Stoves come in two main material types: Steel or Cast Iron. When it comes to choosing the right one for your home, it is best to know the benefits – and the drawbacks – of each one.

Traditionally cast iron was seen as the superior choice due to its high heat retention and durability. But what about steel?

Steel was once seen as inferior to cast iron, but things have changed, and modern designs of stoves match the quality of cast iron. Steel once had the reputation for warping in the presence of extreme heat and cast iron faced its own share of controversy with a reputation for cracking. Let’s take a closer look at the positives and negatives of Cast Iron:

Cast Iron Pros

  • Long Lasting Durability

Contrary to certain rumours, cast iron doesn’t crack or dent. They are durable and strong – and can stand the test of time without any problems. Their surface may lose some of its ‘finishing’ but whilst it may affect the cosmetic appearance of the stove, it has no impact on the quality.

  • Non-Stick Capabilities

One of the outstanding features of cast iron is that it’s non-stick. This means it can be cleaned and maintained easily.

  • Resistance to deformation

Cast Iron is the material of choice for a number of materials used with high temperatures such as cooking and heating. By nature, it is durable enough to prevent deformation under these high temperatures.

Cast Iron Cons

  • Prone to Rusting

Unfortunately, iron is prone to rusting and long-term effects will harm the material. Frequent exposure to moisture will only accelerate the process.

  • Weight

Cast iron is a very heavy material which makes working with it very difficult. All cast iron products have to be handled with care as to not cause any damage.

Always make sure you use certified house fuels such as smokeless coal in your home stove.

When you’re buying a fuel burning stove for your home it is important to weigh up the benefits of both cast iron and steel models. Both materials are used to make stunning stoves and fireplaces that are unique additions to your home and can blend seamlessly with the design of your living space.

There are so many models available in each material that it can be difficult to separate the two types on looks alone. Knowing the differences between the two materials may be key to finding the design that suits your needs:

Cast Iron

These stoves are constructed from a number of individually cast panels that are bolted together. Between the panels will be a fire-resistant cord or fire cement that will prevent any smoke from escaping. Cast iron is never welded together, so in a lot of cases, the legs will have to bolted onto the stove during installation.

Because they are bolted together, cast iron provides a more traditional look because of the patterns, lines and ridges that occur from the type of construction.

Cast Iron stoves are as simple to maintain as any other model. Contrary to some rumours that cast-iron stoves need to be rebuilt every few years, maintenance for steel and cast iron is the same. Fire bricks and fire rope may need changing in the event that they perish.


The body of a steel stove is made from a single, folded section with the top welded on to make a sealed unit, with the legs welded on to the main body at the factory. Some manufacturers use cast iron doors and internal parts which can be easily moulded to create good grooves for the fire rope, fixing points for glass, and air vents.

Manufacturing techniques usually means steel stoves are more contemporary, but not all are ultra-moderns designs built only for minimalist metropolitan homes, they also look great in classic brick fireplaces.

Cast Iron and Steel stoves are capable of burning wood and smokeless coal to heat your home.




Equipping your home with a multi fuel stove isn’t just a luxurious extravagance. Having a stove can actually have a number of benefits; from being a decorative centrepiece to greatly increasing the efficiency and warmth of your home, even saving you money.

Benefit of Installing A Stove

When used correctly, multi fuel stoves can be one of the most effective ways of heating your home. By trapping the heat and combustion of a fire in an enclosed space, stoves are capable of heating a room more efficiently than standard central heating.

Most modern stoves are designed to provide perfect air flow through their vents to keep warm air flowing out of the stove and cool air flowing in. Adding a stove fan can increase the efficiency even more, pushing the warm air further from the fire into your living space.

Using well dried and seasoned wood, or quality smokeless coal, you can increase the efficiency of your stove even further.

Ways to further improve your heating:

  • Insulation

Ensuring your home is properly insulated can help you save a lot of money on heating bills over the course of a year. Many households suffer from having out-dated and inefficient insulation that lets a large majority of the heat produced from central heating and home stoves escape. Cavity wall insulation and double/triple-glazed windows are great investments that will help properly insulate your home.

  • Well Serviced Central Heating

Having your boiler, pipes and insulation checked regularly will help ensure that no faults are going to spoil your heating efficiency.

  • Timers and Thermostats

Setting your heating to a sensible temperature can help to save a lot of money. If you don’t have a thermostat, place your heating to come on by a timer at important times throughout the day; if you have your heating running constantly it will run up considerable energy bills, not to mention the affect that it will have on the environment.

Pearson Fuels supply imported kiln-dried fire wood as well as smokeless coal that will help you manage your home’s heating responsibly.


Because of the Clean Air Act, most parts of the UK are under smoke control areas. To abide by these laws, you can’t emit smoke from a chimney unless you are using an approved fuel type, or your appliance is exempt, for example, burners or stoves.

It is the responsibility of the resident to find out if their home falls under the jurisdiction of smoke control areas. And it is recommended that you don’t forget, as burning unauthorised fuels could land you with a hefty fine of up to £1,000.

There is an extensive list of the authorised fuels available online. These can be used in pretty much all appliances. If you want to burn unauthorised fuels such as wood, then you will have to purchase an exempt appliance. Alternately, manufacturers or distributors of appliances, stoves, boilers, pizza ovens and other solid fuel burning appliances can apply to the government to have their appliances classified as exempt for use in smoke control areas.

Appliances that burn only gaseous fuels, liquid fuels, or that act only as a combustion activity are all exempt; anything other than these will have to go through an application process.

How To Apply

Application for appliance exemption is done simply through online application forms, email or post, where you will have to upload all necessary information pertaining the type of fuel and appliance details.

The application fees from February 2016 for new appliance ranges and rebranding of appliances begin at £1,695 for a new appliance and £700 for exempt appliance renaming or rebranding for the first appliance in a range. Any additional appliance will cost £495 and £350 respectively.

To make a valid application you will require a minimum of:

  • Test Report(s)
  • Test house accreditation certificate
  • Operation Manuals for all appliances
  • Technical Drawings of all appliances
  • CE Certificate/Data plates for all appliances

Exemption is a common case for restaurants as well as domestic households that require the need to burn unauthorised fuels instead of smokeless coal.