Multi Fuel Or Wood Burning Stoves: Which One Is Right For You?

The threat of global warming, while many may think it a myth, has convinced thousands of homeowners to do whatever they can to reduce their carbon footprint, and their impact upon the fragile environment. As a result, the popularity of home additions like wood burning stoves or multi fuel stoves has grown in recent years, in some areas even more than solar panels. The many styles of both types, their versatility and adaptability to existing home systems, has made them well worth the initial investment to many, especially when it comes to reducing their monthly home heating payment.

Wood burning stoves were the first to experience the recent renaissance. Striking an emotional and nostalgic chord when they were first re-introduced in the last decade for home use, thousands have been professionally installed in homes both great and small, with great success. Available as free standing and fireplace insert models, they can be used for heating purposes alone, or as both a heater and cooking unit for the family. Ranging in style from the traditional colonial pot belly to sleek, ultra modern stainless steel, copper and ceramic, there is virtually a unit somewhere on the market that will fit into your own personal sense of style.

Multi fuel stoves, on the other hand, have proven to be an even greater seller in recent years, since their introduction. Combining the same versatility as the wood stove, with the capability of using a wide range of fuel sources other than wood, and it is easy to see just why they are so popular. There are models that can be adapted to run on either gas or electricity, but why would someone want to? The rising cost of fossil fuels has affected every market from selling gasoline to utility costs, and having a stove for heat that can burn renewable, non-fossil fuel makes more sense than ever.

This is not to say that you cannot burn wood in a multiple fuel stove. In fact, tests have proven that burning wood as fuel in a multiple choice fuel stove is actually a better idea than in a regular wood stove. While a wood stove burns fuel at around 75% efficiency, it also means that 25% of that heat is going straight up the chimney. A multiple fuel stove, on the other hand, has a chimney vent that is much more streamlined, and can be fitted with a thermal storage unit, increasing that efficiency into the 90% and higher level. A thermal storage unit will hold ambient heat inside of it, build it up while the fuel is burnt, and allows for its later release when needed.

The alternative fuels used by the multiple fuel stove include wood, wood pellets, peat, corn pellets and processed coal. All of them come from renewable resources, even the processed coal, which is basically recycled pellets that been treated to reduce their carbon impact. If you are serious about the environment, this may be the way to go.