Yorkshire Post Life & Style Section – 30th December 2015
Want to feel cozy and snug this Winter? Interior Designer Jamie Hempsall considers the developing popularity of the Wood Burning Stove.
When it comes to winter, what could be better than curling up in front of a warm fire? Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in the installation of wood-burning and multi-fuel stoves in our homes as this method of heating is increasingly seen as efficient and cost effective.
Design enhancements and colour options mean there are fires to suit even the most modern accommodation. The traditional fireplace-located black box still has a place in people’s hearts, but many stoves are now developed for free-standing use on a hearth (with the correct flue). This creates a focal point in its own right and gives greater flexibility in positioning.
If you yearn for a sleek appearance without a visible flue, then look for models with a rear flue connection to avoid seeing a pipe coming out of the top of the stove.
Stoves such as the NEO3W from ACH Heat Products even have side panels so that they can be visually enjoyed from a variety of angles and maximise the amount of heat that the stove gives out.
Innovative models like the Rais Viva 120 from Robeys also have the ability to rotate, so that you can direct their heat exactly where you want it in the room – altering this as the occupants or use of your area changes. This model features embedded hot stones, which help to keep the stove warmer for longer – more efficiency equals less fuel input!
Bear in mind that if you live in a town or city you are likely to be in a smoke free zone, but this does not rule out the possibility of installing a stove. Defra, have approved certain multi-fuel stoves that burn smokeless fuel specifically for use in these areas. For more information see www.gov.uk/smoke-control-area-rules.
It has also not taken long for the alternative fuels market to wake up to this home heating phenomena and some of the latest models (such as the Aga Fusion Stove) have now been developed to burn the same wood pellets as used in Biomass Boilers; feeding these in via integral hoppers to help minimise stocking up. Some can even been managed by your smartphone.
Whatever style you choose, opting for the right heat output from your stove is vital to guarantee your space is warm enough. All stoves come with output ratings, so make sure you know the cubic dimensions of the area that you want to heat (height, width and depth) so your retailer can give you the best advice on the size needed.
Lastly, don’t forget the need for an area to store your fuel – the drier, the better, large enough to allow you to take advantage of bulk delivery discounts and ideally without too much of a trek to bring it in!
Which Wood is Good?
The type of wood you burn considerably affects the efficiency of your stove. The National Energy Foundation recommends hard woods such as Ash, Beech and Cherry that are denser, so burn longer than softwood.
Only ever use seasoned wood: cut in one year (ideally in Autumn/Winter when the moisture content is at it’s lowest) and stored for at least 12 months under cover in an airy place.
Never burn newly cut or wet wood – you’ll get plenty of steam, but very little heat!