There are a lot of different terms for different types of stoves and these terms are often confused or apply to several stoves.
Firstly when we talk about 'Wood Burning Stoves', 'Wood Burners' and 'Log Burners' we are often referring to stoves as a collective term including stoves that burn wood, coal and/or smokeless fuel.
What are Wood Burning Only Stoves?
There are stoves out there that will burn only wood and these are often referred to as Wood Burning Only Stoves. These stoves will have a different grate enabling a combustion cycle that better suits the burning of wood increasing the stove's efficiency. When burning wood the airflow should run over the top of the fuel, with the fuel sitting in a bed of ash.
What Are Multi Fuel Stoves?
Multifuel or Multi Fuel stoves are designed to burn wood, coal, smokeless fuel and peat. You must read the manufacturer's instructions on how best to set up your stove for the appropriate fuel. If you are burning coal you will need to 'riddle' the grate to clear the airways allowing air to flow from underneath the fire for efficient burning. If you are burning wood on a multifuel stove it is advised that you let the ash build up and close the air controls limiting the amount of air drawn in from underneath the fuel bed. Multifuel stoves will be equipped with an ash pan for emptying the ash regularly.
How do I Choose the right size of stove?
You need to consider the physical size of your stove and the heat output
All of our stove listings state the dimensions of the stove and you must work out whether this stove will fit into the aperture that you intend to install it into. As well as the size you must also take into consideration the clearances around the stove. You must have a minimum of 6 inches (150mm) either side of the stove, 2 inches (50mm) at the rear and 2 inches (50mm) at the top of the stove.
Stove Heat Output
Stove kW outputs have to be taken with a pinch of salt. The problem being that different manufacturers quote different types of output with different fuels under different conditions!
There are two main output figures nominal stove output and maximum stove output
When referring to wood burning stoves the nominal heat output is the output achieved when running your stove under average conditions with the air vents opened to the medium position with an average amount of fuel in the burning chamber of the appliance.
The maximum output is a figure achieved from burning the stove at its full potential. This would be achieved by opening the appropriate vents fully and inserting a generous amount of fuel (although this will initially decease the stoves output until efficient combustion)
Wood Burning and Multi Fuel stove outputs are not an exact science. There are so many different variables that can change your stoves output including fuel type, weather, quality of fuel, amount of fuel, positioning of air vents, chimney draw... the list is endless.
Please take into consideration whether you have double or single glazing, how insulated your home is, whether it is open plan or a single enclosed room, whether you wish to heat just the one room or allow heat to be dissipated throughout your home and finally you need to think about whether you will be using the stove as a primary source of heat, a secondary source of heat or just very occasionally to show off at dinner parties!
Wood Burning Stove Heat Output Calculator
As a very rough guide you may wish to use our wood burning stove output calculator that will give you an indication of the size of stove that you require for your home. Just click the link below.
Should I buy an efficient Wood Burning Stove?
You may see with certain manufacturer's literature that they quote efficiency ratings as a percentage. It makes sense to buy an efficient stove as the more efficient it is the less fuel you will need to burn to achieve your desired heat output. However, like Heat Output, efficiency is a very vague area with many different calculations, methods and representations.
Our advice is to ignore efficiency ratings and go and see the stove you are interested in. The better the quality, the better the brand and reputation the more efficient the stove will be. With Wood Burning Stoves you do get what you pay for. If you buy a cheap non branded Chinese import from an importer, you will get a poor quality, inefficient stove, if you spend a couple of hundred pounds more on a quality branded stove you will get a more efficient and reliable appliance. Remember, stoves are a part of your home and lifestyle and should be put on a par with buying a kitchen, car or new bed.
What are CE Ratings?
All stoves sold in the UK must be CE approved. All stoves sold by The Greener Company are CE approved.
Be wary about companies that shout a bit too loud about CE approval. CE approval is a given with decent appliances, so much so that manufacturers often do not even state it in their brochures. There is a wave of poor quality cast imported stoves out there bearing questionable CE certificates, often bought corruptly in China.
How do I Light my Wood Burning Stove - The Perfect Fire?
Lighting a Wood Burner is an art form. Some people get frustrated when lighting their stove, but if you follow our fool proof advice, your stove will be roaring in now time.
Scrunch up or tie in knots 8-10 (depending on the size of stove and logs) large sheets of newspaper and place these on the bed of the combustion chamber.
On top of the paper place a handful of dry twigs or kindling and light the newspaper.
As the kindling/twigs take light, add more to the flames creating a small bonfire.
As soon as the kindling/twigs begin to char, add to the stove a few dry seasoned logs, trying to angle them so that the flames are hitting the angles of the logs. Make sure you do not suffocate the fire, if you get a build up of smoke, you have suffocated the fire.
Â Now close the door/doors of the stove, not fully, but maintaining a 1 inch gap/crack. This gap will create a rush of air to be drawn from the room, into the stove and up the chimney. If you have suffocated the fire, this will clear the smoke and get the fire going, if you haven't suffocated the fire you will see the flames burning intensely. Leave the door cracked like this for 10-15 minutes or until you see appropriate.
Should I Line a Chimney for a Wood Burning Stove?
At The Greener Company we always recommend lining your chimney if it is possible to do so. You can install your stove with just a piece of Vitreous Enamelled flue pipe and a register plate, however this can cause several problems.
The efficiency of modern stoves means that there will be more tar deposits in the flue gases than if you were burning in an open fire. These tar deposits will bind with the masonry in your chimney. Eventually you will see yellow patches on your chimney breast and in extreme cases a build up will cause a chimney fire.
The advantages of lining your chimney are multiple.
All stoves are tested under liner conditions so to achieve the output and efficiency that the manufacturer states can only be achieved with a liner. The more efficient your stove, the less wood you will burn saving you money!
The liner will guarantee that your chimney will be free from defects. All liners are guaranteed for a minimum of 7 years. If your chimney should fail the bill will be in the thousands whereas if a liner fails, not only is it guaranteed, but if it is not, it can just be pulled out and replaced.
A liner will prevent any lethal Carbon monoxide leaking into bedrooms where the chimney breast runs through. This is especially a concern if you have children in the rooms above. Carbon monoxide cannot be detected by the human sense of smell, it bonds with the haemoglobin in your blood, blocking out the oxygen, slowly sending you into a deep sleep and eventually killing you. If a liner can be installed on an installation we will insist on it, to the degree that if a customer will not have a liner installed, we will suggest they find an alternative fitter.
With a chimney liner you will be able to sweep your chimney less frequently than if it was a standard masonry setup.
Do I have to have a chimney to have a stove?
The short answer is NO. You can have a stove almost anywhere, a conservatory, kitchen, bedroom or study. If you don't have a chimney then your stove can be installed using a twinwall flue system. We have installed hundreds of twinwall systems over the years. Please see our twinwall section for further information
Can I Fit a Stove myself?
Installation of a stove is governed by building regulations Approved Document J. If you were to install the stove yourself, not only would you have to read and dissect this document, but you would also have to make sure you follow it to a tee and then notify building control on a building notice.
Unless you have previous experience as a builder, fireplace installer or gas fitter we would not recommend installing your stove yourself.
You can either find a company who has experience in installing stoves who will install your stove to the required standards, liaise with building control and make sure your stove is signed off. Or you can employ a HETAS registered company to install your stove who will self certificate the installation. Whichever route you take will not make any difference, legally. However be aware that if you use a HETAS installer, and he carries out structural work on your chimney, such as a knock out and lintel job, he must also inform building control via a building notice. This is an aspect that is overlooked by many HETAS engineers out there.
Will my stove heat my radiators and central heating?
You can buy models of stoves that are powerful enough to run your hot water, a few radiators or even your entire heating system. Please see our boiler stove section for more information
What should I know about Stove Glass?
In modern stoves you will find that 99% will have an airwash system designed to keep the glass on your stove clean. However should you burn unseasoned wood on the stove or have chimney problems you may find that this glass will cloud up. However all stove glass can be cleaned with our special glass cleaner.
Glass rarely breaks on its own, however it is quite a regular occurance where customers will shut the door on a large log, cracking the glass. For this reason we recommend always having a spare piece as it may take you a couple of days to get a replacement which may mean you can't use your stove!
What Stove Flue Outlet?
Most modern stoves now have the option to flue your stove from the top or the rear of the appliance. Most installations will flue from the top exit, however rear exit flue setups are handy if you want to push the wood burning stove forward out of the fireplace and more into the room.
What are Air Vents?
All stoves with an output of over 5kW must have an air vent fitted in the room that it is installed in. There must not be an extractor fan in the same room as a stove as this will pull gases out of the stove bringing smoke and carbon monoxide into the room.
Can I fit a stove in a thatched cottage?
Thatched cottages need careful precautions when installing a stove. You must make sure that your chimney is lined and insulated. You must also make sure that you fit a Spark Arrester style cowl rather that a normal or anti-downdraught cowl.
Wood Burning Stove Glossary
An Adjustable grate can be found in certain stoves allowing you to change the grate setup to suit wood or solid fuel applications
Air Wash is a term used where the combustion of the stove is calibrated to send a flow of air over the glass of the wood burning stove. This not only creates a nice flame pattern, but prevents soot and pollutants from forming on the glass fogging it up
The Ash Pan sits below the grate in a multifuel stove and collects falling or griddled ash. This can then be removed to empty into your bin or spread on your garden.
A back boiler is installed in a stove to allow you to run and heat water through the stove for hot water and/or radiators.
A balanced flue is found on some gas appliances. It is a flue that allows fresh air to be drawn in while allowing fumes to be ejected simultaneously.
A canopy can be a hood mounted above you stove or a gathering device fitted above open/gas fires to assist in the drawing of fumes up the chimney.
Chromium Steel Grate
Chromium grates are designed to be heavy duty and able to deal with the intense heats produced by burning petro-chemical based fuels.
This is a panel that allows heat from the stove to be convected (blown) into the room increasing the heating ability of the stove.
Double Sided Stoves
Double sided stoves are designed to be installed in a chimney between 2 rooms. This allows the fire to be seen and loaded from both sides
Fire bricks are used in stoves to protect the body from burning through. These are consumable parts often made from vermiculite board or clay based products
Fire Cement is a putty used to seal single wall flue and other gaps that experience high temperatures. When first used fire cement will emit an odour and cure (go hard) upon the lighting (firing) of the stove.
Fire rope has a number of uses. It is a fire/heat resistant rope use to fill high temperature gapes such as flue joints. It is also used to seal doors on Wood Burning Stoves
Flexible Flue Liner
Flue liner is used to line your chimney making your stove more efficient, your chimney safer and saving you money
A flue damper restricts the airflow of the stoves flue enabling you to 'shut down' the stove further. This is useful should you want to keep your stove alight overnight
Flue Outlet Position
Most modern wood burning and multifuel stoves have the option to flue from the rear or the top of the stove to suit your requirements.
Log Guard or Retainer
The log guard or retainer prevents logs from slipping out of the stove or falling into the glass and cracking it.
There are 2 types of log stores. You can purchase stoves with integrated logstores. This allows you to store a small amount of wood underneath the stove ready for loading. You can also have a logstore outside of your home which acts as a dry place to store and season your wood.
Maximum Log Length
This is the maximum width of a log that will fit into the stove
Shutting your stove down overnight will allow you to throw on a fresh log in the morning, open all the vents and allow the fire to get going again without having to re-light the stove.
The register plate is the steel plate that sits in the bottom of your chimney. The stove flue passes through it and the plate is there to prevent debris from falling down the chimney and into the room. It also stops warm air from being drawn up the chimney, reflecting it back into the room.
The riddler is a steel bar that can be used externally on your stove. This rotates or rocks the grate which means ash falls through it into the stove's ashpan
Secondary Air Regulator
This control the amount of air drawn into the second combustion cycle of the stove.
A few stoves have the option of side loading which means that you can load logs through the side of the appliance allowing for longer logs to be inserted
Smokeless Burning/Clean Burn
Clean burn is a method of burning the gases within the stove so that little or no smoke is emitted from the stove making the stove more efficient and environmentally friendly
Tertiary Air Supply
Method of introducing air to the combustion products just before they are vented up the chimney, to extract the remaining energy and further clean the flue products
A thermostatically controlled stove allows you to set a temperature which is will try to maintain.
In a top loading stove you may insert logs through a hinged top on the stove
Twinwall Flue is used in a situation where you don't have a chimney. It can be used to flue your stove out of the side of the house or through the ceiling and roof.