A few questions we've been asked before, and hopefully our helpful answers.

What does it take to heat a room?

The following formula will help you calculate the size stove needed to adequately heat your room. Please remember that the number of doors and windows etc. in a room will have a marginal effect, so always over rather than under estimate. To produce a comfortable room temperature of around 70°F (21°C) when the outside temperature is 0°, you will need 1kW of heat for every 14 cubic metres of space. If you do not have double glazed windows in the room then add 1kW for each window. If you have radiators in the room that you plan to keep running minus 1kW for each radiator. Firstly you need to calculate the cubic metres of your room, by multiplying the length, the width and the height. If you then divide this figure by 14, you will get the kW required to comfortably heat your room. (Length in metres x width in metres x height in metres) ÷ 14 = kW

What are the benefits of a multi-fuel stove?

A multi-fuel stove will burn a variety of different fuels. Recommended fuels include smokeless fuel, wood and peat Please bear in mind that wood will normally burn better on a wood burning stove. A multi-fuel stove is significantly more efficient than an open fire. The best fuel to use is smokeless coal, as is specified by stove manufacturers. Petroleum based industrial fuels should always be avoided.

What are the benefits of a wood stove?

A wood stove will burn seasoned hardwood in the most effective manner. It will combine long burn times with the least amount of ash. A wood stove is significantly more efficient than an open fire. The best fuel to use is seasoned hardwood. For the best results this means dry wood with a moisture content below 20% that is well, but not too tightly, packed into the firebox. The more moisture there is in the wood, the more it will smoke and possibly cause tar to build up in the chimney. Not only that but it will produce less heat. Peat can be burned in turf or brick form, but the moisture content must be low. Household refuse will burn successfully but only if it is dry and fairly tightly packed. Never burn plastics.

What are the benefits of a gas stove?

Gas stoves operate on Mains Gas (NG) although some stoves have a Bottled Gas (LPG) alternative. They often have very high levels of efficiency and combine realistic effects with instant operation. The flue options are more flexible than solid fuel alternatives.

What is the difference between a steel bodied stove and a cast iron stove?

A cast iron stove is made of panels that are bolted together, normally with rope joints, and is the traditional material used to manufacture a stove. The heavy panels take time to heat up and hold their heat, giving an even temperature during the operation of the stove. The most controllable stoves are often cast iron. A steel stove is made from a sheet of steel that is cut, pressed and welded together. It often heats up very quickly to give prompt heat to a room. The door seal is sometimes not as tight as a cast iron stove, but due to the elastic nature of steel it is very durable and resistant to damage.

What technologies are used to keep glass clean, aid combustion and achieve cleaner emissions from stoves? And how do they compare from manufacturer to manufacturer?

Clean glass is normally achieved by drawing air across the doors to create a barrier between the burning fire and the glass. By preheating this air the overall temperature of combustion is increased, keeping the door glass cleaner during operation. Cleaner emissions rely on a similar principle; the more complete the combustion the cleaner the emissions will be. There are so many different names and technologies these days that it is not possible to give a comprehensive comparison of them all here, some differences are very evident to the average user whereas others would only be detected by experts or on test-rigs. As with so much in life, there are pros and cons to these technologies, and some technological advances have hidden drawbacks such as requiring greater maintenance, additional expense either when purchasing the stove or in fuel, or shorter burn times; so please telephone us if you have particular requirements that we could advise on.

Can I run the stove with the doors open?

Most wood burning and multi-fuel stoves can be run with the doors open or closed. To enjoy an open fire, spark guards are available for certain models It is worth remembering that with the doors closed, stoves can burn fuels up to 60% more efficiently than open fires, making them a very economical and fuel efficient source of heat. Some gas models can be run with the doors open.

Do I need a cowl?

It is good practice to fit at least a rain cap. When you are not using the stove and it is raining you are more likely to collect rainwater in the stove body if you do not have a cowl.

Where can I get good quality fuel from?

We recommend our log supplier S J Logs