Why a wood burner?

There are numerous reasons you might want a wood burner including:

Saving money - particularly if you use oil heating and have a cheap or free source of wood.

Increased Efficiency – if you already use an open fire then a stove would be far more efficient, up to around 80% efficient compared to 20-30% for an open fire. You can hence burn the same amount of fuel and benefit from more heat or burn far less fuel for the same amount of heat.

Aesthetics – a stove can be an excellent centrepiece for a room, it’s not unusual for owners to find themselves watching the flames in the stove and talking to each other rather than watching TV in silence!

Cutting your carbon footprint - burning wood from renewable resources and replacing other fuels like coal, gas or oil will help cut your carbon footprint

What size wood burner will I need?

The first decision is how much heat you want to generate. Whilst it’s tempting to purchase the largest that will fit in your room or burns the largest logs possible, you need to be realistic. Too small and it won’t heat your room enough, too large and you’ll overheat or need to limit the flow of air into the stove – burning fuel inefficiently.

Heat output is measured in kilowatts (kW). 1 kW is the equivalent of a one bar electric heater. A normal double radiator (e.g. 600mm x 900 mm) gives out about 1.5kW. An estimate in kW is (volume of the room in meters cubed) / 14. Stoves are available ranging from roughly 3kW to 15kW.

What fuel will I need?

If you want to be able to burn both wood and coal, you need a multi-fuel stove. If it’s just wood, a wood burning stove should meet your needs.

How much do I need to budget for a stove?

At a minimum, small stoves start around £500, but you probably also need to budget for a flue to line your chimney. Expect to spend around £1500 upwards on a decent stove and full installation.

Be sure to use a professional when getting your stove installed – an accredited HETAS engineer (www.hetas.co.uk). Poor installation can lead to a multitude of problems including the leakage of carbon monoxide which is poisonous.

Do I need to buy a chimney liner?

It is recommended – it’ll ensure a good draw, the airwash functions properly, increase the efficiency of your stove, stop smoke leaking out through cracks in your chimney and reduce the risk of a chimney fire if tar and soot deposits build up.

If you do not have it lined then you must have a smoke pressure test undertaken to ensure your chimney does not leak. This may be ok today, but deterioration is ongoing. It is not recommended having a stove where the chimney is more than 10" sq (25.4cm sq) internal dimensions - bigger than this and your chimney will struggle with draw.

Chimney liners are usually installed from the top of the chimney – i.e. from the roof of your house. The majority of installations can be carried out using roof ladders, but where it is dangerous a cherry picker is the next cheapest if you have access, and finally scaffold the most expensive.

Who are HETAS?

HETAS originated as the "Heating Equipment Testing & Approval Scheme". They are the governing body of solid fuel domestic heating appliances, fuels and services and are responsible for the registration of competent installers and businesses. For more information please visit www.hetas.co.uk. or click on the link in the above menu.

Who will know?

A copy of the certificate is sent to HETAS, who will notify your Local Authority Building Control Department (LABC) of the work carried out. This saves you the time and money (sometimes up to £300) of seeking a Building Notice yourself and having an inspector from your LABC sign off the installation.

A copy of the certificate is also required to be sent to you and the installer will also retain a copy.

If you sell your home then the Solicitor acting for the buyer will require a copy. It may also be required to be presented to your home insurance company. Should there be a problem and HETAS do not have a record of a HETAS certificate at the property then it is likely that you may not be insured.

Why do I need a carbon monoxide detector?

The new Building Regulations which were introduced in October 2010 require that a Carbon Monoxide detector be fitted in a room whenever a solid fuel appliance is installed.

What maintenance does my woodburning stove require?

All woodburning stoves should be serviced and their flues swept at least once a year by a registered chimney sweep.

The service would include the replacement of broken or damaged, rope seals, gaskets, firebricks, glass and fire cement seals.

All moving parts should be checked in order that they are able to move freely when in operation. Ideal fires offer an annual service for all stoves that we install.

Where can I get Firewood logs and coal from?

Please contact us and we will advise a good supplier.

I don’t have a chimney – can I still have a stove?

Yes, you can! However, occasionally you will have to seek planning permission. This is particularly relevant if you are in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The answer is to install a Twin Wall system. This is a chimney system which has an inner skin, a densely packed layer of insulation and an outer skin. This can either go out of an outside wall behind your stove and up the outside of your property or you can go through the ceiling, any rooms above and eventually straight out of your roof.

What areas do you cover? Sellinge, Sevenoaks, Deal, Crawley, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Ashford, Folkestone,West Malling, Penden Heath, Dover, Leysdown, Herne Bay, Sittingbourne, Sheerness, Medway Towns, Gravesend, Dartford, Crawley, Barming, Canterbury, West Malling, Penenden Heath, Ramsgate, Margate, Broadstairs, Meopham, Maidstone, Erith, Croydon, Minster, Charing, Hythe, Chatham, Strood, Gillingham, Rainham and all surrounding areas.