It is a question that many people are unsure of the answer to after they have bought a multi-fuel stove (and lots of others plough on oblivious to the situation without finding out the answer): can you burn coal and wood on a stove at the same time?
The first thing to say – and apologies for stating the obvious here – is that you must not burn coal at all on a wood-burning stove. As its name suggests, you should burn only wood on a woodburner. If you intend to burn fuels other than wood, you will need to buy a multi-fuel stove instead.
Multi-fuel stove rules
So having bought your multi-fuel stove, what is the situation with regard to burning coal and wood on it?
The answer is that, even when you are using a multi-fuel stove, you should not burn coal and wood at the same time. While you have the option of burning either fuel on your appliance, this should be done separately and never simultaneously. Here’s why…
Coal contains sulphuric acid, while wood – even when well seasoned (as it always should be before being burned on a stove) – is relatively high in moisture. When the two fuels are burned at the same time, the sulphur released by the coal and water from the wood combine to create a nasty solution that will stick to and corrode your stove system.
This might result in damage to internal parts, holes in the flue pipe and other potentially expensive wear.
So, make sure you only burn one type of fuel at a time to avoid those problems.
Also, remember, even if you are burning just coal, you should not burn regular house coal on a multi-fuel stove.