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Here you will find usefull information about woodburning and multifuel stoves.

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Monday, 21 June 2010

Woodburning & Multifuel Stove spares

Woodburner Warehouse has now branched out into the area of Woodburning stove spares.  We have been checking out the web and could not see any online stove spares sites providing a dedicated spares service.

We have now launched our new website and is ready to take your orders.

We offer Stove spare parts from the following manufacturers:

Aarrow Spares
Aga Spares
Charnwood Spares
Clearview Spares
Dovre Spares
Franco Belge Spares
Hunter Spares
Morso spares
Stovax Spares

Please feel free to visit our sister site today:

Woodburner Spares

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Be Carbon Monoxide Aware

Be Carbon Monoxide Aware – protect yourself from the silent killer

Here at Woodburner Warehouse we want all of our customers to be safe in their homes. While installing a stove is extremely safe if installed correctly we would like you to read the following article to familiarise yourself with the dangers of Carbon monoxide.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon Monoxide is a highly poisonous gas that has no colour, taste or smell and can be produced by appliances that use gas, wood, oil or coal. Carbon Monoxide can also be present in smoke from solid fuel or oil appliances.

Carbon Monoxide is potentially fatal and even low-levels of the poison can cause lasting damage to your health.

Recognise the early symptoms

Recognising the early symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning will save your life. The symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning are similar to the ‘flu’. They can include:

* Nausea
* Dizziness
* Tiredness
* Headaches
* Stomach pains
* Chest pains

If you experience these symptoms but feel better when you are outside or away from the appliance, you could be suffering from Carbon Monoxide poisoning.

Our blood has a component called haemoglobin, which normally absorbs oxygen in our lungs and carries it to the rest of the body. But haemoglobin absorbs Carbon Monoxide 240 times more easily than it does oxygen.

So, when we inhale Carbon Monoxide from the air, it is this toxic gas, rather than oxygen that attaches itself to the haemoglobin, starving the body of oxygen. The smaller the person, the more quickly the body can be overcome by the affects of Carbon Monoxide.

Severe Carbon Monoxide poisoning makes the body turn a cherry-red colour. Unlike a lack of oxygen due to choking for example, the body does not turn blue. Instead, the victim’s skin will be pink or pale with bright red lips.

Carbon Monoxide poisoning can affect the victim’s mental ability before they are even aware that there is a problem. Any effort that increases the body’s need for oxygen only makes the problem worse, rapidly leading to collapse and potentially death.

Spot the signs around your appliances

Carbon Monoxide can be present in smoke from solid fuel or oil appliances. If you are using a gas appliance that should have a crisp blue flame, such as a pilot light, look out for changes. If it turns to a lazy orange flame, the appliance may not be working correctly.

You are at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if:

* Your appliance was poorly installed
* Your appliance is not working properly
* Your appliance has not been safety checked and serviced annually
* There is not enough fresh air in the room
* Your chimney or flue is blocked
* You allow people who are not CORGI registered to install or maintain your gas appliances

Why you should get your appliances checked annually

Appliances that are properly installed and serviced and have sufficient ventilation are efficient and safe.

To avoid the production of Carbon Monoxide and to make sure you and your family are safe you must have all your fuel-burning appliances safety checked annually by either a CORGI registered installer if you have a gas appliance or the relevant professional for your fuel type (contact HETAS or OFTEC for further details).

* Make sure rooms and heaters are well ventilated.
* Have your chimneys and flues checked regularly.
* Buy a Carbon Monoxide alarm.

You increase the risk of your appliance producing Carbon Monoxide if it is badly installed or poorly maintained.

If you have a solid fuel appliance you should empty and check the ash can daily, clean the flue ways at the back of the boiler weekly and clean the throat plates at the top of the room heater monthly.

If you live in rented accommodation with gas appliances your landlord must provide you with proof that a CORGI registered installer has safety-checked the appliances within the last 12 months.

Don’t block ventilation

With a wood burning or multifuel stove over 5kw you must have an airvent into the room which has direct contact with fresh air from the outside.

It is dangerous to block ventilation to your fuel-burning appliances. If you block ventilation to your appliances it can lead to Carbon Monoxide poisoning.

Fuel-burning appliances need a consistent supply of air in order for complete combustion to occur and for the appliance to work correctly. If you are concerned about drafts in your home, you should speak to your installation specialist who may be able to recommend a different location in your home for the appliance to be relocated.

If you use a solid fuel burning appliance you should have your chimney swept at least once a year, preferably before each winter, as birds’ nests and spider webs can block chimneys and stop the flow of air.

Fit a CE approved Audio Carbon Monoxide alarm to your property

Fitting a CE-approved audible carbon monoxide alarm is a good second line of defence after having your appliances safety checked. In fact, if you cannot get a safety check booked in immediately, you should buy an audible alarm now and fit it straight away. It will alert you if your appliance leaks Carbon Monoxide until it can be properly checked and certified by a professional.

Carbon Monoxide alarms need to meet European safety standards and must be audible. You usually fit them in the room that an appliance is installed but you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

We do not recommend the use of a ‘Black Spot’ detector – although they are much cheaper than an audible alarm these are often inaccurate and will not alert you if you are overcome by Carbon Monoxide fumes or asleep.

If you are concerned about the threat of Carbon Monoxide poisoning whilst on holiday in the UK or abroad, you may wish to take a battery-operated Carbon Monoxide alarm with you.

Carbon Monoxide alarms cost around £20 to £30 and can be bought from most good DIY stores, some supermarkets and in most cases direct from your energy supplier.

When you buy a Carbon Monoxide alarm, make sure it meets current British and European safety standards. Look for alarms marked with the 'BS EN50291' and with the 'CE' mark, which should be found on the packaging.

Remember that Carbon Monoxide alarms must never be used in place of annual safety checks. They are a second line of defence. There is no alternative to proper installation and maintenance of your appliances.

What to do in an emergency

Make sure you know what to do and who to call in an emergency. If you suspect a Carbon Monoxide leak, stop using the appliance until it has been checked by either a CORGI registered installer if it is a gas appliance or by another relevant professional (contact OFTEC or HETAS for further details).

You should open windows to ventilate the area, leave the room to get some fresh air and seek medical attention.

If someone is seriously ill from Carbon Monoxide poisoning it is vital that they are removed immediately from the contaminated area, placed into the open air and given pure oxygen, if available. Victims should be kept at rest, avoiding exertion. You need to call for medical help urgently.

If you receive medical attention, be sure to state that you suspect Carbon Monoxide poisoning to ensure you receive appropriate treatment, such as a breath or blood test.

If you smell gas then call:
0800 111 999 for England, Scotland and Wales
0800 002 001 for Northern Ireland
01624 644 444 for Isle of Man
01481 749000 for Guernsey
01534 755555 for Jersey

If you are calling from a mobile phone then go outside first. Do NOT smoke, do NOT turn light switches on or off and do NOT do anything to create a spark. Turn off the supply at the meter. If you do not have to switch on a light to do so, open doors and windows and wait outside for the emergency engineer to arrive.

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Wood Fuel Facts

When you have a basic understanding of the processes involved in buying, preparing, storing and burning wood, we can make wood a more environmentally friendly fuel and get more value for our money.

Burning Wood

Apart from the Sun itself, trees have supplied the warmth to enable us to live in cooler climates for hundreds and hundreds of years and for many people all over the world have provided the means to cook foods, which would otherwise be impossible or unpalatable to eat. Firewood was of course also a major source of light in the long dark winters before the event of electricity.

Even today a huge part of the growing world population, probably between 2 and 3 billion people, depend in some way or another on trees for heat and cooking. That puts a great strain on our disappearing forests, as well as on the people, who have to walk further and further to get some wood. In many parts of the world it is not unusual to spend a large part of the day, traveling many miles, to keep a family in wood and water.

Burning wood in a stove is more efficient than burning wood on an open fire and can easily cut down the amount needed by half.

In Great Britain wood fires have evolved from a basic necessity to almost a luxury. Of course there are still many rural people who use local resources to heat their homes, but in urban areas, there is often a smoke control zone.

The technology of wood burning stoves did not change much for hundreds of years until the 1980's, when a new generation of highly efficient wood burners were developed to comply with the increasing need to prevent air pollution. These newer models increase the heat efficiency of the stove, as well as dealing with the 'exhaust' products of the fire so that they are able to be used in smoke control areas.

Clean burn stoves, Cleanheat Stoves

Cleanburn or Cleanheat stoves are incorporated with a sophisticated system that allows warm air to be introduced just above the normal height of the fire. The effect is to allow the combustion of unburned hydrocarbons in the smoke stream. This, in turn, provides not only a ‘cleaner burn’ (i.e. less soot particles going up the chimney/flue and into the atmosphere) but also generates up to twice the heat output from the same amount of fuel. Furthermore, you will enjoy the sight of even more flames. For more Information check out our article on Cleanburn and cleanheat stoves.

Is wood an environment-friendly fuel?

Many people think that wood is a truly green source of fuel, because, unlike fossil fuels, it does not release any extra carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. This is true only if we the trees we use up are continually replaced. Preferably with a generous safety margin. What follows is an explanation why this is so for those of you not familiar with the subject.

Carbon dioxide is one of the famous greenhouse gasses, which in large quantities has the effect of creating an invisible blanket around the Earth This 'blanket' traps the heat of the sun and so contributes to climate warming.

Back in the dawn of pre-history, our Earth was a hot place with an atmosphere full of CO2 and other gasses, which no human being could have lived in. Over the course of millions of years many generations of plants and trees have created an atmosphere, where animals and people can breathe. Plants do this because they take CO2 (a molecule consisting of 1 part carbon and two parts oxygen) from the air and use the carbon in this gas as food to build their tissues and release excess oxygen back into the air. Animals and people do the opposite: we breathe in oxygen and breathe out CO2 as a waste product.

I have read somewhere that the fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas, etc.) we use up in just one single year account for about 1 million years of patient work by plants and trees to convert the air into the carbon compounds, we now so 'conveniently' use to heat our homes, provide our lights and fuel our cars. That is a truly staggering statistic!

When we burn the wood of a tree, this will release no more CO2 than this particular tree took out of the air when it grew. So as long as we make sure that we grow enough trees to continually replenish the CO2 absorbing capacity of what we burn up, there is a balance. It is like living on the income of the interest of a bank account. As long as you spend no more than the interest generated that year, your income will remain stable. As soon as you use up more, you are on a downward spiral. Your capital disappears and the interest you receive will be less and less.

Therefore wood is only an environment-friendly fuel if it comes from well-managed woodlands and forests, where more trees are grown each year than are harvested. The reason why many more trees need to be planted than we cut down, is because the new young trees will of course be much smaller than the larger ones we harvest. The CO2 absorbing capacity of a tree is of course very much dependent on its size and the amount of foliage it has.

Understanding the burning process

It helps a lot to have a basic insight into what actually happens when wood is burned for at least two reasons. First of all you will be able to burn your wood with the least impact possible on the environment. Secondly you will also benefit by having less maintenance to do on your chimney, gain the knowledge to enable you to get more out of your wood and have warmer fires.
There are 3 stages in the wood-burning process:

1) Evaporation - When you light your fire a lot of energy will be needed at first to boil away any moisture, which is left in the wood. Using energy to drive off excess water in firewood robs the stove of energy needed for an efficient and clean burn. Also, much of the energy wasted in evaporating water is energy that could have heated your home. This is both wood, money and effort wasted.

Using unseasoned or damp wood is therefore not a good thing. To sum it up: The effective available heat is MUCH less because there are less wood fibers in each pound of wood put in the woodburner; a good percentage of that heat must be used to evaporate all that water before those wood fibers can burn and the presence of all that moisture tends to keep "putting out" the fire, and therefore making it burn very poorly, which tends to produce a lot of creosote and pollution.

2) Emissions - As the heat of your fire intensifies, waste-gases (smoke) are released from the wood. Unburned smoke is emitted into the air as either as pollution, or condensed in the chimney causing creosote build-up. It takes time for the air in your chimney to heat up. When it is still cold you get an effect similar to the condensation of hot breath on a colder window or mirror. So when the by-products of combustion (smoke in the form of gasses) exit the fireplace or wood stove, and flow up into the relatively cooler chimney, condensation occurs.

The resulting residue that sticks to the inner walls of the chimney is called creosote. Creosote is formed by unburned, flammable particulates present in the smoke. It is black or brown in appearance. It can be crusty and flaky, tar-like, drippy and sticky or shiny and hardened. Quite often, all forms will occur in one chimney system.
If the wood you are using is rain logged, or green, the fire will tend to smolder and not warm the chimney sufficiently. Wet wood causes the whole system to be cool, and inefficient. In contrast: dry wood means a hot fire, which results in a hot flue, and a hot flue means much less creosote clogging up your chimney. If your fire is hot enough to burn up the gasses and particals released from the wood, there will of course also be less air-pollution. Waste gases from wood need oxygen in order to burn. This is why starving a fire for air, or “banking down a fire” is the worst way to burn. Always give a fire a generous supply of combustion air.

You can improve the situation by insulating your chimney to make it easier to heat up, as well as starting the fire with a good supply of lovely dry kindling, which will also help to heat the air in the chimney.

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What fuel is best for burning?

Which Wood Burns Best?

Here we will cover a vast range of wood types and give a bref description of their qualities.

Alder: Poor heat output and short lasting. A low quality firewood. Produces nice charcoal that burns steady.

Apple: Great fuel that bums slow and steady when dry, with little flame, sparking or spitting. It has a pleasing scent. It is easier to cut green. Great for cooking.

Ash: Considered one of the burning wood with steady flame and good heat output. It will bum when green, but not as well as when dry. Easy to saw and split.

Beech: Similar to ash, but only burns fair when green. If it has a fault, it may shoot embers out a long way. It is easy to chop.

Birch: This has good heat output but burns quickly. The smell is also pleasant. It will burn unseasoned. Can cause gum deposits in chimney if used a lot. Rolled up pitch from bark makes a good firestarter and can be peeled from trees without damaging them.

Blackthorn: Burns slowly, with lots of heat and little smoke.

Cedar: This is a great wood that puts out a lot of lasting of heat. It produces a small flame, a nice scent, and lots of crackle and pop. Great splitting wood. Good for cooking.

Cherry: A slow burning wood with good heat output. Has a nice sent. Should be seasoned well. Slow to start.

Chestnut: A mediocre fuel that produces a small flame and weak heat output. It also shoots out ambers.

Douglas Fir: A poor fuel that produces little flame or heat.

Elder: A mediocre fuel that burns quickly without much heat output and tends to have thick acrid smoke. The Hag Goddess is known to reside in the Elder tree and burning it invites death. Probably best avoided.

Elm: A variable fuel (Dutch elm disease) with a high water content (140%) that may smoke violently and should be dried for two years for best results. You may need faster burning wood to get elm going. A large log set on the fire before bed will burn till morn. Splitting can be difficult and should be done early on.

Eucalyptus: A fast burning wood with a pleasant smell and no spitting. It is full of sap and oils when fresh and can start a chimney fire if burned unseasoned. The stringy wood fiber may be hard to split and one option is to slice it into rings and allow to season and self split. The gum from the tree produces a fresh medicinal smell on burned which may not be the best for cooking with.

Hawthorn: Good firewood. Burns hot and slow. Traditionally gathered as bundles or 'faggots' for burning in winter.

Hazel: An excellent fast burning fuel but tends to burn up a bit faster than most other hard woods. Allow to season.

Holly: A good firewood that will burn when green, but best if dried a year. It is fast burning with a bright flame but little heat.

Hornbeam: Burns almost as good as beech with a hot slow burning fire.

Horse Chestnut: A low quality firewood with a good flame and heating power but spits a lot.

Laburnum: Completely poisonous tree with acrid smoke that taints food and is best never used.

Larch: Crackly, scented, and fairly good for heat. It needs to be seasoned well and forms an oily soot in chimneys.

Laurel: Produces a brilliant flame.

Lilac: Thinner branches make good kindling, whilst the thicker burn well with a clear flame and a very pleasant smell

Lime: A poor quality fuel with dull flame. Good for carving though! A bit of a waste to burn it.

Maple: A good all round firewood.

Oak: Oak has a sparse flame and the smoke is acrid if not seasoned for two years after WINTER FELLING. Summer felled Oak takes YEARS to season well. Dry old oak is excellent for heat, burning slowly and steadily until whole log collapses into cigar-like ash.

Pear: Burns with good heat, good scent and no spitting. Needs to be seasoned well.

Pine species generally: (Including the dreaded Leylandii) Bums with a splendid flame, but apt to spit. Needs to be seasoned well and is another oily soot in chimney wood. Smells great and its resinous wood makes great kindling. Best used on an outdoor fire in the cold evening of a day out in the garden!

Plane: Burns pleasantly, but is apt to throw sparks if very dry.

Plum: Wood provides good heat with a nice aromatic sent.

Poplar: A terrible fuel that doesn't burn well and produces a black choking smoke even when seasoned.

Rowan: A good firewood that burns hot and slow.

Rhododendron: Old thick and tough stems burn well.

Robinia (Acacia): Burns slowly, with good heat, but with acrid smoke. Not a problem in a stove!

Spruce: A poor firewood that burns too quickly and with too many sparks.

Sycamore: Burns with a good flame, with moderate heat. Useless green.

Sweet Chestnut:
Burns when seasoned but tends to spits continuously and excessively.

Thorn: One of the best firewoods. Burns slowly, with great heat and little smoke.

Walnut: Low to good value to burning. It a nice aromatic scent.

Wellingtonia (Giant Sequoia):
Poor for use as a firewood.

Willow: A poor fire wood that must be dry to use. Even when seasoned, it burns slowly, with little flame. Apt to spark.

Yew: This burns slowly, with fierce heat. The scent is pleasant. Another carving favorite.

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Woodburning stoves vs multifuel stoves

Ever wondered what the difference was between Woodburning stoves and Multi Fuel stoves ?

Well the days of wondering are up! I will give you the basic facts that will show the difference between a Woodburning Stove and a Multi fuel Stove.

Grate: The easiest way to see if you have a Woodburning Stove or a Multi Fuel Stove is to look at the fire grate. If the fire grate is "static" as in it does not have any moving parts then this means it is designed for woodburning only. If your grate has moving parts then this is called a "Riddling Grate" and is designed for the use of Wood and coal hence the name Multi Fuel stove.

Wood burns far more efficiently on a flat bed of ash hense the reason why you can not riddle the grate as they burn better on a bed of ash so do not require so much cleaning or removal of the ash.

When burning Coal you need to clear some of the Ash in order for it to contimue burning efficiently and the riddling grate allows you to make the ash fall through to an Ash Pan.

Another sure way to see if you have a Woodburning stove or a Multi fuel stove is to see if it has an Ash Pan, this is designed to catch the Ash from the grate. The ash pan is always found in a Multi fuel stove.

The Multi Fuel stoves are the more popular stoves available on the market as for around £40 more you get the flexability to burn Wood or Solid fuel. However many people still refer to stoves as Woodburning stoves but they actually normally mean a Multi fuel Stove.

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What are Convection Stoves?

Convection stoves are designed to distribute heat a lot more evenly around the room.

How do Convection Stoves work?

Convection stoves have an extra side panel which forms a spacing channel between it and the fire box walls of the stove. The heat is led up into the room via these channels. Cold air is drawn in at the base of the stove and drawn up between the side plates and finally out at the top as hot air. The hot air rises, and cold air is drawn in at floor level. This generates quick and even air distribution in the room.

Why is a convection stove better than a radiant stove?

Convection stoves are by far much safer if you have small children because the side plates that draw in cold air stay much cooler than that of a radiant stove.

Convection stoves are much better at giving out even and comfortable heat into the room. Convection stoves are also extremely good if you wish to heat adjoining rooms.

What are Radiant Stoves?

Radiant stoves have been used for many years and are still by far the most popular type of stove sold today. Radiant stoves emit heat from the top, front and side of the body. Radiant woodburning stoves give out much quicker heat than convection stoves.

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Smoke Control Areas

Smoke Control Areas

The Clean Air Acts of 1956 and 1968 were introduced to deal with the smogs of the 1950s and 1960s which were caused by the widespread burning of coal for domestic heating and by industry.

These smogs were blamed for the premature deaths of hundreds of people in the UK. The Acts gave local authorities powers to control emissions of dark smoke, grit, dust and fumes from industrial premises and furnaces and to declare “smoke control areas” in which emissions of smoke from domestic properties are banned.

Since then, smoke control areas have been introduced in many of our large towns and cities in the UK and in large parts of the Midlands, North West, South Yorkshire, North East of England, Central and Southern Scotland.

Smoke control areas

Under the Clean Air Act local authorities may declare the whole or part of the district of the authority to be a smoke control area. It is an offence to emit smoke from a chimney of a building, from a furnace or from any fixed boiler if located in a designated smoke control area. It is also an offence to acquire an “unauthorised fuel” for use within a smoke control area unless it is used in an “exempt” appliance (“exempted” from the controls which generally apply in the smoke control area). The current maximum level of fine is £1,000 for each offence.

Your local authority is responsible for enforcing the legislation in smoke control areas and you can contact them for details of any smoke control areas in their area. They should also have details of the fuels and appliances which may be used.

To find out if you are in a smoke Control Area simply visit the UK Smoke Control Area Website

Smoke Control Area Exempt Stoves

The Following Stoves have been authorised under the Act for use in a Smoke Controlled Area:

Dovre 250 Multifuel Stove
Dovre 500 Cleanburn Woodburning Stove
Dovre 700 Cleanburn Woodburning Stove

The Stoves below are only authorised for use in smoke control areas.

Hwam 30 Woodburning Stove
Hwam Beethoven Woodburning Stove
Hwam Mozart Woodburning stove
Hwam Ravel Woodburning stove
Hwam Vivaldi Woodburning stove

Morso Owl 3410 Multi Fuel Stove
Morso Squirrel 1412 Multifuel Stove
Morso Squirrel 1442 Convector
Morso Badger 3112

Stovax Stockton 3
Stovax Stockton 4
Stovax Stockton 5
Stovax Stockton 6
Stovax Stockton 7
Stovax Huntingdon 25 

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