Wood & Multi-fuel Stoves
Here at Beacon Stoves we offer a choice of woodstoves that reflect our experience, but most importantly reflect our customer feedback over the past 22 years.
When it comes to choice there are some basic considerations:
- The larger and heavier the stove, the longer it will take to heat up, lit from cold; the longer also it will retain heat as the fuel is burnt away.
- The lighter the stove, generally, the quicker heat is released.
- Consequently cast iron stoves suit situations where heat is required for longer periods of time.
- Steel stoves suit situations where heat is required quickly and use is more intermittent.
- Sizing of the stove is important in relation to:
- a. The amount of space to be heated.
- b. The size of fireplace, recess or hearth.
- c. The size of flue/chimney and the combustion air vents required.
Generally, the larger the firebox, the larger the output and the greater the danger of overheating the room or rooms involved.
Rule of thumb for stove sizing: Output required in kW (3,450 Btu/hr)
Poorly insulated properties, 1kW will heat approximately 10m³
Average insulated properties, 1kW will heat approximately 15m³
Well insulated properties, 1kW will heat approximately 25m³
- Quality of Build and Durability are also to be considered. Generally these are reflected in the price paid, but in our experience this is not always the case. Over time we have dealt with numerous manufacturers and through direct experience and customer feedback we have selected brands that offer good value for money, coupled with the best in associated services such as technical information, installation advice, maintenance, servicing and spare part provision.
- Remember that performancerelates to suitability of:-
- a. Fuel
- b. Chimney/flue system and combustion air
- c. Operation
The stove is like an engine. Good combustion relies on balancing the mix of fuel and air. A good chimney ‘pulls’ well and allows enough air to be sucked into the stove. Control is provided by adjusting the amount of air entering the firebox, according to how much fuel is in it. Too much fuel and not enough air causes over-rich combustion, toxic emissions to the atmosphere and the build up of ‘tarry’ deposits in the chimney/flue and even blackness on the glass.
Moreover, not so much heat is produced because the smoke, or volatile proportion of the fuel, is not set alight. Surprisingly, approximately 80% of the available heat is contained in the volatile gases and particles that make up the smoke. As the gases are burnt the flames reduce and the combustion air can be progressively reduced until no more flames are visible. Residual embers or ‘charcoals’ remain, which represent the remaining 20% of the original fuel load and these will burn without any visible smoke like a wood Bar-B-Q for a long time with the combustion air control proportionately reduced.
Not only do you need enough air, but the ‘engine’ or firebox needs to be hot enough (approx.400°C) for the volatiles to ignite. If the wood is ‘damp’ (ie much above 20% moisture content), then energy is used up trying to boil off water and this acts against the build-up of temperature. (Similarly a water boiler surrounding the firebox also ‘cools down’ the combustion).
Summary:Operation of a woodstove must be understood to get the best results, together with dry wood (typically two years of careful seasoning*) and a chimney that performs well.
We currently offer the following range of leading manufacturers’ woodstove products:
- JØTUL: A Norwegian company renowned for its reliable woodstove design over decades.
- EUROHEAT: The Harmony and Stanford ranges from a UK Distribution company with years of experience and professional service.
- DOVRE: A solid, value for money range of stoves, with excellent performance and a 10-year basic product guarantee.