Tips on Choosing a Stove

April 26, 2017

So, Spring is here, and you maybe thinking about getting a stove for your home. You have seen your friends new stove and hearing them enthuse about how wonderful their stove is and the great amount of heat they are getting from the stove. You’ve been thinking about getting a log burner, but there are hundreds on the market all promising to be the exact stove you will need .
There are plenty to choose from; the cheap Chinese imports (not recommended) to the high quality European and Scandinavian stoves. Switching to a stove can be expensive and the stove you choose will be with you for a long time. The cost of stove can be from €100s up to €1,000s and that is before you get them installed. The price of the stove depends totally on budget!
Prices may vary from shop to shop, so its always worth your while having a look around for the brand or model that you have chosen to install.
Whenever you get to purchasing the stove, make sure that the installer is a qualified installer. Ask your installer for references from previous installation. Check if they are HETAS approved which shows the installers as reached a level of competence.

Choosing the right stove will ensure you great enjoyment and will be warm and cosy

Below are issues to consider before selecting the right stove for your home:

  • Heat output appropriate for the room/space you want to heat
  • Fuel type – wood burning only or multi-fuel
  • Are Cleanburn, Airwash and efficiency important to you?

Room size

The stove you choose will depend on the area you wish to heat. More often that not customers buy to big a stove for the room and end up opening windows to let the heat out. Whilst your Stove shop will help there is a general rule for determine the stove output for your room.

To produce a comfortable room temperature of around 21º/22º Celsius (70º Fahrenheit), when the outside temperature is 0º, you will need about 1kW of heat for every 14 cubic metres of space. 1kW is the equivalent of approximately 1 bar of an electric fire.( yes you remember them )

Measure the length, width and height of your room and multiply the three figures together.For example, a room measuring 7m long by 4m wide and with a height of 2.5m is 70 cu. m. of space. Divide by the sum by 14 and this means you will require a 5kW stove.

However this is just a rough guide, factors such as the number of outside walls, the size of windows and whether they are double glazed, the age of the home etc, can all influence the heat requirement.

Physical size

The physical size is important because it determines what size fuel you’ll need. Generally the minimum size for logs is around 25cm and I would make sure that your stove can take this size. Any smaller and you could have difficulty sourcing logs.


Primary and Secondary Air

Any stove that you are using to burn wood should have both primary and secondary air controls (primary goes to the fire bed, secondary goes to the flames above it). You should also ensure that any new stove you buy has independently controllable primary and secondary air flows, as this allows a much greater range of fine-tuning. Don’t worry if it is impossible to close the secondary air vent fully, as there are no circumstances when you’d need to do this during proper stove operation anyway.


Most modern stoves are designed to re-circulate air through the system. This allows for a more efficient heat transfer, and more efficient mixing of fuel and air. This process involves passing the flue gas through the combustion zone to ensure that any particulate matter and other vapours have been completely burnt, increasing efficiency and reducing the nasties that can crop up in flue gasses.

Air-wash/ Cleanburn

  1. Airwash air is drawn down over the inside of the window to keep the glass clean and clear. It is also used as primary combustion air when burning wood.
  2. Primary air for use with solid fuel, also used to start wood fires but not normally used once a wood fire is burning.
  3. Cleanburn secondary air is pre-heated as it passes through a heat exchanger chamber within the firebox. It is then drawn into the smokestream, where it combusts unburnt hydrocarbons to provide a cleaner burn and greater thermal efficiency.

Introducing pre-heated, secondary air into the firebox at just the right point promotes efficient combustion of any unburnt hydrocarbons that may be in the smoke. This ‘cleanburn’ process can greatly increase the combustion efficiency of your wood burning stove and dramatically reduce the amount of unburnt particles going up the chimney. This can in turn reduce your servicing costs and save you money in fuel. It also gives you an improved flame visual.

Many stoves use a hollow door system. This uses air to insulate the stove door (allowing you add fuel more easily) while increasing the temperature of the air coming into the firebox. This increases efficiency and can be used to keep any glass in the door (relatively) clear of soot.

Fuel type – wood burning only or multi-fuel

Multi-fuel stoves

There are a wide range of different stoves on the market that are sold as ‘multi-fuel’ meaning that they can accept a range of different solid fuel types.Wood burns best on a bed of ash with its combustion air coming from above, so wood burning only versions of stoves have a flat fuel bed and no ashpan. Multi-fuel stoves usually have a riddling grate for the effective combustion of solid mineral fuels but also have Airwash so they can effectively burn wood as well. The riddling grate allows the ash and cinders from smokeless fuels, anthracite or peat/turf briquettes to be riddled into an ash pan, maintaining the primary airflow through the fuel bed and, hence, creating the optimum conditions for efficient combustion of those particular fuels.

Wood only stoves.

Wood burns best on a bed of ash with its combustion air coming from above, so wood burning only versions of stoves have a flat fuel bed and no ash pan. Generally they are cleaner and the wood burns to ey little ash. There is no cinders remaining with wood burning stoves.

This is can be a compromise between the requirements of coal and wood (which means that it is optimised for neither) but in many cases this actually means that the stove can be set up to burn coal or logs (though not both simultaneously). To burn wood well on a multi-fuel stove you’ll need to do a little bit of fine tuning. Since the insulating effect of ash is helpful for maintaining a wood fire, you may want to empty the ash less frequently or even blank off the grate completely with a metal plate. If you want to burn wood and coal on the same fire, you will need to try and find a happy medium between the two fuel types, though you do run the risk of getting the worst of both worlds.

What Next?

If you snuggling up to the idea of getting a stove shop around and get advise from your friends you have already installed a stove. And remember when it comes to buying wood for your Stove buy from bestlogs.

Kiln Dried Logs in Dublin, Ireland from Best Logs

Best Logs For Your Stove.

To order your Kiln Dried Logs Goto our shop Best Logs Dublin

It pays to shop around to get the best quality stove.