Frequently Asked Questions - Woodburning & Multi-fuel Stoves

Which brands of wood burning and multi-fuel stoves do you sell?

We are the area’s main dealer for Barbas, Chesneys, Dovre, Jotul, Nordpeis, Scan, Stovax and Stuv.

We have carefully selected our portfolio, from top of the range stove brands, to ensure that we have options to suit every taste, budget and property. If you have seen a different make of stove elsewhere which is not in our range, it is highly likely that we have an equivalent or an alternative product – please ask!

Do you install wood burning & multi-fuel stoves?

Yes. Any installation of a solid fuel appliance and/or flue system must be fitted by a HETAS Registered Installer, or the installation has to be inspected by Building Control. We employ our own HETAS Registered Installers, which exempts the homeowner from having to notify Building Control of the installation.

Why should I consider having a stove?

Stoves offer a highly efficient form of secondary heating, completely independent of gas or electricity supplies. This is particularly attractive to many homeowners in times of fluctuating energy prices. Additionally, a real fire offers a genuine aesthetic appeal and ambience, and can add value onto a property. For new builds, installing a wood burning appliance improves the property’s SAP rating.

Are stoves environmentally friendly?

Burning wood is a carbon-neutral activity, assuming the fuel is from sustainable woodlands. In addition, multi-fuel appliances, burning a mixture of wood and smokeless coals, produce less carbon dioxide emissions than electric or gas appliances (source: Government Standard Assessment Procedure, 2005).

From 1st January 2022, only stoves which meet stringent new Ecodesign standards are permitted to be installed into homes in the UK. The new standards relate to particle emissions, so that the products of combustion produced by an Ecodesign stove will be as clean as possible. All stoves from all manufacturers in our range meet the Ecodesign standard.

How efficient are stoves?

Modern wood burning or multi-fuel stoves are up to 80% efficient. This is because the combustion takes place in a sealed chamber behind glass, with the air feeding the fire easily controllable through inlets in the door of the stove. In contrast, traditional open fires are only around 20% efficient – meaning the vast majority of heat generated disappears up the chimney.

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

Wood burning appliances usually have a flat bed on which to build the fire. This is because wood burns best on a bed of its own ash, with air for combustion coming from above. A multi-fuel model gives you the option of burning smokeless coals too. They have a raised grate, as smokeless coal requires combustion air from underneath the fire, and an ash pan to collect the cinders.

Can I burn wood in a multi-fuel stove?

Yes, it is fine to also burn logs in a multi-fuel appliance, but be aware that the presence of a grate and ash pan often reduces the firebox area, meaning less room for your logs. If you are sure that you will only ever burn logs, it is best to go for a dedicated wood burning appliance. A small selection of appliances can be converted to multi-fuel in the future should your circumstances change.

Can I burn house coal in a multi-fuel stove?

No. You can only burn anthracite, or manufactured smokeless fuels certified as suitable for use in a closed heating appliance (e.g. Homefire or Homefire Ecoal). Ordinary house coal contains volatiles which can seriously damage your appliance and flue. Burning bituminous coal, ‘petro-coke’, or any other petroleum-based fuel will invalidate your product’s warranty.

If I buy a wood burning stove, am I limited to just burning logs in it?

There are other products available which are suitable for burning in a wood burning stove, e.g. manufactured wood heatlogs. However, you are not able to burn smokeless coals in a dedicated wood burning stove.

What size of stove do I need for my room?

In order to heat your room to a comfortable temperature, you should aim for an appliance which gives 1kW of heat output for every 14 cubic metres of room space. Measure your room in metres (width x length x height) to find how many cubic metres of space you have, then divide this figure by 14. This is the kW output you need. Some stove manufacturers, particularly Scandinavian, list a minimum, maximum and nominal (or rated) output. For the purposes of UK building regulations, you should work on the nominal (or rated) output figure. Note that this calculation is only a guide, and may vary for individual properties (e.g. very draughty or very airtight homes).

What will happen if I choose a stove which is too big for my room?

If you had a stove installed which was too powerful (in terms of kW output) for your room, you would find that you couldn’t run the appliance to its full ability, as you wouldn’t be able to stand the heat. Subsequently, you would end up under fuelling the stove, which in turn would fail to get the stove up to its optimum burning rate. This would prevent features such as the cleanburn and airwash from kicking in, causing operational problems such as the sooting up of the firebox and blackening of the glass.

What is ‘primary air’?

This is the combustion air needed to “feed the fire”, and is generally delivered via a controllable air vent on the bottom part of the door of the stove.

What is ‘airwash’ (secondary air)?

Controllable air is collected through a front air intake and is ‘washed’ over the inside of the glass, helping to keep the stove glass cleaner for longer.

What is ‘cleanburn’ (tertiary air)?

Tertiary air is brought into the rear of the stove & circulated via internal ducting to pre-heat the air. It is then, as it gains momentum, injected via a row of factory machined holes into the top of the combustion chamber. This action causes the unburned gases and smoke particles (a by product of the fuel containing volatiles which would normally go up the chimney) to be re-ignited and burn again, producing extra heat and cleaner emissions. Furthermore, you will enjoy the sight of even more flames.

Can I have a glass fronted stove built flush into the wall?

Yes. A huge range of built-in cassette or insert stoves are now available, in both wood burning and multi-fuel versions. These can either be installed as a ‘hole-in-the-wall’, or in a traditional fireplace setting with a stone surround. Cassette stoves offer all the same efficiencies as a freestanding stove. They often have additional features, such as fan systems (to help circulate warm air more quickly) and warm air ducting (to distribute warm air to other parts of the room, or even other rooms in the house).

Can I run a stove with the door open?

Generally, no. Stoves are designed to be run with the door closed. Leaving the door open for prolonged periods will simply mean that most of the heat goes up the chimney, and your fuel will soon burn out. You could also potentially damage your stove and flue by running it with the door open. A number of canopy stoves are available, designed for inglenook fireplace installations, which may be used with the doors open or closed.

I don’t want a glass door on my fire. Can I still get an open fire?

No. With the introduction of Ecodesign standards, from 1st January 2022 the installation of new open fires into homes in the UK has effectively been banned.

Does my chimney need to be lined in order to have a stove?

This depends on the type, size and age of the chimney, and its condition. Older traditional brick chimneys normally need to be relined with a flexible steel flue liner. This is because the gases produced by a stove are much cooler than an old open fire, so the size of the flue needs to be reduced to ensure the chimney draws correctly. It also eliminates any potential chimney fire risk from tar and soot deposits building up in an old chimney stack. If you have a newer existing chimney which is sound (for example it has a clay liner system installed) it may be possible to install a stove without relining the chimney. This is subject to an inspection and test on your flue, which we can carry out for you.

I have no existing chimney or fireplace opening. Can I still have a woodburning or multi-fuel appliance?

Yes. It is possible to install a brand new rigid steel flue system to enable you to have a stove in a room with no existing chimney or fireplace. The flue can either go straight up and through the ceiling (and through a further floor if necessary) to terminate above the roof, or the flue can exit the room through an external wall, then up the outside of the property to a suitable termination point. Where the flue system is seen, we can supply it in a professional powder coated paint finish (usually matt black, although any RAL colour of your choice can be used).

Do I need an air brick in my room in order to have a stove?

If your property was built before 2008, then you will only need an air vent if the stove has an output of over 5kW. If your property was built after 2008, you will need an air vent into the room for any stove. Some stoves have the option of a direct external air connection, which can be used to eliminate the need for a wall or floor vent into the room. However this is subject to a commissioning procedure, which checks that the stove and flue are working correctly and safely. If there is any spillage of smoke back into the room during this test, it may be necessary to bring additional (through-wall) ventilation into the room in addition to the direct external air connection.

How can I get my chimney swept after a stove has been fitted?

The majority of stoves can be swept through the stove, usually just by removing the flame baffle at the top of the firebox, which is a simple job. For those appliances which cannot be swept through, a flue access point will need to be built into your installation.

What kind of guarantee do I get with my stove?

Each stove comes with a warranty which varies between 1 and 25 years, depending on the product you choose. For example, Stovax offer a 1 year warranty (which can be extended to 5 years by buying through an authorised dealer such as ourselves), while Barbas offers 10 years and Jotul 25 years. This warranty covers the body construction of the stove. Note that parts such as glass, firebricks, fire rope, baffles and grates are considered to be consumable parts, so are never covered by any guarantee.

Can I just buy a stove from you and have it fitted by someone else?

Yes. We are more than happy to ‘supply only’, but please ensure your installation is carried out by a qualified HETAS Registered Installer, or inspected by Building Control. A stove installation is not a ‘do-it-yourself’ job – and any mistakes made in installation will automatically invalidate your warranty.

Do you have stoves on display in your showroom?

Yes, we have around 50 wood burning and multi-fuel stoves and fires on display in our showroom at 615 Newmarket Road, Cambridge, including ‘live’ working models. The products we have on display include a selection from each manufacturer in our range, although as we are sure you appreciate, with many hundreds of stoves available it is impossible to display every model. Please check in advance if you are looking to view a particular make or model.

Do you keep the stoves in stock?

We keep some popular models in stock, so it is worth calling us on 01223 213500 to check availability. Most stoves are generally brought in once you confirm your order and pay a deposit, with the lead time being around 7 to 10 days (assuming the product is in stock with the manufacturer).



Very experienced and helpful company, top class, thank you (Google 5 star review)

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