One of the best things about owning your home is having the freedom to make any changes you like. We all have different tastes, requirements, and priorities. We decorate our homes in different styles, sometimes going with the changing fashions, sometimes sticking to a timeless, ‘classic’ look.
These days, more people are seeking ways of reducing their ‘global footprint’ as concerns about the environment grow year by year. Some of us look for changes that will add value to our homes with a view to selling them further down the line. Others simply want to add sophistication and style, bringing a fresh, modern feel to their home. Nearly all of us want to save money on energy bills as they continually creep upwards.
It may come as a surprise to learn that there is a way to do all four at the same time, with a wood-burning stove. The range of styles is huge, from the nostalgic black cast-iron type to sleek, cylindrical units. Contemporary stoves are available in such colours as cream, white, steel, and grey. Whatever your taste, there’s sure to be a stove that will complete your home.
Chimneys are still a familiar sight in many cities, towns, and villages across the country. Even in modern housing estates, they are often added as an attractive architectural feature. An open fire is a comforting thing, especially in the winter months. It brings a cozy, traditional atmosphere that makes Christmas seem more magical. The sad fact is that as you toast your toes by those flickering flames, most of the heat is lost via the chimney – up to 90% of it. Open fires are actually one of the least efficient methods of heating available.
A wood-burning stove will be – without a doubt – be more efficient. Modern stoves range from around 70 to 99% efficient, with an average efficiency of around 77 – 80%. And what’s more, if you do have an existing chimney, it will be sealed up, eliminating draughts.
Before having one installed, however, you will need to find out which type suits your needs.
Wood-burning stoves basically come in two different types; wet or dry. A dry system is the simplest type, only heating the room it’s in (though they are so efficient that the heat often spreads further!). Wood-burning stove wet systems, however, have an integral boiler which is attached to a hot water tank. This can be used to heat the rest of your home and provide hot water for all your other needs just the same as a new traditional boiler would from companies like the Easy Boiler Company.
For homeowners who are trying to live a more ‘green’ lifestyle, avoiding fossil fuels as far as possible, a wood-burning stove wet system could help to achieve these goals. Most can also be combined with solar panels to provide you with eco-friendly hot water and heating throughout the year. The number of radiators you choose is up to you, but bear in mind that the more there are, the more fuel will be required.
Wood-burning stove wet systems (also called Boiler Stoves) are ideal for sustainable new builds that are constructed to a high specification. The amount of heat required will be low, which, combined with the super efficiency of the stove, will mean that energy costs will be a fraction of those connected with gas or oil.
This is especially the case where people choose an ‘off-grid’ lifestyle, where access to a free supply of seasoned wood is likely to be available.
Although stoves can be a great feature, you have to be sure it is the right choice for your home. Here are some issues you might want to think over.
Although there are people who have successfully fitted their own stove systems, it is always advisable to leave it to qualified professionals. Any leaks or gaps could allow carbon monoxide into your home – with deadly results. Always fit a carbon monoxide alarm, whoever installs your system. Also, with wood-burning stoves wet systems, there are the added hazards of boiling water. An incorrectly fitted boiler (perhaps with inadequate venting) will lead to a build-up of steam that could result in an explosion. Entire systems have overheated, making the header tank melt and collapse. A qualified, ‘competent person’ will install the system correctly, with added safety features so you can rest assured that all is well.
So, if you have the space and the inclination, you might consider having a ‘wet system’ wood-burning stove installed, either as part of a new build or to replace your existing energy supply. Though some people have been put off by the upheaval of installation (and maybe the costs involved) if you ask anyone who has been through the process they will, almost without exception, tell you it was worth it.
Not only will your energy bills be drastically reduced, but you’ll also be doing your bit for the environment and will have improved the look and feel of your home. When you consider these points alone, you can see why so many people are warming to the idea.
With years experience of fitting and removing dry stove systems and wet stove systems we can advise and give you a free survey to get your job started in as safe a way as possible.
The idea of coming home to a ‘real fire’ has always been a popular one. There are romantic notions of crackling logs and glowing embers, as you curl up on the sofa sheltered from the raging blizzard outside. As warm and comforting as an open fire can be, the reality is less appealing.
Open fires are far from efficient, with much of the heat lost via the chimney. In fact, between 80 – 90% of the heat from log or coal fires goes straight up, out into the air along with the smoke and fumes. Then there’s the daily task of cleaning the grate and setting the fire for the day, and so the allure of an open fire soon begins to fade. And that’s before we even mention chimney fires, problems with draughts, or backflow, where the choking smoke and fumes are drawn down into the room.
Over the past couple of decades, wood-burning stoves have experienced a huge boost in popularity. There are a number of reasons for this, not least the fact that they offer an excellent means of reducing our environmental impact. Aside from this, they are now available in a wide range of styles to suit all tastes. But before having one fitted it makes sense to take a closer look, to find out more about wood-burning stoves. For example, do you need a wet or dry system? And what does that mean?
To keep things simple, stoves are either wet or dry. A stove wet system heats a boiler (for hot water/heating) as well as sending heat into your room. A wood-burning stove dry system, however, only heats the room in which it is situated and is not connected to a boiler. All straightforward so far!
Once you have decided which type you need, it is a good idea to think about where it’s going to stand. Many people in older properties already have a hearth and a chimney. In this case, a wood-burning fireplace insert can be slotted in. Prior to this, the chimney should be inspected to ensure it is safe, and any repairs made accordingly. The flue will be placed inside an existing chimney – if there is one. One added bonus is that the insert will strengthen the hearth and fireplace, and a liner will be used to stop any draughts or to stop fumes and smoke leaking back into the room.
Most modern wood-burning stoves operate between 70 – 99% efficiency, meaning that most of the heat remains in your home, and your heating bills should fall dramatically. You can increase your level of sustainability by following these tips:
Some things to consider….
If you have decided on a dry system, you then need to think about the next steps. If you have an existing hearth this would be the best place in which to house the stove. If not, then you will have to find the most practical place for it.
Homes without a chimney will need to have a twin-wall flue system installed (also called high-temperature or double-wall flue). As there is no existing fireplace, you then have the option of a ‘free-standing’ stove, which will increase the range of the heat, as well as adding elegance and flair to your home.
Some people have been put off by the costs of wood-burning stoves. But while it’s true that the cost of the unit, as well as installation, can be fairly steep, the overall long-term savings can be in the high hundreds when compared to ever-rising gas, oil, and electricity prices.
Within the UK there are designated Smoke Control Areas, where it is illegal to emit smoke from a chimney or to burn ‘unauthorised’ fuel under the Clean Air Act 1956. In order to comply (and avoid the £1000 fine), the stove and the fuel must be on the ‘exempt’ list.
When it comes to installation and the proper running of the unit, safety should never be compromised. Although some people are tempted to install the system themselves to save money, it should always be fitted by a qualified ‘competent person’. Obviously, all combustible matter should be stored well away from the unit, a fireguard should be used if children are present, and you should fit smoke and carbon monoxide alarms nearby.
Once these issues have been considered and addressed, investing in a wood stove dry system makes perfect sense. It won’t only look great, but it will also provide years of effective, sustainable warmth while increasing the value of your home.
With years experience of fitting and removing dry stove systems and wet stove systems we can advise and give you a free survey to get your job started in as safe a way as possible.
Multi fuel stoves are devices that can burn an array of substances other than wood. In addition to logs, a multi fuel stove can burn smokeless fuels, anthracite, and peat or turf briquettes. The design of these stoves is optimized to accept a greater number of kinds of fuel and to burn them as productively as possible. Multi fuel devices have a raised grate with moving bars or a central riddling grate and asphan.
Both of these options permit the burning fuel to be de-ashed to maintain effective combustion conditions. Ash is then contained in an asphan below in order to facilitate safe elimination.
If you are involved in the process of selecting a new stove, you would do well to have a proper comprehension of the differences between wood burning and multi fuel devices.
While you are at it, you will observe that several solid fuel stoves (including Stovax models) are designed to be either dedicated wood burning stoves or multi fuel stoves. While there is a certain amount of overlap between the two classes, it is advantageous to be appreciative of the difference before you go on to conclude as to which would best be in tune with your needs.
A wood burning stove is often designed with a fixed grate, but with a flat base: as the wood burns, the ashes are collected and when the fire needs more fuel, fresh logs are placed on top. The effect is supposed to be immensely positive for wood burning as logs combust more effectively and evenly when resting on a bed of ashes, making for maximum efficiency and heat output from your wood burning stove.
When coupled with Cleanburn technology – from which most Stovax stoves draw advantage, the effect is amplified further. The introduction of air into the firebox of the stove to combust gases and hydrocarbon particles ensures that your fuel is utilized as effectively as possible, that translates into greater value for money and wonderful flames to marvel at.
A word on environmental benefits of wood burning… It is regarded as a nearly carbon neutral form of energy as it is said that during its growth, a tree will absorb roughly the amount of carbon dioxide emitted when it is burned on a wood burning stove or fire.
The heat output of a multi-fuel appliance will be similar, if not identical to that of a wood burning stove – and both kinds are highly efficient.
Why should you go for multi fuel over wood burning? The primary benefit is that of convenience: a multi fuel stove can burn a range of approved fuels like these 6mm wood pellets for example, you will be able to select from a greater number of suppliers and hence zero in on the nearest. This will help to lessen not only the amount you spend on fuel but also the time and money you will need to transport it to your home.
Multi fuel stoves can be small, lightweight burners that are designed for camping or backpacking. They burn a range of liquid fuels, for instance, the unleaded petrol or gasoline you put in your car, the clean white gas you buy from camping stores and old fashioned kerosene (also known as “jet fuel”). In fact, some of them can also use butane or propane canisters (also known as “camping gas”).
The Dyna-Glo Delux portable multi-fuel forced air heater provides immediate relief from cold weather working conditions, heating up to 1,750 sq feet. It is well-suited to residential, industrial and commercial applications. This multi fuel forced air heater operates on 1-k kerosene, no. 1 diesel and no. 1 fuel oil.
Getting a new heater to warm up your residence means you have to arrive at a decision on which fuel source to use. Well, you can always choose two with a multi fuel furnace. For some modern homes, central heating units run via natural gas fitted by traditional plumbers are the most popular, but these can be expensive, especially in colder climates where you may need to run heat for hours or days in a row.
That’s why some people switch to furnace-powered heat (a wet system log burner), as it only requires the purchase of wood or coal fuels rather than excessive amounts of gas usage. Typically, when compared to standard heating options, multi fuel furnaces, that are also known as wood-coal furnaces, can go on to save you hundreds a pounds a year on your heating bills.
Having a wood burner fireplace in your home is all fine and well but if you don’t decorate their surround properly, they can look majorly out of place.
Especially if you’ve got a home that wouldn’t necessarily feature a log burning stove – let’s say you feature only the finest of modern furniture and decor.
Thankfully, that’s where things like fire surround come in – fire surrounds are of the decorative style that surrounds the area of the log burner, helping to ensure that the modern log burner will make for a more fitting addition to your home.
But before we get into fireplace ideas for wood burner stoves, we’re going to discuss a little about the types of log burners that are available, even if you have one already or don’t, this will – at the very least – get you thinking about what your home may look like with your current or future log fireplace.
Ahh log burners, they make for the perfect focal point piece in a living room or family room and also help to bring you warmth all year around, especially in the winter time when cosying up by the fire is much more special.
As I’ve just said, discussing the types of log fireplace will help you to figure out if the one you currently have or looking to get is the right one for you – decoratively and practically speaking.
And if it isn’t, then keep on reading because we’re going to talk about the various log burners that are on today’s market and in many homes across the UK.
A great addition if you’re on a budget but still crave the natural and cosy warmth small wood burners give off, a small wood stove would be absolutely perfect for your home.
Big isn’t always better, and that might just be the case with woodburners. There’s just something about having a small woodburner accompanied by equally small fireplaces makes for the absolutely most warm and welcoming setting; one you’ll want to spend all day in.
Small wood burners can be great in minimalist style homes to replace a small electric log burner due to there, well small features. They also work in grand homes that feature more flashy furniture since they do a great job of adding to a room, perhaps being overpowered by the rest of the decor but still provide a more natural look which can really help to balance the interior.
So if you’ve already got a surround, then using a small wood burning stove for fireplace that you already have will be the most beneficial for your home style and budget.
Double sided log burners are a more niche addition than anything on this list. Since of feature them you’re going to have to have a specific type of fireplace; a double sided fireplace to be exact.
Although if this is something you already have (or plan on adding) then a double sided log burner will make for a stunning addition to your home since they more than certainly act as a great focal point in a living/lounge or dining area.
Something like a double sided wood burning stove contemporary style inspired will be just what you’re looking for if you’re wanting to add warmth to both the style and feeling of the interior.
Contemporary double sided wood burning stoves, as we’ve mentioned, are a great addition if you’re looking to add more of a focused focal point to your home; in general any style of double sided wood burning fireplace will do this for you.
In fact they are one of our most favourite styles – if you’re lucky enough to be able to feature one (as you’ve guessed or seen, double sided wood burners take up quite a lot of room!).
Modern wood burners are a modern take on the classic wood burners designs. Modern woodburners typically feature a silver grey look, sort of a minimalistic style with not much going on.
Because of this reason, modern wood stoves can be a part of any contemporary, modern and more favourably; a minimalist home. Wood burner modern styles are all quite similar as previously mentioned which allows you to have one that can fit in the home no matter how many times you may change your wallpaper, flooring and decor.
Usually made up of a small design, a modern wood stove would also work without a surround, perhaps in the corner of a room rather than as a focal point; since a modern woodburner isn’t typically a grand addition and more so the modern wood burner is there solely for the warmth which they provide.
Although, there are plenty of modern wood burner fireplaces designs that can help you to use this addition as a focal point piece, designs for your lounge are family room area – adding a modern wood burning fireplace can be the brand new addition you’ve been looking for, for your modern interior.
A cast iron wood burner is generally made up on the traditional cast iron log burner style. Just like steel log burners, a cast iron wood burner can feature both as a focal point and a complimenting piece in your home.
Ideally, in your lounge or living area, the cast iron wood burning stove can be just what you’ve been missing.
Because of its traditional look, a cast iron wood stove can work perfectly in a more simple style of home, but they also work great in modern and unique settings due to their ornate design which helps to provide style whilst offering its obvious benefit; warmth.
Alternatively, if you’ve got a modern wood burner or even just a small wood burner, you can get things like cast iron fire surrounds for wood burners that will allow you to still bring in the cast iron style without committing to replacing your wood burner.
Inset stoves are probably one of the most tidiest finishes you could possibly get from a wood burner. Typically used in minimalist homes, an inset woodburner is essentially a woodburner that is a part of the wall, which obviously means that the inset wood stoves manages to take up no room.
Inset wood burning fires can create a great atmosphere, especially modern inset wood burners that feature simplistic colour like greys and blacks to allow it to blend with the other modern furniture.
Ultimately, inset log burning stoves are one of the cleanest ways you can add heat to your home whilst taking up zero space; there are many inset fireplace ideas too – cleanly designed for any sort of room.
There are many different burning stoves that our wood burning stoves darlington team can fit for many different scenarios. It all depends on where you’re going to place it and what it’s going to be surrounded by; the sort of furniture you have will really affect how this surrounding will appear in your home – part of the decor or completely out of place
Speaking off interior setting; we’re now going to get into what you’ve been waiting for.
You’ve picked out your wood burner (or you already have one) now you’re looking to find out how exactly you’re going to feature it in your home and what sort of style you’re going to feature it within.
Let’s get into it…
A wood burning stove sets a beautiful tone in any home, especially if you’re looking to create a cosy home this winter. With the ability to be used as a focal point piece or as something that blends in with the rest of the decor, what you decorate the stove with really matters.
So, here are some great ideas we think you could utilize in your very own home (or at the very least give you the information needed to begin thinking about what it is you’re going to do).
General structure (no particular order)
A simple but yet effective way of decorative your new wood burner is by creating a white fireplace surround. This can most obviously be done by having white fireplace surrounds which features very minimal colours; to not take away from the white focus point.
Additionally, white mantelpiece ornaments will help you to achieve this look along with certain accents colours from black to browns which help to keep things lively but still of a minimalistic style.
Ontop of this, if you wanted to go all the way with your whtie style, perhaps you feature an ultra sleek modern home or you’re a huge fan of the minimalist interior trend, you could replace your current log burner with one of the whtie wood burners which have seen a rise in popularity over the many months.
This is sort of the last point I’ve just made about white fireplace surrounds. Painted fire surround allow you to get the look you want without spending endless amounts of money on adding a brand new fire surround that fits your needs.
Painted fire surrounds are sort of a ‘cheat’ way in getting the look you want without burning a huge hole in your pocket, whether you’re trying to compliment a cream wood burning stove, cream log burner or any other modern wood burners, painting the fire surround will be the easiest way of achieving the look you desire.
Hearth surround won’t necessarily transform the look of your fire surround all by itself, but it is at least another way of getting the fireplace idea you have been looking to achieve.
They’re many different fireplace hearth ideas I’ve come across, all unique and fitting to the intended style. Fireplace fenders, as they’re more commonly known, will be best matched with fire surrounds that feature a more out of the ordinary design; unlike typical minimalistic or modern.
They’re many different wood burning stoves available for your home, regardless of what furniture you feature, you’re going to be able to create a fire surround which will be perfect for your brand new wood burner stove.