Advice

Frequently Asked Questions

Installations

  • Do I need additional ventilation?

    If you would like a stove over 5KW in output then it will be necessary to have a permanent vent in the building to assist with flue draught and to make sure the fire has enough oxygen to burn safely. Stoves under 5KW can be installed without need for ventilation.

    However, if your house was built 2008 onwards then the requirement is 550mm2 per kilowatt regardless.

     

  • Does a Gas Safe engineer need to install my gas fire?

    The Building Regulations in England and Wales make it a legal requirement for the appropriate Local Authority (LA) to be informed about the installation of a heat producing gas appliance e.g. boiler or fire. Only a Gas Safe registered engineer can fit a new gas appliance. Once a gas appliance has been installed it can only be notified by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

  • What does HETAS approved mean?

    HETAS is the independent UK body recognised by Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)  for the official testing and approval of domestic solid fuels, solid fuel burning appliances and associated equipment and services.

    The list has been prepared by HETAS at the invitation of DEFRA for the guidance of local authorities and others concerned with the choice of solid fuel appliances.

    The HETAS approved product logo gives reassurance to the installer and end user that the appliance they are going to buy complies fully with current energy efficiency and safety requirements. To an installer, using a HETAS approved product saves them a significant amount of time as they know the product is suitable for use. Without the appliance being HETAS approved the installer would need to check the products test reports and ensure installation and user instructions give the correct advice.

    For further information visit the HETAS  website.

  • How can I find out if I am in a Smoke Control Area?

    DEFRA is the UK Government Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which regulates smoke emissions under the Clean Air Act 1993.

    The Clean Air Act 1993 prohibits emissions of smoke within smoke control areas, unless using an exempted appliance or using an authorised smokeless fuel i.e. fuels that have passed tests to confirm that they are capable of burning in an open fireplace without producing smoke. The Clean Air Act prohibits emissions of dark smoke from any chimney.

    For a list of Smoke Control Areas visit http://www.uksmokecontrolareas.co.uk/locations.html

    Defra approved or “exempted” wood burners and stoves have passed tests to confirm that they are capable of burning an unauthorised or inherently smoky solid fuel without emitting smoke.

    For a list of Exempt Appliances (Approved for use within an Smoke Control Area) visit https://smokecontrol.defra.gov.uk/appliances.php

    DEFRA approved or “smokeless” fuels can burn on an open fire without producing smoke.

    For a list of Authorised Fuels visit https://smokecontrol.defra.gov.uk/fuels.php

  • Will my fire meet the CE approval and EN standards?

    The CE mark is a key indicator of a product’s compliance with EU legislation. By affixing the CE marking on a product, a manufacturer is declaring, on his sole responsibility, conformity with all of the legal requirements to achieve CE marking. It is not a guarantee of quality; it is not a quality mark, it does not imply any form of official approval as it is not issued by any official body and there is no such thing as an official ‘CE Certificate’– rather, it is a way of providing definitive information about a product so that the specifier can make an informed choice. As different countries may have different standards for, say, efficiency, or fire-resistance or smoke emission, this means that they may choose to prohibit certain products even if they have met the minimum requirements laid down in the EN Standard. For instance, the UK applies a different smoke emission standard while Germany applies a higher efficiency standard.

    Currently all stoves imported into the UK require CE approval to ensure that they conform to European safety and efficiency standards – EN 13240 for freestanding stoves and EN 13229 for inset stoves.

    The improper application of a CE Mark, or an improper claim of conformity to EN Standards can constitute a criminal offence of deception, which in the UK can carry a penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment + an unlimited fine + confiscation of property + debarment from serving as a company director.

  • Do I need a chimney to install a solid fuel / wood burning stove?

    If you don’t have an existing chimney, twin wall insulated flues can be fitted to safely convey heat and smoke away from the appliance.

    Planning permission and Conservation Area Consent may be required if the property is listed or located in Conservation Area.

Fuel Types

  • What does the term ‘multifuel’ mean?

    Some stoves, especially models from Nordic countries where wood-burning is ubiquitous, are only able to burn wood. To burn coal, a grate and some means of removing ash (usually an ash pan) are required. It is now commonly accepted that wood burns just as well, if not better, on a grate. Many of our favourite stoves are supplied ready to burn either fuel as standard. Such a dual-fuel appliance is known as a “multifuel” stove.

  • What’s the difference between multi-fuel stoves and wood burners?

    Firstly, you need to understand the difference between burning wood and burning multi fuels (mineral or solid fuels) such as anthracite or smokeless coal nuggets. To burn efficiently multi fuels require combustion air from underneath the fuel load (known as primary air, with this air control generally being at the bottom of the stove) – hence the open grate feature to let the air through to the fuel. Wood takes its combustion air from the top (secondary air, generally with the air control at the top of the stove) with the wood load burning from the top downwards. Wood fuel can therefore sit and burn effectively on a flat base so that stoves which are designated as woodburning stoves will either have a small grate or simply no grate at all, which easily allows the build-up of ash to create a heat-reflecting bed to help the wood burn better and protect the stove’s base.

    Multi fuel stoves are designed to work well burning either wood or multi fuel. Their CE Tests (usually for wood and Ancit) show that there isn’t any real trade-off in efficiency between the two fuel types for this compromise. Some of the grates on multi fuel stoves, like the Dunsley Highlander range and the Olymberyl® Baby Gabriel® can be opened and closed (also doubling up as external riddlers), to allow you to create the flat base and ash bed for wood or alternatively the open grate required by multi fuels.

  • What is solid fuel?

    Solid fuel refers to various types of solid material that are used as fuel to produce energy and provide heating, usually released through combustion. Solid fuels include wood, charcoal, peat, coal, Hexamine fuel tablets, and pellets made from wood, corn, wheat, rye and other grains.

  • I do not have an exempt appliance and live in a smoke control area, what fuel can I burn?

    If you do not have an DEFRA approved / exempt appliance and live in a Smoke Control Area you can continue to use the unauthorised appliance but only if using an authorised smokeless fuel. To know what fuel can be burned in an exempt appliance, look at the manufacturer’s instructions.

    For a list of Authorised Fuels for use in England visit DEFRA.

Chimneys & Flues

  • Will I need to have my chimney lined?

    This will depend on the current construction and condition of your chimney. We assess each chimney individually. In many cases it is unnecessary to line the chimney. For example if you have a 1970’s house you will more than likely have a concrete block liner that if in good condition, should be adequate for your stove. If you have a large brick chimney, it is often advisable to line it. This increases the draught, which in turn makes your stove work better and lowers the risk of tar and soot build up, which can cause chimney fires.

  • Do I need a cowl or rain cap?

    It is good practice to fit at least a rain cap. When you are not using the stove and it is raining you are more likely to collect rainwater in the stove body if you do not have a cowl.

  • What are the types of flue?

    Pre-Fabricated Flue

    Pre-fabricated chimneys are suitable for most gas and electric fires and gas stoves. Pre-fabricated chimneys offer a good depth so you can choose from the majority of full depth gas fires and all slimline gas and electric fires.

    Pre-Cast Flue

    This flue is manufactured into rectangular hollow concrete or clay blocks that travel vertically, up through the cavity wall of your property, to a ridge vent or metal flue terminal on the roof. These flues tend to be very shallow in depth, although suitable deeper appliances may be able to be installed with the use of either a spacer kit or deeper rebate on the fireplace.

    Power Flue

    A power flue is an open fronted gas appliance with an electronically driven fan system either semi recessed or surface mounted on the outside of the wall to expel the flue gases and as such a sound is to be experienced when the fan is turned on. When the fire is not in use, some natural air circulation may occur through the flue terminal, which is quite normal.

    There are two types of power flue options available, a rear flue or side flue for left and right applications in instances where it is not possible to rear flue through the chosen wall (conditions apply). It may also be possible to install a deep power flue gas fire for added realism, subject to the depth of rebate on a surround if applicable or if installed with a spacer kit where available.

    Balanced Flue

    Balanced flue fires are glass fronted and available as both inset and outset models. They are completely sealed from the room into which they are installed and vents directly to an outside wall. Air is drawn in through the outer pipe, and combustion gases are expelled through the inner pipe. Balanced flue fires do not require an electricity supply, or a chimney.

    Flueless fires

    A relatively recent innovation, flueless fires don’t require a chimney as they use a catalytic converter to remove fumes. The great thing is that none of the heat is lost up a chimney, so they are 100 per cent energy efficient and only use 25 per cent of the gas consumed by other decorative models. Flueless fires require a minimum room size and additional ventilation into the room.

    All alterations and fittings can be carried out by Coeval Fires. Please contact us for a free site consultation.

    We welcome enquiries for checking you have the correct flue type for your product.

  • Does my chimney need to be lined?

    A flue liner is advisable but not mandatory and you may well have been offered differing advice on chimney lining. It is important to note that stoves have different operational requirements for the open fires for which most UK chimneys were designed. Because stoves are more efficient, less heat is transferred to the top of the chimney. It is this heat that, in an open fire, contributes to the ‘draw’ on the chimney pulling the smoke out.

    A reduced draw can have a number of potentially catastrophic impacts on your stove. While blacked glass and occasional smoke backdraughts may be a minor inconvenience, the fire risk associated with tar accumulation in a low draw chimney and the significant risk of a lethal carbon monoxide backflow caused by a ‘cold plug’ at the top of the chimney are why all manufacturers and accredited installers will recommend that the flue serving a stove, (multi-fuel or wood burning), should be lined.
    An unlined chimney may also affect you house insurance.

     

     

  • I have no chimney. Can I have gas fire?

    Yes if the gas fire is being fitted on an exterior then a balanced flued gas fire or power flued gas fire could be installed, also a flue less gas fire could be installed or a new insulated flue system for a conventionally flued gas fire could be installed inside or outside the property.

  • Which types of chimneys are suitable for stoves?

    One of the most important pre-conditions for an efficient stove is the chimney. In principle, the chimney functions as the “engine” of the wood-burning stove. If the installation does not produce the correct draught, it will not function as it should. New stoves place higher demands on draught and chimney conditions than older stoves using traditional combustion principles. The stove can be installed on a brick or fabricated chimney system.

  • Do I need a chimney to install a solid fuel / wood burning stove?

    If you don’t have an existing chimney, twin wall insulated flues can be fitted to safely convey heat and smoke away from the appliance.

    Planning permission and Conservation Area Consent may be required if the property is listed or located in Conservation Area.

Gas Fires

  • Can you have gas fires made to measure?

    Yes we can have gas fires made to many shapes and sizes.

    Please have a look at our bespoke service page for more information.

  • Can I have a remote control for my gas fire?

    A lot of gas fires come with a remote control system as standard now.

  • Does my gas fire require an air vent?

    Most flueless gas fires require a 100 square cm air vent and any conventionally flued gas fire with a rated input (not output) of 7kw generally requires 100 square cm air vents.

  • I have no chimney. Can I have gas fire?

    Yes if the gas fire is being fitted on an exterior then a balanced flued gas fire or power flued gas fire could be installed, also a flue less gas fire could be installed or a new insulated flue system for a conventionally flued gas fire could be installed inside or outside the property.

  • Can a gas fire be used as a sole source of heat?

    Although gas fires are now a lot more efficient, and have much higher outputs than before, in most cases they will not be suitable as a main source of heat for a room, in really cold conditions other forms of heat may be required i.e. central heating.

  • What is the difference between radiant and convector fires?

    There are two main ways the fire can get the heat into your room, one is a convector the other radiant. Convector draws cool air in underneath and puts hot air out through the top of the fire, using the basic principal that heat rises.

    A radiant fire relies on the ceramics in the fire bed and the hot box lined with ceramic fibre to radiate the heat into the room.

    The only thing that matters in the choice of your fire is the output of the fire rather that the way it gets the heat into your room.

  • What is the difference between glass fronted and open fronted gas fires?

    There are two main types of fire – glass fronted and open fronted.

    The glass fronted fires offer slightly better efficiencies than an open fronted gas fire, however, in recent years this gap has tightened, but the glass front does detract from the effect of the fire and will need cleaning on a fairly regular basis to keep the viewing area clear.

    The open fronted fires are less efficient but generally the effect looks more realistic.

  • What is the difference between inset, outset, hang on the wall and hole in the wall fires?

    There are four main styles of fire:

    1. Inset – to go into a fireplace, to sit inside the fireplace opening behind the hearth.
    2. Outset – sit on the hearth outside the fireplace opening, or wall hung without a surround.
    3. Hang On The Wall – can usually be installed without a hearth.
    4. Hole In The Wall – can be installed without a hearth.

Wood Burning Stoves

  • How big does the stove need to be?

    There are output calculators on several websites; but all these do not take into account the age or the property, the insulation level, glazed area etc. Kilowatt size is important, a too larger stove will be run ‘shut down’ and can cause glass blackening, tarring up of the chimney (a fire risk) and an uneconomical use of fuel.

    A traditional calculation used by stove specialists over the years is a kilowatt per fourteen cubic meters of room volume. This is only a guideline, during our survey we will perform a more accurate calculation that will take into account the variables of the property.

  • Is running a stove economical?

    Under the right circumstances, a wood burner can certainly save you money. According to the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA), a wood burner is 77% cheaper per kilowatt hour (kWh) to run than an electric fire, 29% cheaper than a gas fire, and around 43% and 50% cheaper than an oil and LPG fire.

    Depending on the type of stove and your home, these savings can vary, but overall, it can be extremely economical to run.

  • How easy is it to use a stove?

    They’re not difficult to use at all and you’ll quickly get used to getting the best from your stove if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Compared to lighting an open fire, lighting a stove is quicker and easier, as well as being much more predictable because of the control you have over the combustion air. However, it would be wrong to say that the heat is instantaneous like a gas or electric fire. A stove has to operate for longer periods but the pay-off is that you get an abundance of cheap heat that hangs around long after the stove has gone out, unlike gas or electric fires.

  • What are the advantages of a stove over an open fire?

    First and foremost – efficiency – and therefore running costs. Today the amount of fuel that you use, compared to the amount of heat that you get in return and what that heat will cost you to produce is naturally of great concern for most of The Stove Yard’s customers.

    You’d expect us to say this, but the truth is that open fires are incredibly inefficient with one study showing that they can actually make the rest of the house colder because of the amount of combustion air that they need to consume, including most of the warm air the fire is creating. Open fires, at best, operate around 15% efficiency compared with efficiencies of over 80% for some modern stoves (eg the Horse Flame Precision I is 84.3% efficient). Many of The Stove Yard’s customers are happy to tell us that they save between two thirds and half of the wood that they previously used on their open fire – a huge saving if you have to buy your wood fuel (or even if you have to chop it!). Stove owners will also get much more heat output per fuel load than from the same load in an equivalent open fire and the stove’s heat is also very controllable. Heat from multi fuel stoves and wood burners is also cleaner and therefore kinder to your decor and furnishings because the products of the combustion process are all contained within an enclosed fire chamber. This has the added advantage that smoky smells are virtually non-existent.

    Finally, stoves are much safer when properly used compared to open fires. The stove’s heat-resistant glass will screen any potential sparks and prevent lighted fuel from rolling out.

  • What’s the difference between multi-fuel stoves and wood burners?

    Firstly, you need to understand the difference between burning wood and burning multi fuels (mineral or solid fuels) such as anthracite or smokeless coal nuggets. To burn efficiently multi fuels require combustion air from underneath the fuel load (known as primary air, with this air control generally being at the bottom of the stove) – hence the open grate feature to let the air through to the fuel. Wood takes its combustion air from the top (secondary air, generally with the air control at the top of the stove) with the wood load burning from the top downwards. Wood fuel can therefore sit and burn effectively on a flat base so that stoves which are designated as woodburning stoves will either have a small grate or simply no grate at all, which easily allows the build-up of ash to create a heat-reflecting bed to help the wood burn better and protect the stove’s base.

    Multi fuel stoves are designed to work well burning either wood or multi fuel. Their CE Tests (usually for wood and Ancit) show that there isn’t any real trade-off in efficiency between the two fuel types for this compromise. Some of the grates on multi fuel stoves, like the Dunsley Highlander range and the Olymberyl® Baby Gabriel® can be opened and closed (also doubling up as external riddlers), to allow you to create the flat base and ash bed for wood or alternatively the open grate required by multi fuels.

  • If I have a back boiler will it reduce the output from the stove?

    Yes, you may notice lower temperatures from the stove, or that you need to use more wood.

  • Do I need additional ventilation?

    If you would like a stove over 5KW in output then it will be necessary to have a permanent vent in the building to assist with flue draught and to make sure the fire has enough oxygen to burn safely. Stoves under 5KW can be installed without need for ventilation.

    However, if your house was built 2008 onwards then the requirement is 550mm2 per kilowatt regardless.

     

  • Will I need to have my chimney lined?

    This will depend on the current construction and condition of your chimney. We assess each chimney individually. In many cases it is unnecessary to line the chimney. For example if you have a 1970’s house you will more than likely have a concrete block liner that if in good condition, should be adequate for your stove. If you have a large brick chimney, it is often advisable to line it. This increases the draught, which in turn makes your stove work better and lowers the risk of tar and soot build up, which can cause chimney fires.

  • What is the difference between inset, outset, hang on the wall and hole in the wall fires?

    There are four main styles of fire:

    1. Inset – to go into a fireplace, to sit inside the fireplace opening behind the hearth.
    2. Outset – sit on the hearth outside the fireplace opening, or wall hung without a surround.
    3. Hang On The Wall – can usually be installed without a hearth.
    4. Hole In The Wall – can be installed without a hearth.

Still have questions?

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