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Choosing The Right Output For Your Wood Burning Or Multi-Fuel Stove
May 31, 2017

Choosing the correct heat output will be fundamental to your future enjoyment of your wood burning or multi fuel stove and its potential running costs. Just because you have a big space or a big hearth to take a big stove, don’t be lured into thinking that you actually need a big stove. If you have to pay for your wood then you should ensure that your stove doesn't cost any more to run than it needs to.

The following guidelines should help you to decide on the stove output that you require. If you need any further help or advice then please do not hesitate to contact any of our staff in the website. However, the reality is that, the ‘ideal’ room temperature you want to achieve is always going to be a matter of personal preference. Here are some considerations you should bear in mind...

As all wood burning and multi fuel stoves are designed to work best with the right fuel load it is better not to choose a stove which has a much bigger output than you really need. Choosing a big stove and reducing the fuel load to compensate means that the fire-chamber may not reach the correct operating temperature and thus the body – the bit that radiates the heat in a traditional radiant stove and helps convect the heat in a contemporary convection stove – may not be able to do its job properly. What you'll get by doing this is a lacklustre fire and disproportionally poor heat output.

Reducing the temperature in the fire-chamber will also have a negative impact on the effectiveness of the flue's up-draught making the flue gases rise slower consequently slowing them down further, all of which could create problems with creosote and condensates. You'll more than likely also have problems keeping the glass clean as a low fire-chamber temperature reduces the effectiveness of the stove's Airwash system which relies on the exceptional heat to burn off any dry particulates which may settle on the glass.


From an environmental viewpoint choosing a big stove and then reducing the fuel load and thus the fire-chamber temperature also means that you will simply end up producing more smoke (and therefore more soot) and more pollution. If you live in a UK Smoke Control Area, even with a DEFRA Smoke Exempt stove (also known as a Defra Approved stove) you could leave yourself open to prosecution through the creation of nuisance smoke. For further information on UK Smoke Control Areas and your legal obligations Click Here.

Conversely, choosing a stove which is too small and then having to stoke it up like the Flying Scotsman to get warm on very cold days could potentially permanently damage your stove and flue system through over-heating of the bodywork and stove and flue components.

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