A wood burning stove is a great investment and brings warmth and character to any room. They can be fitted in practically any type of property, however, there are a few things you must consider before you install a stove.
Can I install a wood burner stove in my home?
Irrespective of whether you have a chimney, you can still install a stove. In properties without an existing chimney, a flue or system chimney is installed rather than building a new masonry chimney.
You can position the flue to run up inside your property or install it externally, depending on the layout of your home.
Is ventilation required?
Ventilation is essential in rooms where a wood burner stove has been installed. This will be ascertained by a survey, and your installer will be able to advise on the necessary requirements.
It’s crucial to ensure an adequate supply of air for combustion. This will prevent overheating and is a key factor in the efficient operation of any flue. There are different ways of providing combustion ventilation, and your registered installer will advise on the right scenario for your stove.
When should the chimney be swept?
Your chimney should be swept at least twice a year if you’re burning wood or bituminous housed coal, and at least once a year if you’re burning smokeless fuels.
The best time to have your chimney swept is before the start of the colder months. Your stove may not have been used for a long period and should be cleaned before you begin to use it again regularly.
If you plan to sweep twice a year, then the second time should be after the colder months as your wood burner stove will have been used frequently and will be about to enter its dormant period.
What fuel can I burn in my wood burner stove?
The fuel you use should comply with your wood burner stoves operating instructions.
Wood burners have flat beds on which to lay wood log fuel. Hardwoods, including beech and ash, are preferable to softwoods such as pine or fir. This is because hardwoods take longer to burn so you use less fuel.
You can buy ready dried or seasoned wood logs to reduce the moisture content. Or dry freshly cut wood by storing it in a dry ventilated place for at least 12 months. Burning wet logs will blacken the glass on your stove and is also inefficient as the fire has to boil off the water in the wood before heat is provided.
Should I fit a CO alarm?
In England and Wales, building regulations make it compulsory to fit a CO alarm when a solid fuel appliance is installed in a dwelling.
The alarm must be permanently situated in the same room as your wood burner stove and fitted according to its instructions. It should include a self-test and audible alert that will activate if the battery or detector cell develops a fault.
Would you like further advice on installing a wood burning stove?
Peter Capaldi, owner of HGS Home & Garden, is a HETAS registered engineer. He can provide practical advice to help you choose the wood burner stove that’s right for you and your home.
Contact Peter on 07749 863650 or visit www.hgs-homeandgarden.co.uk for more information on Woodburner Stove Installation.