Friday, 15 March 2013

Smokeless Coal - A Guide to Heating Your Home in the Traditional Way

Smokeless Coal - A Guide to Heating Your Home in the Traditional Way

Nothing beats the beauty and atmosphere of an open fire. It is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to heat your living room and with smokeless coal you can enjoy all the benefits of a home fire without any toxic smoke emissions. If you live in a smoke free zone, you won’t be able to burn coal on an open fire, so you will need to look for fuel alternatives. Smokeless coal is a perfect solution for smoke free areas and is available either in natural form – such as anthracite coal – or as a manufactured product.

Smoke free coal is a great alternative to heating your home as it is extremely efficient with a high heat output. This type of coal also leaves less residue at the bottom of your grate - so it is cleaner than other fuel choices.

Smokeless Coal – click here to view our range of products.

Heating Your Home in the Traditional Way – What Are the Options?

If warming your living room with a real fire appeals to you, there are several different options available. Here we shall look at various traditional ways to heat your home and the benefits of each.

Open Fire

An open fire conjures up all sorts of romantic images; you can picture the whole family gathering around a crackling log fire in winter and talking about their day. It also brings to mind relaxing thoughts of sharing a bottle of wine with your partner on a cosy rug infront of the fire.

Whether you have a country cottage, or a minimalist contemporary home with all the latest technology, you will find an open fire to fit perfectly with your interior. From fireplaces with marble surrounds, to fireplaces with wooden or tiled surrounds, and sleek metal designer solid fuel fires, you will always find a style to suit your home. Open fires are a cheap option, provided you have a working chimney. They are also cheaper to install than wood burners and multi-fuel stoves. But they have downsides too - they can't be left unattended for long periods because sparks can jump out of the fire and ignite rugs or furnishings.

Another downside of an open fire is that they are fairly inefficient as they don’t create as much heat as wood burners or stoves. This is for two reasons: the chimney creates draughts and although (when lit) open fires do warm up the room to some extent, much of the heat escapes up the chimney.

Wood Burners

A wood burner refers to any appliance used to burn wood as a way of heating the home. It applies to conventional wood burners and also pot belly stoves - which are stoves made from cast iron and have a big bulge in the middle. Of course, as the name implies, it is only advisable to burn wood in your wood burning stove because other sources of fuel may damage your appliance and void the warranty. The best types of wood to use are: seasoned hardwood logs, heat logs and instant lighting fire logs, and all these are all available through Big K.

Wood burners cost between £200 (for a basic model) to up to about £1000 (for a more advanced model), but add to that the installation cost too and the price will average at around £1,500. The price is considerably higher if you also want to connect the appliance to your central heating system.

The benefits of wood burners, however, is that they give off more warmth in cold winter months as they are almost 90 per cent efficient, so they save money in the long run. This compares with the 25 per cent efficiency of a log fire.

Multi-Fuel Stoves

Multi-fuel stoves are slightly more expensive than wood burners but with that you get greater flexibility and this makes them a popular option for the home.

The main difference between wood burners and multi-fuel stoves is that multi-fuel stoves can burn either wood or smokeless coal. However, it is not recommended to burn both these fuel types at the same time as this can damage the lining of the flue. Ordinary house coal should never be used on a multi-fuel stove because it creates too much heat and this will also damage the appliance.

Stoves are safer than open fires as they can be left unattended without fear of sparks flying and igniting rugs and furniture. Multi-fuel stoves are also considered cleaner than traditional open fires.

You can spot the difference between wood burners and multi-fuel stoves because the grate on a multi-fuel burner consists of movable parts and an ash pan, but the grate on a wood burner can’t be moved.

About Big K

Big K sell a wide range of winter fuel products to burn on open fires, wood burners and multi-fuel stoves including seasoned hardwood logs, smokeless coal, heat logs, anthracite coal and wood fuel briquettes. Our winter fuel products are available for nationwide delivery.

Smokeless Coal – click here to view our range of products.

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