Five uses for your wood-burning stove ashes

Five uses for your wood-burning stove ashes

‘No hot ashes’ is the traditional message provided by dustbins to their owners. But once our ashes have cooled down, most of us throw them straight into the bin.

This is a bit of a waste really, so here are five examples of ways in which you might like to put your ashes to better use.

1. On your garden

Wood ash contains lots of goodness for your plants, including potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. Someone more green-fingered than Gr8fires will be able to tell you which plants will particularly benefit from your ashes. Continue reading

Watch your Arada stove being made

If you have ever wondering how a wood-burning stove is made, wonder no more.

This excellent video, made by stove manufacturer Arada, shows you the exact manufacturing process that is followed to create the excellent finished products you see for sale on our website.

So, before you buy an Arada stove from the site, you can see how a fairly uninspiring sheet of metal is transformed into a beautifully designed appliance that will bring warmth to your home. Continue reading

Tips on cleaning a wood-burning stove

Tips on cleaning a wood-burning stove

The chances are you installed a wood-burning stove either because you like the aesthetics or to save you money on your heating bills. For either of those reasons, cleaning is a vital part of ensuring you continue to reap the benefits of your stove.

Not only does regular cleaning keep your stove in immaculate condition, it also ensures that it continues to perform as efficiently as possible.

It’s not really possible to ‘over clean’ your stove. As a bare minimum you should give your stove a thorough clean every three months. Continue reading

Shut that door! The importance of closing the door on a wood-burning stove

Shut that door

Something that often causes confusion among wood-burning stove newcomers is the door. Should it be open? Should it be closed?

The short answer is closed.

And in most stoves it’s better to close the door as soon as possible. The reason is quite simple. With the door closed, your stove is up to 60% more efficient than if you have the door open. That means more heat in the room and less expense for you.

The confusion probably stems from people who are used to that instant blast of heat that comes from lighting an open fire. With a wood burner, you’re not supposed to feel the heat from the flames. Not directly, at least.

The flames in the firebox heats the metal panels that make up your stove. They, in turn, heat the rest of the room. It’s a more efficient way of heating your home than an open fire because less heat escapes.

If you think about it, closed is the obvious answer. Otherwise some enterprising company would have stopped putting the doors on and sold them at a cheaper price!

When to close the door

Assuming you’ve set your stove with newspaper and kindling, as soon as you’ve lit the newspaper is usually the best time to close the door. You should already have the air vents open while lighting the stove, so there is still a good air supply.

Some stove manufacturers prefer you to keep the door slightly open during these initial stages of the lighting process. Check your manufacturer’s manual to see if this is recommended for your stove.

You’ll soon learn what works best for your stove from experimenting. Even if you are leaving the door ajar, as soon as the stove is properly lit you should close the door.

For more information on wood-burning stoves, please visit Gr8Fires.

Get the fireplace accessories that complement your wood-burning stove

Get the fireplace accessories that complement your wood-burning stove

A wood-burning stove is the perfect feature for any fireplace. But just like when you make a big purchase for your wardrobe, it’s accessorising that really completes the look.

You need accessories that make looking after your stove easier, and add to the character of your fireplace. Here a few ideas of some fireplace accessories that fit both both those criteria. Continue reading

Meet the manufacturer: Mazona Stoves

Mazona Stoves

Gr8fires’ Mazona Stoves collection is defined by a collection of classic cast iron stoves available at very reasonable prices.

The stoves are traditional in appearance, boasting an undeniably classic design. And yet there is more to the Mazona range than that.

The timeless appliances are boosted with modern features, including the option for top or rear flue outlets, riddling multi-fuel grates and airwash. The secondary air vent that provides the airwash also supports clean burn technology, which ensures that you get the most from your fuel.

And that fuel can be either coal or wood. All of the Mazona Stoves range are multi-fuel stoves, giving you options when it comes to choosing what to burn.

Let’s take a look at some of the key Mazona stoves we stock.

Mazona Rocky 6kW Multi-Fuel Stove
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The Mazona Rocky is consistently one of our best-selling wood-burning stoves. The reasons for that are very simple: it is classically-styled cast iron stove, boasting a five-year warranty, a 6kW heat output and a very low price tag.

Mazona Signet 4 kW Multi Fuel
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Hot on the heels of the Rocky is its little sibling, the Signet. This 4kW is starting to give the Rocky a run for its money in the best-seller stakes.

Its heat output makes it a perfect option for snug rooms, caravans, boats and cabins.

Mazona Orlando 4.5kW Multi-Fuel Stove Small
Mazona Orlando 4.5kW Multi-Fuel Stove Small

The 4.5kW Orlando stove is the entry level appliance in our Mazona range. As always, it’s about getting the right heat output for your needs. If 4.5kW is enough for you and your room then you’re in luck, because the small Orlando offers great value for money.

Mazona Orlando 8kW Multi-Fuel Stove Double Door Medium
Mazona Orlando 8kW Multi-Fuel Stove Double Door Medium

This model is the starting point of the Orlando family. All the other Orlando stoves take their lead from the 8kW version. Continuing the Mazona theme, the Orlando is traditional an appearance. But that hides some distinctly contemporary design features. The ornate cast iron decoration on the stove may add an authentic look, but it also increases the amount of heat given off by creating a large surface area.

We’re featuring the double-door version of the stove here, but it is also available in a single-door version. That ensures an unbroken view of your flames and arguably a slightly more modern appearance.

Mazona Orlando 10kW Multi-Fuel Stove Double Door Large
Mazona Orlando 10kW Multi-Fuel Stove Double Door Large

The basics should now be familiar, but they’re all bigger and better on this 10kW appliance. Again, the design features – including fins on the back panel of the stove – help to increase the output and heat your room. Given its considerable heating capability, this version of the Orlando is best-suited to large, open rooms.

Check out our full Mazona Stoves range.

Types of fuel for use in wood burners and multi-fuel stoves

Types of fuel for use in wood burners and multi-fuel stoves

If you’re wondering what fuel is best to use in your stove, we’ll aim to give you some guidance in this blog post.

While we’ll try to keep the advice as general as possible, it’s worth pointing out that anything your manufacturer says in the user manual about the type of fuel that’s best for your stove should take precedence over our tips.  Continue reading

Romancing the stove: would a wood-burning stove work wonders for your love-life?

Romancing the stoveThrough the Gr8fires Twitter account, we always try to keep up-to-date with all the latest online chatter about wood-burning stoves.

It never ceases to amaze us how many people post giddy messages of being head-over-heels in love all over again after a wonderful weekend break at a holiday home with a wood-burning stove. The stove always gets a special mention, of course.

So, if it can work such wonders over a weekend, imagine what it would do if you had a wood-burning stove at home?

We’re inclined to agree with the lovebirds who come back from their holiday praising the virtues of the wood burner. There is something inherently romantic about a wood-burning stove.

Fire is primal, for starters. People have been lighting fires to keep cosy for thousands of years. There’s something about that lineage and performing that basic act of survival that stirs something in a lot of people.

Romancing the stoveThen there’s the relaxation aspect. Watching the flames licking the stove door is highly therapeutic. It seems to make the worries of the world drift away and also has the habit of helping a glass of wine go down very well.

A wood-burning stove encourages quality time. It’s a focal point that you’re inclined to gather around with almost magnetic force. Whether you then want to read a book together, watch a film or just chat doesn’t really matter. Stoves somehow bring people together.

What about mood-setting? Well, soft lighting doesn’t get much softer than the flames from a stove. And we can all agree that a stove’s primary function – romance or not – is to create a cosy atmosphere, so you’re guaranteed a nice environment in which to snuggle up.

People go away and enjoy the simple pleasures that come from having a stove, but sometimes don’t seem to make the connection that they could have those pleasures at home all year round.

If you’re thinking about adding a little more romance to your home, please take a look at our range of wood-burning stoves.

What does the heat output of a wood-burning stove mean?

What does the heat output of a wood-burning stove mean

The obvious answer is that the heat output of a wood-burning stove is a measure of the amount of heat the wood burner is pumping out. But you’re probably more interested in what that means for you before you buy a wood-burning stove.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the higher the number, the more heat your stove is producing. Heat output is provided by stove manufacturers in kilowatts (kW). So a 6kW stove will give out more heat than a 4kw stove. Continue reading

Top 10 ways to improve the efficiency of your wood-burning stove

Top 10 ways to improve the efficiency of your wood-burning stove

Once you’ve got your wood-burning stove installed, there’s the obvious temptation to throw on lots of wood and just enjoy not having to use the central heating.

At Gr8Fires, we thoroughly understand that sentiment. But once the euphoria has partially subsided and you’ve got your thinking cap back on, we would suggest you follow these tips to make sure you’re stove is costing as little as possible and heating as much as possible.

1.Use dry kindling to light your stove
Lighting your fire with fast-burning kindling heats the firebox quickly. You’re essentially getting your stove heated up so your logs have less work to do. Continue reading