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Stove Information

Wood Burning Stoves, Contemporary Stoves

Stove Information

With years of experience behind us our experienced team have compiled a list of ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ which we hope will guide and advise you through the process of choosing a stove.

However, if you have any queries that aren’t answered here please do come in to the showroom for a chat if you live locally or give us a call and we will be very pleased to help you.

General Questions

In order for us to give you the best advice we can when choosing your stove please provide your room sizes (width, depth and height), approx. age of house and ideally email us a photo of your fireplace or location in the room where you would like the stove. A photo of your external chimney stack (if applicable) would also be very helpful.

The majority of UK housing stock can calculate the heat required for a room using the following formula: Room volume in cubic metres (width x depth x height) divided by 14 = kw output For example, a room of 7m x 5m x 2.4m high = 84 cubic metres, divide by 14 = is approx. 6kw

The efficiency of a stove tells you how much of the energy in the chosen fuel will be given to the room when you use the stove.

No the efficiency rating is a standard measure of efficiency in the UK and EU. The efficiency rating is not reliable for comparing stoves to each other as the BS and European EN standards allows the manufacturer to change the refuelling period and the heat output to test at so as to get the efficiency they want.

In line with the BS and European EN standards the efficiency of stoves are presently measured in the following way:

  • The manufacturer gets to specify a refuelling period, with a minimum period of 45 mins and no upper limit.
  • The manufacturer gets to specify the heat output to test at.
  • The manufactuer can also specify the size of the fuel (within a reasonably limit).
  • The efficiency is then calculated as the average efficiency over the period.

The flue gas temperature is measured as well as the carbon content of the flue gases. This allows the wasted heat and wasted fuel to be known, because there is a known quantity of fuel being burnt this allows the efficiency of the stove to be calculated.

A woodburning stove has a flat bottom on which the wood burns on a bed of wood ash. Wood burns slowly and better in a woodburning stove than it will in a multifuel stove, so in this sense a woodburner is better suited to burning wood. However, even using a woodburner, it is generally not efficient to slow burn wood when compared to coal, so try to avoid slow burning or overnight burning in woodburners.

Multifuel stoves have a grate on which the fuel burns and an air inlet which allows air to enter from below this grate. An ash pan catches the ash as the fuel burns, so that it can be taken away. Multifuel stoves can burn a combination of wood and coal. Only Multifuel stoves offer this flexibility. It is always good practice to line a chimney when fitting a stove (as their greater efficiency means colder flue gasses, leading to tar build up in the chimney) but if you are planning to do any amount of woodburning on your multifuel stove, lining and insulating the chimney is a must.

A multi fuel appliance is capable of burning wood, coal and smokeless fuel. Burning coal on a multi fuel stove will result in less frequent loading of fuel and longer periods of burning but the ash will need to be cleaned out more often. For wood burners, wood is a nicer fuel to handle and will require much less frequent cleaning out, however you will need to load it more often.

Clean Air/DEFRA

Coal, Oil & Gas are made from the remains of prehistoric trees and plants, (hence the term fossil fuel), in which the main components are carbohydrates. In order to grow, these plants took in carbon dioxide from the air and converted the energy into carbohydrates. Over millions of years those trees and plants died and were laid down on top of each other and subjected to intense pressure. After a long time these plant residues turned into coal.

This coal is a huge store of ancient carbon dioxide. Therefore when we burn the coal in a multifuel stove, this carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere again contributing to the greenhouse effect.

(sometimes referred to as cleanheat stove) will very efficiently burn wood. When you burn wood in a wood stove what is esentially happening is that gas is given off from the wood and it is this that actually burns. This gas needs oyxgen (from air) to burn and this oxygen can be quickly used up. By introducing a fresh supply of oxygen above the fire, gases that otherwise would have been sucked up the chimney are burnt. This is also referred to as Secondary combustion. This creates extra heat (cleanburning stoves will often have a higher heat output than the non cleanburn model) as well as reducing emissions. Combustion and efficiency are increased by heating the supply of air – this is done by drawing the air through channels next to the hot firebox of the stove before it is directed to the top of the fire.

DEFRA is the goverment body resposible for testing and approving solid fueled heating appliances for use in smoke control zones.

DEFRA (Department Environment Farming and Rural Affairs) enforce the clean air act so a DEFRA exempt/approved stove is one which has been tested and proven to burn cleanly in a Smoke Control Area. To see if you live in a smoke control area contact your local council – the environmental services department will be able to help you.

The Clean Air Acts of 1956 and 1968 were introduced to deal with the smogs of the 1950s and 1960s which were caused by the widespread burning of coal for domestic heating and by industry. These smogs were blamed for the premature deaths of hundreds of people in the UK. The Acts gave local authorities powers to control emissions of dark smoke, grit, dust and fumes from industrial premises and furnaces and to declare “smoke control areas” in which emissions of smoke from domestic properties are banned. Since then, smoke control areas have been introduced in many of our large towns and cities in the UK and in large parts of the Midlands, North West, South Yorkshire, North East of England, Central and Southern Scotland. The implementation of smoke control areas, the increased popularity of natural gas and the changes in the industrial and economic structure of the UK lead to a substantial reduction in concentrations of smoke and associated levels of sulphur dioxide (SO2) between the 1950s and the present day.

Any multi fuel stove for installation in a Smoke Control Area but may burn only authorised smokeless fuels. A list of approved smokeless fuels can be found on the DEFRA website.

Logs may only be burnt on stoves that have been granted exemption from the regulations by the government through DEFRA. Exempt appliances are appliances (ovens, wood burners and stoves) which have been exempted by Statutory Instruments (Orders) under the Clean Air Act 1993 or Clean Air (Northern Ireland) Order 1981. These have passed tests to confirm that they are capable of burning an unauthorised or inherently smoky solid fuel without emitting smoke.

The Ecodesign ready scheme is a new landmark in the increasing environmental benefits of wood burning stoves. Ecodesign is the Europe wide programme to lower emissions and is due to come into force in the UK in 2022. The main stove manufacturers in the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) have decided to release stoves that will meet the lower emissions limit now, and from 2020 to only manufacture wood burning stoves that meet the new Ecodesign criteria, two years ahead of schedule. The SIA Ecodesign ready label will set the standard for the most environmentally friendly stoves available today.

The Ecodesign ready scheme is supported by DEFRA and the scheme is overseen by HETAS who will independently verify that stoves pass the Ecodesign tests.

Document ‘J’ is the building regulation for the installations of stoves, flues and open fires. These regulations must be adhered to not only for a correct ‘sign off’ of the installation but also to make sure certain issues are addressed that help the stove to perform correctly.

A very important part of the building regulations is that you must fit the stove according to the manufacturers instructions – these override building regulations. Your HETAS installation certificate is proof that your work has been carried out to the correct regulations. Without this you may have difficulties when selling the property and your house insurance may become invalid.

HETAS are an independent company who have been authorised by the government to approve biomass and solid fuel heating appliances, fuels and services, including the registration of competent installers and servicing businesses (similar to what Corgi are to the gas industry). Getting a HETAS registered engineer should mean the appliance is fitted to the correct standard as shown in Document ‘J’ of the building regulations. All of our stove installers are HETAS approved with many years of experience so you can rest assured your stove is fitted to industry standards.

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Wood Burning Stoves, Contemporary Stoves, ECO Ready

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Electric Built-In Fires