Using Solid Fuel at Home

Flames from a coal fire

Solid fuel appliances are seeing a resurgence in the UK – from wood burners and open fires to multi-fuel stoves and more – homeowners across the country are discovering their love for solid fuel.

In a modern household, there are a few roles solid fuel can play; from firewood and coal to the growing range of smokeless fuels available, there’s a lot you can do. In this article, we’re looking at how you can use solid fuel in your home.

Stoves and fires

We’ll start with the most obvious. Most people need solid fuel to power their open fireplaces, stoves or log burning fireplaces. For a long time these appliances fell out of fashion, but have since come to be looked at as more feasible in day-to-day life. This is largely due to more eco-friendly appliances being manufactured, combined with the rise in smokeless fuels.

However, open fires and woodburners do have their place. Many install new – or rediscover existing – fireplaces as either an aesthetic addition to a home, or as a centerpiece spacial heating solution. Whatever the case, maintaining, lighting and fueling these traditional fireplaces is a satisfying process which has become quite the draw in recent years.

Central heating

For properties without a mains gas connection, solid fuel can be a great alternative for all your central heating and hot water needs. Modern closed appliances, such as room heaters and gravity fed boilers, can provide heating for one room or an entire home, depending on your setup. These can burn a range of solid and smokeless fuels, including anthracite, wood pellets and manufactured smokeless coal. You can view some of our smokeless boiler fuels here.


While far less popular than fireplaces, solid fuel cookers are still used by some – with Rayburn being the most famous manufacturer in the UK (some models can even provide central heating and hot water, in addition to functioning as a cooker). Modern solid fuel cookers can be fueled by anthracite and other smokeless fuels, and are often chosen for their traditional and rustic appearance.

Can I burn solid fuels on barbecues and bonfires?

When you think of household uses for coal or other solid fuels, you might think of summer barbecues or November bonfires. But can you use your stored solid fuels for these applications? It depends on what fuel you’re planning to use.

House coal should not be burned on a barbecue or bonfire. There are a few important reasons for this:

  • House coal is not the same as charcoal – it will take a long, long time to burn on a barbecue
  • The smoke and combustion gases that are emitted from coal are toxic. When burned in a stove or fireplace, they are safely conducted through the chimney – away from anyone who might inhale them. This is not the case in a garden barbecue or bonfire, so you’re putting anyone nearby at severe risk.

For barbecues and bonfires, it’s best to stick to charcoal or, as we recommend, smokeless wood briquettes. These burn quickly, cleanly and efficiently, so they’re much safer and will deliver greater results than even charcoal or liquid fuels. You can find out more about or range of wood briquettes here.

Coal Merchants UK are one of the countrys most reliable and responsive solid fuel suppliers. We supply a range of house coals, firewood and smokeless fuels to suit any and all household solid fuel applications. Our delivery service covers the entire country, and we can even provide next day and emergency delivery for when youre running low. To find out more or for expert advice on the most suitable solid fuel for your home, contact our friendly team today.



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