Choosing a stove

Posted on: 08/07/2015 - 09:25 | Comments:0

With the continuously rising heating bills and the threatening climate change, a growing number of UK home owners are turning to alternative energy sources to cut their energy bills and carbon footprint. But since new technologies that utilise solar and thermal energy are unaffordable for most of the population, the majority of home owners decide for wood burning stoves. These are both eco-friendly and cost efficient but only if they are chosen carefully. In order to heat your home to the desired temperature during the winter, keep the costs of heating as low as possible and reduce the smoke to the minimum, we advise you to choose a wood burning stove according to the following factors:

Size (energy output). In order to heat your home properly and benefit financially from a wood burning stove, it is of utmost importance to choose the correct size or energy output. The surest way to get just the right amount of heat is to choose the size of the stove according to the size of the room which, however, does not necessarily mean that you need the biggest stove if you have a big space. It is highly important to be aware that all wood burning stoves give optimal energy output if loaded maximally. By reducing fuel load or the temperature in the fire-chamber, the stove may not reach its optimal heat output. Too small stove, on the other hand, may not provide enough heat during the coldest winter months. And by loading it beyond its capacity, you may cause permanent damage to the stove and reduce its lifespan. Besides considering the size of the room, you are also recommended to consider factors such as insulation and large window areas because you will need a stove with a higher energy output if you live in a poorly insulated house for instance.

Efficiency. There are many wood burning stoves to choose from but not all deliver what they promise. Besides failing to output the promised amount of heat, many also need large amounts of wood to produce a satisfactory warmth. You are therefore highly recommended to invest in an efficient stove. You will save money in the long term on wood fuel and feel just as warm as with a constantly “hungry” stove. In addition, an efficient wood burning stove produces a lot less smoke which is highly important if you live in Smoke Control Area. It is important to keep in mind, however, that the type of wood fuel you use matters as well when it comes to both efficiency of the stove and the amount of smoke it produces.

Aesthetics. Unlike central heating boilers which are usually installed in the basement or somewhere else out of sight, wood burning stoves are typically installed in living rooms. And their aesthetic appeal therefore matters a lot. But with so many designs and styles to choose from, finding a stove that will keep you pleasantly warm during the winter, help you reduce those heating bills and complement the overall beauty of your home should not be a problem.

Posted on: 08/07/2015 - 09:51 | Comments:0

If you live in a town or city in the UK, you are most likely living in Smoke Control Area. Under the Clean Air Act that was adopted in the 1950s and 1960s to stop the devastating smog, the local authorities have the right to designate Smoke Control Areas within which it is prohibited to use appliances that emit smoke. And since wood burning stoves emit smoke, does this mean that you cannot burn wood logs to heat your home within Smoke Control Area? Not necessarily. Let’s see why.

According to the Clean Air Act, all smoke producing appliances with the exception of ‘exempt appliances’ are not allowed within Smoke Control Areas. This means that you may burn only smokeless appliances but you can also burn smoke producing appliances including wood burning stoves that have been tested and proven to emit low emissions by the DEFRA. How can you tell which are exempt wood burning stoves and which are not? You can ask your retailer for an advice or check the list of exempted appliances on the DEFRA official website. Keep in mind, however, that there are some further rules you must follow in order to avoid breaking the law.

In addition to burning a DEFRA approved wood burning stove, you are also obliged to burn exclusively authorised fuels. Since producing too much smoke is an offence, be sure to use only fully seasoned wood which has been dried to a moisture content below 20 percent. But guess what? This is exactly the type of fuel that will give you a maximum heat output and enable you to keep your home pleasantly warm at a low cost. Why? Because unseasoned wood is not only creating lots of smoke that can get you in trouble at your local authorities but it also gives up to 50 percent less heat output in comparison to fully seasoned wood. And besides failing to produce a pleasant warmth, burning unseasoned wood can also result in excessive build-up of soot and creosote in your flue which in turn can cause fire in your flue or chimney.

Besides making sure that the wood logs are fully seasoned, you are also highly recommended to always choose hardwoods over softwoods. As much as the Smoke Control Area rules are concerned, it does not matter if you use softwood or hardwood as long as the wood fuel is properly seasoned but it is worth to remember that hardwoods have a higher caloric value and burn a lot longer than same size softwood logs. You will pay slightly more for hardwood logs but you will burn fewer logs and still feel pleasantly warm.

All fuels which are not specifically authorised or ‘exempt’ by the DEFRA are prohibited. This means that you are allowed to burn seasoned wood logs and some smokeless coal nuggets but you are not allowed to burn manufactured or treated wood, flammable liquids, household rubbish with the exception of small amount of paper to lit the stove, coke and non-exempt coal.

Posted on: 08/07/2015 - 10:05 | Comments:0

stove sceneThe residential sector went through dramatic changes in the last few decades when it comes to heating. In the mid-20th century, wood burning stoves gradually disappeared from the British homes. They gave way to more convenient and cheaper fuel oil and electricity powered heating systems. By the end of the century, however, things started to change again. Evidence of the devastating effect of fossil fuel burning on the climate and the continuously rising prices of fossil fuels forced most home owners to return to the traditional heating systems. The main issue many face, however, is whether to choose a multi fuel or wood burning stove.

Both options, multi fuel and wood burning stoves have their advantages and disadvantages. Wood burning stoves are a lot cleaner and much more environmentally friendly because firewood is carbon neutral which means that it does not raise the levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. At the same time, firewood is sustainable in contrary to coal for instance which will sooner or later run out. It is, however, a lot easier to maintain heat if you add a certain amount of coal or other solid fuel to the logs and keep the fire burning longer during the cold winter nights. But coal is just as harmful for the environment as fuel oil. In addition, it is messy and smelly. As a result, you are not allowed to burn coal in Smoke Control Areas with the exception of approved smokeless coal which is by the way considerably more expensive than wood logs.

If you live in a Smoke Control Area, you are theoretically also prohibited from burning wood logs. But if you have a DEFRA approved wood burning stove, you are not breaking any laws although it is highly important to choose fully seasoned logs because you must not produce too much smoke even if you have an approved stove. This, however, is also in your interest because fully seasoned logs have up to 50 percent more heat output, enabling you to keep your home pleasantly warm at a lower cost than by burning unseasoned logs.

Lastly, the choice of trendy multi fuel burning stoves tends to be limited because most of the leading brands are specialised exclusively in wood burning stoves. Although the main purpose of a stove is to keep you warm, its aesthetic appeal is not unimportant either. After all, a good looking stove can enhance the overall beauty and décor of your home. An unattractive one, on the other hand, can ruin its appeal and sometimes also the atmosphere.

Conclusion

Whether to choose a multi fuel or wood burning stove is of course up to each family to decide. But considering that the choice of trendy wood burning stoves is a lot better and that the prices of mineral fuels are projected to continue to rise, wood burning stoves seem a better idea. You can burn pure wood in multi fuel stoves as well but since they are designed to be used for burning multiple fuels, they are not as efficient as those that are designed to burn logs alone.

Posted on: 08/07/2015 - 10:09 | Comments:0

old style stoveChoosing the right size wood burning stove is of key importance if you want to keep your home pleasantly warm at the lowest cost possible. In order to determine what size wood burning stove or to be more precise, what heat output (kW) you need, you will need to do a little bit of math. But do not worry though, because you will not have to use any complicated formulas.

Too Big Stoves are Inefficient

Just because you have a big room that does not necessary mean you need a big stove to heat it to the desired temperature. In fact, too big stove will make it even more difficult to achieve the optimal temperature at a low operating cost. This is due to the fact that it will emit too much heat most of the time if operated according to the manufacturer’s instructions which among other also foresee operation at full load. Regulating temperature by reducing fuel load or fire-chamber temperature will affect the stove’s efficiency.

If you reduce fuel load, you may get poor heat output and burn more wood as if you would operate it fully loaded. At the same time, you would also be producing lots of smoke. And this could be problematic if you live in Smoke Control Area even if your wood burning stove is DEFRA exempt. By reducing the fire-chamber temperature, on the other hand, you would slow down the rise of flue gases which in turn can cause problems with condensation and creosote.

Too Small Stoves Get Easily Damaged

Too small stove is not a good idea either. In order to achieve the optimal heat output during extremely cold winter days, you would have to load it virtually non-stop. And this could cause potentially serious damage to the stove due to overheating.

Calculating the Right Size Wood Burning Stove

The size of the space is of course the key factor in calculation of the right size wood burning stove. Generally, it is recommended to choose slightly larger stove than you need but no more than 1kW. This will enable you to achieve the optimal temperature, roughly about 22 degrees Celsius when the temperature outside is zero. The size of the room, however, is not the only factor that should be taken into account when calculating the right size stove. Insulation, size of the windows, specific weather conditions such as strong winds, etc. also play an important role in the feeling of warmth.

Considering the many factors that should be considered in calculation of the right size stove, it is a good idea to ask an expert for an advice. But to get a better idea what size (kW) stove you should be looking for, you can also use the following formula:

Volume (m3) / 10 = kW

If your home, however, is not properly insulated, divide volume of the space with the number 15 or 25. Use the latter if your home is poorly insulated. Than add 1 KW and you will get an approximate estimation of heat output that will enable you to keep your home warm and cut the expenses for wood fuel.

Posted on: 08/07/2015 - 10:16 | Comments:0

inset stove sceneWood burning stoves are rapidly gaining in popularity. The main reason for the increased interest in stoves is of course lower cost per kilowatt hour when compared to heating systems that run on electricity, oil or gas. But to be able to save money on heating, you obviously need to buy a wood burning stove. And since switching to new heating systems is never inexpensive, especially to those that help you save money, we have decided to take a closer look at the cost of wood burning stoves.

How much money will you spend to heat your home at a lower cost depends on several factors including:

  • The brand of the stove. Stoves that are made by reputable brands tend to be slightly pricier than those made by “no-name” manufacturers. While the latter can be a great choice as well, it is generally a better idea to choose a branded stove because it includes many years of experience, research and dedication to quality.

  • Output. Stoves with an output of 10 kWh are more expensive than those with an output of about 4 kWh. But it is important to keep in mind that higher output does not always translate into higher savings. For advice on calculating the right size stove, please read our article “Choosing the Right Size Wood Burning Stove”.

  • Efficiency. Just like other highly efficient appliances, the most efficient wood burning stoves are more expensive than those that are not as efficient. It is a good idea, however, to spend a few pounds extra on efficiency because it will save you a great deal of money in the long term. With an efficient stove, you will keep your home pleasantly warm and burn less wood.

  • Type/model. You can generally choose between three types of stoves – free-standing, inset and boiler stoves. The last option enables you to heat your hot water and sometimes also provide a secondary heating for other rooms, while inset stoves can be built into a wall so that only the front is visible. If you would like to create a “fireplace-like” look or heat your water, however, be prepared to pay more.

  • Standard vs. authorised smokeless stoves. The standard models are less expensive than the clean ones but if you live in a Smoke Control Area, you do not have the luxury to choose.

  • At which retailer you buy. Believe it or not, but the difference in the price for the very same model made by the very same brand can reach hundreds of pounds. If you want to save money when buying a wood burning stove, you are therefore recommended to take some time for shopping around.

Wood burning stove will cost you from £500 to about £2,500. It all depends on the above mentioned factors, of course. Keep in mind, however, that this price does not include installation which will cost you another £200 to £1,500+, depending on the complexity of works and the installer you hire.

Posted on: 08/07/2015 - 10:20 | Comments:0

cast iron stove sceneChoosing a wood burning stove isn’t an easy job. There are many things to consider before making the final decision and the material from which the stove is made is one them. Fortunately, there are only two materials to choose from – steel and cast iron. But which one is best?

If you ask wood burning stove owners which is not a bad idea considering that users have no reasons to exaggerate, you will get very mixed responses. Those who are happy with their stove will tell you to choose the one they have, while those who aren’t as satisfied will recommend you to choose the other version. In reality, however, it doesn’t matter which one you choose in terms of durability and performance. Of course under condition that you choose either a high quality steel or cast iron wood burning stove. Let’s see why.

Cast iron was for a long time the preferred material for wood burning stoves because the steel versions were notorious for warping. Cast iron, on the other hand, can’t warp but low quality versions can crack. Many people are also unaware that the quality of steel has improved dramatically in the last few decades and if you choose a high quality steel stove, there is no need to worry about warping. There are, however, a few differences between the two types of stoves that are worth to consider before making your final decision.

Since cast iron stoves are made from thick molten metal, they take more time to heat up in comparison to steel versions. If you come into a cold house and want to heat it up as soon as possible, steel stove will enable you to achieve that a lot sooner than cast iron version. On the other hand, cast iron retains heat much longer due to the large mass of metal. As a result, it will keep your home warm for hours after the fire has extinguished. Steel also radiates heat after the fire is down but for an incomparably shorter period of time.

Aesthetic appeal is another thing that should be considered when deciding between steel and cast iron wood burning stoves. Since the body of cast iron stove is made from molten metal that is poured into moulds, these stoves often feature decorative details that make them more appealing. Steel stoves, on the other hand, have clean, smooth lines which complement contemporary homes.

Bottom Line

Whether to choose steel or cast iron wood burning stove is a matter of personal preferences. Think about what is more important to you – to heat your home as soon as possible or to keep it warm long after you go to sleep. Also, think about your furnishing and décor because a stove that matches your home’s style will further enhance its beauty. Just make sure not to make any compromises when it comes to quality regardless if you are thinking about picking steel or cast iron stove.

Posted on: 08/07/2015 - 10:24 | Comments:0

Brands word art

The UK market is flooded with cheap imports, many of which are not only of inferior quality but have even been shown to be dangerous. Wood burning stove buyers are therefore often recommended not to take any chances and buy a stove from a reputable brand. This is indeed the easiest and surest way to get a safe, quality stove that will keep your home warm for many years to come. But there is one problem. With the exception of a few, most people don’t know wood stove burning brands.

In order to make your selection of a wood burning stove a little bit easier, we have decided to make a list of some of the leading brands:

  • Broseley Fires. One of the UK’s favourite brands is renowned for manufacturing high quality stoves which are a unique blend of modern technology and the traditional craftsmanship. All Broseley stoves meet the European quality and energy efficiency standards, and are built to stand the test of time.

  • Charnwood. A family owned company has been producing highest quality wood burning and multifuel stoves since the early 1970s. All their stoves are built in their factory on the Isle of Wight, while all materials possible are sourced from the UK suppliers.

  • Dunsley. Another high quality wood burning stove brand from the UK has been keeping British homes warm for over half a century. Made in their factory in Yorkshire, Dunsley stoves are built according to the highest quality and energy efficiency standards.

  • Dan Skan. The Danish wood burning stove brand is hugely popular in Europe for nearly 40 years. Many of its stoves have achieved an iconic status due to their outstanding blend of innovative engineering and attractive design by Gerd Heybey and his son Heiko Heybey.

  • Morso. Another Danish wood burning stove brand has been manufacturing high quality stoves since the mid-19th century. Over the following 150 years, Morso stoves have conquered not only European home owners but became desirable worldwide for their high-performance and superb design.

  • Dimplex. The largest manufacturer of fires in the world owes its leading position to building durable, efficient and affordable stoves for over 60 years.

  • Esse. Britain’s oldest and one of the most respected wood burning stove brands has been producing high quality stoves since the mid-1850s. Their stoves are still handmade in their factory in Barnoldswick and comply with all the quality, safety and energy efficiency standards.

  • Dovre. Norwegian premium wood burning stove brand is building stoves for the harsh Scandinavian winters for more than 60 years. All their stoves are made from the highest quality cast iron and come with a 5 year guarantee.

You also can’t go wrong with the following wood burning stove brands: Stovax, Verde, Yeoman, Horse Flame, Olymberyl, Precision and Alpha.

Posted on: 08/07/2015 - 10:38 | Comments:0

Morso Inset stoveBesides the ability to choose between multi-fuel and wood burning stoves, you can also choose between inset and free-standing stoves. In order to help you make the decision easier, we will take a closer look at both advantages and disadvantages of the two options.

Space Required

Conventional free-standing wood burning stoves require a considerable amount of space in order to function properly and generate maximum amount of heat. If you have a larger living room or kitchen with a generously sized fireplace, this is not an issue. However, if you are tight on space or/and don’t have particularly large fireplace, inset wood burning stove is a better idea. Like its name suggests, an inset stove is built into a wall and as a result, it can easily be enjoyed even in the smallest room.

Versatility

As much as versatility is concerned, there are no major differences between inset and free-standing wood burning stoves. Both inset and free-standing stoves can be placed just about everywhere as long as there is proper outside ventilation. And besides heating your home, both can also be used to heat water and to create a central heating system. Lastly, both are also available in multi-fuel versions.

Efficiency and Output

Many people erroneously think that inset stoves generate less heat and that they are not as efficient as the conventional free-standing versions. However, you can easily find inset wood burning stoves with efficiency of over 80%, while the output depends on the chosen size. An inset stove with an output of 5kW will just as pleasantly warm up your home as the same sized free-standing model. By opting for an inset wood burning stove, you don’t have to sacrifice neither efficiency or output.

Aesthetic Appeal

Cast iron free standing stoveBoth inset and free-standing wood burning stoves are available in a wealth of styles and designs, making them easy to incorporate into just about every home. Both can be used to complement both traditionally and contemporary furnished homes and create a relaxing and inviting atmosphere.

Smoke Control Area Limitations

If you live in a Smoke Control Area, you are prohibited from using heating appliances that produce smoke. But you are allowed to use wood burning stoves that are approved by DEFRA. Whether it is inset or free-standing model is irrelevant as long as it is on the list of exempted appliances. Keep in mind, however, you are also obliged to burn exclusively approved fuels. If you produce too much smoke, you can be fined even if you use DEFRA approved inset or free-standing wood burning stove.

Cost

The cost depends greatly on the size and brand but in comparison to the conventional free-standing stoves, the inset versions tend to be slightly pricier. But since they are sometimes easier to install, the overall price is often about the same.

Posted on: 08/07/2015 - 10:47 | Comments:0

dunsley boiler stoveBoiler stoves are worth considering if you are looking for an elegant, convenient and cost effective heating solution for your home. Unlike the conventional multi fuel and wood burning stoves, boiler stoves don’t only heat a single room but they can also be used to heat the rest of your home, while some models allow you to heat domestic water at the same time.

 

Advantages of Boiler Stoves Over the Conventional Stoves and the Traditional Central Heating Systems

Boiler stoves offer several advantages over both the conventional wood burning stoves and the traditional central heating systems. Unlike the conventional stoves, those with back boilers enable you to run radiators and heat your entire home as well as to heat domestic water.

Technically, boiler stoves offer all the advantages of the traditional central heating systems but they take less space and look just as appealing as the regular wood burning stoves. In other words, boiler stoves offer all the functionality of the traditional central heating systems and the elegance of the conventional stoves, allowing you to create a functional, convenient, energy efficient and elegant heating system in the middle of your living room or kitchen. And if you are by chance off the gas network, a boiler stove will also provide you with fuel independence.

Disadvantages of Boiler Stoves

Although boiler stoves appear to be superior to both the conventional stoves and the traditional central heating systems, they have a few disadvantages which should be taken into account before making your final decision. The main drawbacks of boiler stoves are:

  • higher initial investment; they are more expensive both to purchase and install, especially if you want both run radiators and heat domestic water
  • the need for another hot water source during the summer because you probably don’t want to burn wood during the warm months
  • excessive heat output in the room where the stove is situated, especially if you decide for a wood burning stove with a back boiler

Things to Consider When Choosing Between Different Boiler Stoves

Besides paying attention to size/heat output, aesthetic appeal and cost, you are also recommended to consider factors below when choosing between different boiler stoves:

  • how many radiators would you like to run
  • how much heat you need in the room where the stove will be installed
  • do you want it to heat domestic water as well
  • will it be the only source of heat or do you plan to use it in combination with the existing heating system such as oil/gas boiler or solar thermal panels
  • construction of the back boiler – is it lined with glass, steel or stainless steel (those lined with glass are typically more durable)
Posted on: 08/07/2015 - 10:55 | Comments:0

The prices of wood burning stoves vary greatly as it is possible to find one from a few hundred to a few thousand pounds. Obviously, a question occurs why is there such a difference in the prices? And are the pricey ones really so much better or are you only paying for the brand name? What is even more important, are the cheap versions of inferior quality or possibly even unsafe? There is no simple answer because the price is influenced by multiple factors.

Brand Vs "No-Name" Wood Burning Stoves

Just because the stove isn't made by a reputable brand that doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't meet all the quality standards. There are many new manufacturers out there who are only establishing themselves in the market. And they are delivering high quality at very accessible prices. On the other hand, there are also many cheap imports of inferior quality and it is very hard to tell which stove is made according to the highest quality standards and which is potentially unsafe if you're not an expert. But regardless if you decide for a stove that is made by a renown brand or an unknown manufacturer, it is worth to remember that cheap stoves usually:

- Aren't as efficient. Let's be honest. Most home owners are switching to wood burning stoves to lower their heating bills. Wood logs are a lot cheaper than other fuels including natural gas but the savings are obviously a lot lower if the stove isn't particularly efficient because you burn more wood. In other words, the less you pay for the stove the more you pay for those logs.

- Have a lower heat output. In order to save money on heating and keep your home pleasantly warm, it is highly important to choose the right size wood burning stove. Higher heat output doesn't automatically increase your savings but since cheap stoves typically have a lower output, they aren't suitable for larger rooms.

- Aren't designed to heat the entire home nor domestic hot water. To be able to heat your entire home or/and domestic water, you obviously need a stove with a boiler for central heating and domestic hot water. Cheap stoves, however, are typically designed just to heat a single room.

- Aren't suitable for Smoke Control Areas. Cheap stoves tend to produce lots of smoke which can get you in trouble with your local authorities if you live in a Smoke Control Area.

- Offer a limited choice of designs. It is possible to find beautifully made stoves at highly affordable prices. But you don't really have much choice when it comes to design as cheap stoves are almost exclusively free-standing. So if you would like to buy an inset stove for instance, you won't be able to find it among the cheap ones.

Our Advice

Since wood burning stove is a long term investment, we recommend you to focus on efficient stoves that meet your specific needs (heating only one room as opposed to entire home/domestic water) and of course, comply with the European quality and safety standards.

 

Posted on: 08/07/2015 - 10:58 | Comments:0

Wood Burning StoveAre you considering buying wood burning stove on a sale but aren't sure if it is a good idea? If so, it may be worth to take a closer look of pros and cons of this option:

Pros of Buying Wood Burning Stove on a Sale

- Lower price. Buying wood burning stove on a sale can save you a great deal of money. So if you're tight on money but don't want to give up the quality (and you shouldn't!) or simply don't want to spend more on a new stove than necessary, it is most certainly a good idea to look for wood burning stove sales.

- Getting the highest quality for less. Just because the stove is offered on a sale that doesn't mean it is inferior to those at the regular prices in any aspect. On the contrary, stoves on sales are typically just as appealing, efficient and durable as those at the regular prices.

Cons of Buying Wood Burning Stove on a Sale

- Limited choice. Most retailers offer only a few pieces of wood burning stove on a sale which means that finding the perfect one for your home among the discounted models can be quite challenging. Also, there is often only one or two pieces of a single model available which means that you can't afford to think about it too long if you don't want it to be sold out when you finally make up your mind.

- Generous discount doesn't necessarily mean cheap price. Just because the stove is offered 50% off the original price that doesn't necessarily mean extremely low price. In fact, some stoves on a sale can be more expensive than the ones offered at the regular price. Also, the amount of discount tends to vary greatly from one model to another, so don't automatically expect a 50% lower price.

- Ex-display stoves. Wood burning stoves that are offered on sales are often ex-displays which means that they were opened and closed by many people. Buying an ex-display stove isn't the same as buying an ex-display computer for instance, however, some people don't like the idea of buying products that used to be display items.

- Older models. You will never find a brand new model on wood burning stove sales. So if you want to save money, you will need to satisfy yourself with the last year's model or even an older version. This is not an issue if you are looking for a traditional design but you are highly recommended to keep in mind that older model sometimes also means older technology and possibly even lower efficiency.

- Lower or no guarantee at all. Most retailers offer full guarantee on wood  burning stoves on a sale as well but don't assume that you're getting regular guarantee, especially if the price is extremely low. So read the terms and conditions very carefully before buying.

Posted on: 08/07/2015 - 11:09 | Comments:0

Wood burning stoves are extremely durable. But it is also true that some last longer than the others. How long your wood burning stove will last depends above all on the following factors:

- Quality of material and manufacture. Obviously, wood burning stoves that are made from the highest quality metal according to the best manufacturing practices will last longer than their cheap counterparts. These in best case last only a few years, some lasting as little as 2 to 3 years. Quality wood burning stoves, on the other hand, easily last a lifetime.

- Proper operation. If you want your wood burning stove to keep you warm for decades, it is crucial to operate it properly. Carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions for use and burn exclusively seasoned logs. Under any condition burn anything but wood logs if your stove isn't designed for multi fuel. Also, be sure not to overheat your stove. By doing so, you are risking a potentially unrepairable damage which can dramatically shorten its durability.

- Maintenance. Wood burning stoves are very undemanding when it comes to maintenance. There are, however, a few chores which are of key importance if you want your stove to last. You are highly recommended to clean your stove as recommended by the manufacturer, both inside and outside. You are also advised to have your stove inspected by an expert at least once per year to make sure that it is in top condition. If there are any signs of damage or problems, don't postpone the repair. By having the problem fixed immediately, you will both avoid a potentially costly repair and extend the stove's durability.

Our Advice

You are recommended not to make any compromises when it comes to quality when buying a new wood burning stove. It may be true that we are living in very uncertain times and that every pound that is saved matters, however, you won't save any money by choosing a cheaply made stove. Not only you will have to replace it relatively soon but you will also spend a little fortune on installation. In addition, you will probably burn more logs because cheap stoves aren't as efficient.  

Proper operation and maintenance are just as important as choosing a quality wood burning stove. By operating your stove according to the manufacturer's instructions and keeping it well maintained, you will postpone the need to buy a new stove for decades. So be sure to read the user's manual and follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. If the stove is causing any problems, have it inspected and repaired immediately. You are highly recommended to resist the temptation to fix the problem on your own because you may further damage your stove and possibly even make it unsafe for further use. Issues requiring a professional repair should be left over to the professionals.

 

Posted on: 08/07/2015 - 11:16 | Comments:0

Varde Aura stoveWood burning stoves can be made a part or substitute of the existing central heating system and heat the entire home as well as domestic water. By using a wood burning stove for central heating, you can further reduce your monthly heating bills, especially if you currently use electricity to power your central heating system. Also, why heat only a single room when you can heat the entire home.

How Does Wood Burning Stove-Powered Central Heating Work

Many solutions exist to meet just about everyone's needs and preferences but the majority of wood burning stoves that are used for central heating work by heating the water in the boiler which in turn heats the radiators. This means that some of the heat produced by the stove is used to heat the water. The majority of home owners who switched to wood burning stove-powered central heating, however, say the room with the stove isn't any colder or less pleasant than before.

Do I Need to Replace the Existing Stove to Effectively Heat the Entire Home

In order to be able to effectively heat your entire home using a wood burning stove, the latter must have adequate heat output. If you live in a smaller, single-storey and well insulated home with two or three small to medium sized rooms, your existing stove may be powerful enough considering that one radiator needs about 1.5kW. Now, if you would also like to use it for domestic hot water, then you should add another 2.5 to 3kW per person. Please note that this are rough estimations and that the heat output required to effectively heat your home also depends on factors such as insulation, size of your home/rooms, the usual winter temperatures in your area and the desired average room temperature. So before you contract an installer to connect a boiler to your existing stove or replace it with a more powerful one, you are recommended to contact an expert to calculate the heat output required.

What Do I Need to Run Central Heating by a Wood Burning Stove

If your current wood burning stove is powerful enough to heat the entire home, you only need to add a boiler to hold and pump hot water to radiators. But if you are buying a new wood burning stove and intend to use it for central heating, you can buy the stove and boiler separately. Also worth considering is a boiler or inset stove, both of which are a lot easier to install.

What is the Cost of Installation of a Wood Burning Stove-Powered Central Heating

The cost of installation of a wood burning stove-powered central heating is comparable to the cost of installation of other central heating solutions.

Posted on: 08/07/2015 - 11:22 | Comments:0

Charnwood C Five SceneChoosing the right wood burning stove can be very challenging, especially if you never had one before. The selection of styles, technologies and sizes/outputs is really enormous which is very good because it means there is a stove out there to meet just about everyone's needs. But it isn't difficult to get confused about the many options available.

Other People's Experience

It always helps to see other people's experience before buying anything you aren't sure about. People like to rate and comment all sorts of products including wood burning stoves, no matter if they are satisfied with them or not. However, it is highly important to take some time and read as many reviews as possible, especially the reasons why they are or aren't satisfied with a particular stove. Sometimes, it is not the stove that is the issue but improper selection.

There are a number of factors that play an important role in the stove's performance including property size, insulation, average winter temperatures, etc. And if these factors aren't considered when buying a new wood burning stove, there is a great chance that you'll be disappointed. So when reading home owner's/buyer's reviews, pay close attention to the reasons given for their satisfaction/dissatisfaction with a particular stove.

Always Keep in Mind Your Own Specific Needs

Just because a particular stove has great reviews that doesn't necessarily mean it is a good choice for you too. Generally, you are safe with products that have excellent reviews but before buying things such as a wood burning stove, you should consider your very own specific needs such as the previously mentioned home/room size, insulation and the usual winter temperatures. Even a better idea is to ask an expert to review your home and recommend you the optimal solution. And if you live in a Smoke Control Area, remember that your choice is limited to DEFRA approved wood burning stoves.

Bottom Line

Wood burning stove reviews are without a doubt very helpful, especially if you don't know which stove to choose. As mentioned earlier, the ratings and comments - especially the negative ones - aren't always justified but generally, user reviews are a good indicator of quality. Of course under condition that the end verdict is based on a sufficient number of reviews. The opinions about what is sufficient number are divided but you obviously can't rely on a handful reviews. You are also recommended to take some time to read user reviews on different websites rather than only one even if there are hundreds of comments on a particular stove model. But again, keep in mind your own needs. If you are having difficulties deciding which wood burning stove to choose, you are recommended to contact an expert for an advice.

 

Posted on: 08/07/2015 - 11:24 | Comments:0

contemporary stove sceneJust like a fireplace, a wood burning stove brings style and warmth into one's home. Of course, if selected with care when it comes to style. A stove will be an important part of your house or flat for years to come and therefore it is very important for it to look good. But which style is right for you? Traditional? Modern? Something in between? It may help to have a closer look at the options available.

Traditional Style Wood Burning Stoves

Traditional style wood burning stoves are ideal if you want to give your home a more old-fashioned look. For example Victorian. Obviously, traditional style stoves are a perfect choice for restored homes with traditional décor. The good news is that many wood burning stove manufacturers follow the styles of the good old days. Yes, their stoves look like they were made in the first half of the 20th century. But in contrary to those that were really made in the previous century, modern-day traditional stoves are available in a wealth of colours and colour combinations, allowing you to complement your traditional style décor and give it a modern touch at the same time.

There is of course no need to worry about traditional wood burning stoves not incorporating the latest technology. They may look similar to those used by your grandma but they are technologically just as advanced as those with a more modern look.

Modern Style Wood Burning Stoves

For many home owners, a wood burning stove is much more than just a heating appliance. It is a reflection of their appreciation of technology. For others, it is a fashion statement. So if you want to give your home a more modern feel and look, a trendy wood burning stove will help you achieve just that.

No matter if you are living in a flat in the city or a country cottage, a modern wood burning stove can be incorporated perfectly into either. This is because they come in many shapes, sizes and designs. They can be elegant, minimalistic, futuristic, elaborate,... the choice is really huge. Then, there are also models that are raised from the ground. Some of the latest designs include freestanding pedestal models, three-legged models and cylindrical designs. Very popular are also inset stoves as they look ultra modern and trendy. Lastly, there are also many original and unique designs that really make a statement. As much as their technological advancement is concerned, they are just as advanced as they look.

None of the Above?

Not impressed by traditional nor modern style wood burning stoves? There is good news. Eager to meet just about everyone's taste for style and aesthetic appeal, many manufacturers of wood burning stoves also offer designs that are somewhere in between. Traditional with a modern flair. Modern yet timelessly elegant. Yes, there is a perfect wood burning stove for just about everyone's taste and preferences. You just have to decide which one is right for you.

Posted on: 08/07/2015 - 11:26 | Comments:0

Wood burning stove with direct air or external air is a new generation stove which is most often seen in newer, well-insulated homes. Like its name suggests, it supplies air from the outdoors. Wood burning stove with direct air usually involves a hole in the wall which is connected to a duct that runs to the stove.  
 

charnwood stove sceneAdvantages of Wood Burning Stoves With Direct Air

There are several reasons why wood burning stoves with direct air are getting increasingly popular. The first reason is that the traditional stoves draw the air from the inside. This happens because newly built houses are airtight and as a result, the stove absorbs oxygen from the room. The second reason is that external air reduces the chances of the stove smoking into the room. The third reason, wood burning stoves with direct air help preserve the warmth because the fire gets all the necessary oxygen from the outdoors.  
 

The Problem of New Home Building Practices 

House building is not the same as it used to be. Modern houses are almost hermetically sealed. On the one hand, this eliminate the cold air currents and increases energy efficiency but on the other, residents and the stove are fighting for the air. Wood burning stove with direct air eliminates the problem of the stove consuming the hot indoor air, while the supply of outside air to the stove ensures that the latter is operating safely and efficiently.  
 

The Many Options Available

Many wood burning stoves feature direct air or external air supply. They typically come with in-built external air 'box' which provides direct air feed into the stove. Some brands, however, sell external air 'box' separately. The same counts for the spigot that is attached to the air duct which in turn supplies external air to the stove. The spigot is normally at the back end of the stove near the bottom or beneath the stove so that the attachment is hidden from the view.  
 

Total Vs Partial Wood Burning Stoves With Direct Air

Wood burning stoves with direct air theoretically don't use internal air. However, not all manufacturers claim that their stoves take external air exclusively. Some divide their stoves into partial or total. Partial means that only a part of combustion air is taken from the outside. The other part obviously comes from the inside. Total means that 100% of the combustion air comes from the outside. It is worth noting, however, that no stove is entirely leak-free. Therefore, no stove with direct air uses external air exclusively. Obviously, those with total direct air supply use much, much less indoor air than stoves with partial external air supply.

 

 

Posted on: 08/07/2015 - 11:33 | Comments:0

Wood burning stoves are heating a growing number of British homes. As a result, the choice is getting bigger and bigger when it comes to both style and technology. Then there are also wood burning stoves with direct air, boiler stoves, inset stoves, etc. And then, there are single and double door wood burning stoves. Yes, choosing the right wood burning stove can be quite challenging.

Is Double Door Wood Burning Stove Right for You?

charnwood country 12 sceneThe first thing to think about is the different way the stove doors will open in the room. What would be more practical? Single or double door? Double doors obviously need more space. This brings us to another factor that should be considered - the size of the room. Double door wood burning stoves are ideal for spacious and high-ceilinged rooms.

Convenience is also an important factor to consider before making the final decision. Double door wood burning stoves usually have a bigger volume which is very convenient if you have large logs because you don't have to chop them into smaller pieces in order for them to fit into the stove. In addition, the fire lasts longer than in smaller stoves. However, keep in mind that larger volume doesn't automatically translate into greater heat output. To determine the right size wood burning stove, no matter if you decide for a single or double door version, you should focus on kW (Kilowatts Per Hour) rather than the physical size.

According to many people, one of the main advantages of double door wood burning stoves is a large viewing window which makes them very decorative, while the sight of the fire creates an inviting, alluring atmosphere. And thanks to the huge selection of styles and designs ranging from traditional to retro and ultra-modern, they can easily be incorporated in just about every room style and décor.

Does More Glass Mean More Cleaning?

Advances in technology have solved many problems. Cleaning the glass used to be a very time-consuming and strenuous task. But not any more thanks to the airwash system which is a standard feature of the majority of stoves. It works by preventing the tar from accumulating on the glass by which it provides a superb view of the burning flames. And the most important of all, it reduces the need for cleaning to occasional wiping with a damp cloth. When it comes to cleaning and maintenance, double door wood burning stoves are therefore just as convenient as their single door counterparts.

Conclusion

Whether to choose a single or double door wood burning stove is of course up to you to decide. However, it may be a good idea to consider the advantages of double door wood burning stoves: larger capacity, longer burn time, bigger view of the flames and huge selection of styles and designs. But regardless of which stove you decide for in the end, make sure to choose the right size (heat output) and watch for efficiency. More efficient stoves have a slightly higher price but they provide huge savings in the long term through lower fuel consumption.

Posted on: 08/07/2015 - 11:36 | Comments:0

With so many different types, styles, designs and features to choose from, finding the right wood burning stove isn't as easy as it may seem at a first glance. Fortunately (or not, depends on how you look at it), your living space kind of dictates what sort of stove you should get. This means that your choice is somewhat limited although there is an elegant, convenient and practical solution for just about every situation.

When a Double Sided Stove is an Ideal Solution

Yeoman double sided stoveDouble sided stoves are ideal for heating large rooms or two rooms at the same time. If you have a large room, double sided stove will stand in the middle of the room and provide a sight of the dancing flames from both front and back side. This is because double sided stoves come with doors on both sides. And yes, they can be loaded from both sides if you're perhaps wondering.

If you have a central chimney and need to heat two rooms, a double sided stove is a smart choice as well. Firstly, it ensures that both rooms get the same amount heat. And secondly, it is much more convenient (and economical) than to buy two stoves for each room. Instead, you can make an opening in the dividing wall and set the stove in there, of course, if there is an access to the central flue system from both rooms.

What Else You Need to Know About Double Sided Stoves

Double sided stoves are available in a wealth of styles: contemporary, ultra-modern, traditional, retro, … there is a stove to meet just about everyone's taste and to complement just about every interior décor. Traditional free-standing models reflect a sense of history and a unique feeling of warmth, while contemporary inset models blend perfectly with modern décor and make a statement at the same time. This makes double sided stoves an excellent choice for both modern flats and countryside cottages.

In addition to being made to look aesthetically pleasing, double sided stoves are also made to be functional. As mentioned earlier, they can be set in a wall to heat two rooms at the same time and save you both space and money. It is crucial, however, to choose an efficient stove with an ideal heat output and if you live in a Smoke Control Area, make sure it is on Defra's list of authorised or 'exempt' appliances. If you're not sure whether a double sided stove is the best solution for your home, please contact an expert to tour your home and give you an advice on the selection of the right stove.

Posted on: 08/07/2015 - 11:46 | Comments:0

Wood burning stoves are currently the least expensive way to heat your home. Unfortunately, they can't be installed just about everywhere. Obviously, you need a chimney and if you live in a multi-unit building such as an apartment or a condo, building one is everything but easy. Then, you need a storage space for the logs. And in the end, you have to load the stove (quite frequently) if you want to keep your home comfortably warm. A gas stove is a great alternative to a wood burning stove if you can't install it for one reason or the other or if you simply prefer convenience.

Advantages of Gas Stoves

In comparison to wood burning stoves, those fired by gas are much more convenient. You don't have to refill it every couple of hours and you can adjust the temperature with an optional remote control from the comfort of your sofa. Also, they require minimal maintenance and cleaning as there is no soot or ash. In addition, some don't even require a chimney. Lastly, many feature a burning wood or coal effect, creating just as inviting atmosphere as their wood/multifuel counterparts.

Flue or Flueless

Gas stoves can be divided into flue and flueless models with the latter not requiring a chimney. So if you don't have a chimney, you can still install a gas stove and cut those electricity bills. Although gas prices are rising as well, they are still lower than electricity prices. Much lower. Not on the gas main? Not a problem either. Gas stoves work perfectly on both natural gas and LPG (liquefied petroleum gas).

Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Gas Stove

When purchasing a new gas stove, there are three things to consider:

The first thing to decide is where you want to install the stove. If you want it in the centre of the room, then you will need a freestanding model. These models vary from single- to four-sided. Maybe you have a fireplace. In this case, you may want to fit it in the fireplace and save space at the same time. Think about your preferences and the existing interior décor when deciding between the many options available.

The second thing to consider is whether you prefer some kind of flame effect. It is worth to spend a few pounds extra because the effect of a burning fire creates a very inviting and relaxing atmosphere. You can choose between the effect of burning wood or coal.

Thirdly, don't forget about safety. There is no need to worry about the gas leaking or exploding because modern gas stoves are made with a great deal of attention to safety. Nevertheless, it is worth to consider buying a stove featuring the oxygen depletion sensor. The latter works by measuring the oxygen levels in the room and if detecting below normal levels of oxygen, it shuts down the stove.