FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. What output should my stove be?
The output on a stove is usually calculated in Kilo Watts. The general method to calculate the heat requirement for your room is the Height x Width x Depth of your room divided by 10 when working in metres, if you have worked out these measurements in feet then divide by 500. This is only a ball park figure and many other factors would need to be taken into account. It is however important that the correct output fire is purchased as too big a fire will mean you will slumber the stove causing chimney tar. Too small a fire means you will be cold and unhappy.
Q. Why should I use a stove instead of an open fire?
Approximately 70% of the heat from an open fire will escape up the chimney whereas a stove will keep the heat within the fire box allowing it to disperse to your room thus being far more economical and effective.
Q. Are stoves easy to use?
As with any new addition to the home it is only a matter of becoming familiar and habitual. A stove is very much like a living being and its “moods” will fluctuate according to the weather conditions and types of fuel. However, in comparison to an open fire, it is a doddle.
Q. Can I burn my stove safely with the doors open?
It certainly will not cause damage to the stove, but the efficiency of the stove drops considerably. The fire chamber/box is rapidly being cooled down, so the stove does not retain its heat effectively. In actual fact the doors being open give a lesser picture of dancing flames then one with the door closed. With regards to safety, it goes without saying that you should be aware of spitting wood and the potential of a log rolling out.
Q. What is a HETAS certificate and why do I need one?
It is a requirement that any connection of a solid fuel appliance should be certified and registered with your local authority. This is similar to Gas Safe and gas fire installations. This ensures that works carried out are to a good standard, meet current building regulations and are safe. We have our own team of HETAS engineers to complete your works and any associated building. Upon completion of the installation, we will HETAS register the works and complete a safety notice plate, this details the fire and chimney used. This certificate and plate could be requested by your local planning inspector or your building insurance. Proof of a HETAS installation is also (normally) required when you sell your home. Your local building inspector may be able to sign off your installation. Should you prefer to purchase a self-install package from us, your building inspector will normally charge for your sign off and you will need to organise this before starting any work.
Q. Is planning permission required?
Every circumstance is different; in general, if a chimney exists it is not the case. However, it is the responsibility of the client to contact their local planning office to establish if planning permission is required.
Q. What is the difference between a multifuel stove and woodburner?
In the main, the difference is due to the air flows within the stove. A multifuel stove which will burn either seasoned wood or smokeless fuel will have a larger grate. This is because the smokeless fuel (anthracite) requires a great deal of under air. Woodburning stoves will have smaller grates or sometimes no grate at all, as wood burns from the top down.
Q. Why choose a woodburner and not a multifuel stove?
Many of the contemporary looking stoves are woodburners as many of these have been imported from countries which have wood as their primary source of stove fuel i.e., Scandinavia and Denmark, and are less likely to have the supplies of anthracites. The stoves tend to stand taller and with their unique appearance and optional ceramic and soapstone tiles become a focal point in your room. Ultimately it comes down to your choice of stove, what you like the look of and what will suit the space available.
Q. Cast or steel?
Either, in short. A cast stove will take longer to heat up than a steel stove but will retain its heat longer, therefore you need to consider what is important in your lifestyle. If you require immediate heat, then perhaps a steel stove should be given more consideration. Either way, if misused both materials can be damaged - in the case of cast the castings will crack and with steel you have potential for warping. It is essential that the stove is lit and used according to manufacturer's recommendation.
Q. Why line my chimney?
Most of the time the chimney needs lining for several reasons, not just one. Firstly, many chimneys have clay liners. Clay is not the best material for retaining the heat and subsequently we find that a dewing effect occurs within the liners, causing black sludgy water to run back towards the stove and inevitably seeping out through the register plate onto the stove top. It is essential that the chimney stays nice and warm when the stove is running. Secondly, the size of the liners or chimney are often a lot bigger than the outlet on the top of the chosen stove. The manufacturers have calculated a ratio of fire box size/air intake/kw output to the size of the diameter of the collar and flue required. If the flue is too big the likelihood is that the output of the stove to room will be decreased, the fire box will cool, and your glass will become blackened. Thirdly, your chimney pots or stack could be old and/or leaking and therefore may require a liner as well as further attention. The chimney is the engine of your stove. If this is not right, then your stove will not work correctly.