Woodburning or Multi-fuel Stove?
What a difficult question for those of us who do not know quite what to invest in! As a former open fire owner I had great experience in burning smokeless fuel, but now that I am a wood stove convert I have not even thought about converting my stove to facilitate using the different types of multi-fuel available, but am I wrong?
Steve O'Reilly, owner of Bradley Stoves Sussex, gives his personal take on wood versus multi-fuels:
"Personally I use wood in my stove at home. There is a large choice of wood on the market, but finding seasoned wood can be difficult because the last couple of years have been so wet. Moisture in the air is slowing down the seasoning of wood, and having dry wood to burn in your stove is essential."
"Notwithstanding finding dry wood, or having somewhere to store your timber until it is sufficiently dry enough to burn (and if you don't have a moisture meter I would leave it for at least 18 months), then I would always choose wood. That's because if you use your initiative there is a lot of wood to be found and I would have to buy in smokeless fuel, which can be expensive. I would certainly not recommend buying wood from a local garage as their prices are astronomical, but get in touch with tree surgeons, builders, roofers, gardeners, kitchen and furniture manufacturers, or people who have access to woodland, and see if you can negotiate a good deal or even get wood for free!"
"Smokeless fuel may be expensive, but it does burn slightly hotter (due to less moisture) and for longer, so if your fire is to be used overnight then this might be something to consider. There is a wealth of fuel available for the multi-fuel stove including paper brickets, elephant grass logs, hotties logs and others use smokeless fuel. You can also burn wood on multi-fuel stoves, but as they are more expensive then it is better to purchase a woodburner instead."
This advice was why I bought a wood stove rather than a multi-fuel burner, and we regularly have friends arriving with boots and trailers filled with trees that they have chopped down, so we haven't bought any wood for 4 years! This has certainly helped to bring a quicker pay back on our investment, but we do have the space for a wood store, which we made ourselves from some posts, trellis, chipboard and felt!
We do have a large range of wood stoves and multi-fuel stoves to suit all budgets, and we also stock hotties that are perfect for using on your multi-fuel burner.