We have lots of wood stoves on display at our showroom in Canterbury, often lit and burning all day, and there is always a member of staff on hand to offer expert advice. You can also ask for the surveyor to visit to quote for installation, and she will be able to run through your options on site and recommend a list of suitable stoves. One of the most satisfying aspects of our job is helping to choose a wood stove that fits its surroundings perfectly!
The primary consideration for most people will be aesthetics, after all your wood stove will become a piece of furniture. We have a great range of both traditional and contemporary stoves, and whatever the design, we look for stoves that will give you as generous a view of the fire as possible.
However, one of the first decisions to be made should be the heat output needed for the room. Stoves are much more efficient than open fires and will provide a lot more heat to the room. Fitting a stove that is too big for the space will quickly make the room unbearably hot! To decide on the size of stove in terms of heat output you should measure the room in metres, multiply the length, width and height, and divide this by 14. You will then have the number of kWs needed to heat the room.
(Length x width x height in metres) ÷ 14 = kWs
This won’t take into account how well insulated the room is, the number of doors you leave open to other rooms or whether there’s a staircase. When our surveyor visits she will recommend a heat output based on many years of experience.
After that, you should look at the space you have available, either inside an existing fireplace, or freestanding in the room. Building regulations state that you need to leave a certain amount of space around the stove, but stove manufacturers may ask for more space to be left, and ignoring this may invalidate the warranty. Again, our surveyor can visit, measure up, and recommend stoves that will meet these requirements.
WOOD OR MULTI-FUEL?
You may also need to decide whether you want to burn solid fuel, in which case you’ll need to choose a stove which has a grate and ash pan, known as a multi-fuel stove. Multifuel stoves will burn both wood and solid fuel, whereas a wood stove is just that, wood only. If you need a small stove, prefer to burn wood, and the manufacturer gives you the choice, it’s often best to leave the grate out so that there’s more room for a decent sized log.
If you need a stove which is over 5kW then an air vent is required by building regulations. This can either be direct to the room in the form of, for example an air brick, or if the stove is sited on an external wall, taken directly from outside and into the stove. Not all stove manufacturers give an external air supply option, although several of our makes do, including Charnwood, Burley and Contura.
Lots of stove manufacturers talk about an ‘air wash’ system that will keep the glass clear. All the stoves we supply have this feature. However, no matter how efficient or well made the stove is, the air wash will only work well if you’re burning dry wood and not under-firing the stove.
Please visit our FAQs page for more detailed guidance on choosing and installing a wood stove. We’ve tried to include the sort of questions we are asked in the showroom everyday, but if we’ve missed something give us a call or pop in. There’s no such thing as a silly question!