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Common questions regarding wood burning stoves

Buying a stove is much more than just choosing between a contemporary or traditional stove. Here are some of the commonly asked questions with regards to stoves:


What model of stove should be installed with regard to heat output?

Output is an important factor when choosing a woodburning stove, it’s just as important to not overheat the room as to underheat the room. Normally, as a rule of thumb, work out the cubic metre capacity of the room in question and divide by 14. However for the more modern and well-insulated homes it is probably more accurate to divide by 20. It is also best to have a site survey done by a registered professional (Hetas or equivalent) to survey the proposed installation.


Does it really matter what wood I burn?

It makes a major difference. Kiln-dried wood (less than 20% moisture) is the best source of wood. A 1Kg log of new wood is around 50-60% water, compared to dried wood, which may be 20% water, but kiln-dried wood is around 15%. The higher the moisture content, the lower the combustion temperature, which leads to more emissions being produced.


Should I replace my old stove?

Older stoves are up to 10 times more polluting than modern ones, and cost more to run. There are new standards coming into effect in 2022, which will require manufacturers to ensure that their stoves emit substantially fewer emissions. Many manufacturers are already making changes to meet those Ecodesign standards, including ACR, Stovax, Westfire, Charlton&Jenrick, and many more. You can find a list of Ecodesign stoves on the Stove Industry Alliance website ( ).


What’s the difference between primary, secondary and tertiary air?

Modern stoves consist of up to 3 air intakes, primary, secondary and tertiary. The primary intake (at the bottom) is used only to get the fire going, otherwise it drives too much air through the stove and the temperature in the flue increases, which means heat is being lost. Unfortunately this leads to the vivid flame with which many consumers associate a “good” fire, but in reality is very inefficient and not clean burning. In fact, the chamber temperature will actually decrease as the flow of air is too fast.

The secondary air intake, which comes in at the top, is the main air source, for use once the fire is properly alight. If the primary air is still being used now, it will impede the flow of secondary air, meaning particles which would normally be burnt off will blow up the chimney, thus increasing pollution.

Tertiary air intake at the back is pre-warmed air injected into the combustion chamber at force to recombust gas from the first combustion phase, giving the cleanest, most efficient, burn possible. It adds more oxygen into the chamber to aid the secondary combustion.


What is a convection stove?

Convection means that the stove has the equivalent to an inner and outer body, and between these bodies, air is heated and then travels around the room to heat a room more effectively.


What if I live in a smokeless zone?

If your stove is labelled SE or Smoke Exempt this means that it has been tested and is DEFRA approved. This approval allows you to burn wood in a smokeless area, these stoves are also fit to burn approved smokeless fuels, unless otherwise specified.


It is important to keep these things in mind when looking for a new stove, as they will help you get the best stove for your room.

A brilliant selection of wood burning and multifuel stoves can be found in our Coventry showroom, along with accesories, hearths and beams to complement the ideal stove..



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