Tag Archives: Wood Burning Stoves

Stoves Buyers Guide Part 1

What would You like Your Stove To Do?

Heating up a room in your home or supplying hot water to a room has always been options but people see wood burning stoves as a lifestyle choice as well. Picking a stylish designer stove can transform any living space in your home. Whatever your home styling you live in, either a compact urban townhouse or a country cottage setting, both traditional cast iron and contemporary wood burning stoves work equally well in either home setting.

Clean Glass System

A clean glass burning system offers an unrestricted view of open flames from inside the stove. This is of course very pleasing to the eye and after all, as well as giving you with a practical heating option, a wood burner creates a great ambience as well. Without the Clean Glass system, the glass may blacken and it’s a tricky job to keep clean.

Are they Efficient?

Wood burning stoves and multi fuel stoves are all highly efficient, most stoves run at up to 87% efficiency, which compared with up to 25% for a traditional open coal fire is a great amount of difference! The most efficient wood burning stoves use something called ‘cleanburn’ technology, this works by introducing pre-heated air into the smoke at the top of the firebox that combusts the hydrocarbons from the smoke, which results in less pollution.

What Are The Latest and greatest Designs?

The styling of modern wood burners are in such a wide variety these days, they include freestanding versions, three-legged models and some that can swivel so you are able to direct the heat where you want. If you’re looking for a traditional, old-style stove in black or a colourfully painted or enamel style are very easy to find, in contrast to their period looks, they’re stuffed with modern technology. Made from cast iron or steel, stoves are super-efficient heaters; look out for eco-friendly versions that burn eco-friendly pellets, or practical boiler stoves that will heat water as well as the room.

Wood Burning Or Multifuel?

Being clear about what each term means is therefore invaluable and will help you to come to a final purchasing decision more easily. Many of Alpine stoves for example the 250 cast iron stove, are made to be either log burning or multifuel burners, it is necessary to be clear on which would best for your individual heating needs.

What is a multifuel stove?

A multi-fuel wood burning stove is designed to burn a range of fuels:

  • Wooden logs
  • Smokeless fuel

This is possible by the central riddling grate and ash pan, or a raised grate that has bars which allows the stove to efficiently burn many types of materials. Unlike wood burning stoves, the fuel bed needs to be de-ashed to help create and manage for the best combustion and the best burning as well. The design of Alpines multifuel stoves includes an ash pan underneath the grate to both collect and enable the safe removal of the ashes that are created during burning times.

Innovations in Alpines stoves design have helped with this burning process and make a quicker, easier and cleaner air wash process. It is worth noting also the improvement that an air inlet makes to efficient combustion as it introduces air from underneath the grate.

What is a wood burning stove?

A wood burning stove runs far more effectively when the fuel is allowed to sit on a bed of ashes. For this reason you will note that a wood stove usually has a fixed grate with a flat base. This ensures that the ashes created when logs are burning are collected in the base of the firebox to allow fresh logs to be placed on top: this greatly assists the combustion process.

Cast Iron or Steel?

If you’re speaking of great quality steel stove versus quality cast iron stoves then, giving that the stove is used directly with the manufacturer’s intended instructions, it shouldn’t really matter. Poor quality cast iron stoves have well known reputation for cracking under high temperature exposure, that as well as poor quality steel wood burning stoves have a reputation for warping when at high temperatures. The difference between the two types of stoves are that steel wood burning stoves heat up quicker and expel more heat to the room it is in much faster than cast iron. In which is the traditional material for wood burning stove building, since it is much heavier than steel and provides a greater mass of the metal, it tends to take longer to build up heat and expel it to the room.

In history steel was regarded once as a poor material for wood burning stove manufacturing, this would result in warped steel stoves. Steel quality however has now greatly improved so there really is not that much difference between cast iron anymore. In some cases cast iron wood burning stoves are built more heavily and more sturdy than their counterparts steel stoves, and in some cases may have the quality edge.

Cast iron stoves, which are known to be generally heavier than steel bodied stoves, they have the advantage that the mass of the metal in the body of the stove acts like a heat storage radiator dispensing the heat stored into the room for few hours after the fire been expelled. A steel bodied stove will do this too but it won’t retain its heat for quite as long. So, essentially it’s a lifestyle choice – if you need fast heat then chooses steel and if you want longer lasting heat, say overnight, then choose cast iron.

What size of stove do I need?

Here at alpine stove we will help you in choosing a wood burning stove, the task of buying one in itself is difficult, to know what size stove to buy for your home. An important thing to note is that people buy stoves that is often really too big for the room they are placing it in, whilst it may seem simpler to just buy the biggest stove possible, this however isn’t the best option. One of the first thing anyone should know is any stove over 5kw needs an air brick or ventilation kit for the room that the wood burning stove is installed in to ensure good air flow, but it is recommended altogether for any burning appliance.

An important factor to consider and one that Alpine stove recommend researching is when buying what is the physical size of the wood burning stove?, you need to have enough room for the stove as well as allowing 6 inches of clearance to the sides and rear as well as 9 inches to the front of the hearth to comply with the necessary building regulations. Your wood burning stove should also be 40 inches away from any combustible materials.

All alpine stove wood burning stoves have optimal performance efficiency, they achieve this by running at their nominal heat output. If they run at less or more than the output they of course become less efficient, meaning the cost of fuel goes up as well as the exhaust is more damaging to the environment. Getting a wood burning stove with a nominal heat output that matches the room it is installed in is what you should be aiming for, to get a better idea of what heat output you will need from a wood burning stove you can use our heat output calculator. You should remember that this is only a guide as factors such as how well insulated your room is.

Savings and Costs of Using a Wood Burning Stove

Stove prices

According to the National Energy Foundation of the United Kingdom. The price varies according to which size stove you require for your room. Growing sales and popularity are helping to drive down prices, with smaller wood and multi fuel stoves starting at around £500. Installing a full wood-heated system can be costly, with prices running into several thousand pounds.

You’ll also need to factor in installation costs, as well as the on-going cost of using wood as fuel. The cost of a pellet stove, including installation, would be around £4,300 and a log stove should be cheaper, at about £2,000.

Costs and savings

Installation can be the main source of the cost; using wood for multifuel stoves could save you hundreds of pounds over electricity or gas however. Wood burners and multifuel stoves are usually standalone features used as a centrepiece in a living room to keep that or more rooms warms, certain models can be attached to a back boiler to heat the water for the home. Also you can buy wood boilers as part of a wood central heating system.

Wood fuel traditionally comes in the form of logs or, for multi-fuel stoves a special type of fuel is needed, wood pellets. Before you buy, check with the manufacturer of the multi fuel which fuels are usable to burn on your chosen stove. If you live in a city area, Wood prices can be higher for these areas, so some people choose multifuel stoves, which burn wood and fossil fuels. Supplementing wood with smokeless fuel while not as environmentally friendly it can keep costs down. In addition, find out if you live in a smoke control area as your stove will need to be approved for use by DEFRA.