throwing it in the bin, why not try some of these recycling ideas?

1. Clean your wood burning stove

If you’ve got a wood-burning stove with airwash then your glass should keep itself nice and clean. But if you do need to clean your glass by hand, we find that a bit of newspaper dipped in some cool ashes does the trick. A damp sponge dipped in the dust scrubs away sooty residue.

2. Use on the garden

Use ash to enrich compost. Before applying to the soil, throw some into the compost bin and mix through. This will help to enhance the nutrients in the compost. Wood ash tends to contain lots of lime, which is useful for combating acidic soil. Have a look at the Royal Horticultural Society website for more tips on using ash in your garden.

3. Stop nasty garden pests

Spread some ash evenly in garden beds as ash repels slugs and snails. Tiny piles of ash used as borders around each of your plants will help to keep unwanted visitors away from your plants. Insects, slugs and snails can all be deterred from tucking into your plants by a simple pile of ash.

4. Melt snow when it gets colder

When the snow falls, use wood ash to add traction and de-ice without hurting soil or concrete underneath.

5. Give your family silver a good shine

Simply mix a paste of ash and water together and apply to make a nontoxic metal polisher. It is abrasive, but if used with care it’s mild enough to create a nice shine without causing any damage.

6. Stop pets smelling around the house

Just take a handful of ash and rub into your dog’s coat to help neutralise any lingering doggy odours. Then you can let them back into the house to curl up beside your wood burner!

7. Hide stains on paving

The disaster of wet paint spatters on cement can be hidden by sprinkling ash directly on the spot. Then just blend in with a scuff of a boot.

8. Control pond algae

One tablespoon per 1,000 gallons adds enough potassium to strengthen other aquatic plants that compete with algae, slowing its growth.

9. Give your tomatoes a boost

For these calcium-loving plants, place 1/4 cup right in the hole when planting.

10. Make some soap

Soaking ash in water makes lye, which can be mixed with animal fat and then boiled to produce soap. Salt makes it harden as it cools.

Let us know if you have any ideas to add to our list.

Posted by Will Lloyd in News, 0 comments
Gas fired wood burner – the look of a wood burner with the convenience of gas

Gas fired wood burner – the look of a wood burner with the convenience of gas

One of the main reasons for choosing a gas fired wood burner is convenience. Sit back, and at the click of a button it bursts into life!  Every Chesneys gas stove is controlled by a hand-held remote-control device that allows you to control the flame height and heat output from the comfort of your armchair. So, if you want the stunning look of a real log burner then perhaps a gas stove could be an ideal option.

If a wood burning stove isn’t suitable for your home or needs, a gas log burner can provide an aesthetically pleasing true alternative.

The beautifully crafted stoves from Chesneys strike a perfect balance between elegance and efficiency.  It will look great in a fireplace surround or as a standalone statement piece. It is so convincing!  Chesneys have created a fire that emulates the flame pattern of a real fire. The individually hand painted logs produce a deep lifelike glow.

To find out more come into our showroom to see a live demo or call us on 01237 420904 to arrange a free home design consultation.

Posted by Will Lloyd in News
Don’t be underwhelmed by underfloor heating

Don’t be underwhelmed by underfloor heating

If you are considering your own grand design or buying a new property with underfloor heating, it might be worth combining this with a wood burner. A stove will give you fast radiant heat and creates a beautiful focal point in your main living area.

Underfloor heating has become the heating choice for most individual new build homes. It is equally popular with self-builders and renovators and for good reason. Underfloor heating gives a level of ambient comfort, efficiency and extra wall space.

It works by effectively turning the entire floor area into a radiator, via warm water pipes (wet UFH) or electric mats concealed within the floor structure. Warm water pipes are typically embedded within a screed. But there are other methods of installation, particularly for renovators.

Check the reaction time

A new efficient air source heat pump, connected to an underfloor system, is a wonderful green way to heat a new house. The resulting gentle heat, due to the floor’s large surface area, rises steadily upwards and there are no cold spots or draughts. So, this makes for a very comfortable environment. However, with a sudden drop in outside temperature it can take hours for the system to react and bring the house back up to temperature.

This is where the wood burner comes in

One way around this is to run the system at a constant lower temperature of say 15 – 18 degrees C to provide the gentle background temperature and install a wonderful wood burner. This can quickly raise the temperature with its beautiful radiant heat. With modern wood burners this can also be an incredibly stylish feature in your living room.

Highlight Heating

A modern wood burning stove can be the highlight of your home. It adds fossil free heat, and makes a wonderful feature with so many amazing designs now available from stove makers like Contura.

Modern wood burners are so easy to light, they get hot quickly and the glass stays clean. The clean door means you have a lovely clear view of the flames. Someone recently told us that watching the fire is also good for our mental health. But, who doesn’t like watching a fire? We might have grand designs on a modern home, but like our ancestors we still like the comfort of our cave.

To find the right stove for your home, give us a call on 01237 420904 or call into our showroom in Bideford.

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The Fire Engine joins national stove alliance

The Fire Engine joins national stove alliance

Local stove and fireplace retailer, The Fire Engine, is among the first in a group of independent retailers to become members of the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) as part of its new retail scheme.

The SIA Retail Group was formed earlier this year and membership is open to independent retailers with showroom displays in the UK.
The SIA is a trade association for the stove and fireplace industry in the UK. Its members were among the first manufacturers to develop appliances that meet Ecodesign requirements – new standards for emissions and efficiency of domestic wood burning appliances – well ahead of the January 2022 deadline, and positioning wood burning stoves and fireplaces as part of a low carbon, sustainable and renewable heating strategy
Using improved burn technology, an SIA Ecodesign Ready stove produces 90% less emissions than an open fire and 80% less than a stove that was manufactured 10 years ago, making a significant improvement to air quality.
The Fire Engine based in Bideford, is one of a growing number of independent retailers that have joined the SIA Retail Group and is able to offer the very latest stoves available on the market. Commenting on their decision to join the Group Will Lloyd, owner of The Fire Engine said:
“The Fire Engine is very proud to be a part of the SIA Retail Group. The SIA is a well-respected trade organisation and including independent retailers as members means it is representative of the whole stove industry in the UK. By choosing an SIA Retail Group member showroom customers can be assured that they are receiving the very best advice on which appliance is suitable for them and their lifestyle. Plus, they will be safe in the knowledge that we can guide them on installation and maintenance, and the best type of fuel to use to ensure they get maximum efficiency and minimum emissions.”
Morley Sage, chair of the SIA, added: “Modern SIA Ecodesign Ready stoves are high efficiency, low emission, renewable and sustainable biomass heating solutions their owners can be proud of, and we are delighted to welcome The Fire Engine to the SIA Retail Group. Membership reassures the public that they are in safe hands when choosing and installing a stove or fireplace and provides retailers with the support and expertise of the SIA.”

For further information on the SIA Retail Group and a list of members visit www.stoveindustryalliance.com

Posted by Will Lloyd in News
Aike Pellet stove or design classic?

Aike Pellet stove or design classic?

Beautiful clean lines and simple design of the Aike pellet stove. Surely a design classic?

The Aike pellet stove from MCZ has no front vents, made with a structure entirely made of painted steel. The new firebox features curved lines and is equipped with ceramic spark plug ensuring ignition times are reduced by 40%. You also have the option of using a handheld remote control or your smartphone.  Find out more about the Aike pellet stove here.

Phone us on 01237 420904 or call into our showroom in Bideford to find out more about having pellet stove in your home.

The most efficient and clean heating system

Pellets are an increasingly popular for those who are interested in an eco-sustainable source of energy. This is because pellet combustion is very efficient. With the same amount of fuel you will be able to achieve more heat with pellets than with wood. Additionally, pellet burns better and assures a very clean combustion. This is why pellet stoves benefit from the tax benefits and incentives for energy efficiency and renewable energy. They are some of the best environmentally-friendly alternatives you could choose to heat your home as well as to save on bills.

Posted by Will Lloyd in Home Page, News