It's important to get the right advice early on as buying the wrong stove early on, can inflate your wood stove installation and running costs later
Don't Panic Buy!
Don't rush into buying a wood stove solely because you like the look of it, your friend is getting rid of one or because it is super cheap or on special offer. If an incorrect appliance is purchased, it cannot be certified as safe to use.
Lack of planning usually means having to send appliances back or selling them privately. Some times at a loss. We can often get a discount for you on the price that you see whilst browsing shopping websites, so it's wise to book a survey before actually buying your woodburner.
Due to high demand and slow processing times at Customs, stock levels of wood stoves has been wildly fluctuating over the last 18 months. Don't let low stock pressure you into a purchase. There are many other similar stoves out there and bargains to be had if you are flexible on looks.
Get your wood stove installation right by researching what is on the market whilst knowing exactly what you need. Start planning around March time so that there is plenty of stock available when you are buying and if not you are happy to wait a few weeks or months because the weather is nice and you don't need to have the heating on.
Summer is a quieter time for installers, so you may find a special offer that saves you money. Ask about our summer discount that runs from May to the end of August
Find the right wood stove
There are thousands of burners to choose from, so here are some tips to help you narrow down the search. Before buying ask yourself a few questions.
Are you going to burn logs, coal or both?
how often do you want to add fuel to the fire?
do you want to heat the whole house or just one or two rooms?
can you use your existing fireplace or chimney ?
If there are words that you don't understand or want to clarify, take a look at our animation explaining the technical names of the different parts of your fireplace. Woodburner jargon explained
Measure your chamber
Don't buy a stove that fills your opening. Buy one at least 10cm smaller than the opening on each side.
Check the specifications in the manual online to find out how much gap it should have around it for air flow.
Too small a gap means it will not meet building regulations, and you will have a warm wall rather than a warm room.
Measure your room
Don't buy a stove that is too hot for your room. 4 to 5kW is good enough for the average living room.
Larger than this will mean fitting a permanent air vet to outside, as required by building regulations.
Use a Stove Output Calculator to work out the kilowattage (kW) that you need.
How green are you?
Wood stoves are better for the environment than multi-fuel stoves that burn both wood and coal.
Installation of woodburners is also cheaper.
Different methods of heating produce different environmental impact.
Look for a high efficiency rating around 80% or better , A or better on the energy label and a Clear Skies mark of 3 or above.
Type of stove
Some log burners and multi-fuel stoves can also be attached to radiators. For this you will also need a plumber Pellet stoves might not be as aesthetically pleasing but need less attention and can heat your whole house with less effort.
If you don't have a chimney you will be needing a stove raised off the ground for ease of use. Look for one with a log store underneath. k boiler
"Gareth and his team did a great job on our woodburner installation with flue liner. I can highly recommend their quality of work."
- Colin [ Holwell ]
The gentlemen who fitted the wood burner were great; efficient, helpful, polite and friendly.
– Clare [ Hitchin ]
Making Greener Choices
Due to the Clean Air Act of 2019 which is constantly under revision by DEFRA and the government we believe that the 'greenest' stoves are the ones that are SIA-Eco design ready with high efficiency ratings and A or A+ energy labels. These stoves are starting to be labelled as 3 and above on the CleanSkies scale.
You can also consider how far the stove has travelled or how large is its carbon footprint. There are no current bodies looking into this so we believe that the 'greenest' options here are stoves made in the UK. We have contacted lots of UK stove manufacturers to try to compare the carbon footprint of stoves that we install and have found so that 100% steel stoves that are made in the UK have the lowest footprint.
Companies that have been currently forthcoming with information are below. Please bear in mind we are still collating information and awaiting responses.
Arada - based in Dorset - rating 5 green stars
Saltfire - assemble all stoves in Dorset - rating 4 green stars
Ekol - based in Dorset - rating 3 green stars
To be greener you also need to be avoiding coal and only buying wood that is seasoned properly and is either from UK tree surgeons or sustainable forests.
Clean Air Act 2019
Air quality is important for human health as well as the natural world around us. The Clean Air Strategy of 2019 was introduced to protect the health of the UK as a nation; to protect our environment; to reduce emissions from transport, homes, farming and industry going ahead into the future.
This has caused some confusion and misleading press in the years since but there are currently no plans to ban heating appliances as such, only to make them better and cleaner burning. Evidence shows that using a woodburning or multi fuel stove creates far less pollution than burning on an open fire, thus open fires are more likely than log burners to be banned if this should ever be seriously considered.
Look for the HETAS Cleaner Choice symbol when buying your stove to make sure that you are buying the cleanest burning appliance that you can for your wood stove installation.
There are a few new labelling systems that you will see whilst browsing for wood burners and multifuel stoves. These are to help you compare and choose appliances but can be confusing if the shopping websites don't use them.
This means that a woodburner has met the 5 regulation requirements for emissions and efficiency. These requirements are much stricter than ever before, even for DEFRA approved models. All newly manufactured stoves must meet these standards since 2020. Second hand stoves are unlikely to be Eco-design ready. It is now starting to be called Ecodesign compliant. Visit the Stove Industry Alliance website
Clear Skies Mark
Many stoves have met the standards of Eco-design and exceeded them. Because of this a new labelling scheme is in place to clearly show consumers when comparing woodburners.
Level 5 - the best rating. Stove is at least 15% more efficient and has 15% less emissions than level 4 stoves. Also DEFRA approved.
Level 4 - Stove has 15 % improvement on level 3 appliances.
Also DEFRA approved.
Level 3 - Meets Eco-design standards and is DEFRA approved.
Level 2 - Meets Eco-design standards (just)
All the data in the above labelling is pointless if you do not burn properly seasoned wood. In fact you could damage your installation and appliance by doing this. Which is why we recommend to all our customers that they use a moisture meter to check their logs when purchasing if possible and definitely before using on the woodburner.
Wood with a moisture content of above 18% should not be burnt. Look for the 'Ready to burn' logo when buying. Visit the Woodsure website for more information on types of wood fuels.