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Last updated: 03 October 2016

Wood Burning vs Multi-Fuel Stoves

What’s the difference between Woodburning and Multifuel stoves?

Woodburning and multifuel stoves are efficient appliances that give your home a cozy feel, with their old school or sleek modern look. But what are the technical differences between the two systems?

Woodburning Stoves

Wood burning stoves have been around for a long time, but they’re going through many changes as technology advances. These systems usually come with a fixed grate and a flat base, and are super easy to use: the ash is collected at the base and new logs are placed on the top when needed. The bed of ashes actually helps the logs combust more effectively, for maximum heating efficiency. Wood burning is also environmentally friendly: the process releases roughly the same amount of carbon dioxide that a tree absorbs while growing, as long as you make sure to purchase wood from a certified supplier who ensures the replacement of cut trees. Therefore, wood burning is considered carbon neutral and provides sustainable, green heat. You can achieve maximum sustainability (and save more money) by using your own waste wood, if you produce any. However, you will need to season the logs in order to dry them.

Read More: Wood Fired Boiler Stoves

Multifuel Stoves

Multi-fuel stoves, on the other hand, can be used to burn a variety of materials other than wood. Multi-fuel stoves are capable of burning smokeless fuels, anthracite and peat/turf briquettes and are designed to burn them effectively. These appliances usually include either a raised grate with moving bars or a central riddling grate and ashpan. These options are designed to de-ash the fuel to maintain effective combustion conditions. That’s because unlike wood burning stoves, optimum combustion and efficient burning require the fuel to be de-ashed. The ashpan included in the multifuel stove underneath the grate is needed to both collect ash and enable its safe removal. Both woodburning and multifuel stoves are highly efficient and have pretty much the same heat output.

Which type of stove should you choose?

Both systems have high efficiency and very similar output, so the choice depends on your own fuel preferences. A multi-fuel stove can burn a wider range of fuels, and you would be able to choose from a larger number of suppliers and select the closest to you. This would help to reduce both fuel expenses and delivery time and cost. However, if your goal is to be eco-friendly, wood should be your fuel of choice, and a woodburning stove is definitely the best choice since it burns wood more effectively, and it’s more cost efficient if you have waste wood to dispose of. If you really can’t choose, bear in mind that both systems can be fit together in a kit to allow you to use all kinds of fuels. Lastly, there can be slight visual differences between multifuel and woodburning stoves, so that might drive your choice.