When installing a stove there a several factors to be considered;
The size of the stove is normally the first thing to consider when buying a stove. The size of the stove is normally rated by kilowatt output (kW) or in BTU’s, which enables us to understand the amount of heat the stove produces per hour.
1kW = 3400 BTU’s
To find out which size stove you need for your home, first estimate the size of the room, or have it measured. Also determine the quality of insulation of your home e.g. older properties will often have poorer insulation than newer properties.
For every 1kW heat output it will approximately heat;
25m3 - Good insulated area.
15m3 - Average insulated area.
10m3 - Poor insulated area.
Room measurements - Height: 2.8m, Width: 5m, Length: 6m
Total room volume: 2.8m x 5m x 6m = 84m3
The house has an average insulated rating, it was built in the 70’s, has double glazing and basic insulation through-out.
Average Insulation = 1kW will heat 15m3
Heat needed for the room is: 84m3 ÷ 15m3 = 5.6kW
So in this instance a 6kW stove would be ideal, possibly up to 8kW for added heat to surrounding rooms and for additional heating in cold winters.
What flue system will I require?
Getting the right chimney system for your stove is essential to ensure your flue system is safe, reliable and efficient. To ensure all gases are taken up the flue system, a draw of air will be required to extract it. Not all chimneys draw effectively enough to enable your stove to burn fuel and extract gases properly. Therefore it is required to make your flue system suitable to your installation and to give the best results when your stove is installed.
Basic Chimney Installation
Sometimes it is possible to install your stove and connect your flue straight into the chimney without the need of expensive flue systems. The flue pipe used is vitreous enamel which connects directly to the stove and into the chimney. A register plate is then used to block off the chimney and ensure the draw is concentrated to extract air through the stove. All connections are sealed with fire cement for an air tight fitment. Generally an access door is installed within the pipe or register plate so the chimney can be swept easily.
Before installing you stove it is recommended the chimney is swept and inspected by a NACS approved chimney sweep. A smoke test will be performed to give an indication of the draw of your chimney and any leaks or defects in the system. Advice from your sweep will give you important information to which type of installation is best for your stove and chimney.
Ideally every stove installation within a chimney should use a lining to get the best out of your stove and your chimney. A lining can improve the draw of your chimney, reduce condensation in the flue system and reduce the risk of chimney fires.
Due to the efficiency of stove and uses of secondary combustion much of the energy from your fuel is used to heat the stove and surrounding air. This causes the heat of the extracted gases to be generally cooler than that of a normal open fireplace. Cooler gases can result in tar deposits if in contact with condensation with the flue system. A build up of tar can increase the risk of a chimney far as it sticks to the sides of the chimney.
Lining the chimney insulates the flue system reducing the condensation present reducing tar deposits. This can be further improved upon by insulating the liner with Rockwool sleeves or chimney wrap through-out the length of the liner. The liner is and made from steel which tar can’t easily stick to which also reduces the possibility of chimney fires.
Stainless Steel Flue Systems
If you don’t have an existing chimney then you can use twin lined stainless steel flue systems. These systems are used for interior and exterior flue systems and be used for multi-fuel appliances. We do recommend a professional inspects any installation before purchase, especially with these flue systems. Compared to chimney installations they can be much more expensive, sometimes costing more than the stove itself.
The flue systems are often designed by your fitter to suite your requirements and include any cleaning and access within the design.
Do I want the stove to heat water & radiators too?
There are a wide range of stoves on the market which offer central heating connections so you can use your stove to heat you room, water and radiators. Often stoves come with boilers built-in so all you need to do is connect the system via the pipe outlets at the rear. We always recommend that an experienced and certified plumber connects your system.
When buying a boiler stove it is important to have one that has a sufficient output to meet your heating requirements. The stoves generally have three ratings provided, the output to the room, output to the boiler and combined output. Try and get the right balance between boiler output and room heat output to fit your needs.
Hot water takes approx 8-10’000 BTU’s
An average radiator (3’x4’) takes approx 5’000 BTU’s
These outputs are only estimates but can give you a rough guide; your installer will have to calculate them more accurately. The run lengths of pipes to radiators and what the pipes are made of will all have to be considered in these calculations.
Do I need a woodburner or multi-fuel stove?
The option of a multi-fuel burning is very popular, however is not suited to everyone. In many situations wood is easily available at low cost and is the desired fuel, wood burns with a great smell and is fine when in a non-smokeless zone. When buying a wood-burner it’s always worth considering if you have a good wood supply and storage facility suitable for seasoning to reduce the moisture content as much as possible.
Wood takes approximately 18 months to season and up to 2 years for even better results. Reducing the moisture improves the heat output per kilogram of wood, becomes more efficient to burn and reduces smoke and gases produced. Wood is carbon neutral to burn because the tree when it grows absorbs the CO2 from the atmosphere and when the fuel is burn the same quantity of CO2 is released.
An excellent product to consider is our carbon neutral Ecofire Wood Briquettes, made from renewable sources of woodchips and sawdust. The briquettes have been compressed under heat containing no additives, the lignin in the wood combines to create a hard briquette with very low moisture content less than 5%. This ensures a very efficient burn without the need to season and are flat packed so can be stored very easily.
Multi-fuel stoves are perfect for those who want to have the choice to burn wood or coal. Often these appliances also have the flexibility to burn turf and peat. A multifuel stove incorporates a coal grate and very often a riddling control as well. The grate allows air to flow through the bottom of the fuel bed inside the stove. This air is essential when burning coal and needs to be kept free of ash whenever possible, a riddling control allows the ash to fall through into an ash-pan underneath which makes it easier to maintain your stove and keep it burning at an optimum level.
Ideally smokeless coal and good quality fuel is best to be burnt on a multi-fuel stove, even though the cost of the fuel is higher you will benefit from higher heat outputs, an efficient even burn, reduced ash and a cleaner burn reducing tar and soot deposits. These benefits can help prolong the life of your stove and parts including the grate, also reduced deposits mean your flue is kept cleaner, safer and easier to maintain.
When burning wood on a multi-fuel stove it will burn differently to coal. The grate needs to be closed if possible and the ash doesn’t need to be riddled like coal. A multi-fuel stove won’t burn wood as well as a specifically designed woodburner, however the difference is minimal and the option of burning other fuels is the outweighed added advantage.
It is highly recommended that a professional HETAS registered installer is used to fit your stove and flue system. A list of installers can be found on the HETAS Website where you can find the nearest fitter in your area. The installer will be able to certify and commission your appliance, they will ensure your appliance fits to the Building Regulations and is suitable for purpose. If you were to fit the stove yourself you will have to follow the Building Regulations and have it checked and certified. We do not recommend you fit the appliance yourself; an installer has much experience and will be able to fit your stove quicker and often using safer techniques.
Fitting Boiler Stoves
If you are to purchase a boiler stove to heat your water you will need a qualified heating engineer or plumber who can connect your stove to your existing heating system. Often your heating engineer may also be qualified to fit the stove and flue system as well.
Under the Clean Air Act local authorities may declare the whole or part of the district of the authority to be a smoke control area. It is an offence to emit smoke from a chimney of a building, from a furnace or from any fixed boiler if located in a designated smoke control area. It is also an offence to acquire an "unauthorised fuel" for use within a smoke control area unless it is used in an "exempt" appliance ("exempted" from the controls which generally apply in the smoke control area). The current maximum level of fine is £1,000 for each offence.
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.
To find our range of Smoke exempt stoves please find link below:
Carbon Monixide Carbon monoxide is produced when fuels such as gas, oil, coal, and wood do not burn fully. When a fire burns in an enclosed room, the oxygen in the room is gradually used up and replaced with carbon dioxide. Following a build-up of carbon dioxide in the air, the fuel is prevented from burning fully and it starts to release carbon monoxide.
Carbon monoxide is produced when fuels such as gas, oil, coal, and wood do not burn fully. When a fire burns in an enclosed room, the oxygen in the room is gradually used up and replaced with carbon dioxide. Following a build-up of carbon dioxide in the air, the fuel is prevented from burning fully and it starts to release carbon monoxide.