Wood Briquettes are a high performing, low cost wood fuel suitable for multi-fuel fires and stoves but used in the wrong product they can cause long lasting damage to your appliance. Read on to learn more about this fuel source and the best ways to use it effectively.


Wood briquettes (not to be confused with coal or charcoal briquettes) are a wood fuel made from compressed dry sawdust and/or wood chips. They will usually have less than 10% moisture content.

Wood briquettes are much hotter, cleaner, longer burning and more economical than traditional logs. … Briquettes also recycle a pure wood waste product, which means less going to landfill. It also means that trees are not having to be felled specifically to make firewood.

Compressed wood briquettes are more efficient than logs as they are very energy-rich and very dry. While coal might be a very energy dense fuel, giving out a lot of heat and burning slowly, it is also the most polluting. 

Wood briquettes burn up to 50% hotter than logs but as not as hot as coal, meaning they can cause lasting damage when burnt exclusively in a wood-burning stove as these products haven’t been designed to deal with such temperatures. 


Briquettes host many plus points: they’re easy to use and transport, easy to store, 

light quickly and break up easily for smaller stoves. They are also typically more cost-effective than logs and can be used alone or with firewood. 

As they are odourless, they are great for open fire cooking and give off very little smoke and ash too.

There are of course many different types of fuel briquettes on the market in various shapes and sizes under a wide variety of names. Apart from shape and size, principle variants include:

Type of wood: hardwood, softwood or a mixture. Hardwood briquettes are denser and will burn that bit longer

Size of particles: the smaller the particles, the tighter and denser the briquette

Pressure exerted during manufacture: the greater the pressure, the denser the briquette resulting in a longer burn time and higher heat output. 


Briquettes are not all made to the same quality and there can be big differences in products given this name. Because of the variation in density, some briquettes are a lot crumblier than others and fall apart more easily. Such briquettes also just “fluff” out and leave lots of ash behind when they’re burnt.

When purchasing briquettes, you should always check the packaging is waterproof and completely covers the contents. If the briquettes get wet, they expand and break down and are no longer fit for burning. 

Briquettes should consist of 100% wood. They are often made from waste wood, so the pure wood ones have very good environmental credentials. Avoid any briquettes which haveglue or any other chemicals present. Watch out for a small number of products, often sold as packs of one or two “logs”, which consist of paraffin – or other accelerant – mixed with saw dust – these are best avoided!


Just as small kindling sticks catch fire more quickly than larger logs, it’s the same with briquettes. Use smaller briquettes when you want to get the fire started or need a quick burst of heat. Use large briquettes when you’re looking for a longer, slower burn.

As with any wood fuel, the denser the material the longer it will burn, however the greater the effort that is required to get the fire started. Briquettes are essentially high-energy wood fuel, usually denser than any native UK hardwood and with a lower moisture content. As mentioned, they are not as high in heat energy as coal, but they are the closest wood fuel to coal on the market. It’s sensible when first using them to bear this in mind and only use a few on your fire until you get used to the heat output. You really do not want to over-fire your wood burner and distort the metal work!

They are 100% wood so burn just like wood with a very pleasing flame. Don’t hesitate to mix them with other logs or use them on their own. You can also use briquettes for a very good campfire, barbeque or other wood-burning outdoor and open fires.


Because briquettes are so dry, they readily absorb water which then makes them crumble apart. It’s therefore very important to ensure the sacks of briquettes are stored in a dry place – please don’t rely on packaging to keep the briquettes dry if left outside in the rain. Plastic sacks can be easily torn or punctured and once wet briquettes cannot be burnt. 


If you’ve been lucky enough to discover a bricked up or covered fireplace in your home, and you’re looking at opening up to develop the space, you’ll most likely be looking for some top tips on how to do this successfully. In this guide we cover everything from the mess expected to the range of finishing options available.


Before you get to work opening it up, it is wise to consult a surveyor to ensure reopening your fire will not cause any structural damage. If the wall has been completely rebuilt, you will need to call in a builder, and likewise if there is no lintel in place or the existing lintel is cracked, as the wall could collapse if you try to knock it through yourself.

If you believe the chimney has been removed, look in the loft for either a flue or signs – chopped-off bricks or a sooty strip – that one was once there. The flue and chimney must be reinstated if you intend to have a fully working fire.

You should also check to see if the hearth is still in place. You can do this by lifting the floor covering. The hearth is usually a concrete slab, about 12cm deep, which extends beneath the fire and out into the room. If it is missing, or too low it will need to be rebuilt. To comply with Building Regulations a hearth needs to be raised above floor level; it’s a simple job to form a new one directly on top of an existing in-situ concrete hearth, or you might opt for a marble or slate hearth.

Note: It must be emphasised that any structural tasks such as adding a hearth or reinstating chimney breasts, need to comply with Building Regulations.


It’s safe to say this isn’t a mess free job and we advise protecting floors covering and covering and furniture that can’t be relocated to another room. There is potential that astounding volumes of soot and dust will be generated when opening up a fireplace — engulfing everything nearby in a thick, black coating.

The following instructions are for those who have the expertise and choose to carry out the work themselves: 

Start by carefully chopping off the plaster from the assumed centre of the fireplace, working outwards, and the outline of the opening will become apparent. It should be spanned by a lintel, which must be left in place.

Starting one course down from the underside of the lintel, remove a full course of masonry the width of the opening. This should then reveal a space with a fireback where the fire once burned. If the fireback is in good condition, it can be left in situ. Minor cracks in the fireback can be repaired with fire cement, although more extensive damage will need specialist attention.

Once the outline of the structural opening, together with its lintel or arch, is visible, all the masonry within the outline can be removed, leaving a square opening to take the fire or stove of your choice


Before you can begin using the fireplace there are a few essential checks to undertake. These include:

  • Damaged arches or lintels will need repairing and the chimney must be sound and clear of any obstructions.
  • Before installing a new appliance, bring in a chimney sweep to clean and inspect the flue.
  • Have the condition of the lining checked and a smoke test carried out.


From the exposed brick to traditional Victorian cast iron inserts, the options to finish your uncovered fireplace are endless. The style you go for really depends on the age of your property and the overall look you’re aiming to create. A large opening might be perfect for a wood-burning stove for example. 


Breathing new life into an old fireplace will usually involve multiple stages of work, from recreating/enlarging the opening to installing a new hearth and flue liner. Let us help you from site assessment, through Building Regulations to choosing your final appliance. 

Our expert advisors are on hand to guide you through your project to achieving the flames you desire. 


In this article, we look at how to choose a fire for you home if you don’t have an existing chimney. There’s a whole range of modern stoves and fireplaces that will turn the heat up in your home without requiring a full-scale renovation.

If you don’t have a chimney and want to know what your options are, we’ve put this handy guide together to help you.


One option if you do not have a chimney is to opt for an electric stove or fire. An electric stove or fire only requires a mains socket to function. There are many stunning electric fueled options to choose from. Electric stoves are expertly designed to imitate the look of a real wood burning fire, with realistic logs to boost the effect. Offering instant heat at the flick of a switch, eliminating the need to store fuel or light fires.

An electric stove or fire is a ready-to-use option that requires minimal installation time. They don’t need a chimney and offer the heat and comfort of a fire without a lot of maintenance. Almost all modern electric fires and stoves also all come with the option to enjoy the flames without any heat output, meaning you can still enjoy the ambiance of a fire in the warmer months.

Electric is a great option for those without a chimney and individuals who move to a new house often, as you can always take an electric fire or stove with you.


Another alternative for if your home does not have a chimney is to opt for a gas stove or fireplace. Many gas stoves and fires are available as balanced flue versions, negating the need for a chimney entirely. A balanced flue model requires a twin-walled pipe to vent directly to an outside wall. Find out more about how a balanced flue installation works here.

This gas alternative offers the convenience of the beauty and warmth of a real fire that can be controlled from the comfort of your armchair. This choice also eliminates the need to constantly fuel a fire with wood, as a gas hook up conveniently does all the work for you. A perfect option to sit back, relax, and not worry about the fire’s needs. 

With all gas options, there will be no aromatic wood smell, but again eliminating the worry of where to source or store your fuel. While you don’t need a chimney, as mentioned above, you still need ventilation and these installation costs should be considered in your budget when choosing a gas fire or stove. 


If you still want a log burning or multi-fuel stove but your home does not have a chimney, there are some options that may be available to you.

A conventional fire or stove requires a chimney or flue system to function. If you do not have a chimney, you may be able to have a pre-fabricated twin wall flue system installed which works in the same way a normal chimney would. 

There are two options for you to have twin wall flue system installed, either internally through the roof or externally through a wall of your building, either allows you to enjoy a fuel burning stove in your home. These do require more work to fit than using an existing chimney. However, it is still a reasonably simple and cost-effective way to enjoy to benefits of a traditional fire in a home with no chimney. 

If you opt to have a twin wall flue system installed externally, your flue will connect to your stove and exit through an external wall. It then runs up the side of your building to empty at a safe distance – usually near your roof. 

If you opt to have a twin wall flue system installed internally, your flue will still connect to your stove, but the pipe will run through the inside of your house, through your ceilings, and out of the roof to empty.

Which one is best for you depends on your circumstances. If you choose the external option, you will have a visible steel pipe along the side of your building. If this doesn’t appeal to you, you may prefer to keep it inside.

Ready to start discussing your fire options further? Our highly skilled team are on hand to help you and give you the best advice to achieve the flames you desire. 

The Ultimate Pizza Oven: More Uses, More Usage: Morsø Forno!

The Danish company Morsø have been making stoves and ovens since 1853 and have used their expertise to develop the award winning Morsø Forno outdoor oven. Let’s just say if ever there was an object that was the epitome of both form and function, this is it. 

Crafted from iron and built to last this transportable table top oven is guaranteed to ‘wow’ and not just because of its ultra-modern rounded design. A multipurpose outdoor oven and grill that will help you take cooking outdoors to a new level. 


Over the past few months we’ve all been paying more attention than ever to our homes and want our outdoor living spaces to be multi-purposeful. Seamlessly transforming from fun and entertaining to a tranquil oasis for relaxing nights under the stars. Forming a natural focal point in any outdoor living area, this oven allows you to sit out with friends and family, baking pizza, enjoying the fresh air and each other’s company. If you dream of alfresco dining under the Tuscan sun, then this pizza oven is a perfect choice to make the vision a reality. 

Unlike many other outdoor ovens, the Morsø Forno doesn’t require any additional accessories to function. It is a standalone appliance and even adds a bit of extra flair to the patio area with its sleek, stylistic appearance.


Whether you’re a talented cook serious about learning how to make quality homemade pizzas or a baking novice, this oven is easy to use for everyone.

One of the excellent components of this oven is that all it needs to work is wood, giving you that authentic Italian pizza baking experience. Because it’s wood-fired it can reach extreme temperatures and cook thin-base pizzas in just 60-90 seconds. 

However, it should be highlighted that the Morsø Forno can make so much more than just pizza. Due to its cast iron construction, creating the ideal baking environment, this oven has the versatile capabilities to roast, bake and grill.

Another bonus? The Morso Forno Oven is self-cleaning. With its high inside temperatures, it burns away and removes all oil and fat residue after food preparation, leaving the internal firebox sterile, clean and ready for use.


While it is recommended for stationary outdoor use, it’s small size make it easily transported to bake pizzas at a neighbourhood cookout down the street, or even a friend’s house across town.

It’s 70cm x 60cm base makes it the perfect addition to the outdoor patio without being overwhelming or cumbersome.

The oven features a low firebox and lots of room for firewood. A Morso Forno barbecue oven cover can be a useful accessory to protect your appliance while outside without having to transport it in and out before and after every use.


The Morso Forno Outdoor Oven opens up the authentic pizza making experience so that anyone can taste the delectable flavours of traditional Italian pizza, and it certainly costs less than plane tickets to Italy!

The versatility in uses means you can still eat out on nights where you want to enjoy the oven but are not in the mood for pizza. Plus, the Morsø Forno functions brilliantly as an outdoor fireplace when not being used to cook.


If you want to try this gourmet pizza making experience for yourself, get in touch with one of our showrooms and get set to get to baking!

Why choose an electric stove or fire for your home?

There are many reasons why you may decide to choose an electric heating appliance for your home. A stove or fire powered with this fuel source can offer simple, mess free, installation, instant comfort and warmth on cold or dull days, as well as providing a relaxing ambiance year-round with realistic flame effect.

Easy to Install

Get the look and benefits of real fire in seconds with a flick of a switchReally it’s that simple; unpack, position, plug in! This makes an electric fire or stove a great option if you don’t have a working chimney or flue and a good alternative if you don’t have a gas supply to your home. You won’t even need to create a vent through an outside wall.

Essentially an electric appliance is much more flexible than a gas or fuel burning fire, as you can place it anywhere that it can be plugged in. Do keep in mind that freestanding electric fires need to be placed against a flat wall. 

Easy to Operate

Many modern electric fires and stoves have fantastic built in features such as remote controls to enable you to switch the device on and off from anywhere in the room, which can be particularly helpful if you have limited mobility. There are also fires with their very own Apps allowing you to control the adjust your fires display and ambience from your phone or tablet.

Energy Efficient 

Many people assume that electric fires cost a lot to run. This is down to the fact that electricity usually has a higher unit cost than gas. While this is true, it is worth bearing in mind that modern electric fireplaces are 100% efficient, no heat is lost up a chimney and they have a very low, or no, installation cost.

And because they work independently of the heating, you can enjoy the relaxing effect of the ‘flames’ all year round, adding ambience without overheating the room on mild evenings or when the central heating is on.

Many of our fires use LED bulbs and the cost of running a fire in ‘flames’ only setting can be as little as just £2 per year.  The predicted life of an average LED bulb is 50,000 hours.

Safe and Reliable

Because electric fires do not burn fuel internally to generate heat there are none of the associated safety risks, such as carbon monoxide poisoning. 

They are ideal for use in smoke control areas and a great alternative if you want a cleaner and more environmentally friendly option than a wood-burning stove.

One of the benefits of electric appliances is that they don’t need annual servicing by Gas Safe engineers, and you don’t need to get any chimneys cleaned either. One less worry saving you time and money.

Browse our wide range of electric fires and stoves here to find the ideal appliance for your home.

Pizza ovens, a novelty purchase never used or worth the investment?

If you’re dreaming of eating alfresco dinners but not a fan of BBQ food then a pizza oven really could be for you and your family. Pizza ovens have the ability to turn any meal into an occasion. Fun, authentic delicious pizzas with unbeatable flavour and a great entertainer for kids and guests with everyone wanting a slice of the action! 

But with so many options on the market how do you choose the right one for you. Read our top tips for selecting a pizza oven below.

  1. Time. Before setting out to purchase a pizza oven consider how much time you want to spend cooking. Some traditional types of pizza oven can take over 3 hours to heat up to the optimum cooking temperature so consider a gas one if you’re not the patient type.
  • Fuel. There are two types of fueled outdoor ovens. Wood burning ovens are the traditional choice and until recently the most popular option, however, while gas fired ovens are relatively new to the UK they are becoming increasingly popular. Wood fires ovens involve burning timber – while this is pretty straight forward it is important to know there are certain types of wood you can’t use when cooking. Gas fired ovens are perhaps easier to light and control. You don’t have to worry about lighting wood and making sure you have enough fuel in the oven throughout the cooking process. 
  • Where. Think about the where you intend to put your oven. Ask yourself ‘what space do I have and is it large enough for the finished installed oven?’ This is particularly relevant if you are choosing amodular oven, requiring assembly on site, as you may want to design and build your own bespoke base or outdoor kitchen area for your oven. Always check the finished sizes of ovens with suppliers and the recommended base dimensions. Remember to add up to 60mm or more all around for final finishes like renders or tiles or a shelf at the front depending on how you chose to customise your oven. Alternatively, an assembled pizza oven can be set in place on nearly any sturdy outdoor surface. It does need to be table height though so you can get your pizzas in and out! You might like to consider a pizza oven table or stand to accompany your product. It’s important to check the weight of your chosen oven if pre-assembled, high mass concrete or brick ovens are very heavy. Ready-made ovens of these types are especially difficult to lift and manoeuvre without professional equipment such as a fork lift truck and/or several helpers. A portable gas fired pizza oven is considerably lighter. If you’re looking at outdoor ovens for family home use, you may want to consider a more lightweight model with wheels so you can move in to the garage or shed when not in use.
  • Installation. An important factor in any fire purchase is installation costs. A portable gas fired pizza oven requires relatively little set up, in fact most are simply position, connect up and go! An assembled pizza oven will require a small team to lift it into position. A modular oven requires construction and if you aren’t confident in doing this yourself then you will need someone to complete the work. Additionally, there are the associated costs of creating a base or outdoor kitchen area should you require these. 
  • Uses. Another feature to think about when shopping for a pizza oven is additional uses. Some ovens can double up as a fire pit but not all makes. Many ovens have a door and are equally as efficient at chargrilling, roasting and baking as they are at cooking pizza.

No matter which pizza oven you choose, there’s no doubt that pizza brings people together and we guarantee the right oven will deliver you hours of entertainment and great food.

Making the Most of Your Fireplace in Summer.

In winter, your fire is in constant use, but in summer, it can feel a bit redundant. If you have a fireplace it’s probably the focal point of the room, with your furniture arranged to face it. And while a roaring fire in the colder months provides curl-up comfort and welcome ambiance, what do you do when the weather warms? 

Once you’ve spring cleaned your fireplace it’s set to be decorated to suit your home. Below are a wide range of ideas from simple fixes to elaborate designs that will help you transform your empty fireplace easily, quickly and without much hassle. With a little time and attention it can make a huge difference to the way the room looks, and add much needed character.

Go Green

Placing shapely potted plants, such as ferns or philodendron, inside or in front of a fireplace is a no-fail solution. Full or broad-leafed plants fill out the empty space beautifully while adding a bright and airy look that’s especially refreshing in the summer heat. Choose whether to have one large and impressive specimen or a collection of smaller plants that can be arranged carefully. Be sure to use plant saucers and a mat to protect your fireplace from scratches and marks. 


Candles are a popular fireplace filler, and for good reason. Whether lit or not, candles recreate that same cozy mood that comes from the glow of a real fire. Just be sure to vary the size and height of the candles to fill out the space. Remember to light them from time to time and let the wax drip down to avoid the overly staged look unused candles convey.

Reflect Style

Filling the interior of your fireplace with a mirror not only bounces natural light around the room; it also makes a small space feel larger. And if you have a colorful rug covering the floor, a mirror will reflect it back into the room—an artful bonus. Team a mirror with a selection large candles to give added depth when lit. 

Below are a few more quick summer fireplace makeovers:

  • Stacked firewood in baskets, especially birch logs. Get creative and paint them in bright colours for a more unusual and stand out look.
  • A large basket full of seashells and coral gives a summer beach home vibe 
  • Vases of varying sizes and heights. Try using a single colour theme for a dramatic effect to contrast with your rooms decor. For example, a collection of mustard vases can create a vibrant feature in a teal room. 
  • Stacks of old hardcover books, pages facing out
  • Add a dramatic piece of framed or canvas artwork inside your fireplace.
  • For a simple solution you can use a screen divider to cover an empty fireplace, they have a pretty motif on the front and can be any color you like making them an ideal way to quickly decorate your fireplace for the summer.

Take advantage of this bare interior space and use it for decorating instead of fire-building during the warmer months. There are many ideas for giving your fireplace or stove a summer makeover and making it your own. Dress it up and make your fireplace a fantastic focal point for the warmer months too.

Choosing an Outdoor Fire

Aiming to embrace outdoor living this summer and make the most of your garden? An outdoor fire can really help to make the garden the place to be after the sun goes down and the temperatures drop. Let’s face it, the cold is generally the first thing to chase us indoors! However, with so many options on the market it’s hard to know which one best suits your garden and lifestyle.

Read our handy guide to choosing a fire for your outdoor space.

Choose Your Purpose

Do you simply want to keep warm or are you dreaming of toasting mallows? Are you creating an atmosphere, purchasing for heat or a bit of both? For many, you can’t sit or eat outside without the atmosphere of a real burning fire.

Both outdoor fireplaces and fire pits have the ability to create incredible ambiance and coziness for an outdoor space, and are a natural focal point around which the overall spatial design can revolve – but they do this in very different ways.

Clay chimineas tend to retain heat more than their cast iron alternative but an outdoor gas fire can be adjusted to suit your needs depending on the temperature without having a naked flame.

A fire pit whilst a beautiful feature isn’t for everyone. The picture-perfect idea of sitting around one, toasting marshmallows and sharing tales into the night takes planning and preparation. An outdoor gas fire simply needs switched on and requires little attention.

Installation, Style and Space.

Stylish clean lines or rustic charm? It’s essential before you start shopping to choose your style and work out how much space you have, this will help narrow down your search. The installation and associated costs of the different types of fire feature can also be very different.

For example, an outdoor fireplace unit, requires an enclosure or wall that will house it. This can take on a number of forms: a chimney-like structure, a wall that divides or encloses the space, or you can even just create a low box that is slightly larger than the firebox. You can create a mantel or a very minimal, flush enclosure. Whatever you do, you must ensure that the materials you use are weather and rot-proof in addition to meeting any combustible clearance requirements of the fireplace you select.

The costs associated with building an outdoor gas fireplace can include running a gas line and hooking up the fireplace (depending on the model), the cost of the fireplace burner itself, and the labour and materials for the aesthetic elements that you choose to build the fireplace out with.

Fire pits may also be quite involved in their construction if you opt to have one custom-built, but like outdoor fires, there are also many smaller, self-contained options available.

Choose Your Atmosphere

Any wood burning fire with an open flame will have your clothes smelling like a bonfire, metal fire pits or (the slightly less smoky) chiminea. For some people smoke can be an irritant if you sit too close to the fire, so many end up sitting further away and needing a blanket defeating the purpose. A gas fire, however, won’t give off any scent, just warmth. 

Storage and Maintenance

A chiminea needs to be taken in during winter as they can crack with frost. Like any wood or multi-fuel fire, both fire pits and chimineas require regular maintenance and cleaning to ensure they are working efficiently. 

Whilst some outdoor gas fires require you to connect the fire to a permanent gas connection, many have the option to connect to and house a gas bottle and as a result these fires are entirely portable. This ensures optimum enjoyment of your garden or patio when you require and the ability to easily wheel it into the shed or garage when the kids decide on a footy match in the back garden or you’re off on holiday. 

Make More of Your Garden

Whatever style and design you opt for, an outdoor fire immediately adds atmosphere and appeal to any garden. Producing comfort radiating warmth meaning you can stay out much later making the most of your outdoor space.

Fireplace Styling

Looking to refresh the styling around your fireplace and wondering what’s on trend this year? We’ll give you a hint, it’s all about you and anything goes!

2019 saw fireplaces getting the spotlight they deserve from interior designers, placing extra emphasis on integrating beautiful and functional fires as the center of the home. This theme continues into the new decade and we take a look at the styling trends set to make your fireplace a focal point.

Soft and Subtle.

Warm pastel hues are returning once again in the new decade. Soft peachy corals, golden yellow tones and terra cotta—colors that feel soft yet grounded in earth tones. Subtle texture, like a tiled backsplash around a hearth and knitted cushions keeps things interesting.

An over-sized mirror fakes an extra window by establishing a bright focal point reflecting light and warmth. Great for smaller rooms.

Modern Nature.

The combination of natural materials and man-made has been a long growing trend and it’s not going anywhere yet. Think concrete and leather, slate and steel, wood and chrome, marble and linen. Your hearth and it’s accessories.

Rediscover the beauty of exposed brick with its history rich feel and warmth, consider teaming this bright contrasting colours such classic blue to add a contemporary edge.

A solid wood beam mantle adds rustic character, keep your interior palette minimal with geometric prints for a modern vibe. Equally, abstract art and geometric print tiles, teamed with natural materials, bring this seasons popular Scandinavian look directly into your home.

Styled log storage, painted in an accent colour, can add a whole new dimension to your fireplace.

Off Trend is the New On Trend

2020 is set to see the trend of mixing old and new styles grow even further. Deck out your mantel using an eclectic mix of vintage and new finds in various materials, like wooden frames and an artsy ceramic jug. Go for high crafted pieces, created by small designers. It’s all about authenticity and investing in what you love.

Your fireplace can wear neutral and bright hues equally so go ahead and try something new. Bright and bold colours lend themselves to being mirrored in the rooms accessories.

A monochrome interior showcases both architectural features and your fireplace. Decorate neutral walls with artwork in the same colour scheme to accentuate the contrast.

2020 is about showcasing your personality through your home and creating spaces that tell your story. Whatever your style, whichever your fire, have fun and make your interior your own. Whether you choose to jump on a trend or opt for a classic fireplace, you can’t go wrong with either. They add instant appeal and visual interest to any space and home.

To discuss your options with one of our experts, contact Living Fires today!

Spring Cleaning Your Stove

Everyone loves to curl up next to a roaring fire on a chilly night, but the fire isn’t warm and cozy if you haven’t regularly cleaned your stove. Fact: a safe and clean stove is a warm and cozy stove. So, how do you spring clean your stove and keep it maintained? Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a step-by-step guide to help make sure you keep your wood-burning or multi-fuel stove and chimney liner or flue in good shape so that when there’s a cold snap, you’re all set to throw in some fresh firewood and light it up.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Spring Cleaning Your Wood-Burning or Multi-Fuel Stove

  1. Before starting, make sure that you have given your stove time to cool down completely. It is important for your safety that your appliance is cold to the touch as you may need to remove several internal parts of your stove. Always consult your stove’s instruction manual for guidance. If you regularly clean your fireplace after you allow a fire to burn, make sure you wait at least three days because that’s how long the coals stay warm for – warm enough to ignite another fire in fact.
  • Begin with the firebox. Start with removing all the excess ash using a dustpan and brush, then disposing safely. Once removed, use a vacuum cleaner to really get the last of all the ash and debris out. Using a brush head attachment can be particularly useful to get into all the nooks and crannies inside and to also clean in and around the grate.
  • Wipe down the inside of the stove with a brush or scraper. Vacuum the inside of the stove again to collect any debris you have loosened.
  • Use a wire brush to clean the grate and any related parts. This is a good time to check the grate to ensure it is in a good condition.
  • Now turn your attention to the firebricks and clean these with a soft brush, this will leave your firebricks looking clean and ready to go. Get inside again with your vacuum to hoover up any leftover debris that you’ve removed. Again, take this opportunity to check your stove’s firebricks for any damage. While everyday wear and tear is common, check for any chips or cracks that may have occurred. While small chips or cracks can be repaired using some Fire Cement, firebricks that are broken or have large cracks will need replacing.
  • You can now return each of the internal parts of your stove. 
  • The inside of your stove has been cleaned and checked over, now you can start to look at the door. Check the door glass for signs of damage by removing it from the door and cleaning thoroughly with some specialist glass cleaner or warm soapy water. This will remove any soot and tar build up that has occurred and leave it looking sparkling clean (some elbow grease may be required here!) Please note that there are two types of stove glass cleaner: one for printed stove glass and one for plain door glass. Please ensure you use the correct option for your stove. If your door glass has cracked, it will need replacing, but if your glass is still in good order, once clean and dry, it can be put back into the door.
  • This is a good opportunity to check the rope seal in the door of your stove; rope seals can become worn and/or loose over time. If this happens, then smoke can seep through and out into your room. If it is old or worn, you should replace it. A good way to test your rope seal is to take a piece of paper and shut it in the stove door. The seal between the door and stove body should be tight enough that the paper will not move when pulled and the door is closed. If there is any movement and the paper can be moved or slid out completely, then you should either re-glue the rope seal using a rope sealant or replace the rope seal altogether.
  • Check the door catch and hinge pins. If they are stiff, lubricate them with a little oil.
  1. Finally show some love to the exterior of your stove: Finish with a sparkle! Use a colloidal black cleaner or a dampened soft cloth (for enamel surfaces) to clean and smarten the exterior of your stove.

Extra Spring Cleaning Tips

Sweeping Your Chimney: If you are burning wood, ensure your chimney is swept at least twice a year; this can be reduced to once if you are only using multi-fuel in your stove. We recommend late Spring and early Autumn. You should book your chimney sweep to attend just before you want to begin using your stove on a regular basis again; this is particularly important if you haven’t used your stove for a while. Whilst visiting your chimney sweep will thoroughly inspect your chimney stack and flue before undertaking a good clean with rods and brushes. They will also identify any potential hazards or repair requirements in your chimney or flue. Any recommendations made will be put in writing for you to act on.

Once the sweep has finished, you’ll receive an Industry Standard Certificate of Chimney Sweeping that should be kept for your records.

If you need to find a local approved chimney sweep please visit the NACS website.

Check Your Alarms: If you have any kind of wood burning or multi-fuel appliance in your home, you must fit a carbon monoxide alarm in addition to your smoke alarm. These should be checked and tested regularly to ensure they are working correctly. We highly advise installing a carbon monoxide alarm as this will detect any odourless, and potentially lethal, gasses that may be leaking into your home.