Some simple steps can help improve fuel burning efficiency and help you get more from your fuel, cut your fuel bills and also cut down on gas emissions that cause global warning.
It is important to increase our awareness of energy efficiency not only because of increasing costs but to realise that all fossil fuels (oil, gas and solid fuel) release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere that contribute to global warming.
General tips for solid fuel users:
- Always use the type of fuel that is recommended for your appliance.
- Always use the best quality fuel that you can afford. There will be less ash and the calorific value (heat content) of the fuel will be higher.
- Ash and clinker – Use the riddling device and a poker to clear ash and clinker that collects above the firebars. The appliance will not function to capacity if the grate is clogged. Don’t allow the ash to build up in the ashpan. This can lead to damaged firebars.
- Get your chimney swept regularly (at least once a year and twice if burning wood or house coal).
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on maintenance. On closed appliances clean the throat plate and check all door seals to ensure that they are airtight. Any boiler surfaces should be scraped clean every heating season. Although some appliances can be used with the door open, they will be more efficient with the door closed.
Some simple tips to save energy in the home are:
- Don’t leave appliances on standby unnecessarily.
- Use low energy light bulbs and switch off if a room is not in use.
- Draw curtains at night to save loss of energy through windows.
- Don’t put hot or warm food in the fridge.
- Use a lower temperature (eg. 30˚C) in your washing machine to save up to 40% electricity.
- Use just enough water to cover vegetables when cooking and keep the lid on.
Further tips can be found on:
- www.EnergySavingTrust.org.uk or by telephone at 028 9072 6006.
- The General Consumer Council website www.ConsumerCouncil.org.uk
- Solid Fuel Association website www.SolidFuel.co.uk
To improve the thermal efficiency of your home:
- Loft insulation should be at least 270mm thick
- Insulate cavity walls. If you do not have cavity walls there are methods of internal and external cladding.
- Insulate the hot water cylinder and larger circulation pipes
- Fit double glazing. However please note that if you have a solid fuel appliance you need to have sufficient ventilation. Ventilation requirements can be obtained from Building Control.
Improving your Heating System
Central Heating systems will work more efficiently if you:
- Fit a high efficiency solid fuel or multi-fuel appliance.
- Fit thermostats to automatically control the operation of the system and so reduce fuel consumption. (If you have thermostats fitted you should check to see if they are working properly)
- Fit a “link-up system” to combine your solid fuel heating with another energy supply such as oil to give you more options and reduce dependency on more expensive fuels.
Open fire efficiency could be improved if you:
- Fit an adjustable throat restrictor to reduce draughts.
- Fit glass fire doors to save fuel, especially with large fires.
- Fit a fire front to convert to a closed appliance and so improve efficiency.
- Always remember to remove ash from the fire bed as this will allow more air in to improve burning.
Useful tips for Solid Fuel Users
Always use the correct fuel for your appliance. The correct fuel will perform better if used under the manufacturer`s instructions.
Burn the best quality fuel you can afford, as the heat content will be higher and the ash less.
Ensure that your chimney is swept on a regular basis – at least once a year or more often if the fire is in constant use. Should you burn logs on an open fire or multi fuel stove you are advised to only use seasoned wood. Stoves, Room heaters and Boilers should be serviced annually and maintained in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions, enabling them to operate more efficiently e.g. door seals and glass should be intact. Room heaters are designed to give heating and to provide hot water 24 hours per day. Overnight burning at a low temperature will save fuel rather than relighting every morning.
Remember that your fire burns best when there is a good flow of air. You should make sure the draught is controlled in open fires by using the air vents in the grate and by opening or closing the damper if fitted. Ashes should be riddled and a poker used to make it possible for air to be allowed into the combustion area.
Kingsberry Fuels know which of our fuels is best suited for your fire.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about our products on 0808 100 4328