HETAS, the not-for-profit organisation that approves biomass and solid fuel heating appliances, fuels and services – including the registration of competent installers and servicing businesses – has just issued three new wood burner stove advice leaflets.

It’s worth having a read of these if you’re considering installing a wood burner stove in your home – here are some of the key points each leaflet covers.

Before Your Purchase

This leaflet advises you of issues to consider before you purchase your stove and recommends you always use a HETAS registered installer to fit your stove.

First, it looks at building regulations as the law in the UK and Ireland states that new solid fuel, wood burning or biomass appliance installations must meet Building Regulation standards and your Local Authority must be notified. If they don’t, and the work is not legal, you could face prosecution and a fine.

Next, does your chimney need to be lined? Often, it does for safety reasons. Modern chimneys may not require relining, but those that predate date 1965 may need to be looked at in these circumstances:

  • Has the flue lost integrity, causing smoke leaks?
  • Are condensates or tar deposits seeping through the chimney, causing staining to the building?
  • Does lining with insulation need to be added to improve appliance and flue operation?

After Your Purchase

Once your wood burner stove has been installed you should receive a certificate of compliance; have a notice plate fitted and shown where it’s located; and given a copy of the manufacturer’s instructions.

On completion of the installation your installer should run through this safety checklist:

  • Always use the fuel recommended by the manufacturer for your type of appliance.
  • Keep all combustibles, including logs, at a safe distance from a hot stove and hearth.
  • Keep permanent air ventilation grills clear at all times.
  • Don’t ‘turn down the stove for the night’ / slumber burn an appliance unless it’s specifically designed to operate this way.
  • Never leave an open fire unattended without a spark guard.
  • Always use a securely fitted fireguard if the young, elderly or infirm are in the house.

Protect Yourself from Carbon Monoxide

This leaflet advises on the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO). CO is a toxic gas produced by poor combustion and it can be emitted by faulty combustion appliances including gas, oil and solid fuel. When CO poisoning occurs from solid fuel appliances, the most common fault is failure to maintain or service the appliance and failure to get the chimney swept properly.

Here’s a checklist to help you protect yourself and your family from the dangers of CO emissions:

  • Use appliances that fully comply with current British Standards.
  • Get your appliance installed by a registered competent installer to ensure work complies with current Building Regulations.
  • Regularly maintain your appliance using a HETAS Registered Installer or Approved Servicing Technician.
  • De-ash your appliance regularly as per manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Burn the correct fuel for your appliance.
  • Make sure your chimney is swept at frequent intervals.
  • Never operate a stove with its doors left open: CO can easily spill into the room.
  • Have your appliance serviced regularly by a HETAS Registered Installer or HETAS Approved Servicing technician in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.

Visit the HETAS website to read all three HETAS advisory leaflets in full:

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.