Having a fire burning at home is the ultimate in Hygge comfort. But getting that fire lit can be a real pain. You may think that getting wood and coal to burn would be a simple process, but in actual fact, it’s never simple.

As it is not so much of a common task in modern life, not many people know the best way to light a fire. Taking some tips from fire lighting experts can make lighting a fire much easier:

  1. Clean Grate

First things first, you want a clean fireplace in which to start building your fire. Old ash and cinders will restrict air flow and make it difficult to get a fire going. Rake out the remains of your last fire, making sure to pick out cinder for re-use. The cinders are the lightweight dark lumps, not the powdery pieces of roasted shale.

  1. The Fires Base

Start your fire off with dry newspaper. Don’t use pages from a glossy magazine, as they will produce a lot of smoke. Screw the paper into rough balls (not too tight) so they still retain a good internal surface area to promote burning.

The paper balls should cover your grate, yet have plenty of space for air flow between them. You will only need one layer to ignite the wood on top; too much paper will clog up the fire-bars and cause stack-collapse problems.

  1. Wooden Layer

You can’t light coal with paper, so you will need to start with wood. Layer smaller pieces of kindling alternately in layers, so it looks like a game of Jenga. Leave plenty of spaces between the wood for air flow.

Choose a mixture of thick and thin wood so that you have a balance of heat-giving easy burners, and thicker pieces that will sustain the fire long enough to light the coal.

  1. Coal layer

Place a pile of coal on top of your wooden stack. Keep the pile central so pieces don’t fall away down the sides. Golf sized pieces of coal will start burning best, then once the fire is burning, you can include the bigger and smaller pieces.

  1. Light Your Fire

Ignite the paper from underneath, in multiple places, to get as much lit as possible. Getting the fire going as quickly as possible is important as the heat needs to reach a level where it will ignite the wood above.

The coal needs time to light, so leave the fire now for around thirty minutes.

Poke the fire at regular intervals to disperse any ash and to break-up the coals. This maintenance will keep the fire burning for as long as possible. If you are using a home fire,  smokeless coal is suggested to reduce the amount of smoke pollution in populated areas.

The existing Environmental Protection UK Guidance on Biomass and Air Quality from 2008 has recently been updated with new guidelines on Solid Fuel and Air Quality.

The guideline is aimed at local authorities and provides updates on current trends in solid fuel use and its impacts, the Renewable Heat Incentive, and details on how local authorities can address the issue.

Solid Fuel Heating

Biomass heating has seen a resurgence recently as an environmentally friendly way of heating homes. Some rural areas lack access to a mains gas supply and have to burn solid fuels in order to heat their homes and provide hot water.

85% of UK households use natural gas for home heating as it makes less of an impact on the environment than the burning of coal. Burning solid fuels results in higher emissions of local air pollutants and carbon dioxide than gas fired systems.

Wood fuel is often referred to as ‘carbon neutral fuel’, as the amount of carbon dioxide produced through burning wood matches the amount the wood absorbed during its lifetime. This doesn’t take into account the carbon dioxide produced in forestry practices and transporting the wood, so its environmental impact is probably worse than we think.

Wood burners still produce higher local emissions than equivalent gas fired appliances. The most environmentally friendly choice will depend on where you live. Rural areas generally benefit from a wood burning system where the air is clearer. Urban areas with poor air quality will need a gas-fired system.

Smoke Control Areas

Local authorities can declare entire areas to be Smoke Free Zones under the Clean Air Act 1993. If you choose to use a fuel which has not been approved for your area, you are in fact committing an offence.

Some appliances can be tested to see that they burn solid fuels without creating smoke, or you can use approved smokeless coal.

If you are unsure as to whether your property falls under a Smoke Controlled Area, you can contact the Environmental Health Department of your local authority to see the list of approved fuels and a list of exempt appliances.

Having a crackling wood burning fire is perfect this time of year. So if you’re looking to install one or have one installed, it’s good to know what goes on behind the scenes.

Understanding the workings of your wood burning stove isn’t just necessary for installation, knowing what to look out for may help you if something goes wrong in the future as well as helping you maintain it.

Starting at the top:

We’re going to start at the top and work our way down: save the best for last. With your chimney you have two options; one, is the top plate and clamp option whilst the other is the chimney cowl.

  1. Top Plate

Choosing a kit with a top and clamp means you need to remove the chimney pot. Once you’ve done that, feed the flue liner through the top plate and clamp it into place with the top clamp. When this is done you need to re-cement the chimney pot back into position.

  1. Chimney Cowl

Installation is much easier if you choose the chimney cowl. The flue liner is clamped directly to the bottom of the cowl which can sit directly on top of your chimney pot.

The Chimney:

To connect your fire to the top plate or cowl you need a flexible flue liner. This drops down from the chimney to meet the stove pipe. Use the nose cone to weigh down the liner and also help clear the chimney ahead. The liners are fitted with arrows to ensure you fit it the correct way; flues are designed to prevent back flow of smoke so make sure you fit yours the right way around.

For efficient use you should insulate the area between the flue and the chimney stack. The best material for this is Vermiculite.

Connection to stove:

Use an adaptor/increaser to join the flue liner and the stove pipe. Ensure the connection is sealed properly to prevent smoke seeping into your chimney space.

A register plate seals the bottom of the chimney to ensure efficient operation and heat retention. A vitreous enamel pipe flows through the register plate and connects your stove to the flue liner via the adaptor.

When your stove is all set and ready to go make sure you use responsibly sourced and sustainable kindling and logs to maintain your stove.

We all know and recognise coal as that little black fossil fuel that can provide a roaring fire during winter time however very few people are aware of the other places that coal creeps up in. From the food we eat to industrial materials, there are actually a range of weird and wonderful places that you can spot this funny little rock. Here are a few…

Bowling Balls

When coal is burned something known as coal ash is created. In fact this can then be subcategorised into three more types called boiler slag, fly ash and bottom ash. The fly ash is very adaptable and can be used to create concrete cement, the handles of tools and even bowling balls! On the other hand the first category, boiler slag, is a form of liquified ash that builds up at the bottom of furnaces and once saturated with water creates a crystallized pellets that’s can be used to make roofs.


When we say medicine we aren’t talking about you antibiotics or thyroid medication, we’re referring to lotions and soaps that are used to treat things like eczema and mild psoriasis. In order to create coal gas or coke, the coal has to undergo a carbonisation process which forms a tar with a gooey texture. Using this tar product in the above products has proven to ease the symptoms of many skin conditions.

Fizzy Drinks

When you see a food or drink that has an artificial yellow or orange colour it tends to contain a derivative product of coal that is known as tartrazine. In fact, it is this that gives the product its appealing texture and taste and it is all thanks to something called a coal feeder. Without this product providing coal to processing plants, we would be consuming a lot of bland tasting and dull coloured food!

Whilst we do not supply any of these products here at Pearson Fuels, we do have an exciting range of the fossil fuel perfect for its original use; fires! From the house variety to the eco-friendly smokeless variety; we have a product for everybody! To find out more information get in contact with the best coal merchants around today!

A popular addition to most modern gardens is the chimenea. Perfect for when summer days start to cool in the evening so the family can finish their BBQ and stay outside longer. Flickering flames have a therapeutic quality, and can be quite hypnotic as it starts to get dark.

Essentially an outdoor fireplace; chimeneas come in many different shapes and sizes. And although they are fairly durable, ensuring you take good care to maintain your chimenea will ensure it will last a long time.

Choosing A Chimenea

Chimenea’s are made from cast iron or clay. Each type has its own special requirements for maintaining they stay looking good and work properly:

  • Cast Iron: Metal chimeneas last longer than clay versions as they won’t break as easily and can be easily repainted. The biggest problem facing them though is that they rust. Surfaces get extremely hot so be careful when they are lit for long periods.
  • Clay: Some clay chimeneas look like genuine pieces of art, which is one of the reasons that make them so popular. They are also a little safer as they don’t get as hot as metal versions. They do, however, require more maintenance as they can crack if they are not handled with care.

Setting up

Clay chimeneas can’t be disassembled as they are one unit, but others come with instructions on how to assemble. Always keep instructions to make sure you can break it down and re-build it if it needs moving.

When you choose a spot for your chimenea, make sure you position somewhere flat, fireproof (not on grass), clear of overhanging branches and far away from fences that might catch fire.


Chimeneas are designed for burning small amounts so don’t overload them; and ensure the materials you burn are suitable to be burned. Don’t use your chimenea to burn household waste and plastics.

Make sure you have the right safety equipment; gloves, fireplace tools, extinguisher in case of emergency and a cover for when it’s not in use.

Never try to extinguish the fire with water as this can break your chimenea due to rapid changes in temperature.

Here at Pearson Fuels, we like to think that we are known for our amazing range of smokeless fuels and house coals on offer to the general public which they can use for all they fire needs however not many people know our about range of kiln dried logs! As an alternative fuel source to coal it is no wonder why people have been making the switch recently. Here are a few advantages you can get from kiln dried logs…

Low Moisture

The moisture content of kiln dried logs is considerably less when compared to other types of burnable wood. Currently it stands at around 20% which is not only good in term of how easy the fuel will be to light, it also means that it will reach a high temperature at a much faster rate since there is less excess moisture that must be burned off.

Last Longer

In comparison to unseasoned logs burning kiln dried logs results in a fire that can last around three times longer, making them a very efficient and beneficial purchase. This also means that clients will also save money in the long run because they will not have to keep stocking up on seasoned wood every couple of months.

No Limit

Kiln dried logs can be used on a range of different fire types which means that they are a very versatile fuel. From open fires to wood burners, the applications for burning kiln dried logs offers a wide range of variety that seasoned firewood just cannot compete with.

Whilst many people advocate for the use of coal on their fire is not uncommon for others to decide that the fossil fuel just isn’t for them. Luckily, there is an alternative and kiln dried logs are here to fill in the gap! After all, they are undoubtedly the best choice of wood and can be purchased from the best coal merchants around who know how to care for their clients properly! For more information, speak to a member of the Pearson Fuels team today!

Whilst coal mining is still a profitable industry today it was the be all and end all of many peoples livelihood 30 years ago which meant that funding cuts could jeopardise the income of thousands. In fact, this is exactly what happened in 1984 and led to the infamous UK Miner Strike. Since our industry relies on all things coal, we are going to tell the story of what happened during that tumultuous year…

When and Why?

The UK Miner’s Strike began on the 5th of March 1984 and came to an end of the 3rd of March 1985; lasting just short of one year. The 1980’s saw the National Union of Miners as a very strong organisation that had high links to the Labour Party however in 1981 the threat of pit closure were discussed widely and without distain, causing the government to back down. Two years later in 1983, Thatcher appointed a man by the name of Ian MacGregor as the head of National Coal Board who was known for closures and cutbacks. By the end of the very same year, Thatcher, who had grown more comfortable in her position, began tackling the unions and announced in 1984 that 20 mining pits were to close, leaving 20,000 jobless which led to the beginning of the UK Miner’s Strike.

What Happened?

The strain of the strike on the miners was immense since they were earning no money nor were they eligible for benefits since the government had deemed the strike illegal. This meant that they had to rely on savings and handouts in order to survive. In fact, some strikers broke and decided to work, becoming known as ‘scabs’.

The End of the Strike

Whilst the strike officially ended in 1985, the death of David Wilkie accelerated its closure. The incident which occurred in November 1984 saw a 21kg concrete block dropped from a bridge onto the taxi which Wilkie was driving, killing him instantly. The taxi taking a miner by the name if David Williams to Methyr Vale Miner with a police escort at the time. The tragic death and public relations disaster managed to turn sympatric members of the public against the miner’s and eventually the strike came to an end when a vote was passed; decreeing that the miners would return to work without a new agreement with management. Over the following few years, the mining pits closed very rapidly and the industry became privatised in 1994.

Striking is a protest that people use to show distain in response to a government decision. Most of the time they are successful and manage to bring people together however other times they can split a nation just like the Miner’s Strike did. Being able to understand some of the history behind our industry is very beneficial and eye opening, especially since coal is so readily available. For more information or to order your own fuel supply, speak to the best coal merchants around today!

It is all well and good purchasing a fuel however if you do not carry out the necessary storage measures, you may end up wasting your money. After all, you want to prioritise the products quality and efficiency and one way of doing this lies within the secrets of storage. Thankfully, the team Here at Pearson Fuels have decided to lend a helping hand since we know how much time research can take up; not to mention the trial and error that occurs afterwards. Here are a few ways to store coal and firewood in the home…

Storing Coal

The act of storing coal depends upon a few factors however the most important is the amount of space that you have available. Whether this is located inside or outside, you must have the necessary room and equipment in order to support the task you want to do. For outside coal storage, you must ensure that your coal is covered and remains dry. Sometime it is wise to invest in a coal bunker that will do this for you if you know that coal will be a long term investment. On the other hand, coal can also be stored inside a wheelie bin. If you do not have the necessary space outside or you only require a small amount of coal then it can also be store inside. The best location is a basement in order to keep the coal cold and dry.

Storing Firewood

Compared to coal, firewood requires a lot of care in terms of storage since wood can rot and lead to insect infestations. The main priority when storing firewood is keeping it away from moisture since this will cause both of these problems and make your firewood less efficient when you come to burn it. If you are storing it outside it should be lifted above ground away from the soil on a concrete surface and they should be stacked instead of piled on top of one another.

There are many reasons for purchasing firewood and coal. Some people use it to heat their homes during the cold winter months whilst others put it to work in terms of business and machinery. Whatever your story, the team here at Pearson Fuels want to ensure that you are able to store your purchase correctly and as the best coal merchants around, we decided to put this blog together! For more information, speak to a member of the team today!

Here at Pearson Fuels we often discuss coal in terms of mining and it’s benefits however in order for it to reach your home, it must be transported from the mines! There are a range of different ways that the fossil fuel can make the journey and it largely depends on the budget of the coal mine and the time frame in which it has to be delivered by. Here are a few ways that coal is transported…

What is coal?

Coal is a fossil fuel that was created millions of years ago during a process known as coalification. Originally plant matter that was decomposed; years of pressure and heat lead to the rock being formed. The material is hard and combustible which means that it makes a very efficient heat source. Whilst it is a great source of fuel, it releases a harmful gas known as carbon dioxide so the use must be carefully monitored.

The Methods

The non-renewable material can be transported or shipped using a range of different methods. In fact, statistics show that 1 billion tons of coal are moved from one location to another each year! It is no wonder that several methods must be put in place.

The process of transportation begins after coal is mined and it is ready to be shipped. Trucks often carry the loads to a nearby destination. On the other hand, conveyers may be used if the distance is very short. In almost 70% of transportation however coal will be moved by rail although this is a costly method as mining companies must take into consideration the cost of shipping the coal to the suppliers.

Those who are looking for cheaper transportation methods tend to opt for a barge or a ship. The final method is a slurry pipeline which connects the actual coal mine with the power plants that the coal will be required for. Since these pipelines can cross stateliness and between countries, it is an efficient transportation method.

Coal is used for many different things and is not only purchased for use in power plants. In fact, a large majority of coal is put to use inside the home in order to provide a natural source of heat. With summer slowly fading and the autumn chill just around the corner, it’s time to contact your favourite coal merchants and stock up today!

It is no secret that the use of coal is a wildly debated topic and the ways that burning it for power affects our environment is known by many. Despite this, the fossil fuel has been used for hundreds of years in the UK alone, particularly after the industrial revolution. Although our sources and coal mines will leave us with over 200 years’ worth of the material, there has been a lot of speculation on the different ways that we can help to reduce emissions and in this blog, the team here at Pearson Fuels are going to go over a few of them…

Fuel Switching

Although it isn’t a widely used process as of yet, the governments have been looking into using other types of fuel as a means to generate the power we require and since our supply of coal is non-renewable, the need for alternatives increases every single year. Other types of fuels we can use in order to reduce the emissions of coal that are releases into our atmosphere include natural gas. These, however, require coal boilers to undergo certain modifications in order for them to operate on natural gas rather than coal.

Improving Efficiency

We can also work to improve how well our coal plants work in order to ensure that fewer carbon dioxide outputs are released without sacrificing the output of power we receive. We can do this in many different ways, such as rebuilding steam turbines and electric generators, improve their controls and upgrading the actual coal quality itself by reducing the ash content so that we less heat would be lost within the ash.

Carbon Capture

By configuring coal plants with certain advanced technology, we can actually capture the carbon dioxide that is let off as a by-product before it reaches the atmosphere. This is known as post-combustion capture. It involves using chilled ammonia or firing the coal boilers with pure oxygen instead of air to make the process of capture carbon dioxide cheaper. Although neither of these have been implemented commercially, research suggests they could be very beneficial in the race to reduce coal emissions.

Although there is nothing wrong with using coal in small amounts in order to heat a fire, it is our responsibility to ensure that we are doing everything we can to protect and preserve our planet as the current generation on earth. After all, implementing the measures above is the first step in the bid to reduce global warming and other problems. For more information, get in contact with the best coal merchants around today!