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Help I hate my Multi Fuel Stove - alternatives and would I be mad to rip it out

(50 Posts)
Monica101 Fri 08-Jan-16 17:52:34

I've had my multi fuel stove for a year now, this is the second winter and I just don't get on with it.

It's just not what I had hoped for, mainly it is so dirty, coal dust and ash on the floor when loading it. The window and surfaces when wiped make the cloths black! I can't help but feel it can't be healthy to be breathing in all this dirt.

I actually am lucky to get free kindling but coal is £60 a month which is cheaper than gas which used to be £200 a month in the coldest months.

I'm mad aren't I to rip it out? It cost nearly 3k to install.
What are the alternatives? Is it to go back to a gas fire, is there any ultra efficient ones available that I could have, I did partly install for cost reasons

RCheshire Fri 08-Jan-16 17:56:04

To remove, or at least serious reduce your issues why not swap to burning wood?

Monica101 Fri 08-Jan-16 18:00:11

I don't think I can afford to burn hard wood unfortunately, I have it on all evening from 5-10 and coal seems a lot cheaper.

I have an unlimited supply of pine, off cuts from a carpenter, but I understand I can't burn this all the time or I will damage the flue with resin.

thenewaveragebear1983 Fri 08-Jan-16 18:09:10

I was going to agree with Cheshire, we burn wood in ours. We pay anythingfrom 50-80 for a big builders bag of dry logs and use it most evenings. The bag will last 3 months. You probably have as your stove is new, but have you checked you are using the vents etc correctly for optimum burning? I had a tutorial from our sweep and it was very enlightening! If its any consolation, I hate ours too. Its draughty, dirty, and I hate that its either off or absolutely blazing with no in between! We inherited ours and I'd never put one in if we moved.

Choughed Fri 08-Jan-16 18:13:23

I love ours (we have 2). They belch out heat. We make it up with kindling and logs, and then put coal on once it's established. It's not like a heat blast like an open fire but it warms the whole room.

Monica101 Fri 08-Jan-16 18:16:51

Thanks for the replies, I will have to investigate getting some hard wood.

I was partly put off logs when I bought a tiny bag from Asda for £5 and they burnt as fast as my pine off cuts and I just thought that even a palate full would be unsustainable.

They are awful aren't they thenewaver. Never, ever again.

zombiesarecoming Fri 08-Jan-16 18:20:14

Pine off cuts will be fine just keep it burning at a reasonable rate so the flue temperature stays up

I burn anything I can get in our multi fuel stove and buy coal by the ton during summer so I have some if the log splitter breaks

Coal produces way more ash and mess than wood does, I much prefer to stick to wood as long as I can keep up with supply by splitting enough logs, our stove has been on since the middle of November as it is our only source of heat in the house

You won't clag the chimney up with crap as long as you keep it burning hot no matter what you feed the fire with

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Fri 08-Jan-16 18:31:57

I burn both smokeless fuel anthracites and logs in my stove. No ash, dust or black cleaning cloths! Can't understand why you're getting so many particles in the air.

Monica101 Fri 08-Jan-16 18:47:34

The black dust is the really concerning thing as I feel it must be quite toxic!

I use Blaze smokeless fuel and pine. When I last had the chimney swept the sweep told me the flue was quite sticky and I should cut the pine use down.

I have actually just kept using pine at the same rate but obviously now a bit concerned i'll wreck the flue at some point.

When I wipe the windowsill which is about 4 metres away from the stove the cloths are so dirty.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Fri 08-Jan-16 19:01:40

I'm just wondering if the draw on your flue/stove is ok. Even if I have my door ajar everything goes up the chimney. There's no dirt or dust from it that I notice.

IrenetheQuaint Fri 08-Jan-16 19:06:13

Yes, I'm surprised by the dirt too. A bit of ash around the stove from emptying the tray is normal but I don't find my stove makes the rest of the room dirty at all.

specialsubject Fri 08-Jan-16 19:06:52

something not right - you do get a bit of dust but all that mess doesn't seem right.

did your HETAS person do it right? Seal gone? Flue clogged because of the pine?

Wigeon Fri 08-Jan-16 19:09:00

Yes, don't rip it out! We get half a ton of wood delivered in the autumn, costs £95 and lasts the whole winter. Wood is v expensive if you buy it in small batches from the garage. We also don't have any issues with dirt in the rest of the room at all. We only burn wood. And it's soooo lovely and cosy!

Hufflepuffin Fri 08-Jan-16 19:09:32

You can clean the glass using ash and wet newspaper

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Fri 08-Jan-16 19:14:33

I would ring the fitters up and explain the problem.

Monica101 Fri 08-Jan-16 19:22:33

Thanks for the replies.

I have recently had the stove swept and checked by a knowledgeable sweep who also services and mends stoves and he seemed to think all was well with it. Apart from the flue was a bit sticky but he cleaned it and advised less pine in future. This was in October so should still be ok flue wise I think.

I empty the ash pan daily, two huge piles of ash. Once a week vacuum it. The dust must escape when loading the stove or cleaning the stove.

I will get the stove swept in April so will mention all these problems to the sweep and see what he says. I think the fitters will not be interested as it's over a year since it was put in.

Helenluvsrob Fri 08-Jan-16 19:26:04

We are not able to store large amounts of wood for our stove so we are running it on a combination of heat logs (2.99 for 10kg from aldi) and " expensive" kiln dried logs that that burn amazingly well and hotly for £10 for 3x10kg from home bargains.

I reckon you'd have to go some to use much more that 3 bags a week. We tend to use less than 1/3 bag and a couple of heat logs in a long evening.

Choughed Fri 08-Jan-16 19:37:46

Is your coal poor quality? <clueless>

Monica101 Fri 08-Jan-16 19:44:45

Thanks Helen I will experiment with the wood from home bargains and see if any difference.

I imagine I would use 3 a week so would work out £60 more a month.

The coal I use is the cheaper version - £4.70 for 10kg - would that create more dust than the more expensive one?

specialsubject Fri 08-Jan-16 19:47:31

OK, does sound like all the right checks done unless the door seal has gone since. Still odd though.

I use bone-dry, untreated wood - but I have learnt caution when opening the door to add more, do it too quickly and a cloud comes out.

anyone a coal expert?

EssexMummy1234 Fri 08-Jan-16 19:55:46

Hi Monica, is your room and stove huge? otherwise a couple of builders sized bags of hardwood logs with a low moisture content should cost around - £85-£90 for a cubed meter, I'm quite surprised by the mess your getting as well, actually it's worth posting on MSE they have a board dedicated to solid fuel heating.

Monica101 Fri 08-Jan-16 20:10:56

It's a Hunter Eco Ideal stove, 3-5kw in a normal living room so quite average.

Thanks I will try MSE too - I wonder what i am doing wrong unless I am just using it too much. 5-6 hours a day every day. I wonder if most people use theirs less so create less mess?

I will try being more careful opening the door too, it's an art form running a stove well!

AngelBlue12 Fri 08-Jan-16 20:22:38

You aren't using it too much. When we had an indoor burner it was on all day everyday and we never had a problem with it.

The coal you are using is expensive though we pay £240 from national coal for 40 25kg bags...

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Fri 08-Jan-16 20:35:26

Our stove is on from 5pm until 9pm or 10pm most evenings. At weekends it's lit about lunchtime. I do use more logs than smokeless fuel.

lighteningirl Fri 08-Jan-16 20:58:28

Ours is on all day and evening it's the second house we've put one in coal does give off some dust but yours really doesn't sound right. Last year we weren't very happy with this new stove it was ok but not great. After a chimney sweep and dh fiddling with the vents something shifted and its burning great now. We aged wood from builder friends and general just scavenge. Pine and pallets burn quickly and don't get hot enough so avoid those. We rarely empty the ash is it different with coal? I would get your fitters back and explain what's wrong I think it's operating below optimal and maybe your using poor fuel.

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