Below are answers to some of the questions we are most commonly asked regarding the installation of multi-fuel and wood burning stoves.

If there’s anything else you’d like to know, please don’t hesitate to call Stephan on 07887 417301.

Do you offer a complete supply and fit service?

Yes – Glow Stoves offer a complete service – from carrying out a survey, where we assess your property and make our recommendations, through to supplying and installing your stove and ongoing maintenance/servicing.

Are you HETAS registered?

Yes, we are fully HETAS registered.

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

Basically, wood burning stoves can only burn wood, whereas multi-fuel stoves can burn both wood and smokeless fuel.

Smokeless fuel requires a supply of air from the bottom in order to burn, hence multi-fuel stoves have a grate and an ash pan to collect the ash so that the air supply can be maintained. Wood burns best with an air supply over the top of it, so no ash pan or grate is required and the wood is burnt on the base of the stove.

Although you can burn wood in a multi-fuel stove, it tends to burn much quicker because of the grate and can therefore be less efficient. The presence of the grate and ash pan also tends to mean a smaller firebox area, so there is less space for your logs. Some stoves have a wood conversion kit which cuts down the air through the grate and slows down the burning.

What size of stove do I need for my room?

As a general rule of thumb, you will need a stove that gives 1kW of heat output for every 14 cubic metres of room space. When we survey your property, we will be able to provide a more accurate recommendation which also takes into consideration things like the level of insulation which you have and the amount of glazing in the room etc.

Do I need a chimney in order to be able to have a wood burning stove?

Not necessarily. If no chimney is present, a rigid flue system can be built, either straight up and through the roof, or out through the wall and up the side of the building. We can assess the viability of this when we carry out our survey.

Does my chimney need to be lined?

When we survey your property this will include an assessment of the type, size, age and condition of your existing chimney. Usually, older brick built chimneys do need to be relined with a flexible stainless steel flue liner. Chimneys were built for use with open fires, which heat the chimney, thus allowing it to draw correctly. Because stoves are much more efficient than open fires and the gases produced are much cooler, the size of the flue needs to be reduced so that the chimney draws.

If this isn’t done, a lazy flue can result in all sorts of problems including making the stove difficult to light, causing smoke to spill back into the room when lighting and refueling, and creating a lining of tar inside the chimney which can in turn be ignited and cause a house fire.

If you have a newer existing chimney which is sound (for example it has a clay liner system installed) it may be possible to install a stove without relining the chimney. This is subject to an inspection and test on your flue, which we can carry out for you.

What type of wood can I put in a wood burner?

Wood needs to be well seasoned (dried out) before it is burnt in a stove, irrespective if you have a wood burning stove,  or a multi-fuel stove. When logs with high moisture content are burnt they generate very little heat as most of the energy is being used to drive off the moisture in the form of water vapour and steam. This mixes with the resins and products of combustion when burning to create tar that can damage the appliance and block the flue. Generally, you should be looking for the majority of your logs to have a maximum moisture content of 20%.

Different woods take varying amounts of time to season but, as a general guide, before being used in a stove, wood should be cut to length, split and then stacked under cover (with the sides open to the air) for at least a year. It is then good practice to have it in the log basket, inside the house, for a few days before it is actually used in the wood burner. It may be worth investing in a moisture meter which can be used to test batches of logs before you burn them.

Can I burn house coal in a multi-fuel stove?

The short answer to this question is no. The only fuel which you should use in a multi-fuel stove is anthracite, or manufactured smokeless fuels certified as suitable for use in a closed heating appliance. Ordinary coal burns with long flames which pass around the throat plate and play directly on the unprotected top of the stove. This can result in a burned out throat plate and/or cracked top plate. Bituminous coal also creates high volumes of soot which can block the throat plate and flue, causing dangerous fumes to be emitted into the room. 

How often should I get my chimney swept?

HETAS advises that chimneys should be swept at least twice a year when burning wood or bituminous house coal and at least once a year when burning smokeless fuels. Ideally, you should have your chimney swept  just before the start of the heating season and after any extended period of shut-down. If sweeping twice, the second time should be after the peak of the main heating season.