Wood and Multi-Fuel stoves are perfect additions to our homes, but unfortunately, they are not without their problems.

Knowing how to look after your homes stove is one thing but being able to recognise when things aren’t going according to plan is a vital skill that will help you avoid costly repairs.

As with any home appliance, things will go wrong from time to time, so here we’ve shared a few more of the most common faults to look out for with your home stove, and what to do to solve them:

Cracking in the Flue Seals

When the fireclay seals around your fire crack or break, they can be quite noticeable as they become more and more unsightly, but what can be done about them? By mixing fireclay with heat resistant glass fibre rope, you can bond the fireclay which will prevent any cracks from forming at all.

Paint Smell

If you light your new stove and notice that it is giving off the noxious smell of paint, don’t worry. Usually, this smell disappears after a few days as it is simply a by-product of the stove production process: it happens as the paint is curing on your stove.

If the smell persists for more than 3-4 days, it could suggest some sort of problem. In this case, contact the manufacturer and they will be able to provide more information and assistance.

Deterioration in Bars and Grates

Whilst all stove bars and grate eventually deteriorate over time, some will obviously wear much faster than others. The speed at which this deterioration happens is all down to the fuel you use, the burn rate and the frequency of ash removal.

Always check your instruction manual to see the best fuel to use and always avoid using petroleum-based fuels. Overfiring the appliance and leaving ash pit doors and air vents open for long periods will also accelerate the deterioration.

Glass is Dirty and Difficult to Clean

Most new stoves feature the new airwash facility to help keep your glass clean when burning.

If it is working, the soot will brush off easily when the stove is not in use. Attempting to clean when the glass is hot will cause your cleaning cloth to steam and can create stubborn stains. Avoid using abrasive cleaning fluids as these can damage the glass.

Always speak with your coal merchants if you are unsure which fuel your stove requires.

Charcoal is charcoal, right? I mean, how many different ways can we heat wood and other substances in the absence of oxygen?

We all know about charcoal, but not many of us know that there’s a difference between charcoal and activated charcoal. Both are derived from carbon, but activated charcoal has many more applications than regular charcoal because it is more porous. It’s larger surface area allows it to filter out more toxins than regular charcoal alone can.

Charcoal

Regular charcoal is most commonly used in the home; it is the fuel of choice for BBQs. But we also find charcoal in water treatment systems, in vacuum cleaners, even for creating pieces of art. Chances are, most of us have used charcoal at some point in our lives. Its versatility means it can also be used to remove chlorine from water and to remove bad odours.

Activated Charcoal

Most of the properties of charcoal may be evident to you. But what is activated carbon and what is it used for?

By adding oxygen to carbon, the porosity of the charcoal increases, adding to it’s surface area. The resulting material is known as activated charcoal. Thanks to its very high surface area, activated charcoal can be used in air purification, decaffeination, gold purification, metal extraction, water purification, medicine, sewage treatment, and for air filters in gas masks and respirators.

It makes such a useful material in these applications because it can adsorb chemicals, toxins, and gases that normal charcoal alone cannot remove.

Charcoal or Activated Charcoal?

If you need to filter water for drinking or to fill an aquarium, then you need to use activated carbon. It cleans the water more effectively, removing more than charcoal can. Regular charcoal is best left for drawing materials, odour removal and cooking thanks to its steady burn rate.

Visit Pearson Fuels coal merchants for all your fuel needs.

 

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.

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!

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!

We often look at coal from the perspective of its uses. After all, as long as the most powerful countries in the world keep supplying it, what else could we possible need to know? Here at Pearson Fuels, we want to change the way people view coal since there is a lot more to it than the United States mining in over 50 states. Here is the production of coal by country…

China

As the biggest producer of coal for the past three decades, China sits comfortably at the top of our list. In 2013 they produced over 3.7 billion tons worth of the fossil fuel, representing around 47% of the world’s total yield.

America

With around 922 million tons of goal being produced by the United States of America in 2013, the country represents around 13th of the world’s production, which is considerably lower than China. The US is one of the most powerful countries in the world, and also the second biggest consumer of the fossil fuel.

India

Many are shocked to find out that India generates a lot of the coal that is used within the world. In fact, in 2013, they produced around 605 million tons, beating many high contenders. In fact, India import stand at around 160 million tons, ranking number three in our list and globally.

Australia

It’s no surprise that Australia is a big place however the coal output there only reached 413 million in 2013, making it fourth on our list and in the world. Interestingly, the supersized country exports about 90% of coal that it produces, with almost 400 million tons being exported in 2012.

Here at Pearson Fuels, we like to think that we are the best coal merchants around. Whether you’ve got a problem with choosing the correct fire fuel or are looking into seasoning some firewood, we’re the people to call! For more information, speak to a member of the team today!

Seasoning your firewood is not as difficult as it sounds as long as you follow the basic guidelines. After all, firewood is an excellent way to lower your heating bill every month. However, before you run outside and start chopping down trees to burn, you have to know the facts when it comes to seasoning firewood…

Planning

The process of seasoning firewood is lengthy and takes a lot of time, which means that it is vital you plan ahead. Ideally, your firewood should be cut in the early spring if you are looking to use it during autumn however some prefer to season their wood a whole year before they use it.

Away From the Ground

The idea of seasoning is to remove the moisture from the wood and keeping your firewood elevated and away from the ground is important when it comes to reducing the amount of moisture it is able to absorb from the earth. Plus, it also reduced the amount of bugs and fungus that are able to get in contact with your firewood.

Take Advantage of the Sun

The sun is a natural kiln that we can use which means that leaving your stacked firewood under the heat of the sun will allow it to evaporate the moisture much quicker compared to leaving it in a cool area with lots of shade.

Here at Pearson Fuels, we are the experts when it comes to all things coal related which is why we are the best coal merchants around however we also have an excellent supply of imported firewood and logs too! For more information, speak to a member of the Pearson Fuels team today!

Sometimes you may find that the chimney in your brand new home is beyond use and is even considered dangerous which means that it could be time to invest in a brand new chimney. Contrary to belief, there are actually two different types of chimneys on the market and the team here at Pearson Fuels are going to go over them…

Masonry Chimney

This type of chimney is created using brick, blocks or stone and mortar in order to form a creation that can be a single brick wide or multiple bricks wide. Regardless of this however, a chimney liner is necessary for this type of chimney in order to support it. It is particularly required in order to ensure that the chimney is able to ventilate properly. There are three types available; clay tile, metal and cast in piece; which each have their own unique advantages and disadvantages.

Metal Chimney

Coming in either double or triple walled designs, a metal chimney can actually be enclosed within a masonry chimney, wooden chimney or a side frame if one was looking to adhere to aesthetic qualities. The double wall design involves insulation placed between the walls while the triple wall design allows air to travel between the layers in order to cool a chimney or insulate it. Always consult a manufacturer before installing a metal chimney to ensure it is safe.

Here at Pearson Fuels, we like to believe that we are the best coal merchants around, which is why we decided to put together this blog on the different kinds of chimneys available! For more information, get in contact with a member of the team today!

Coal is a non-renewable fossil fuel and source of energy which means that whilst it is in abundance now, some time in the future our sources will run out and we will be forced to find other means of sustaining our way of life. Here at Pearson Fuels, we’re going to delve into the wonders of what the future might hold once coal runs out…

Renewable Energy

The secret to sustaining our energy will be finding a source that is renewable. This simply means that it will never run out and will always be readily available. In fact, countries such as India and Brazil have already begun looking into renewable sources of energy. The UK should start following in their footsteps in order to join the rapidly expanding renewable movements.

Energy Island

A two day workshop was held in 2015 that explored the concept known as ‘energy island’ which is a key tool in the shift towards a globally sustainable energy system. The dynamics of the UK were downgraded to small areas in order to try and develop how energy can be supplied. Through the metaphor ‘energy island’ it was discovered that places like the peninsula of Cornwall can improve their economies by becoming self-sufficient in energy and suggests that this may be possible for the whole of the UK at some point in the future.

Thankfully our current supplies of coal suggest that we won’t run out for another 200 years which means that we don’t have to start panicking yet- however it is always a good idea to be prepared. As the best coal merchants around, the team here at Pearson Fuels found it very exciting to look into what the future without coal might hold whilst also making us thankful that we have access to it now! Get in contact with a member of the team to find out more information today!

It is quite shocking to know that some people think coal comes from the fossils of dinosaurs, who walked the earth just shy of 65 million years ago. In fact, coal is formed during a process known as coalification, which began millions of years before dinosaurs stepped foot on the planet’s surface. Here is the  lowdown on coalification…

Millions of years ago, a staggering amount of the earth was covered with swamp land. When vegetation such as trees, plants and flowers came to the end of their life, they would fall into the water of the  swamps. Many years passed, and this continuous falling of vegetation formed layers of material that were several meters in thickness. Deep below the swamps, the oxygen supply became scarce and since decay requires oxygen, the vegetation eventually stopped decaying.

Due to the pressure from the continuing build-up of vegetation matter, a chemical and physical change took place and the swamps became buried and turned into a material known as peat. Due to the addition of more pressure and heat, this peat would eventually become lignite, a softer composite coal that is brown in colour. Over many more continuous years, lignite eventually emerges as the black coal we use and recognise today. It’s creation stems from millions of years’ worth of pressure and heat upon vegetation and eventually, this coal makes it way to your doorstep… it only took a few million years!

The team here at Pearson Fuels finds it interesting that the coal we deliver to you was created such a long time ago, which is why we dedicated a blog to the process of coalification! Now you’re up to date on how coal is made, its times to get your hands on some! Get in contact with the best coal merchants around today!