Most traditional radiant multi fuel stoves have been designed and tested to burn wood just as effectively and efficiently as other solid or mineral fuels. For many years stoves produced in and for the UK and Irish markets have been configured for multi fuel burning because, quite simply, with our vast stocks of cheap coal we have always been a nation of coal burners. In the UK's mining and former mining towns this is still very true – although much of the coal we burn is now imported and much of these areas are, as a consequence of our past coal burning excesses, now designated Smoke Control Areas where it is prohibited to burn coal (unless it's an approved smokeless coal product) or wood (unless it's in a DEFRA approved Smoke Exempt stove). Conversely, Scandinavian and Danish stoves, of which there are many aimed at UK and Irish customers, tend to be pure wood burners because of their own home country's plentiful supply of wood. Many of these stoves will tend to fall into the contemporary or 'designer stove' category and are also convection stoves.
At The Stove Yard, we would always recommend that you burn wood whenever possible, quite simply, because wood fuel logs are virtually carbon neutral and also sustainable. They'll also work out much cheaper than the equivalent fuel load of coal or smokeless coal and because of this most people burn mostly wood in a multi fuel stove. Having said that, many of The Stove Yard's customers tell us that they like the option of being able to burn an alternative to wood that they can get hold of quickly when they run out of their own seasoned wood or their wood supply is wet – even though when quizzed they admit to rarely exercising that option. Adding a quantity of mineral fuel to the glowing embers of a log fire last thing at night can also help the fire last longer and aid slow overnight burning, should this be desirable. The other thing we've noticed is that younger customers are happy to burn wood only because they do not have any real experience of burning coal, the opposite to older customers, who have a heritage of open fires and therefore, coal burning.
So, if you are looking for a multi fuel contemporary or convecting stove then your choice is therefore limited. Dan Skan stoves offer a multi fuel burning kit option on some of their models and some Morsø stoves are configured and approved for burning multi fuel. However, if a traditional looking radiant stove is more your style than you really do have a wide choice of both multi fuel stoves and pure wood burning alternatives.
To find out about the differences between burning wood and burning multi fuel, Click Here.