wood burning stove in neutral living room

Stoves: The 8 most common questions answered

October 28, 2020

Before purchasing and installing a woodburning or multi-fuel stove, here are the answers to 8 questions you need to know.

log store wood burning stove

Image: Charlton & Jenrick 

As winter approaches you may be seriously considering installing a woodburning or multi-fuel stove in your home. We spoke to Morsø who answered the most popular stove-related questions and queries, so we’ve done all the hard work for you.

How do I decide what size stove to go for?

Before purchasing a stove, you should verify the heat requirement for its intended location. To calculate the heating demand of a specific space, simply work out the volume of the room in cubic meters and divide by 14. Buying the wrong size stove will prove problematic due to over firing or more commonly under running the appliance which is potentially more damaging to the stove, flue and the environment.

Do you need planning permission/building control sign off?

The installation of your stove must comply with the requirements of Building Regulation Approved Document J 2010 with the 2013 amendments. Your stove must be fitted by a suitably qualified engineer, such as a HETAS registered installer who is authorised to commission and sign off the installation. This is usually the simplest and most cost-effective method. Alternatively, the stove may be fitted by a competent person who must notify a building control body.

wood burning stove in traditional setting

Image: Morso

What are the maintenance issues; running costs and energy efficiency?

It is recommended that a chimney system operating with a solid fuel appliance is swept at least once a year prior to the heating season. In the UK this is only a recommendation not a requirement. Ideally the flue should be checked and swept twice a year.

Read more: Fireplace design ideas for a cosy home

Where can I install my stove?

With a wide range of freestanding stoves now available, there are many available options in the home for positioning your stove. By locating a stove against a wall, in an existing fireplace or in the centre of an open-plan room, your flue can be fitted through a wall or a ceiling. Insert stoves can be fitted flush into a wall, a dividing wall or an old fireplace opening which makes quite the statement.

freestanding wood burning stove

Image: Stovax

What does Ecodesign Ready mean and why is it important?

Ecodesign is a European Standard that guarantees stoves installed after the 1 January 2022 meet a new higher, minimum efficiency (75% Net Efficiency) and a reduction in the maximum permitted level of NOx’s and carbon partial emissions. Running parallel with Ecodesign, UK stoves will still need to be approved by DEFRA to burn wood in smoke-controlled areas, making them eco-friendly, as well as a very cost-effective way to heat your home. From 2022, you will no longer able to purchase or install a non-Ecodesign stove.

What are the rules about smoke control in the UK?

Restrictions on wood burning in towns and cities are determined by criteria given in the Clean Air Act 1993. You will need to check with your local authority before purchasing a wood burning stove to ascertain if your property falls within a smoke control area.

charnwood wood burning stove

Image: Charnwood 

What is the difference between wood-burning and multi-fuel?

Multi-fuel stoves can burn wood, natural smokeless fuel and manufactured smokeless fuel whereas woodburning stoves exclusively burn wood logs, wood briquettes. Manufactured smokeless fuel produces much more CO2 so is less environmentally friendly. Not all multi-fuel stoves will be able to burn all types of fuel so it’s important to check this.

Can I burn any type of wood?

No. Dry firewood is essential. The logs should be cut in length appropriate to your stove, split and stacked in a dry place. As a rule, firewood should sit for 1-2 years after being cut down. It is important that once you have fitted a quality woodburning stove you use the correct wood to ensure an effective and environmentally friendly burn.


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