Firstly, it is important to carefully read the manual that was supplied with your stove because it should detail precisely what you can and cannot burn. However, if this information has not been provided or if it is not fully clear, we have put together the following short guide.
Wood burning stoves
Smokeless fuels and household coal should never be burnt in a wood burning stove because multi-fuel and wood burning stoves are markedly different in design.
As wood needs air from above to start the combustion process, your wood burning stove will have a flat floor. Conversely, multi-fuel stoves will have a raised grate because smokeless fuel and household coal also needs a place for the ash to accumulate over time.
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Household coal and multi-fuel stoves
When you use household coal in a multi-fuel stove, the burning process will not begin immediately. Instead, it will often emit thick grey smoke that will fill the flue of your chimney. If this smoke reaches a high enough temperature an explosive flash can occur, which is dangerous as it could damage your stove and potentially cause injuries.
For this reason, we strongly recommend that household coal is not used in multi-fuel stoves, and instead reserved for open fires only.
An alternative to household coal
Smokeless fuels are an ideal option for multi-fuel stoves for a variety of reasons.
Not only will they emit more heat, they can also last up to 40% longer than household coal. Additionally, smokeless fuels are much kinder to the environment, which is important as environmental concerns are becoming an increasingly hot news topic around the world. In fact, as this government article explains many retailers have even openly pledged to encourage their customers to purchase cleaner fuels to reduce the impact that heating our homes has on the environment.
Efficiency levels from coal on an open fire is around 28%. Although this increases to 37% when smokeless fuel is used on an open fire, it still can’t compete with the 65% efficiency generated from using smokeless fuel in a multi-fuel stove, resulting in more heat being radiated into your home and not lost up the chimney.