If you have set your heart on a solid fuel stove for your home, you will probably already be aware that you will need to choose between either a multi-fuel or wood burning model.

Understanding a little about your options should help to clarify which is the right stove for your home.

Wood burning stoves run most efficiently when new fuel is added to an existing bed of ash. Therefore most are fitted with a fixed grate with a flat base, thus ensuring that the ashes created as the logs burn accumulate in the base of the stove so that new logs can be added on top. This is important for the process of combustion.

One of the main selling points of wood burning stoves is their environmental benefits. During the lifetime of an average tree, it will absorb a similar level of carbon dioxide as you would generally expect to consume burning wood in a stove, meaning that it is regarded as a low carbon option. Indeed, provided that you only buy your logs from a supplier who plants new trees to replace those that are cut down, this form of energy can also be classed as renewable.

On the other hand, a multi-fuel stove is one that has been designed to burn a greater variety of fuels. These may include wood, smokeless fuels, turf/peat briquette and anthracite. This is achieved by adding a raised grate which incorporates moveable bars, thus allowing the stove to burn different fuels efficiently. In contrast to a wood burning stove, the fuel bed in a multi-fuel product will need to be regularly emptied. An ash pan below the grate is included so that this can be managed safely

Despite the fact that there are certain key difference between in the design of wood and multi-fuel stoves, the levels of efficiency and the heat output are very similar.

If you are lucky enough to have access to a private wood supply, you will probably find that a wood burning stove is an ideal addition to your home, bringing with it a cost efficient boost to your current heating system. Conversely, opting for a multi-fuel stove means that you can source a wider variety of fuels from a local supplier.

Whichever option you decide on, you can be sure that installing a real fire will instantly add an abundance of atmosphere and cosy charm to your home.