Category Archives: Stove articles

What Size Wood Burning Stove Do I Need?

You can find out the appropriate wood burner size in kilowatts by:

  1. Calculate the cubic space of the room by multiplying the width, height and length.
  2. As a rule of thumb, divide the cubic space by 14 and this will give you a KW output needed for the room.
  3. If your room needs a wood burner between 4-6 KW then you need a small wood burning stove.
  4. If your room needs a wood burner between 7-9 KW then you need a small wood burning stove.
  5. If your room needs a wood burner between 10-15 KW then you need a small wood burning stove.
  6. Using our calculator, you can take into account how well insulated your house is.
  7. Using our calculator you can also take into account if you like the room to be warmer than 20°C or not.

When choosing a wood burning stove it is difficult to know what size stove to buy to suit your home. First thing to note is that people often buy a stove that is really too big for their needs, whilst it is tempting to just buy the largest stove possible this isn’t necessarily the best option.

First, any stove that you get which is over 5kw needs an air brick or ventillation kit installed in the room that stove is in to ensure adequate air flow but it is recomended for any burning appliance of any size.

Second, all stoves have an optimal performance efficiency and to acheive this they need to be running at their nominal heat output, if they are running at less or more than this they become less efficient, meaning that you spend more on fuel and the exhaust is more damaging to the environment. Accordingly getting a stove with a nominal heat output that matches your room is desirable.

To get a better idea of what heat output you will need from a wood burning stove you can use our heat output calculator. You should remember that this is only a guide as factors such as how well insulated your room is etc will affect the output that is needed.

Another important factor to consider is the physical size of the stove, you need to physically have enough room for the stove, allowing 150mm of clearance to the sides and rear and 225mm to the front of your hearth to comply with the building regulations. Your stove should also be 950mm away from any combustable materials, so you should always check the dimensions of the stove and measure up before buying.

Once you have spent some time to consider what size of stove to buy you can then look through our range of wood burning stoves that will best suit you. We have a complete range of small 4-6kw wood burning stoves, medium 7-9kw wood burning stoves and large wood burning stoves from 10-15kw.

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How to Keep Your Wood Burning Stove Running

You should not have too many difficulties in making a fire in a wood burning stove and keeping it burning. There is no standard ignition procedure because it all depends on the stove and its user. However, the first step usually consists in opening the air vent found at the bottom of the stove and it is followed by a thorough check for any kind of debris that might block the airflow. The state of the grate should also be checked. Surprisingly enough, it should not be perfectly clean, but covered with a bit of ash for more heat retention and a longer burn time. However, the remaining ash should not block the airflow.

Once these checks have been completed, you can proceed with the proper ignition of the log burner. First you need to take some crumpled paper, throw it on the grate and then throw a few pieces of kindling wood onto it. Naturally they will burn out very shortly, but they are very effective. You can use pieces of softwood of all sizes to make kindling wood. Just chop them into small pieces and your ignition material is ready. You need to make sure there is enough kindling wood on the grate, otherwise your wood burning stove will not light up, though also ensure you prevent any airflow blockages. Then add a layer of larger wood pieces and ignite the paper. You should always leave igniting the front parts of the kindling to the end, otherwise you might burn your hand. Now you can close the door.

Once the kindling wood has caught fire, you can start throwing logs onto it and then wait for your room to heat up. You can throw in as many logs as you want to maintain the fire, but you should avoid cramming the stove. If you have a multi fuel stove, you can maintain the fire by throwing coal onto the fire instead of logs.

The burn rate and temperature of a log burner can be adjusted. These adjustments are made by controlling the air vent, which is the part of the stove that determines these two parameters. Once you have made these adjustments, you can sit back and enjoy the fire in your wood burning stove and the warmth of your house.

How to save money by heating your home with log burners

The good news so far is that, possibly due to climate change, the UK winters have become milder. However with continuing cold snaps for December through to March predicted, for many consumers the financial burden of growing heating costs is concerning.

The combination of gas & electricity providers raking off significant profits year after year hits consumers in the pocket, particularly in these winter months. Specifically with domestic gas bills; these seem to be constantly rising in real terms. Do you switch providers, do you go for fixed cost plans or do you seek alternative heating methods?

Log burners now occupy over 1 million UK homes, with popularity in supply and demand increasing each year. With many more houses in the UK that are suitable for wood burning stove installation, is this the best route to cut your heating bill?

How important could log burners be to our finances?

A Q2 2014 report from the Office for National Statistics demonstrated that 23.5% of average household expenditure went on ‘housing’ – which includes gas and heating bills.

Household Prices

Oil barrel costs go up and down – gas has been creeping steadily up in price. For the right house owner, log burners could be an effective way of controlling ballooning fuel costs.

Do we buy wood burners to save money?

The fashionable, trendy appeal of the wood burning stove is undoubtedly a contributing factor to rising sales of over 175,000 units per year across the UK. However many of these households have both gas central heating and wood burners. 21 million UK homes are heated by mains gas (83%) so it is safe to say that there is a good degree of overlap.

What is cheaper – burning wood or using natural gas?

The methodology of energy performance for both efficiency and the environment is called the Standard Assessment Procedure or ‘SAP’. Studies indicate that it is 29% cheaper per KWh to burn wood than to use natural gas. An average annual gas bill would have cost £690 in 2013, so if you were to purely rely on wood burning stoves for heating you could save £200.10. This is compelling, particularly if your property would be well suited to log burners. The comparison against other fuels gets quite interesting. The cost saving for oil is a considerable 43%, 50% for LPG and 77% when benchmarked against electricity. For home owners in remote areas of the UK, heating oil costs can rapidly fluctuate and so burning wood could save nearly £300 per year.

Installation costs

Making the burning wood vs. using natural gas cost comparison work is where things get a little bit complicated. The consumer champion Which? estimates the total cost, including installation, of a log stove is usually around £2,000. The average for a gas central heating system is £2502, which is where gas has the upper hand because obviously this cost covers the entire house. The media have created a more negative angle against wood burning stoves for this reason, which focuses your attention around the multi-room installation cost in comparison to the longer term cost savings (and environmental benefit of using renewable energy).

Depending on how serious you are about saving money on your heating bills, don’t worry – help is at hand. To navigate around this disparity in installation costs and contribute towards ambitious carbon reduction goals in the next 30+ years, the Department of Energy & Climate Change created the renewable heat incentive, or RHI. Since 2014 the RHI has been extended to cover domestic renewable heating.

What is the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)?

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is the world’s first long-term financial incentive scheme using for renewable energy to heat property (commercial and domestic). If you are classed as one of the following then you can apply:

  • Owner occupiers (including second homes)
  • Private landlords
  • Social landlords
  • Self-builders
  • Legacy (those who installed eligible renewable heat measures between 15 July 2009 & 8 April 2014

The following heating system types are eligible:

  • Air source heat pumps
  • Biomass boilers and wood pellet stoves with a back boiler
  • Ground & water source heat pumps
  • Solar thermal (hot water)

Your heating system must be MCS certified and your installer needs to be a member of the energy consumer code (RECC) and be MCS certified as well.

Wood pellet stoves that qualify for the RHI

The Government provide a manufacturer and model list of stoves with back boilers that qualify. You may however find that the exact model you are looking to buy isn’t on the list or of course it could be marked as ineligible. Either way you can either request a review of its eligibility or of course apply if you and your stove retailer are very confident that the wood pellet stove with back boiler meets the requirements.

How much could I save on the RHI?

Based on the 15,000 average KWh usage (and no saving from cavity insulation) the government would pay you an estimated £11,900 over 7 years – £1700 per annum. You would need a green deal assessment of your property to firm up your numbers, with the result of an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). You can then apply direct to the Government for this financial incentive. A good place to start would be to get a green deal consultant appointment to discuss the different heating system options and get your EPC.

What is the environmental benefit?

The most positive model of burning wood is that while we are tree chopping, we are tree planting and the new trees soak up the CO2 emissions from the burned trees.

A recent DECC report suggests that burning waste wood from a felled forest is better in terms of CO2 emissions and works as ‘renewable’ when new trees are planted as substitutes.