Buying the right type of Fuel for your Multi-Fuel Stove

Before we give advice on the type of fuel to use in a multi fuel stove it is worthwhile mentioning the dangers of burning the different types of fuel together.

Multi fuel stoves are capable of burning coal, smokeless fuel and logs. However, be sure to only burn one type of fuel at a time. Burning wood and coal together for too long can result in fumes that could damage your stove.

Many of us now have modern multi-fuel stoves installed in our homes. The name ‘Multi-fuel’ suggests that these types of appliances can burn many different fuels including wood, coal or smokeless fuel. This is true, but you should never burn more than one type of fuel at a time.

Government restrictions on traditional house coal

Restrictions on the sale of coal, wet wood and manufactured solid fuels for burning in the home came into force from 1st May 2021.

Burning at home, particularly with traditional house coal or wet wood, is a major source of the pollutant PM2.5 – tiny particles which can enter the bloodstream and lodge in lungs and other organs. PM2.5 has been identified by the World Health Organisation as the most serious air pollutant for human health.

People with log burners and open fires can still use them, but will be required to buy cleaner alternative fuels – if they are not already – such as dry wood and manufactured solid fuels which produce less smoke. Both of these cleaner options are just as easy to source and more efficient to burn, making them more cost effective. Burning dry wood also produces more heat and less soot than wet wood and can reduce emissions by up to 50%. So traditional house coal will no longer be available from 1 May 2023.

We only sell cleaner fuels laid out by the government laws and regulations.

You can read more on the government restrictions by clicking here

Difference between burning Smokeless fuel and wood

Regular House Coal, Smokeless fuel and Firewood burn in very different ways. Wood requires air from above to aid combustion, whereas Coal and Smokeless fuel requires air from below. That is why multi-fuel stoves have a grate allowing air to circulate below your fuel and to allow ash to drop to the bottom in the ash tray.

Burning both wood and coal at the same time will damage your stove and your flue lining. The sulphuric acid in the coal and moisture in the wood will combine a nasty sulphuric acid solution, that can quickly eat away at anything. This will in time erode your stove and flue system.

Cleaning your chimney and flue

Its recommended that your chimney should be swept by a reputable chimney sweep once a year. However it would depend on how often you use your stove. If your not using it often then you could leave it longer. 

If left uncleaned it will eventually lead to a chimney fire, or having to replace your stainless steel flue liner because it’s been eaten through.

Dangers of not burning fuel correctly 

Brand new liners can become a fire hazard and inoperable in less than a year from installation when owners become too complacent with what they put into their stove. So make sure only to use one type of fuel at a time. If you are burning wood and want to add coal/smokeless fuel, make sure you have let the wood burn down before adding the coal/smokeless fuel.

Our selection of kiln dried logs and other wood can be found on our home page.

Click here for our wood selection


If you have a multi-fuel stove our advice is to burn either smokeless fuel OR kiln dried wood, if you want to change fuels from wood to the longer burning smokeless fuel, wait for the wood to burn down then add the smokeless fuel making the smokeless fuel priority, there will be enough heat in the wood to burn the smokeless fuel.

Our Newburn Smokeless Fuel is Hetas and Defra approved and gives off a brilliant heat lasting much longer than traditional coal and wood. We sell other smokeless fuels too which are also Hetas and Defra approved. 

You can find our Smokeless Fuel by clicking here

And finally, before you go to bed

If you want to bank up/slumber your stove to keep it going at night, then use just smokeless fuel, never mix wood and coal at night when slumbering.

Overnight burning with Smokeless Fuel is much easier than wood. Once you've got your fire up and running and up to temperature, give the fire a gentle riddle or poke and put the ash from the pan on top of the coals. Shut down completely and off to bed.

Near the end of the night I tend to put my final layer of coal on the fire and turn the vent down slightly. When going to bed I turn the vents right down and the fire is still hot the next morning. Lovely on a cold winters morning and the room is still lovely and warm. With practice you can get many hours of warmth from a small amount of fuel.