inset stove with log store beneath

Essential tips for buying a stove

August 25, 2020

We get the inside track on what’s new in the world of stoves.


inset stove with log store beneath 

Image: Mendip Stoves

Stoves remain a timelessly stylish way to heat your home, and a focal point for your family to gather round. Chris Baines, MD of Mendip Stoves, offers some advice to those looking for the latest in stoves…

Choose your fuel

 black stove in lounge with flames hearth and mantel

Image: Mendip Stoves

“The most popular fuel used in stoves is wood,” says Chris. “It’s an eco-friendly option, being largely carbon-neutral. The traditional market for stoves will usually choose a traditional stove shape. Most of these are tested to burn both wood and coal, but the fuel of choice, due to its eco-credentials, is usually wood. Coal is less acceptable since it is a carbon based fossil fuel”

“Electric stoves are growing in popularity,” he continues, “especially in the new-build market, where high density housing means that the areas are often marked as smokeless-zones. Also, modern houses often have no chimney, ruling out wood, coal or gas. Gas fired stoves are growing in popularity, but still make up a small proportion of the overall market.”

Eco credentials

 double sided stove in lounge with log basket

Image: Mendip Stoves

Those who want to combine value for money with reducing their environmental footprint will be cheered by Chris’ news on technology. “Stoves have moved towards greater efficiency in recent years,” he says. “Many stoves now have a sophisticated airwash system, where; once the fire is properly alight; preheated, secondary air is sourced from above the fire-bed, which ‘washes’ down the glass to provide the oxygen to keep the fire burning. Other stoves rely on tertiary air, which comes in at the back of the appliance, to re-ignite the remaining gas, which provides a much cleaner burn, with fewer emissions and a much higher efficiency.

“A well-insulated chamber means the firebox can burn at a higher temperature, again giving better combustion and the same eco-friendly credentials. Finally, some stoves now come with catalytic converters – just like a car!”

Buying advice

ivory coloured stove in fireplace with mantel and hearthMendip Ashcott Ivory 02 woodburning crop 

Image: Mendip Stoves

Chris has some sage advice for those considering a new woodburning, gas or electric stove. “The first consideration is the visual look of the stove, but this has to be combined with a number of factors,” he says. “The stove must ‘fit’ the room, by that we are talking about the output of the stove. As a rule of thumb, work out the cubic metre capacity of the room and divide by 14. However for modern and well-insulated homes it’s probably more accurate to divide by 20. It’s also vital to ensure that the  stove is professionally installed, by a HETAS registered engineer.”

Future proofing

 wide stove in lounge with mantel and hearth

Image: Mendip Stoves

The stove industry has been quick to react to the changing rules on emissions too. “EcoDesign is a new standard which is due to be implemented in 2022,” Chris explains. “However, many manufacturers, have pre-empted this standard, and now manufacture EcoDesign-ready stoves. These stoves have all been tested by an independent test laboratory and will emit approximately 80% fewer particles than a stove manufactured 20 years ago, and approximately 90% fewer than an open fire. That not only helps save the environment, but also helps your pocket!”

 black stove with flames in white room with log store

Image: Mendip Stoves

Contact Mendip Stoves for more information on 01934 750 500 or visit the Mendip Stoves website now. They will donate £10 to the Woodland Trust for every stove they sell.

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