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Wood Burning Stoves / Multifuel Stoves

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Wood Stoves
Heating the home, and also cooking with wood is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to gas and electricity. Recently, we have experienced unprecedented levels of demand from home owners seeking to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels, their bills and their carbon emissions.

Wood burning stoves are one of the most natural forms of alternative heating system available. If you are looking for a low-tech localised space heating solution for your home then why not consider a wood burning stove? Despite progress in modern technology, wood stoves are still one of the cheapest and most popular solutions for heating homes today. Sales of wood stoves are booming for this very reason.

Increase your fireplace's efficiency (plus its beauty) by installing a wood burning stove. Even if you live in a smoke-controlled area, there's nothing to stop you joining the Wood burning Stove revolution! Most stoves can't be used to burn wood in smoke-controlled areas - but there are a growing number considered to be so super-clean-burning they are given an exemption from the controls.

Logs may only be burnt on stoves that have been granted exemption from the regulations by the government through DEFRA. Exempt appliances are appliances (ovens, wood burners and stoves) which have been exempted by Statutory Instruments (Orders) under the clean air act 1993 or clean air order 1981 (Northern Ireland). These have passed tests to confirm that they are capable of burning an unauthorised or inherently smoky solid fuel without emitting smoke.

If you are unsure whether or not you live in a smoke controlled area, then you will need to check with your local council. Further information on Smoke controlled areas can be found on the DEFRA website:


Wood stoves can be added without a fireplace, of course. There are many types of wood stoves on the market today, choosing from the many styles, models and options can be a difficult task.

How to Buy The Right Wood Stove?
When you begin shopping for a wood stove, consider first what you need it to accomplish. Keep these questions in mind:

How much space must be heated?
How often will the wood stove be used?
Should I buy a wood burning stove or multi-fuel stove?

The size of the area to be heated will determine the size of the stove you purchase. Correct stove sizing is very important and we recommend that you use the stove heat calculator below prior to searching for your Wood Burning or Multifuel Stove.

A stove that is too small will not heat the area adequately and can be damaged by frequent over-firing to keep up with heat demand. A stove that is too large may release too much heat, causing you to reduce the air supply into the stove, a practice that reduces the stove's efficiency.

Please be aware that the calculated result is for a typical room and does not take into account any extra heat loss through windows, doors, draughts etc.

To calculate the required kW heating output of your stove, please enter dimensions of your room:

Room measurements in:
kW of heat output needed: 0


The formula above will give you a reasonable guide to the heat output you are likely to need. To establish the cubic capacity of the room, measure the length by the width by the height, for example a room that is in the region of 6.5 metres. (21ft. 6") x 4.5 metres. (15ft.) x 2.4 metres high (8ft.) will require a stove of about 5kW output to adequately heat its 70.2 cubic metres.

Wood burning stoves are better in environmental terms as the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere is the same as that absorbed by the tree during growth. For optimum results from a wood burning stove, we recommend logs should be seasoned for 2 years or more to achieve a moisture content below 20%. This will not only give twice the output of freshly felled timber but help avoid a build up of tar in your flue. A wood burning stove will also burn wood more efficiently than a multi-fuel stove will.

Multi Fuel Stoves come with a riddling grate and an ash pan that allows you to riddle the excess ash through the bottom of the stove and into the ash pan below the grate, making the stove extremely easy to clean.

Building Regulations, Document J, Stove Installation Guidelines:

All stove installations now come under building control, the following will give the basics for stove requirements. It is not intended to be a complete explanation and if in doubt reference should be made to 'The Building Regulations 2000 Approved Document J Combustion Appliances and Fuel Storage Systems 2002 Edition' or the building control department of your local council.

The 2002 edition of Approved Document J of The Building Regulations stipulates that any work that affects an existing chimney (ie, fitting a new stove or liner) or creating a new chimney now comes under building control.

All wood burning and multi-fuel stoves require a class 1 Chimney. Existing Chimneys can be used but they should be checked for air tightness and the correct diameter for the appliance to be used.
It may be necessary to sweep the flue (which should always be done anyway before fitting a stove or lining a chimney) and also, if necessary, to do a smoke test to check for gas tightness.

Failing Chimneys can be relined using a number of methods, one of the easiest methods is using a stainless steel liner. It is important that visual inspection must be made to ensure that the flue is not in close proximity to combustibles.

A permanent notice/data plate should be fixed at an appropriate position giving details of the location of the fireplace, the type and size of the flue and type of heating appliance used.

Please Note: A new revision of the Building Regulations is now available and must be followed as of 1st October 2010.

The main changes to the regulations are as follows:

  • From the 1st October 2010 you must install a battery powered Carbon Monoxide Detector into the room where the Stove has been installed. Without this the HETAS installer will not sign off your installation.
  • PLEASE NOTE: The Detector must have a sealed long life battery. You cannot install a standard Detector that has replaceable batteries.
  • Previously any stove under 5kw did not require an air vent. As from 1st October 2010 the rules have changed slightly. If your house was built on or after 1992 you would require an airvent, regardless of the output of the stove. This is due to houses becoming more and more insulated and less draughty therefore the need for replacement air into the room is required.
  • When you install a wood burning or multifuel stove the regulations state that you must step up to a 6" flexible liner if you purchase a stove with a 5" flue outlet. This rule is staying the same EXCEPT for stoves that are Defra Smoke Control Approved. If you purchase a Defra approved stove then can now install a 5" flexible liner. If your stove is not Defra approved you must increase to 6" as always.

Frequently Asked Questions on Stove Installation

Any single skin flue pipe used must not come closer to combustibles than three times its diameter e.g for a 6"or 150mm pipe it needs to be a minimum of 18" 450mm from a combustible material. This distance can be reduced to 50mm if our double skin insulated flues are used.

Hearth Requirements:
A stove must stand on a non-combustible hearth extending a minimum of 225mm in front & 150mm out from the stove at the sides. If the hearth is on a combustible floor it must be at least 250mm thick. Some stove manufactures have models that have been designed and tested to have a hearth temperature not exceeding 100 degrees centigrade, in this case a 12mm hearth can be used.

Please Note: that if you using an appliance that is designed to run with the doors open then you must have at least 300mm in front of the stove.

If you are installing the hearth onto a non combustible floor e.g concrete floor then the overall thickness can be 250mm. For example if the non combustible floor is made from 100mm of concrete then you have have a slate hearth of 150mm to make up the 250mm required.

Hearths For free-standing stoves:
If you are planning to install a stove into a room with no standard chimney then you must ensure that your hearth is an minimum of 840mm x 840mm. While this is a minimum if your have a large stove you must still follow the rules we stated at the start of the page e.g 150mm each side of stove and 225 in front.

Stoves use air from within the room for combustion. Any solid fuel stove which has an output higher than 5kws requires a permanently open vent with a cross sectional area of at least 550² mm for every kW above 5kW.

When installing an permanent air vent it must be non adjustable and ventilators should be installed to ensure the occupants are not provoked into blocking the air vents up to stop noise and draughts.

Air vents should not be installed into a fireplace recess except on the basis of specialist help. If you install a mesh or other type of guard to stop pests getting into the house then the mesh must be no smaller than 5mm.

Where to position a permanent airvent:
You can install a permanent air vent any where in the room as long as it has direct ventilation to the out side.

For More Information please download a copy of Document J Of the Building Regs