DESIGN DETAILS STOVES
You may not be thinking about a stove in early autumn, but you should be – it’s time to buy one so you’re sorted for the colder months ahead
Is my property suitable for a stove?
If you are thinking of opening up a sealed chimney breast in an old house, you will need to check that the chimney stack has not been removed or the chimney capped. The flue – the inner part of the chimney that conveys smoke to the atmosphere – must be in good working order. ‘In older properties, it’s often necessary to reline the chimney with a flexible stainless-steel flue,’ says Dennis Milligan, head of communications at the Stove Industry Alliance. If you want a suspended design, it will need to be hung from a beam that supports the weight of both stove and flue. It’s also important to check whether or not you live in a smoke-control area before you buy your stove: if you do, you won’t be able to burn wood unless you’ve bought a Defra-exempt model.
How can I get it installed?
Installation should be carried out by a HETAS registered professional ( hetas.co.uk), or for gas stoves, a Gas Safe registered engineer. You should also inform your building control office, who may need to inspect your stove.
How do I pick a stove?
When it comes to deciding your stove’s size and output, a survey that calculates room size can help you. The age of your home and the level of insulation it has can also affect how efficiently a stove works – however, in spring and autumn, you often won’t need your central heating. ‘This is where a stove can save you a lot of money,’ explains Milligan. If you decide to install a boiler stove, this can also be used to heat your radiators and supply you with hot water.
How do I maintain my stove?
‘Remove dust with a lint-free cloth, not polish – and if the finish gets dull in time, it can be resprayed with the manufacturer’s paint,’ says Tony Ingram, technical services manager at Morsø. ‘Have your stove serviced annually and get the chimney swept once a year, too,’ adds Huw Williams, sales director at Chesney’s.