Frequently Asked Questions
For some of the most common questions we get asked about our wood burning stoves and log burners, please take a look at our frequently asked questions below.
If your question is not answered then please contact us and we will be more than happy to help.
One of the obvious differences would be the build quality as most will say ‘You get what you pay for’. But most importantly, the quality stoves have a much better insulated fire chamber which means this makes the stove more controllable, quicker at lighting & more efficient so you won't be burning through your fuel as quickly.
The wood also burns much cleaner on the lower setting.
The price of a wood burning stove unit starts from around £495 for a well built budget stove. The cost of a stove would most likely depend on the build quality, materials used, the type of stove and the design/technology put into the stove. Not necessarily the appearance as this is all down to personal taste.
The other costs to think about would be the chimney/flue components, the labour costing of a HETAS registered installer to fit the stove to regulations & also the extras you may need like hearths, materials etc.
For a more in-depth answer please see our how much does wood burning stove installation cost article.
There are actually only four different type of stoves:
- Standard fireplace stoves available as wood only, multifuel & gas fuelled. You would see these types of stoves in a hole in the wall chimney breast opening.
- Inset stoves that are either made to slot into standard British 16 x 22” fireplace openings or widescreen modern wood burning stoves which people use as a room focal point.
- Free standing stoves that are all convectional with air gaps between the stove body and the outer body, meaning they can be installed closer to combustible material (plasterboard). Most of these stoves are found in extensions, conservatories and new builds usually fitted with a new insulated twin wall chimney system.
- Wall hanging stoves that are made to look like they are floating from the ground. These can be installed by using a twin wall system or through a normal conventional chimney.
You don’t want to get a stove that’s too small for the room as you may not feel much benefit or heat from the stove but on the flip side getting one that’s too large for the room will get uncomfortably hot.
It's about finding the perfect kilowatt output for your room size.
To get a rough idea try multiplying the rooms length, width & height in metres, then divide by 14. However, this is just an estimate, so it’s advisable to speak to your HETAS installer before purchasing a stove on this basis.
We would only recommend a HETAS registered fitter to install a wood burning stove into your home.
This is to ensure it is covered by your home insurance and that your solicitors have the necessary documents they need should you ever want to sell your house.
Yes you can, all wood burning stoves need to have a chimney to be able to perform correctly however, if you don’t have a brick built chimney this doesn’t mean you can’t have a stove as there are new insulated twin wall systems available which can be installed in your house internally or externally.
The main key points you need to think about is: Do I have enough storage for logs? What time of the day would I be using the stove?
The first key point is storage. Have you got enough storage for logs like a garage, a shed or somewhere you can cover up a pallet of logs i.e your garden? If this is the case then a wood only stove would be the most suitable. As wood can be purchased in bulk instead of smaller bags (which can be very expensive) this works out more cost effective.
If you are struggling for storage then a multifuel stove would be the better option for you as you are able to burn both wood & smokeless fuel, making it more versatile.
You can purchase smokeless fuel & wood from a retailer like B&Q or online.
Another point to consider is what time of the day would the stove be used? If it was in the evening wood burning stoves would be favourable as they are quick burning and only take 20 minutes to get up to heat. If you were going to be using the stove over long periods of time for example through the day, then smokeless fuel would be better as it burns for longer and at a much slower pace.
Both stoves have exactly the same stove bodies. The only difference is that wood only stoves have a solid base so when burning wood you create a good bed of warm embers which helps keep the stove running for longer.
On the other hand, multifuel stoves have a raised grate so you are able to burn smokeless fuel as well as wood.
Multifuel stoves also include an ashpan so it is easier to deposit the ash, whereas on wood only stoves you would use a dustpan or vacuum.
If you are sourcing your fuel in a large bulk order this will be the most cost effective way to provide heating to your home. A wood burning stove will replace 10% of your annual heating use.
This will be when you start to find yourself turning off radiators in the room, and eventually other areas of the house as they will not be needed.
Hardwood is the best wood to use on log burners. The 4 types of wood we recommend to get the best out of your stove is: Birch, Ash, Oak & Hornbeam. Let us explain a little more about the different types mentioned.
Birch - This is the fastest lighting of the 4 and also gets the hottest. This is perfect for getting your stove up to temperature if you have a cold uninsulated room. The downside of birch is it burns through 3x as quickly as the other woods we recommend.
Ash - Gives out a lot of heat and burns for a reasonable amount of time, Ash lights very quick when used in smaller logs to build up the heat.
Oak - A little more expensive than both ash & birch. It burns for longer but doesn't get as hot, so it can take a while to light and get up to temperature. Most people buy a mix of oak and then use birch to get the stove going quicker.
Hornbeam - The ultimate performer as it is very dense and burns for the longest. It is quick at lighting & has a desirable flame pattern. However, it’s the most expensive firewood to purchase.
Every type of wood needs to be seasoned correctly and this takes up to a year to complete. To season logs they need to be left in the rain, snow or sleet to kill the cells and to wash all the dirt from the wood before leaving it to dry for another year.
The moisture content of the logs needs to be below 18% to be ready for burning on stoves, so leaving the logs in a garage or shed to dry correctly is advised.
Alternatively we would highly recommend buying ‘ready to burn’ kiln dried logs.
The moisture content is much lower, meaning the wood gets hotter and burns cleaner & more efficiently for longer.
The best way to see if you do live in a smoke controlled area is by accessing your local council’s website. You can search for this on search engines like google.
Most councils do mention the smoke controlled areas by searching by postcode but if there is no mention on their website, we would recommend calling the council directly and they will be happy to advise you.
Please check this before making any stove purchase! The last thing you need is upsetting a neighbour, who can inform the council of producing ‘black smoke’ which would then mean the council potentially coming to your house and prohibiting you from using the stove.
This depends on usage and fuel used. If you have been burning wood & smokeless fuel on a regular basis, sweeping the stove once a year before the winter months is advised.
Signs to look out for are:
Poor performance - the stove doesn't seem to burn like normal but sometimes changing fuel can do this, so make sure the wood is dry enough and seasoned correctly.
A strong smelling odor coming from the stove or chimney when in use.
Having smoke build up inside the stove and not rising up the chimney like when first installed.
Noticing a large amount of soot build up on the baffle plate. This can potentially catch fire if not regularly cleaned.
Please make sure you use a HETAS registered installer or NAC Safe Chimney sweep to clean your chimney, for your own safety.
Doing this by yourself with the wrong equipment can damage the chimney flue and put your health at risk.
Most often the service of the stove is done at the same time as your chimney sweep. The service will entail checking the connection sealants, the door rope seal to stop any extra draw, checking the baffle is not warped & if the firebricks are still in good condition to protect the stove body.
It is not a legal requirement but it is good practise to check these over yourself or ask the sweep to look at these for you if you are unsure.
Yes it is a legal requirement to comply with building regulations.
A C.O alarm needs to be in the room of where a wood burning stove is installed. Without this the stove installation cannot be certified with HETAS.
This is for safety measures to alert to any dangers.
The whole process takes two years to complete - one year to be seasoned (left in the rain, snow & sleet to wash away the dirt) then another year to be dried by storing the wood in a garage, shed or air covered log store to help release some of the moisture.
If you don’t want to wait two years, you can purchase kiln dried ready to burn logs which guarantees between 5 and 12% moisture content which is ideal for burning.
No, there will be no ban of log burners in the UK.
Stoves are now Eco Design Ready, which will increase the environmental benefits by burning more efficiently, reducing particulate matter emissions.
With the push of the UK becoming carbon neutral, a wood burning stove is one of the better heating solutions to help meet this target.
Vents on log burning stoves are there to decrease or increase temperature by controlling the amount of oxygen air flow allowed to the logs.
When the vents are opened the stove will be burning at its maximum, letting as much oxygen in as possible, so the logs will be burning quicker and hotter at this point.
When you gradually close the vents you will see the flames begin to slow down, as the adjustment of oxygen allowed to the logs is decreased. The fire will now burn much slower while giving out lower heat.
The best way to clean your stove glass, is by dipping a damp scrunched up newspaper ball into some of the ash in the stove and rubbing this on the glass (repeat if necessary).
After doing this, we would then use a warm damp kitchen roll to clean the glass fully. Finish off with drying the glass with some kitchen roll to avoid rusting on the door from water droplets.
If this is still not cleaning the glass, get the stove burning on full with the vents open to see if this helps remove any residue. If this still doesn't work then purchasing stove glass cleaner should do the trick.
A flue liner is a double skinned stainless steel flexible tube that is dropped down a conventional chimney and connected to the stove in the room.
What the flue liner actually does is narrow the chimney to the same flue diameter as the stove. By doing this it makes the stove more efficient as less heat will be lost in the chimney void, with more heat coming to the room instead.
Another need for having a flue liner is safety. A flue liner will help stop any leakages of carbon monoxide in the chimney.
Yes they can, It all depends on the positioning of the stove in the room and the conservatory roof type.
A HETAS engineer would be able to guide you through this, but on some occasions specially made panels would have to be used to securely fit a chimney system.
DEFRA Approved is a term people in the stove industry use for Smoke Exempt (SE). These stoves create very little if any smoke at all when burning wood.
DEFRA approved stoves allow us to burn wood in smoke controlled areas which are enforced by your local council. Not all stoves are DEFRA approved, so it's advised to check with your council before purchasing any wood burning stove.
Yes of course, stoves are made to be able to control the burning of logs & smokeless fuel on lower heat outputs.
Before going to bed, load the stove up with smokeless fuel or wood and close the vents slightly.
This would burn very slowly providing some heat throughout the house overnight until the morning.
Wood stoves are not only just room heaters, so yes, you can buy wood burning boiler stoves that will heat the whole house. This will be done by changing the gas boiler system to a link up wood burning boiler system that can heat up to around 10 radiators or more.
We would only suggest changing your boiler system to a wood burning system if you were at home most of the day or have storage for your fuel in bulk, or even better having a free supply of wood.
The Initial cost is a big outlay, but the amount of money saved by doing so over the years would be worth it in the long run.
The best way to clean your stove is with the soft brush attachment on your hoover. That will help to remove any dust, dirt and excess ash. For those smaller gaps and detailing try using a very soft paint brush to get a deeper clean.
A microfibre cloth is ideal to wipe the stove down and give it back some natural shine. Do not attempt to clean the stove with water as this will eventually rust the metal over time.
If you have had your stove for a long time, and it might have a few scratches or lost its colouring slightly, then buying some stove paint and giving the stove a few coats of paint will give it that brand-new look again.
Wood burning stoves can be used as a carbon neutral heater and are very good for the environment by lowering our carbon footprint.
However, if you are burning wet wood with very high moisture content this can produce very high levels of particulate matter, which has been linked to many medical conditions including asthma, heart & lung problems.
This is why the UK government is prohibiting the sales of wet wood from 2021.
Convection heat warms up the air in the room whereas radiant heat warms anything in the line of sight (the outer walls and the objects in the room) similar to the heat from the sun as it warms up surfaces.
This radiant heat is less dry which is perfect for stoves as it's more comfortable in the room.
Most modern freestanding stoves use convection heat. What happens is cold air is gathered in an air gap between the stoves firebox wall and the stove's outer skin. This then warms and the warm air is distributed across the whole room evenly.
External air ventilation is used with convection stoves feeding additional oxygen to the room otherwise the room will become very dry.