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Wood burning stoves – Eurostove’s Chris Baines answers some questions from consumers

Buying a stove is much more than choosing between a contemporary or traditional stove. Chris Baines, Eurostove MD helps to choose the right stove.

What model of stove should be installed with regard to heat output?
Output is an important factor in choosing a stove, it’s just as important not to overheat the room as to underheat it. As a rule of thumb, work out the cubic metre capacity of the room and divide by 14. However for modern and well-insulated homes it is probably more accurate to divide by 20. It is important to have a site survey conducted by a registered professional (Hetas or equivalent) to survey the proposed installation.

Is there a stove that produces long-lasting heat so I don’t have to keep re-filling it?
Yes indeed, the Somerton II from Eurostove has a heat storage block which means the stove will keep giving out heat for up to eight hours after the last logs are loaded.

Does it really matter what wood I burn?
It makes a huge difference. Kiln-dried wood (less than 20 per cent moisture) is the best source of wood. A 1Kg log of new wood is 50-60 per cent water, compared to dried wood, which may be 20 per cent water, but kiln-dried wood is around 15 per cent. The higher the moisture content, the lower the combustion temperature, which leads to more emissions being produced.

Should I replace my old stove?
Older stoves are up to 10 times more polluting than modern ones, and cost more to run. There are new standards coming into effect in 2022, which will require manufacturers to ensure that their stoves emit substantially fewer emissions. The Westfire 37 from Eurostove already meets those Ecodesign standards, as well as many other stoves from Eurostove. A full list of Ecodesign stoves can be found on the SIA website

What’s the difference between primary, secondary and tertiary Air?
Modern stoves consist of up to three air intakes, primary, secondary and tertiary. The primary intake (at the bottom) is used ONLY to get the fire going, otherwise it drives too much air through the stove and the temperature in the flue increases, which means heat is being lost. Unfortunately this leads to the vivid flame with which many consumers associate a ‘good’ fire, but it is very inefficient and not clean burning. In fact the chamber temperature will actually decrease as the flow of air is too fast.

The secondary air intake, which comes in at the top, is the main air source, for use once the fire is properly alight. If the primary air is still being used now, it will impede the flow of secondary air, meaning particles which would normally be burnt off will blow up the chimney, increasing pollution.

Tertiary air intake at the back is pre-warmed air injected into the combustion chamber at force to re-combust gas from the first combustion phase, giving the cleanest, most efficient, burn possible. It adds more oxygen into the chamber to aid the secondary combustion.

What is a convection stove?
Convection means that the stove has the equivalent to an inner and outer body, and between these bodies, air is heated and then travels around the room to heat a room more effectively. See the picture below for more information.

What if I live in a smokeless zone?
If your stove is labelled SE or Smoke Exempt this means that it has been tested and is DEFRA approved. This approval allows you to burn wood in a smokeless area, these stoves are also fit to burn approved smokeless fuels, unless otherwise specified.

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