Review of Harmony 23
A solid, if a little fussy, burner
We've had this stove since 2007 so have done a few winters with it. It was expensive compared to the others but was highly recommended and we liked the straight-forward looks and large window.We burn mostly wood, getting a flat bed vans worth delivered from the local timber yard twice a year. Log size is 'small' as the firebox is slim and tapers towards the rear. Lighting: Getting it going takes a bit of practice, it needs a good 'run up' before it will 'cruise' and settle down. Lighting settings are 1/2 way between 'A' and 'B' (top and bottom) and set the airflow to 3 (Max) - this provides the most airflow. (Close the door)!!! In our experience, it needs some time at these settings to get going. Good kindling is required to get a good draw, do not put chunky logs on until it's got some heat in the firebox and flue (you'll get to know when this is, after some practice). If you have a large bed of ash in the bottom, dig a hole in the middle of the ash bed with your poker, this provides some air from beneath during this critical time. On really reluctant days you can open the ashpan door and pull the ashpan out an inch as well. This creates a huge airflow and chews up kindling very quickly. Not usually required. General running: We can't get it to stay going on 'A' (top setting) so this setting stays just off 'A' to give a little extra air and the airflow setting somewhere between 2 or 3. Airwash only works after the stove is nice and hot and running well. however it will clear a totally blackened window if you wind it up Heat output is good, with careful stacking you can fill the firebox up (only works on a bed of good embers) If you don't keep an eye on it, this stove can lose momentum and sulk. It can be hard to get going again if this happens. More often than not, this is down to unseasoned wood or feeding it an oversized log that just can't catch. Overall, I would say that it's mildly fussy, needs to be treated nicely and tickled in the right places. Generally it runs very well for us and keeps us warm, however I can see why people might have problems with it. The controls are NOT fiddly and don't really require the special tool to operate (they move freely on our stove). They do however get hot. They are at the bottom left of the stove, only a problem if you struggle to reach that low (fine for us) We've never managed to quite get it through the night on wood only, we can manage it with a dollop of solid fuel and get it good and loaded up before bed. Overall, very happy with it, the extra cost is long forgotten and we're looking forward to another autumn-spring with it...
Stove expert replied: A good honest review explaining all the good / bad points. The scores reflect this well.