There aren’t many more evocative sounds than the crackle of logs burning on a fire, giving off bone-warming heat and a soft glow.
When it comes to choosing a practical and beautiful feature for your home, wood-burning stoves and fireplaces are on most people’s wish lists, but how do you find the right one? We asked stove expert, Huw Williams, to give us his top tips for buying stoves and fireplaces and the considerations each homeowner should make.
The first big mistake people make is choosing a stove that is too big or too hot for their room size, meaning they swelter all winter! Size is important, so bring your room dimensions to the showroom for the best advice.
When you’re deciding on which stove to go for it’s also important to consider a number of other factors too:
- How effective is your central heating? And do you have underfloor heating in the same room?
- What is the height of your ceiling?
- Is it necessary to have a chimney and if you already have one, get it tested before you install a stove?
- How many kilowatts (KW) of heat output will be needed for the room which is being heated?
The answers to some of these questions do require a professional surveyor. They will take into account your unique situation and the standard calculation adjusted to reflect how well or not the room is insulated resulting in the correct product for your situation.
Some other important questions to ask yourself:
Should you opt for a wood burning or multi-fuel stove? This is really down to personal preference, though wood-burning stoves are generally cheaper and also better for the environment as the burning material is carbon neutral. You mustn’t run out of logs though, or you won’t be able to burn anything else!
- Which wood is best? Some of the best woods to burn are Ash, Hawthorn, Apple and Wild Cherry due to their low-water content and the ability to be easily split with an axe. Generally hardwoods are best for open fires because they tend not to spit excessively, but there are some exceptions.
- Can you have a stove in a smoke control area? Any stove being installed in a smoke controlled area will need to be DEFRA exempt.
It’s really important to have a good understanding of the style you are looking for and an idea of the specific requirements or contraints in your home. Heading to a dedicated stove and fireplace centre should give you all the answers you might require and help you find the perfect stove for your home – if in doubt, always talk to the experts!