Whats the difference a multi fuel or just wood burning stove?
Traditionally, wood-burning stoves were intended to burn wood and only wood.However, multi-fuel stoves were created to give you the option of heating your home with either coal or wood.
Now first off, it is really NOT advisable to burn both coal and wood in your stove at the same time as this can and will damage your flue lining. The high amount of sulphuric acid found in coal and the moisture levels in wood will combine to create a nasty, acidic solution that sticks to and erodes your stove system. So multi-fuel stoves bring with them the versatility of being able to choose which fuel you’d rather use at a particular time but only one or the other.
Using just coal?
Firstly, you should always check your owner’s manual for the final word from the manufacturer on what fuels are recommended for use in your stove.
While most multi-fuel stoves are equipped to burn normal house coal, often stove manufacturers will advise against this because of the high amount of soot found in house coal. This high soot content results in your stove system becoming
rapidly clogged up.To avoid this, you can use smokeless coal to reduce the amount of smoke and soot going up your flue, this is also better for the environment and suitable for use in smoke control areas.
How to know which stove is which just by looking at it, physical differences you can see by eye.
The most obvious example is the grate in the multi fuel burner. Coal burns best on a raised grate since it needs an air supply from below to burn effectively. Wood doesn’t need this additional air supply, therefore, wood burners come with a flat grate limiting the air supply to the fuel, resulting in a slower burn.
Using wood on a multi-fuel stove you will find that it burns faster than on a normal wood-burning stove because of this extra air/oxygen around it.If multi-fuel stoves were the most effective method of burning wood, then modern wood- burning stove designs would have become redundant years ago.Multi-fuel stoves exist because they have been designed for the purposes of burning coal.
So what do i want to buy then?
In short what to buy depends on what you are going to burn? If you’re thinking of using wood as your main fuel then it’s best to buy a wood-burning stove.
By buying a multi-fuel stove, you’ve already committed to coal being your main fuel (but keeping the option open to burn wood if need be, albeit at a lower efficiency).
Therefore for the reasons already mentioned above, smokeless coal is your prime candidate fuel for a multi fuel stove.
So you will be considering anthracite, as well as a host of brand name alternatives such as Taybrite and Phurnacite.