5 things no wood-burning stove owner should be without

1. Carbon monoxide alarm

Carbon Monoxide Alarm
This one is now set out in the law of the land: every new wood-burning stove owner must have a carbon monoxide alarm. Like any appliances that involve something being burnt, stoves can be susceptible to carbon monoxide leaks.

A carbon monoxide alarm ensures that in the unlikely event of that happening, your household will be aware of the leak before the deadly gas has had the chance to cause any tragedies. Have a closer look.

2. Moisture meter

Moisture Meter
A moisture meter is a digital gadget that measures the water content of a piece of wood. This allows you to test how much moisture is in a log before you put it on your stove. Burning wood that has a high moisture content increases the chance of creosote build-up in your flue (and consequently increases the risk of chimney fires). It also means that your stove is wasting a lot of energy on evaporating water rather than heating the room. Have a closer look.

3. Stove pipe thermometer

Stove Pipe Thermometer
A stove pipe thermometer is a vital accessory for any wood-burning stove owner. It tells you the temperature at which your stove is operating, which you can compare to an approximate optimum temperature displayed on the thermometer and, more importantly, the manufacturer’s guidelines on the temperature at which your appliance is supposed to run.

Using a stove pipe thermometer in this way helps to prevent damage to the stove’s internal parts, glass and flue, which can be caused by overfiring your stove (i.e. operating it too high a temperature). It also helps you to save money on fuel by highlighting if you’re using the appliance inefficiently. Running the stove too cold or too hot can result in a less efficient burn. Have a closer look.

4. Companion set

Companion set
Whatever interaction you’re having with your woodburner, it’s usually far easier and cleaner if you happen to have a companion set nearby. Adding fuel, moving fuel, cleaning your stove, tidying the hearth – all much simpler tasks with the aid of a companion set.

Companion sets may include all of or a combination of tongs, poker, brush and shovel. Have a closer look.

5. Stove gloves

Stove Gloves

As with a companion set, anything you need to do to or around your woodburner is much more straightforward if you’re equipped with a pair of stove gloves.

Jobs like opening the door and adding fuel are much cleaner and safer with the aid of gloves. Have a closer look.

What else do I need when I buy a woodburner?

Woodburner Starter Kit

Once you’ve decided that you are going to buy a wood-burning stove, you also need to think about the extras and accessories that are an equally important part of the installation process.

So, what other things will you need when you’re installing a stove?


One of the most important extras is a flue: a pipe to take smoke and gases away from your stove and out of your home. If you don’t have a brick chimneystack, or if you are planning on have the stove in the centre of a room with the pipe passing through the room then you will need a twin wall flue.

Take a look at flues now.

Flue connectors

If your installation involves anything other than the flue pipe coming straight out of the top flue outlet of your stove and straight up a chimney, the chances are you will need a connector or adaptor to help negotiate the flue installation.

Take a look at flue pipe connectors now.

Fire cement

Fire cement can be used to use to seal connections and any other voids in your stove system that need to be filled and will be exposed to extreme temperatures.

Fire cement is available in black or buff.

Register plate

A register plate is a metal plate that sits at the bottom of the chimney opening. There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, it stops draughts and keeps the heat that is generated by the stove in the room, rather than escaping up the chimney like the heat from an open fire. Secondly it prevents gases and soot in the chimney from coming back into the room.

Register plates are available in 5-inch flue, 6-inch flue or blank versions.

Carbon monoxide alarm

It is a legal requirement to install a carbon monoxide alarm with all new wood-burning stove installations. Even if it wasn’t the law, using one would be a no-brainer. This inexpensive gadget will raise the alarm if the silent, deadly gas is leaking into your living room. It’s a potential life-saver.

Take a look at a carbon monoxide alarm now.

Stove gloves

Most wood-burning stove owners don’t get far before they realise the need for a stove mitt or gloves. The appliance gets very hot, so opening the door to add fuel requires the use of some protection for your hands.

Stove gloves are available as mitts, gauntlets and gloves.

Stove glass cleaner

Modern woodburner stoves are much cleaner than those of yesteryear, but they do still create soot and dirt, which can cloud up the glass and block your view of the flames. Professional stove glass cleaner is a quick and easy way to get the glass gleaming again.

Take a look at stove glass cleaner now.

Starter kits

We compile many of the items detailed in this article into a starter kit for new wood-burning stove owners.

Take a look at a woodburner starter kit.

How to remove soot from a chimney

Chimney Soot Remover

Having soot in your chimney is not a good idea. This tarry deposit is caused by flammable gases escaping up the flue before they have had chance to burn properly. These gases cool and condense before they have made it to the top of the chimney, causing them to settle within the chimney.

The material solidifies, causing a build-up of soot and ultimately creosote. These build-ups are highly flammable and can be ignited by a spark from below, causing a chimney fire.

It also creates a blockage, which obstructs the flue, causes a poor draw and perpetuates the problem.

So, how do you remove soot from your chimney to avoid these problems?

Use a chimney sweep

The best way to remove soot from your chimney is to call upon the services of professional chimney sweep. Ideally, you’ll pick one who is approved by Hetas, the government recognised body responsible for maintaining standards in the solid fuel industry. Hetas-approved sweeps have attended training courses hosted by a chimney sweep trade association, such as the National Association of Chimney Sweeps (NACS).

A chimney sweep will brush out any soot, creosote and other blockages that have built-up in your chimney over time. You can minimise the build-up in the first place by ensuring you only burn seasoned wood with a moisture content of less than 25% and fuels that are recommended by the stove manufacturer. It is also worthwhile investigating any problems with downdraught or a poor draw up the chimney.

Calling your chimney sweep once or twice a year is probably appropriate, depending on how frequently you use your woodburner and for what proportion of the year.

Use chimney soot remover

Between sweeps, another way to remove soot from your chimney is to use a specialist chimney soot remover.

These are sachets that can be burned on your stove to maintain a cleaner chimney.


Great wood-burning stove gadgets

There’s little doubt that technology is becoming an increasingly important part of our daily lives. Even the traditional and primitive world of wood-burning now comes with a few handy gadgets to help you along the way.

In this blog post we will examine some of those gadgets and explain how they can benefit you as a wood-burning stove owner.

Stove pipe thermometer

Stove Pipe Thermometer
A stove pipe thermometer is a useful gadget to have for a couple of money-saving reasons. Firstly, it tells you whether your woodburner is operating at optimum temperature so that you can avoid burning too much fuel and overspending on logs or coal. Secondly, by ensuring that your stove is burning at an appropriate temperature, a stove pipe thermometer also helps to ensure that your appliance is not overfiring and causing unnecessary damage to its internal components.

Have a closer look at the stove pipe thermometer.

Moisture meter

Moisture Meter
A moisture meter is a digital gadget that measures the moisture content of a piece of wood. The benefit of this is that it allows you to determine whether any piece of wood you are about to burn is sufficiently seasoned. Ideally, a log would have a moisture content of no more than 25% when you put it on your stove. Ensuring you only burn seasoned wood means that your logs last longer and heat your home more efficiently (because energy is not being wasted on evaporation). It also minimises the risk of creosote build-up in your chimney, which reduces efficiency and also increases the risk of chimney fires.

Have a closer look at the moisture meter.

Carbon monoxide alarm

Carbon Monoxide Alarm
All the gadgets featured here are really useful, but this is the only one that directly saves live. A carbon monoxide alarm is a legal requirement for all new wood-burning stove installations and strongly recommended for existing installations, too. The alarm sounds if the deadly, odourless gas is leaking from your woodburner, so that you can take action before any tragic consequences have been allowed to unfold.

Have a closer look at the carbon monoxide alarm.