Stoves that blaze a trail for wood fuel heat­ing

Au­tumn is upon us and as, thoughts turn to stay­ing warm, Sharon Dale re­veals how to choose and in­stall a wood burn­ing stove.

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

RIS­ING gas, oil and elec­tric­ity prices have fu­elled a rev­o­lu­tion in the fire­place in­dus­try.

Wood burn­ing and mul­ti­fuel stoves are now the hottest prod­ucts on the mar­ket, as we take a back-to-ba­sics ap­proach to heat­ing our homes.

Sales of stoves have rock­eted over the past five years as home­own­ers search for an al­ter­na­tive and independent source of warmth.

Stove tech­nol­ogy has ad­vanced in re­cent years. Now the heat out­put is more con­trol­lable, thanks to im­proved air vents, and they are up to 60 per cent more ef­fi­cient than an open fire, with much of their heat be­ing ra­di­ated back into the room, rather than up the chim­ney. They are also cleaner, as the fire blazes be­hind closed glass doors. Clean-burn tech­nol­ogy can also en­sure that the glass stays clean.

New in­no­va­tions mean that those liv­ing in smoke-con­trolled ar­eas can now have a wood­burn­ing stove. Morso has the Squir­rel multi-fuel stove, which re­tails at just over £1,000, and burns wood, coal and smoke­less fuel.

But wood is def­i­nitely the favoured fuel at the mo­ment and de­mand is such that there is now a short­age.

Though most stoves are made from cast iron or steel and are tra­di­tional in de­sign, there are some modern ver­sions from Scan­di­na­vian com­pa­nies such as Hase. Costs vary from about £500 up­wards, but that will in­crease if you need a new flue or flue liner, which av­er­age at about £700.

Ben Free­man, from Leeds­based heat­ing ex­perts BMF, which has just be­come the first re­tailer in York­shire to re­ceive the Ap­proved Re­tailer cer­ti­fi­ca­tion from HETAS,has this ad­vice for those think­ing of in­stalling a stove:

Reg­u­la­tions and re­quire­ments: There are rules re­lat­ing to every­thing from flue pipes to ven­ti­la­tion and chim­neys, which will need to be kept in mind when buy­ing a stove. Do you have a flue/chim­ney and if you do, is it suit­able? Chim­neys can be too big, small, short, tall, cold or un­sound which will mean ei­ther your stove will work in­ef­fi­ciently or can be un­safe. Gen­er­ally, when an in­stal­la­tion takes place, it will need to in­clude lin­ing any ex­ist­ing chim­ney, but take spe­cial­ist ad­vice on any fur­ther work which may be needed. If you don’t have a chim­ney – don’t worry, one can usu­ally be built.

Safety: There is a com­mon mis­con­cep­tion you don’t have to worry about car­bon monox­ide (CO) when you use solid fuel. How­ever, burn­ing any fuel can pro­duce deadly CO so it’s vi­tal you fol­low stan­dard safety tips, en­sur­ing you have suf­fi­cient ven­ti­la­tion, your ap­pli­ance is prop­erly fit­ted, your chim­ney is suit­able and clear, the stove is well-main­tained and you have an au­di­ble alarm.

Main­te­nance: Many modern stoves now come with clean-burn tech­nol­ogy, which blows su­per hot air down the glass, re­duc­ing the clean­ing re­quired, and also aids com­bus­tion ef­fi­cien­cies. Ashes do need re­mov­ing, but usu­ally once a fort­night rather than daily com­pared to open fires. Chim­neys should be cleaned an­nu­ally by a pro­fes­sional to make sure there’s no build-up. A re­tailer will be able to ad­vise on what can and can’t be burnt on the stove and also help you source fuel, if you don’t al­ready have a sup­ply.

Smoke Con­trol ar­eas: Fol­low­ing the Clean Air Acts of the 1960s, many towns and cities are now deemed “Smoke Con­trol Ar­eas” in a bid to keep smog and air pol­lu­tion to a min­i­mum, in­clud­ing Leeds and some of the sur­round­ing ar­eas. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a solid fuel burn­ing ap­pli­ance, many modern stoves are so clean burn­ing they have been ap­proved for use even in smoke-free zones.

Choos­ing the right stove for you: Styles of stoves vary dra­mat­i­cally to suit dif­fer­ing tastes, from the tra­di­tional coun­try cot­tage look of some­thing like the Clearview 650, to modern mas­ter­pieces like the Har­rie Leen­ders Pharos In­te­rior, which hangs sus­pended from the ceil­ing. But it is al­ways worth pay­ing for qual­ity. A good stove, treated cor­rectly, should eas­ily look as good and work as ef­fi­ciently in 20 years as it does to­day. A cheap stove will quickly start to show wear and tear. The size of the stove will also de­pend on what heat out­put you re­quire, for ex­am­ple, whether the stove is heat­ing the whole house or just one room.

RU­RAL IDYLL: Cote Bot­tom has lots of rus­tic charm, but has been ren­o­vated. It also comes with plan­ning per­mis­sion to ex­tend.

WARM THOUGHTS: Har­rie Leen­ders Pharos Stove, from £5,220, BMF.

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