There seems to be a general misunderstanding, particularly among sellers, as to what constitutes a "Woodburner" Of course- any one will burn wood- but most of, for instance, the "Antique French stoves" will burn only a handful of twigs, because that's all they can hold! Therefore, if you buy one of these, you'll be filling it up every 5 minutes- & usually getting no heat out- apart from the exertion of leaving your chair to fill it.
The basic thing to remember, is that wood should be burned on a bed of ash, with the air coming in from the front, and coal should be burned on a grate, with air coming in from underneath. Coal needs to be riddled, to stop it clogging up & preventing air from entering, so coal burning on ash will generally go out.
Multifuel burners, especially the vertical designs, will often have 2 air inlets- one for wood, and one coal the higher one being for wood. Many, ie Jotul, sell a coal grate, which sits inside the stove to keep the coal a few inches off the bottom so the air can get it, in the correct place, through the one air vent.
Most of the smaller french enamel stoves are designed to burn anthracite- a very small & hot burning coal, which is the only thing that burns hot enough to allow them to heat a room, as generally the stove is very small- if you compare the size of one to the average genuine woodburner, you'll see what I mean
It's also not a very good idea to mix wood and coal together for burning- the wood ash will clog up the coal, & it'll be very inefficient.
I don't believe the majority of people who sell the enamel stoves mean to deceive- I just think they don't know. Maybe this will help! In this country, generally, the enamel stoves are best used as pot plant stands- I certainly wouldn't recomment one as a main form of heating- but they do look pretty
Woodburners- Or Not!!
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22 October 2012
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