Home Heating Tips from Stovax

Winter is always a hard time of year; it’s cold, wet, drab and dark. And with energy prices continuing to rise it is also a pretty expensive time of year. Deciding which kind of heating is the right choice for your home is not something to be taken lightly. With so many options available, it is important to understand the difference between the options and what the benefits are. Luckily, Martyn Allen, Associate Director of UK Sales at Stovax, agreed to offer his advice for anyone looking to purchase a new stove this winter. The UK has been in an economic downturn for some time now and energy bills have continued to rise. 
A question that many people want to know is what the cheapest form of heating energy is.Wood is a readily available resource in the UK and for those with their own coppice or equivalent, wood burning presents a cheap, plentiful and reliable source of heating for the home. Those with land can quickly establish a small wood to supplement or even replace their current supplier of seasoned logs. Crucially, stoking up a wood burning or solid fuel stove is an excellent way to produce heat for your home in an efficient way. By enclosing the flames within a firebox and a glass fronted door, the value of the fuel you use is maximised. Triple Air Systems increase thermal performance and also help to keep the stove door clean and clear.What factors should you bear in mind when choosing your stove?Think about the style and build of your home. Does it have a chimney breast? If yes, then provided it is thoroughly checked and approved for use by a qualified engineer, you will be able to introduce a stove into it. If you don’t have a chimney, there is the option of installing a stove or fire with a flue pipe system.

It is worth checking to see if you are in a designated smoke control area. Your local authority will be able to advise you but if you find that you are, don’t worry, Stovax offers a broad selection of stoves that are suitable for burning in smoke control zones whether you are after a traditional or a contemporary look appliance.

Next, consider the size of the room into which you wish to introduce a stove as well as how well insulated your home is. Once you have established how much heat you would like your stove to generate – and here you can choose from 2 to 19kW – all you now need to do is decide on the style you would most like. That’s the fun bit!

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

Woodburning is literally that – burning wood logs and nothing else. Multi-fuel stoves can burn a combination of materials including wood logs, peat/turf briquettes and coal. This enables you to select fuels that are the most cost effective and readily available.

Multi-fuel stoves have a riddling grate that allows ash to be riddled into a built-in ash pan to create the optimum conditions for efficient combustion as smokeless fuels burn better on a raised grate that allows air to be drawn in from underneath.

Woodburners have a fixed grate and no ash pan, since wood burns best on a bed of ashes. Some stoves have kits to convert them to either wood burning or multi-fuel.

How do these compare to gas stoves?

Gas can also fuel stoves efficiently by being encased behind a glass fronted door. Modern gas stoves can be powered with either natural or bottled gas and often have the additional benefit of a thermostatic remote control, allowing for a programme and room temperature to be set – and what could be more welcoming then returning home, or waking up to a room made cosy by your stove or fire.

How environmentally-friendly are wood burning stoves compared to multi-fuel and gas stoves?

Burning wood logs produces a carbon neutral form of energy. This is due to the fact that the amount of carbon dioxide given off when wood is burnt is roughly equivalent to that absorbed by the tree during its growth. Wood is also renewable and, provided that you obtain your logs from a well managed, local supplier, does not need to be transported far and can provide a readily and easily available resource indefinitely and for many.

What are the main technological innovations that can we see in today’s stoves?

Triple Air Systems provide cleaner burn, greater thermal efficiency and control of the flame picture. This includes Airwash whereby air is drawn down the inside of the stove door to keep it clean and clear; Primary Air to help wood fires combust; and Cleanburn, Secondary Air which, pre-heated through the heat exchanger chamber, is then drawn into the smoke stream where it combusts unburnt hydrocarbons to provide a clean burn and greater thermal efficiency.

Can stoves be used to run central heating systems and produce hot water for the home?

Yes, absolutely. Stovax has high efficiency wood burning boiler stoves that can be linked up to existing central heating systems to supply a family’s domestic hot water needs, up to 19 radiators, or an under floor heating system.

What is your best-selling Stove and why?

With a wealth of styles and sizes, the Stovax range has many very popular options. The Stockton has enduring appeal with its classic dimensions and an aesthetic that can be incorporated into a variety of interiors, not to mention its efficiency levels and high heat outputs.

What is the best way to care for and clean your stove?

Caring for your stove should be straightforward and not onerous. It is very important to ensure that you have your chimney swept on an annual basis by a respected chimney sweep. Stovax also recommends that, for wood burners, only seasoned logs with moisture content of less than 20% be used.

To help you get the best performance from your stove, fireplace or fire basket, and keep it in top condition, we offer a wide choice of cleaners, polishes, brushes etc; practical items such as bellows and heat resistant gloves; and replacement items such as stoves glass and rope seal.

Please view the complete range in this section by Downloading the Accessories brochure and contact us either by email sales@gwofstclears.co.uk or phone us on 01994 230384

Guest Post by Stacey Sheppard


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