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Flavel Arundel Multifuel Stove Review

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

UPDATED AUGUST 2016 TO FEATURE A ROBUST, CAST IRON DOOR WITH EVEN LARGER VIEWING AREA AND STYLISH DOOR HANDLE!

Since its release late in 2014, the Flavel Arundel has quickly become one of the most popular stoves under the £500 price bracket. This review will advise on the stove features and capabilities and offer an insight in to why this model is the preferred choice for anyone looking for a quality wood burning stove on a tight budget.

The Flavel brand is synonymous within the home heating industry with quality gas fires. Flavel is part of the BFM Europe whose other brands include Kinder Fires, Verine Fires, Celsi Fires and more. They also own Portway Stoves which are one of the fastest growing modern stove brands with an indisputable reputation for excellent efficiency and reliability. They have used their vast experience and introduced the Arundel into the Flavel range as superb performing stove with multi-fuel capability that is probably the best priced DEFRA approved model available.

Flavel Arundel Multifuel StoveWith a weight of approximately 65kg, the Arundel is constructed of steel which is a popular material for wood burning stoves. Whilst lighter than cast iron, steel stoves will heat up quicker and often appeal more to consumers looking for a more simplistic design. The stainless steel door handle and air control levers provide an attractive contrast to the metallic black painted finish with the overall design of this model being fairly plain and purposeful.

The steel door incorporates a large glass window that gives a superb view of the fire. As with all glass in stoves, it has been made to withstand temperatures that will far exceed what wood and approved solid fuels could achieve and is not covered under the manufacturers guarantee. Along with rope, seals, firebricks, baffles etc, all manufacturers state that glass is a consumable item.

Ideal for both stove newbies and those who have experience running wood burning appliances, the Flavel Arundel boasts simple to use air controls that will allow you to easily light and control the fire to your requirements. There are three main controls on the stove which are the Primary Air Control, Secondary Air Control and the Riddling Mechanism.

Primary Air Control - This is located at the bottom of the stove door. The primary air control allows air into the stove under the grate area, Keeping this vent open on start-up and when refuelling will allow the fire to get up to temperature quickly. When burning wood this will be quickly moved to the closed position once the fire gets going as wood requires air from above to burn.

Secondary Air Control - This is located above the stove door in the centre. The secondary air control provides an Airwash facility to keep the stove glass clean. This control will become the most frequently used and will alter the incoming air from the top of the stove. Adjusting the lever when burning either wood or solid fuels will see the flames change allowing you to set it to the optimum temperature for your heating requirements and also efficiency.

External Riddle Mechanism - This is located on the right hand side of the stove at low level. A tool is supplied to operate the riddling mechanism. Align the square cut-out in the tool with the riddling mechanism and and move backwards/forwards to operate. When there is a build up of ash on the grate, actuate the riddle mechanism to remove the ash from the grate and into the ashpan. Use the riddle mechanism each time fuel is loaded into the stove.

Designed to be compatible with a wide range of installations, the Arundel has a slimline depth making it a popular option where recess space is at a premium. There is a flue outlet on the top and also at the back which opens up the installation possibilities even further. Being a DEFRA approved appliance, if fitting the stove with a flue liner, you do not need to increase the liner diameter as you would normally have to on a stove that is not DEFRA approved.

This model of multi-fuel stove meets the safety and performance requirements of European Standard EN 13420 for intermittent burning solid fuel room heaters for installation in a dedicated chimney when operated in accordance with the manufacturers instructions. The Flavel Arundel (model number FCMSB) has also been exempted under the Clean Air Act 1993 for use in smoke control areas when burning wood logs.

The Flavel Arundel is fitted with a 'Smoke Stop' device. To make sure the stove always receives enough air to burn away smoke produced when burning wood, the Smoke Stop is fitted to prevent the secondary air control from being fully closed. The Smoke Stop must always be in place when burning wood in smoke controlled areas of the United Kingdom.

With a nominal heat output rated at 4.9kW, the stove should easily provide sufficient heat for small to average sized rooms. Most home owners prefer to choose a stove with a nominal heat output of 5kW or less due to the fact that if you stay below this, additional ventilation such as an air vent/brick is not normally required in most properties. The nominal heat output quoted is when the stove is running on its average setting and the stove would have the potential of offering more heat if it was fully loaded and the air controls were set on full although this wouldn't be recommended for long periods.

As well as providing a charming, ambient feature burning logs up to 250mm (10"), the Arundel is classed as a multi-fuel stove and therefore also gives you the option of being able to burn solid fuels such as Anthracite (smokeless) which is a natural hard, shiny form of coal. Slow to light it can burn for very long periods with great heat. Briquettes are also suitable which are compressed blocks of fuel generally able to burn for long periods. Trade names for these fuels include 'Homefire' and 'Phurnacite.
Petroleum Coke (Petcoke/Longbeach), House Coal or Bitumous Coal is not suitable for use on this stove. It will rapidly degrade the interior of the appliance and makes tarry smoke flammable gas which is difficult to control in a closed fire such as a stove.

For further information on this superb stove, please visit the product page here: Flavel Arundel Multifuel Stove