Wood burning stoves – what does airwash and clean burn mean?

And is this worth paying extra for these?

Two common stove features are ‘airwash’ and ‘clean burn’, also referred to as a secondary and tertiary air supply.

‘Airwash’ involves an additional flow of air entering the stove and coming down over the window at the front, reducing tar build up on the window which makes the glass black so you don’t have to clean it so often.

‘Clean burn’ is a feature whereby the air entering the firebox passes through hot channels so it is heated up before it gets to the wood. This raises the temperature of the fire, which improves the efficiency of the stove. You get a more complete burn with less ash and very little smoke.

Morso squirrel-stove
Morso squirrel-stove
There can be an additional cost associated with stoves that include these features. As an example, the Morso Squirrel 1410 and 1412 are very similar, one with cleanburn, the other without and a difference in price of roughly £100 at the time of writing.

However, any good quality stove will have these features. Cleanburn is achieved by other manufacturers simply with a baffle plate in the top of the stove which is shaped so that the gases are burnt off anyway without having a tertiary air supply.

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