What can I burn in a wood burning stove?

I’m always being asked what else, apart from logs, can I burn in my stove or fireplace? Can I put in dry garden waste, household newspapers and paper waste, and what about cardboard?

My advice is if you have a log burning stove you’re best to burn dry, untreated logs.

If you have a multi-fuel stove you can also burn coal – though best not to burn both wood and coal at the same time (wood burns best on a bed of ash and with air from above, coal best with air from below).

Leave the garden waste in the garden – strangely enough it is permissible to burn ‘green’ garden waste even on a bonfire in a smoke control area but wherever possible I’d look to compost your garden waste. The local council has great advice on composting and often offers discounted compost bins too.

Old wood burning stove
Old wood burning stove

Dry newspaper, waste paper, cardboard etc are ideal for starting the fire and will burn well (see the video page), but if burnt in any great quantity they produce a lot of ash.

Definitely ‘do not burn kitchen waste, plastic, flammable fluids such as petrol, naptha or engine oil’ due to build up of deposits in the flue and because the toxic fumes you produce will be very unpleasant.

photo credit: JKleeman via photopin cc