A handy guide to help you choose from the many options available
If you are considering having a new wood-burning or multi-fuel stove installed, how do you choose which one is right for you? With over 200 different stoves on our website alone, you could be forgiven for feeling a little bit lost and confused as to which one is the best for you.
With that in mind, we have put together this handy little guide, which will point you in the right direction and help you to short-list a few stoves, making your decision much easier.
With stoves to fit any budget, room and style, let’s break down in steps where to start:
1. Wood-burning stove or multi-fuel stove?
The main physical difference between wood-burning stoves and multi-fuel stoves is that multi-fuel stoves have a grate on which smokeless fuels and coal can sit for optimum efficiency. Wood stoves do not have this grate, as wood does not need ventilation from underneath to burn efficiently, therefore, the wood sits in the base of the stove, otherwise known as a firebox where it burns best on a bed of ash.
As multi-fuel stoves can burn both wood and solid fuels, such as coal, anthracite and even peat, you may think that the best option is to choose a multi-fuel stove. However, as the UK Government is going to be banning house coal and any fuels that have more than 2% sulphur content (as these are the most polluting), your options for burning anything other than wood is going to be limited in the future.
If you do decide that a multi-fuel stove is for you and you would prefer to burn alternative fuels to wood, DEFRA has a list of fuels that have been approved to be burnt in smoke control areas.
However, the environmental impact that burning peat, coal and other fossil fuels have is not sustainable, therefore, burning wood, which is renewable could be the best option, especially if you know that you will only ever be burning wood.
As the name suggests, wood-burning stoves are designed purely for burning wood and burning wood more efficiently than a multi-fuel stove can. They do not have a grate and the wood burns happily on a bed of ash in the bottom of the stove.
The only drawback with a woodburning stove is that you are limited to burning wood and therefore if obtaining this easily and cheaply is not possible, then you may prefer the flexibility of a multifuel stove.
2. What size of stove do I need?
When you are looking for a new stove, it is important to get not just the physical dimensions correct for your fireplace, but also to ensure that the heat output of the stove is sufficient to heat the entire room.
To help you with this, we have a very hand Stove Size Calculator, which, with three simple measurements, will help you to calculate the kW of heat required to heat your room. Once you have the results from the calculator, at the bottom of the page are some handy buttons that will take you to the ranges of stoves that fit your needs.
Before you make your final decision on a stove size, you may also want to consider what sized fuel you are burning. If you are wanting to burn large logs, then a ‘Wide’ bodied stove might be the best option, assuming that you have the extra width available in your fireplace. These wider stoves typically have the same heat output as their more narrow counterparts, but have larger openings, so that you can fit in wider logs.
3. DEFRA Approved & Smoke Control Areas
As you may be aware, burning solid fuels such as wood and coal can be polluting to the environment. This is why DEFRA has been appointed to manage smoke control areas which dictate what fuels you can and cannot burn and the amount of particulates that your stove is permitted to generate when in use. We won’t go into great detail here, as we have a handy guide to DEFRA and smoke control areas where we cover this in greater detail.
4. SIA - EcoDesign Ready
By early 2022, all appliances must meet strict efficiency and emission limits to meet the Government’s Clean Air Strategy. The Stove Industry Alliance is an organisation, made up of manufacturers, suppliers, industry advisory bodies and others with a similar interest who have decided not to wait until 2022, but instead to award manufacturers of stoves that already meet these new criteria.
Therefore, manufacturers are keen to get their stoves approved by the SIA and be accepted and rated as being efficient enough, gaining the badge of ECODesign Ready. On top of purchasing a stove that already meets these new rules, choosing an ECODesign Ready stove, also means that you are choosing a more efficient and cleaner-burning stove, which is better for your wallet and the environment.
Depending on whether you live in a quaint cottage or a modern semi, the style of stoves needs to reflect the property and also your individual taste. Therefore, manufacturers have designed a plethora of styles, colours and shapes of stoves to meet any situation.
Contemporary, Modern or Traditional?
Whether you are looking for a stove to really stand out and give the wow-factor, or whether you want a traditional-looking stove that won’t look out of place then we have carefully gone through and made some suggestions regarding the styling of the different stoves that we supply.
Simple or colourful?
Inset of Freestanding?
For a very modern and sleek look, you may consider an inset stove. These stoves are completely inset into the chimney breast and as such less of the stove is exposed and provides a very minimal look. You can find all our inset stoves listed here.
Hopefully, this brief guide will help you to choose the right stove for you and your home. However, if you are still not sure and need some help, then, please give us a call or get in touch via our Contact Page and we will more than happy to help you to choose.