Many of us now have modern multi-fuel stoves installed in our homes. The name ‘Multi-fuel’ suggests that these types of appliances can burn many different fuels including wood, coal or smokeless fuel. This is true, but you should never burn more than one type of fuel at a time.
Regular House Coal, Smokeless fuel and Firewood burn in very different ways. Wood requires air from above to aid combustion, whereas Coal and Smokeless fuel require air from below. You may have noticed your multi-fuel has a grate allowing air to circulate below your fuel and to allow ash to drop to the bottom of course.
Allowing your stove to burn both wood and solid fuels means you have two fuels competing for the air available in your stove.
The Real Danger.
So, you might be thinking that you can put any combination of fuels in your stove. This can be quite dangerous over a longer period. The problem with mixing wood and coal is that the moisture in your wood mixes with the sulphurs in your solid fuel to create a highly acidic residue which corrodes your stainless steel flue liner. In fact, we have seen brand new liners become a fire hazard and inoperable in less than a year from installation because owners have become complacent with what they put into their stove.
To make things worse.
If you are one of those people who like to slumber your stove turning the air supply down to make the fuel burn slower during the day, please think again. This will produce even more moisture because less air means your stove is producing less heat, coating your flue liner, stove with even more tar and creosote. If left uncleaned it will eventually lead to a chimney fire, or having to replace your stainless steel flue liner because it’s been eaten through.
If you have a multi-fuel stove our advice during the day is to burn either coal/smokeless fuel or kiln dried wood, if you want to change fuels to the longer burning smokeless fuel, wait for the wood to burn down then add the smokeless fuel making the smokeless fuel priority, there will be enough heat in the wood to burn the smokeless fuel/coal.
If you want to bank up/slumber your stove to keep it in at night, then use just smokeless fuel/coal, never mix wood and coal at night when slumbering.
We recommend using only kiln dried firewood, this will keep your stove, chimney and flue liner cleaner and prolong the life of your stove and stainless-steel liner.