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|Von Haus 3-Blade Fan|
|Black Fireside Companion Set|
|Northern Lights Colour Changing Fir Cones|
|Valiant Magnetic Thermometer|
|Match Holder with Fireside Matches|
Heating your home is a necessity in the UK, where we get on average three warm weeks a year, and there are many ways you can make your home warmer. Many people in older houses are opening up fireplaces that have been covered up – a common practice in the middle part of the 20th century when natural gas central heating became the norm – and they make a fine feature on a cold winter night, with a wonderful fire burning in the grate. Most areas stipulate the burning of smokeless fuel, and many people choose to burn wood, which is abundant.
What do you do if you haven’t got an original fireplace, perhaps because you live in a more modern property? You could install a log burner, and have the wonderful effect of an open fire with more convenience. There are many benefits to wood burners: they come with a closing door, are built to be attractive, and can be installed in many different places. They also have various controls so can be set to burn slower or faster, and are very efficient. Whether you forage for your own wood or buy it in – there are many suppliers of pre-dried wood at sensible prices – you get excellent natural heat.
There are also many accessories you can buy for wood burners, which make life a lot easier and also the device more efficient, so we took a look at the top 10 for you. Before we go on to talk about them, let’s talk a bit more about why wood burners are so popular.
The Top 10 Log Burner Accessories
This very clever and innovative device should be considered a necessity for anyone with a log burner, as it helps increase the efficiency of your device automatically. The clever bit is that it is self-powered: it uses a thermos-electric motor to sense the heat and set it going, so it will stop and start on its own, dissipating the heat from the log burner around the room. It’s not only efficient – and eco-friendly – but a great taking point, too. There are no batteries, and no power source as such, so once you’ve bought it, that’s all you have to pay.
This ingenious fan is a great help in moving heat out into the room, and will increase the efficiency of your log burner considerably. It is silent when operating, will perform at a wide range of temperature levels – you set it where you want – and is one of the most impressive accessories of all. It’s also very small and compact, and will not take up any much-needed space. At around £25 we reckon this one is a must for anyone with a log burner, so put it om your list of things to buy right away.
Here’s something that you may remember if you grew up in a home with an open fire; remember the tall stand on the hearth, with a brush, poker and so on hanging from it? That’s what we have here, and it not only looks great when placed next to your log burner, but it serves a purpose, too. This is an item that will complete the look – if you want the contemporary look, that is – and also add practicality to your log burner, and we reckon it’s a very attractive addition to any fireplace.
So, what do you get? You get a full set of fireside implements, including a shovel, brush, poker and tongs for picking up logs, all finished in quality metal, in a stylish matt black. You also get a neat stand to hang them from, and it all fits neatly into any fireside setting. If we have any criticism, it’s perhaps that this item wouldn’t fit in a modern fireplace, but if a traditional look is your aim, there’s no reason you shouldn’t buy one of these, for both looks and practicality. At less than £15 it’s very good value, too.
Whereas the above two items offer a combination of practical use and decoration, this one is purely for fun, but we chose to include it because it does add something of interest to the scene. These will brighten up any scenario, and adding these wonderful fir cones to your log burner will give it a festive feel and a fun look. The clever thing is, they are not lights as such; you put them on your log burner – or open fire – and you get a thoroughly mystical and magical effect.
What happens when you put a few of these fir cones on your fire? Quite simply, you get a dancing set of flames that constantly change colour, so your guests will be mystified and amazed at the same time! It is an effect akin to watching the Northern Lights, so you can liven up your log burner with this quite wonderful and very effective item. For around £12 you get a box of 30 cones, and as only a couple are needed to provide the effect, that’s plenty of usage. OK, so it’s not necessary, but it is great fun, and at the price you can’t help but be tempted!
The temperature at which your log burner runs can have a massive effect on efficiency; too high and your wood may burn too quickly, whereas if it’s too low you won’t get the heat you require for the room. Furthermore, certain woods burn at faster rates than others, so you need to make sure you have the temperature monitored as best you can. A thermometer is an essential purchase if you want your wood burner to run efficiently, and this one is a good choice.
The Valiant Magnetic Thermometer will attach to your flue pipe, and clearly highlights the optimum burn temperature range in a clearly marked red section. It works perfectly well with log burners and is a great way of making sure you are getting the best out of your fire. This is an essential purchase for anyone with a log burner, and can be sited in an unobtrusive place so you don’t have to see it all the time. At a little more than a tenner it’s well worth the price, so put it on your list of must-have items.
Another item that harks back to the days of yore: who hasn’t burnt their fingers trying to light a real fire, after all? The great thing about log burners – especially if you are using pre-dried wood – is that they are quite easy to light, but you still need something to light it with! This neat and attractive item may just be your answer; it’s a cleverly designed match holder – in the style of a miniature old-fashioned coal scuttle – and it comes with a set of extra-long fireside matches.
You can strike the matches on the side of the container, and whether you choose to use it or just place it by the fire as an attractive accessory, it looks the part. It’s well made and a quality item, too, and it comes in a gift box so makes an excellent present for anyone with an open fire or log burner. Are there any downsides to this item? As with one of the above, it perhaps would not sit nicely with a more modern fireplace, but at less than £10 it is an affordable and neat gift.
This is a great idea, and one that can save you a lot of money in the long run. Think about this: do you take daily and weekend newspapers? What happens to them once you read them? What about other waste paper, perhaps from unwanted post? What if there was a way of using that waste paper to keep your log burner going? Well, there is, and it’s this inventive contraption, the paper log maker. It is fast becoming a very popular purchase, as it produces very effective paper briquettes.
How does it work? It’s simple, and anyone can use it! You soak the paper for a while in water, then pack it into this clever device. You then use the handle to apply pressure, and it compresses the soaked paper into a brick-shaped block, which you then leave to dry. You’ll be surprised how many bricks you can make, and as they are compressed, they burn very slowly. Beware one thing, however: paper bricks leave a lot of ash, so your log burner will need regular cleaning. At a little more than £10, however, this is a great way of recycling waste paper.
One of the problems of heating a room with an open flame is that it can dry out the air. If air becomes too dry it can be uncomfortable, and you feel the need to do something about it. This very clever device is the answer: it’s a cast iron kettle, very much a retro piece, and operates as such by standing on your log burner or open fire, and producing a steady and helpful stream of steam, thus humidifying the room suitably. It’s a neatly designed device, and one that will look good if you aiming for a traditional style.
Of course, you could buy a humidifier of another kind, but that would mean using more energy to power it. With this one, your flame is already burning, so it costs you nothing more, and it is entirely eco-friendly. We like this kettle humidifier but feel that, as with some of the above, it may look out of place if you are looking for a modern style, but at less than £20 it is an affordable accessory, and a useful one, too.
Lighting a log burner, or moving around the logs for a better burn, can result in burns if you get too close. There is a great deal of heat generated by these devices, so it’s always sensible to take precautions. That’s why it is sensible to wear gloves, and these gloves in particular are specially designed for the purpose. They not only protect against the heat, but also keep your hands clean when stoking the fire and moving or adding logs.
Made of leather and cotton, the gloves are specially stitched to provide the protection required, and they are an all in one fit so anyone can use them. Of course, only adults should be dealing with the log burner, as there is always a small risk of injury when dealing with fire. The gloves not only protect the hand, but at a 14-inch long gauntlet style, they also protect the arms, so are worth investing in if you have a log burner or open fire. At less than a fiver, you could even buy two pairs so you have spares.
Made from quality cast iron and steel, this is another fireside companion set, and a very impressive one, too. It’s similar in looks to the one reviewed earlier, so again may not be suitable for a modern look, but it is very study and good to use. This is an item that will complete the look – if you want the contemporary look, that is – and also add practicality to your log burner, and we reckon it’s a very attractive addition to any fireplace.
With this set you get a full set of fireside implements, including a shovel, brush, poker and tongs for picking up logs, all finished in quality metal, in a stylish matt black. You also get a neat stand to hang them from, and it all fits neatly into any fireside setting. If we have any criticism, it’s perhaps that this item wouldn’t fit in a modern fireplace, but if a traditional look is your aim, there’s no reason you shouldn’t buy one of these, for both looks and practicality. At less than £15 it’s very good value, too.
Our final item is one that is both decorative and practical, and also one that is aimed at those looking for a thoroughly modern look. It’s a log holder, but one with a difference, with a distinctly Scandinavian style that is very much of the moment. With a lower shelf for larger logs, plus an upper compartment for smaller ones and kindling, this well-made metal stand will look great in a modern contemporary fireplace setting, and is neatly designed to look attractive while keeping your stock of logs handy and nearby.
While a very attractive item – it does look the part and is well-designed and stylish – it should be said this would look out of place in a traditional style fireplace setting, but would perfectly complete the very modern look. It’s not too big to be distracting, and not too small to be impractical. The only downside? At £45 it is perhaps a little too expensive for some, but we think if the modern look is what you are aiming for, it may well be a very sensible buy that completes your fireplace design.
So there you have it, ten log burner accessories to whet your appetite, many of which offer a combination of practicality and style, and some that are simply essential for anyone with a log burner. Let’s have a recap of the main things to look for.
How It Works
The wood burner is an extension of the open fire, but comes with many added benefits. Consider it as a contained fireplace, and you get the idea. The problem of sparks spitting and setting fire to your rugs or carpet is no longer, and you get to control the flame more evenly. These devices are generally constructed with a metal frame and glass panels, and they are fast becoming a very popular choice not just for heat, but also for decoration. They look great as a focal point in any room, especially with the flame burning.
Once you have a log burner installed you need to source the wood, and you can find many suppliers with excellent products. The wood burner can be controlled to burn as quickly or slowly as you want, and to produce the type of heat required. They come in many different sizes, and one of these can easily heat an average size room on its own. So, what are we talking about when we mention accessories? There are many, ranging from fans to direct the heat to lights that add to the feature, plus gloves for handling wood and more, so let’s have a look at the top 10 best accessories for log burners.
Important Features to Consider
As each of these items serves a different purpose, it is difficult to highlight the features to look out for, but let’s have a go anyway – here goes!
- Practicality – some of the above – the gloves, for example, and the fan – are merely practical items, but the former especially should be considered essential. Safety is always a priority when dealing with a live fire, so make sure you buy all the items that are for protection.
- Style – in contrast to the above, some of these items are for style rather than purpose; the log holder is an example of one, and the fireside companion sets combine both. Buy what you want to complete your look, and you have a stylish fireplace.
- Trad or Mod – an essential consideration is whether you are looking for a traditional look, or a more modern style. Some items are suitable for one but not the other, so make your choices carefully and you’ll get the right look.
- Price – budget needs to be considered, and while some of these we consider essential, others are not so; buy what you can afford, and set your budget beforehand.
There’s a few pointers as to what you need to look for, so all that remains now is to wrap things up!
Let’s Wrap It Up!
Log burners are beautiful and useful items that can really add a sense of style to a room, and no matter the size of burner you are looking for, there are plenty accessories above that will complement your choice. We can’t single one item out as the best as these are all so different, but we can tell you which you need, rather than want.
You definitely need the gloves, as protection for the hand and arms is essential, and we recommend you get the fan, too, because it adds to the efficiency of your log burner. The thermometer is also a must, and we also like the paper brick maker. The choice is yours, so we hope that this review has given you some idea of the best accessories for your log burner, so off you go, and happy shopping!