Frequently asked questions
For some of the common questions we get asked please look at our frequently asked questions. If your question is not answered then please contact us and we will be pleased to help
It is essential that you use good-quality, dried wood in your stove. Wood purchased from places such as petrol stations will often have a high moisture level because it has not been stored or dried correctly. High-moisture wood will affect your stove’s performance and create more smoke and tar. This can damage the stove and its liners. Wood that has a moisture level of around 30% is considered full-saturation and is unsuitable for burning.
To protect your stove and get maximum efficiency, the moisture level of any wood used should be below 18%. To check the moisture level of wood and determine its suitability for burning you can use a moisture reader, which can be purchased from Yorkshire Stoves.
As a general rule, we recommend that chimneys are swept once a year. However, optimal cleaning frequency depends on a number of factors including the type of chimney, appliance used, type of fuel, duration of use and the moisture content of the wood fuel. Regular chimney sweeping is imperative to allow free passage of dangerous combustion gases, helping prevent dangerous chimney fires. Cleaning removes bird nests, cobwebs, soot, creosote and other blockages, and may also increase the efficiency of some appliances.
The easiest way to light a stove is to follow these simple steps. First cover the bottom of the stove with screwed up balls of newspaper or natural firelighters. This can then be covered with one or two handfuls of dried kindling stacked up like the game Jenga if possible. It’s important to first dry out the kindling, otherwise it wont catch fire.
Your stove has air vents which should be completely opened to get the fire going. Strike a match and push it into the newspaper/firelighter at the bottom. This should quickly catch alight, you can then close the stoves door. If it is struggling to ignite we would suggest leaving the door open slightly to let more oxygen in, if it is not lighting at all it will mean the fuel is too damp.
Once the kindling has also caught light you can put bigger pieces of wood and coal on top. However it is important not to over fill the fire box. Put three or four pieces of wood in and then top it up once they have burned. Once the fire is going you can turn the air supply down as necessary aiming to maintain good flames whilst not letting the fire smoulder.
You may also like to purchase a flue thermometer to ensure you are using the stove efficiently which can be purchased from us at the price £17.
Wood burning stoves are an increasingly popular heating system for your home, they look great and modern efficient stoves now come with ease of temperature control for 21st century economy. With easy functionality and greater efficiency than ever, wood burning stoves come in all shapes,sizes and colours. Practical yet simple controls allow you to adjust the rate of burn of your stove fuel by increasing or decreasing the air flow into your stoves air box: more air, more heat! Thus you can control the temperature of your stove and your room as easy as turning on a light switch.
When choosing a Multi Fuel/Woodburner Stove there are a few options to consider, detailing, design, finish, However the main choice is for the stove to be made from either Steel or Cast Iron.
There are of course advantages and disadvantages to both materials.
The traditional material for a Multi Fuel/Wood Burning Stoves is cast iron. These are made by pouring the molten metal into moulds, this is where the detailing and design comes in as a decorative pattern can be incorporated into the mould although some natural surface variations can occur on the cast iron.
The steel stove bodies are cut from sheets of pressed steel and welded together, this gives the steel stove clean lines and a very smooth and consistent finish.
A cast iron stove will take a little time to heat up to temperature but will still radiate heat for a while even after the stove has died down, which in contrast to the steel stove, the steel stove will heat up to temperature quickly but will also lose its heat more rapidly once the stove has died down.
There also needs to be a consideration of where the stove will be situated and how it will be used.
For many people the stove will be a focal point in the room so the aesthetic qualities will be an issue. The steel stove finish lends itself to a modern flawless finish where as the cast iron stove could have a more rustic, imperfect finish.
The practical side of heating the room could be an issue, do you need to have almost instant heat as there maybe no other source to warm up the room or can you afford to wait a short while for the heat to build up but will radiate for a while after the stove has died down.
Primarily both the cast iron and steel stove will do the same job, provide heat for you and your family, The main key is to buy good quality built Stove, be it cast iron or steel, whichever best suits your needs, and you will have warmth in your home for many years to come.
Cheap Cast Iron Stoves
Unfortunately within the cast iron stove market, there is a lot of cheap, very bad quality manufactured stoves. These kind of stoves are mainly imported from China, which a lot of companies will buy in bulk and sell them at real low prices roughly around £299 to make a huge profit of shipping these stoves out everyday, but are these products safe?
Many of the foundries in China have a number of quality control problems. The direct result on the poor quality cast iron (very low chrome content) with respect to stoves can be brittleness to the stove structure once fired, which can result in cracking to the casting, pipes becoming loose and joints leaking. This will also affect the extra’s/spare parts which could be needed in future as they are most likely to have been made in the same foundry. In result to this it could mean buying a complete new stove again if the spares are not easy to get hold of, or fitting them.
These imports are not manufactured or tested to are U.K. standard and are not tested when they enter the country which makes them very much a lottery to buy, and puts safety risks on your home and family. We can ensure you all the products we sell have been tested and approved for install through HETAS.
Estimating the correct size of stove is a relatively straightforward process as it is determined by the size of the room in which it will be installed. Stove size is given in kilowatts and the law requires that manufacturers provide details of this for their heating appliances.
To calculate a kilowatt rating for a room, first measure its length, width, and height in metres. Multiply these together to get the cubic volume then divide by 14 to estimate the kilowatt rating.
For example, a 10m long by 5m wide by 3m high room has a cubic volume of 150 (10 x 3 x 5). This equates to a rating of 10.71kw (150/14).
Calculating the kilowatt rating for square and rectangular rooms is simple although it may not be so easy for more complicated shapes. In either case one of our qualified engineers can visit to provide advice and assistance.
In the United Kingdom there are zones designated by each local authority which are categorised as Smoke Control Areas. The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs have implemented legislation which means it is illegal to burn wood in a stove within those areas unless you are using a DEFRA approved stove.
Although stoves which are not DEFRA approved may be available at a more inexpensive price and may burn more efficiently; to ensure you comply with current legislation you must check with your local authority or approved stove supplier whether you are situated in a Smoke Control Area before choosing the correct stove for your needs.
Without actually visiting your property in order to assess its suitability for installation of a wood burning stove it is difficult to answer the question. The information below gives some general advice as to what is appropriate in some typical houses but we recommend that you contact us to discuss your requirements. Once we have discussed these with you, we will be able arrange, if suitable, a free home survey, after which we would be able to confirm if a wood burning stove can be safely installed in your home.
Houses built before 1965
These traditional houses would most likely have a masonry chimney, making them ideal candidates for wood burning stove installation. A new chimney liner, however, would almost certainly be a requirement before installation can be completed.
Houses built after 1965
Modern properties usually have a terracotta or prefabricated chimney liner. These types of chimney liners were designed to accommodate open fires but they can, in a lot of cases still be used with wood burning stoves, especially if a large stove over 6 KW is installed. Unfortunately, some modern houses have been built with gas appliances in mind and feature pre-cast flues that should never be used with a solid fuel burning appliance.
Very new houses
In order to cut costs builders have been building very modern houses without any flue or chimney system at all. This leaves home-owners at the mercy of the energy suppliers as they are forced to rely on central heating. A new chimney system can be installed,however, costing from between £1200 to £2000, although in extreme cases the installation of a mechanical fan system may also be required.
If you need advice, contact us. We will be able to assess your situation over the phone and offer a free home survey, if suitable, to discuss your options.
Asking whether you need to re-line your chimney or not is a question we can answer. If your chimney is already lined, we will come and complete a completely FREE OF CHARGE survey for you, to determine the best course of action for your chimney.
A stove would never be installed by us unless we have surveyed and are confident your chimney meets all of the current regulations for safe use. Once your free survey is complete, we will be happy to go through with you what the best course of action is.
If a heating appliance is installed and is flued through a masonry chimney, it is highly recommended that you use flue liner. unlined chimneys are so unsafe, one American survey in the 1980’s deemed them ‘a little less than criminal’. Not only do liners provide a correct flue for optimum performance (modern wood burners or gas or oil appliances require the correct flue to perform properly), they also protect the chimney from corrosive by products, which will save you money in the long term.
Installing an incorrectly sized liner, or no liner at all can result in the production of carbon monoxide and also soot build up. So if you want to ensure the safety of your home, and maximum efficiency, get in touch for your free survey today.