What size wood burner should I have?

This is a very important question as you don’t want a stove that heats the room so much that it becomes unbearably hot, neither do you want a stove that struggles to radiate sufficient heat on a cold day.

The standard home needs 1 kW of heat per 14 cubic metres of space. To work out your requirements multiply your room width and length measured in metres by your room height in metres then divide by 14. This will provide the relevant kW output required. E.g 5m x 7m =35 x 2.5m = 87.5 divide by 14 = 6kW.  This is only a rough guide as you need to take into account whether you have either a vaulted ceiling or stairwell in the room, double glazing, cavity wall insulation and whether you have a boiler fitted to the stove. Our surveyor will be pleased to advise which stove would be best for your specific location.

What is the difference between a wood burner and a multi-fuel Stove?

To state the obvious a wood burning stove should only burn wood, preferably dry seasoned hardwood or compressed firelogs.  You must not burn any other material as it will damage your wood burner and negate the manufacturer’s warranty.

A multi-fuel stove can burn wood as well as smokeless coal but it is advised that you do not burn them together as it may damage your flue liner. It is best never to use house coal as this burns too hot and will severely damage your stove. Some multi-fuel stoves can burn peat but most are designed to burn smokeless coal or wood.

Why have a stove with a fitted boiler?

This is an option which enables the heat generated in the stove not only to heat your room but also contribute to heating your domestic hot water supply and in some case your central heating. This can increase the overall efficiency and reduce your fossil fuel costs for heating hot water. We have fitted a number of stove boilers linked to solar hot water systems in conjuction with Solar Energy Installers and would be pleased to discuss a bespoke system for you.

The amount of hot water gained is dependent on the size and kW output of your stove, either a modest contribution, or lashings of hot water for all the family without recourse to any other heating source. Generally speaking Stoves with a boiler option are in the Traditional style as opposed to Contemporary. Manufacturers of boiler stoves include Clearview, Charnwood, Woodwarm or Dunsley who also offer stoves powerful enough to run a number of radiators as well as heating your domestic hot water tank. There are now some recent contemporary stoves with boilers from Hwam and Rika.

Why use a HETAS Registered Installer?

In England and Wales, there are only two routes to legally install a domestic solid fuel, wood or biomass burning appliance. You can either:

  • Use a registered installer who can self certify that the work done complies with the relevant Building Regulations; or
  • Apply to you local authority building control department for a building notice, and pay the appropriate fee (possibly up to £300).

It is generally much simpler and cheaper to use a HETAS registered installer who will leave you with a Certificate of Compliance as a record of the job and that it complies with Building Regulations.  A copy of the certificate is forwarded to HETAS who notify the local authority on you behalf.

Failure to notify the work through the registration scheme (in this case HETAS) or directly to the local authority can lead to enforcement.  It can also cause problems for future house sales if there is no official record of a compliant installation.

What is Soapstone and why is it fitted to some stoves?

Soapstone is a beautiful natural semi soft stone (it feels like soap hence the name) that has been used for centuries for decorating and engraving. It also has the natural propensity to accumulate and retain heat and then radiate it for many hours even after the original heat source (a stove or sun) has ceased.

A stove surrounded or indeed built entirely from soapstone can continue to radiate worthwhile heat depending on the stove model, for over six hours. This can significantly increase the overall heating efficiency of the stove allowing you to use less wood.

We can supply a range of stoves with soapstone and we have some on display in our showroom.

What wood should I use with a wood burner?

The simple answer is fully seasoned dry split logs.

Don’t  try to burn unseasoned wet or green wood. It will smoke, burn inefficiently and coat tar on to your glass door and chimney. Avoid driftwood as it contains salt that can destroy both the stove and the chimney. Continual use of any wood with a high moisture content will degrade the performance of your stove.

On multi-fuel stoves you can burn wood and smokeless coal only.  Ordinary house coal will burn too hot and will severely damage your stove and nullify the manufacturers’ warranty.

Fully Seasoned Kiln Dried Wood

All our wood is hardwood, carbon neutral fuel, cut, split, and barn dried then finished off in a kiln drying machine. Bags available from our showroom.

  • Burning dry wood is environmentally friendly whereas wet wood causes pollution.
  • Burning dry wood will cost you less money, whereas wet wood reduces the heat available from the wood by up to 80%!
  • Burning dry wood reduces the maintenance of the stove and substantially increases the longevity of the flue system.
  • Burning dry wood gives a responsive fire with the finest and most dramatic flames.

Ask our showroom staff for details of our bulk delivery service.

Megatherm Firelogs

  • 100% Beech made from compressed wood waste, not felled trees.
  • Smokeless
  • Slow burning
  • High level of heat consistently produced for a longer time
  • Less than 1% Ash
  • Unlike Rice Crispies they do not spit, crackle or pop!
  • Hygienic, easily stored and easy to use.

These firelogs are supplied in a uniform size of 75 mm (3inch) diameter and 300 mm (12 inch) long. 8 logs plus beech sticks strapped and shrink-wrapped weighing 12-13 kg (28 lbs approx). Our showroom staff can help load your car boot.

If you ever forget to choose the kind of tree wood to feed your wood burner you might wish to take note of the following old poem which highlights the ideal properties of wood from the Ash tree.

The Log Fire

Beechwood fires are bright and clear
If the logs are kept a year;
Chestnut’s only good they say,
If for long ‘tis laid away
But Ash new or Ash old
Is fit for a queen with crown of gold

Birch and Fir logs burn too fast
Blaze up bright but do not last;
It is by the Irish said
Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread;
Elmwood burns like churchyard mold-
Even the very flames are cold.
But Ash green or Ash brown
Is fit for a queen with golden crown.

Poplar gives a bitter smoke
Fills your eyes and makes you choke;
Applewood will scent your room
With an incense like perfume;
Oaken logs if dry and old
Keep away the winter’s cold.
But Ash wet or Ash dry
A king shall warm his slippers by.