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Get the best out of your fuel this Winter

Winter is coming and our thoughts turn to nights in front of the fire! Get the best out of your fuel and your fire by following our handy tips below. 

Choosing your Fuel and Maintaining your Fire/Stove

Burning the correct fuel and properly maintaining your fire/stove are key to ensuring you maximise the efficiency of your fire. As always new installations and maintenance should be carried out by recognised and registered professionals.

Tips on maximising your fire’s efficiency:

  • Choose the correct fuel for your fire – ask our professionals in store for help
  • Regularly clean and maintain your open fire/stove
    • Ash should be removed before each new fire is set – Ash cleaners are fantastic for minimising mess and dust. Ash cleaners are available at Bandon Co Op
    • Chimneys should be swept at least once per year (more often if you use your fire very regularly or use certain types of fuel  e.g. wood)
    • Flueways should be cleaned once a month – check stove manual for instructions. Chimney & Flue Cleaner is available at Bandon Co Op
  • Air supply should be correct
    • Too little air will mean that your fire will not burn correctly
    • Too little fresh air in the room could result in harmful fumes – fit a good Carbon Monoxide alarm and ensure regular maintenance of your fire/stove

Storing your Fuel

Coal bunkers are an excellent way to ensure your fuel isn’t too exposed to the elements.

We have a range of coal bunkers in stock at Bandon Co Op. In particular a popular choice is Carbery Coal Bunkers.  These plastic bunkers are designed for the storage of a wide variety of solid fuels, including briquettes, coal, peat, turf, wooden blocks and slack. They will never rust, rot or corrode and do not require painting. Meet with a representative from Carbery in our Bandon store on October 11th to help choose the right coal bunker for you depending on space available, fuel usage etc.

Carbery Coal Bunkers are available in Bandon Co Op

Lighting an efficient and long-lasting coal fire

This might seem very obvious but it’s a skill that’s becoming less and less used so here are some tips:

  1. Clean! Old ash and cinders will restrict air flow and result in poor burning. Clear away all the ash and reuse the cinders
  2. Build your first layer with newspaper – either rolled up into a balls or make your own paper briquettes using a Briquette Maker. The paper should cover the grate but still allow for air flow
  3. Build your next layers with wood – layer small pieces (some thin, some thick) of kindling in a criss-cross pattern (approx. 4 layers), a bit like a raft
  4. Build a pile of coal on top of your wood, more in the middle of the wood rather than around the edges
  5. Light it! Ignite the paper from underneath in multiple places and watch it burn!
  6. Maintain it by poking it periodically to release the ash. When adding more coal, don’t tip it onto the top of the fire – add it around the edges and some right in the centre. If you smother it you will kill the heat and it will take longer to burn up

Keeping your stove clean

Stoves usually come in either matt or enamel finish.

Enamel  - clean when stove is cold, use only recommended products, do not use abrasive pads or oven cleaners. Wipe daily with damp cloth and polish with a clean dry duster.

Matt – use a dry cloth to remove dust or dirt, do not use water as it will cause the stove to rust. Matt stoves can be refreshed with paint – ask in store for details.

Ask in store for more information on cleaning products for your stove

Other useful products for your fire

Chimney Damper – prevents up to 70% heat loss from escaping up your chimney – saves energy and easy to install 
Chimney Balloons – for chimneys that are not in use, these stop chimney draughts and reduce heat loss and noise in your home 


See our range of fuel here

See our Stanley stove range here  (see more in stores)