Wood burner or Multi fuel stove?
Before you make a decision on buying a wood burner or multi fuel stove you have to decide what your main fuel source will be. If you have a plentiful supply of seasoned wood you may just want a wood burner but if you want to supplement that supply by burning the odd bag of coal you will have to opt for a multi fuel stove Environmental factors may also help you make a decision, a wood burner is more environmentally friendly but is limited to burning wood, a multi fuel stove is environmentally friendly when you only burn wood but you also have the option of burning a bit of coal.
Wood as a fuel
As a tree grows it absorbs carbon dioxide during photosynthesis this carbon dioxide is then released when the wood is burnt as fuel. If the wood has come from a managed forest where the trees are being replace you are creating a ‘carbon-in, carbon-out’ cycle, this is where the carbon dioxide release by the wood during burning is equal to the carbon dioxide absorbed during the life of the tree. The burning of the wood is classed as a carbon lean fuel.
The wood ideally needs to be seasoned for 18 months to 2 years before it is burnt; the reduced moisture improves the heat output, which makes the wood burn more efficiently. Seasoned wood also reduces the smoke and gas produced and gives of a lovely smell.
Coal as a fuel
Burning coal as a fuel is not kind to the environment as it not only emits carbon dioxide but sulfur, nitrogen oxide and mercury. The sulphur mixes with oxygen to form sulfur dioxide, which when combined with water will produce acid ran which can affect trees and rivers. Nitrogen oxide helps create smog, and mercury in the water can build up in fish and shellfish, which can in turn be harmful to both animals and people when they are eaten. Although if you want a choice of whether to burn wood or coal you will have to opt for a multi fuel stove.
A multi fuel stove [http://www.nottinghamstoves.com/] will not burn wood as efficiently as a wood burner but the option of being able to burn other fuel like coal is the added advantage.