It’s really important that you burn the correct fuel for your appliance and your area.
Believe it or not, some people think they can burn absolutely anything on a fire, such as plastics, nappies and other general household waste.
Not only is this potentially very dangerous, but it will also damage your chimney and cost you to repair it.
Wood comes in all types, shapes and sizes – but not all wood is fit for the fire.
Only burn seasoned wood, natural wood which has a minimum 20% moisture content. If you hit two pieces together and it sounds hollow, has some natural cracks in it and it is light, then chances are it is seasoned.
Get to know your local solid fuel merchant as they usually offer the best prices, particularly if you buy in bulk.
Never use wood which has just been cut from a tree, or wood with any paints or lacquers on them. They will cause creosote deposits in your flue and they are very expensive to get rid of, plus they also heighten the risk of chimney fires.
Wood-burning appliances need to be swept once every three months when in use.
These days, coal comes in all shapes and sizes. Smokeless coal is very popular but it can prove tricky to light..Appliances which burn smokeless coal should be swept at least once a year.
Traditional, household coal can be used in open fires in areas with no Smoke Control restrictions. My personal favourite are Colombian doubles or trebles, as they light easily and give a nice flame. Appliances which burn traditional coal need to be swept once every three months.
It goes without saying that coal should not be used in woodburners.