Review of Charnwood Country 16 b stove

The futures bright, the futures wood burning stoves!

Kaz Kowalski 6 years ago

We were considering the Clearview 650 and the Charnwood Oxford 16b, went with the Charnwood following advice of HETAS engineer. We had our stove installed towards end of March 2012 - must to the amusement of the neighbours who commented on how warm March had been! But he who laughs allowed etc. April was a colder than March so at least I got to try it out.

We had one problem initially in that we had purchase a H2 Panel to give us the full flexibility of using the stove or the existing central heating independently or linked up. The installer, however, mistakenly attached one of the sensors to the pipes next to the hot water cylinder, and it should have been measuring the stove temperature. Once we got this sorted out we were smoking - or rather not smoking but burning.

I have had problems with the glass blackening up, not any more. The 16b even though we bought the wood burning version has the same griddle as the multi fuel. this fact is important. It was not until I had been reading through the various sites that I came across the fact that a multi fuel stove needs to have a layer of 1-2cms of ash in order to operate efficiently. Once I had accumulated this, all the glass blackening problems vanished. It was important not to block the air vents at the sides of the firebox. Now we have not had to empty the ash trays for over 2 months - I simply take off some ash ever 2 or 3 burns from the top of the ash in the firebox.

We live in a 3 bed semi, the largest room has two radiators that have never been used since we started using the stove. It does take a while for all the radiators to get up to temperature when using stove only mode as the H2 Panel ensures that the hot water cylinder first reaches temperature. Once all is up and running about an hour and a half all radiators warm up nicely.

We burn pallets, spend summer collecting. One tip is to nail 2,3 or 4 pallet pieces together to slow down the burn rate. We do not remove nails from the pallets, just bought a largish magnet from ebay and I just slide that over the ash - ONCE COLD - and pull out a nail porcupine!

Financially we were not well off, in previous houses we used to use halogen heaters to heat up rooms. Now we have the whole house warmed up and the largest room very warm.

In summer time, I put on stove for about an hour and a half first thing in the morning, heats up the 180 ltr tank for hot water for every one.

But I have saved the best till last. Over the last few months, the the gas meter registers either 2 units or 3 units usage PER MONTH!! This equates to about 22 or 33 kWh. Work out for ourself how much that costs on our plan - for me gas usage costs is between £1.55p and £2.33p per month! And seeing that we made the effort to build our log stores and fill the up with pallet wood there are no other running costs! Now THAT is what I call a good buy. All our guests comment on how wonderful it is to see a fire and how warm the house is. Very very pleased

I am not really able to rate the overnight burning as never tried it.

Stove expert replied: Great feedback. Love the tip about getting the nails out of the firebox! It can a while to get the best out of a stove and always worth experimenting until you find what works best. Sounds a very warm home now!

Overall rating:

4.5 flames

Build Quality 5 flames (avg 3.8)
Quality of finish 5 flames (avg 4)
Value for money 4 flames (avg 3.6)
Ease of use 4 flames (avg 4)
Ease of lighting 5 flames (avg 4.3)
Firebox size 5 flames (avg 4.3)
How well does the airwash work 5 flames (avg 3.5)
Controllability 5 flames (avg 4.1)
Handle operation 4 flames (avg 3.8)
How likely are you to buy it again? 4 flames (avg 3.4)
What is your overall satisfaction? 5 flames (avg 3.6)