Over one and a half million Brits fired up their multi-fuel stoves this winter, a number which looks set to grow. With over 200,000 stoves sold annually in the UK, more and more families are being drawn to the financial appeal of installing a log burner, as the cost of electricity and gas continues to rise. A worldwide squeeze on energy supplies has pushed the price of gas up to unprecedented levels, and the UK is relatively hard-hit because about 85% of homes have gas central heating, and gas generates a third of the country's electricity.
The calculations are simple. Once initial installation costs are met, the cost of running a stove is cheaper than its gas and electric counterparts. Even before the energy crisis, wood burners could, according to the Energy Saving Trust, cut a home's heating bill by around 10%. Running costs for an average household were a third of electric heating bills and 13% less than gas central heating, according to the Stove Industry Alliance. These savings are now expected to skyrocket. Of course, the efficiency of a stove depends on its age and design, but these savings are a direct result of the significant improvements which have been achieved by industry leaders. These improvements have seen wood burning stoves evolve into an economical, sustainable and efficient choice for domestic heating.
For a number of years, Minkon-Fortafix has worked with leading stove manufacturers in the development of Ecodesign Ready log burners. At one end of the spectrum, open fires have less than 20% efficiency. At the other end, the latest generation of stoves boast incredible efficiencies of around 90%. Mal Dodds, managing director, explains, "It is now understood that the right choice of high temperature and fire-resistant adhesives and sealants is critical. High efficiencies are only achieved through a comprehensive and holistic approach to the design of the stove system. This necessarily includes the method by which the components of a stove are fixed together. The more efficient a burner, the higher the temperatures achieved. This means higher quality seals are needed to withstand these temperatures and limit the release of particles and fumes. Our highly engineered products, designed for use in extreme industries like 'marine', 'aerospace' and 'nuclear', are helping manufacturers reach efficiencies once thought of as impossible."
For years the company has continued to grow its share in high temperature technology, refining a sizeable range of stove and heating products across manufacture, installation and repair. Mal explains, "We don't stay still. A few years ago we launched 'Flueseal'. Developed to help installers of modern wood burning stoves, it is now recognised by many in the industry as the leading flue adhesive sealant. Such innovations are rooted in the knowledge and expertise of our research and development team, who are always on hand to talk through complex challenges and issues with clients. We're only ever just an email or phone call away."