What size stove do I need?
The first decision is how much heat you want to generate. Whilst it’s tempting to purchase the largest that will fit in your room or burns the largest logs possible, you need to be realistic. Too small and it won’t heat your room enough, too large and you’ll overheat or need to limit the flow of air into the stove – burning fuel inefficiently.
Heat output is measured in kilo watts (kw). 1 kw is the equivalent of a one bar electric heater. A normal double radiator (e.g. 600mm x 900 mm) gives out about 1.5kw. An online calculator, e.g. This one: stovesandfires.com will give you a rough idea of what you may want given the size of the room you’ll be heating. An estimate in kw is (volume of the room in meters cubed) / 14.
Stoves are available ranging from roughly 3kw to 15kw.
Do I need Planning Permission?
Chimneys or flues added to buildings within the New Forest National Park and within Conservation Areas generally require planning permission, and listed buildings require listed building consent. It is always advisable to check with your local authority whether they require an application to be made before deciding to proceed.
An amendment to the planning rules was introduced in October 2008, when the permitted development rights of householders were extended; in the majority of cases, twinwall flues can now be added to houses outside the National Park boundary without requiring planning consent, providing they do not face the road.
Do I need building regulations?
Building regulations need to be understood and carefully followed when installing a new stove, chimney or flue. Building regulations provide for a safe installation and cover key areas such as chimney & flue safety, the hearth, clearances to combustible materials and ventilation.
It is important to point out that although all work effecting stoves, chimneys and flues is governed by building control, work carried out by a HETAS registered installer can be self certified to confirm it conforms. Work carried out by an unregistered engineer must be inspected by your local building control officer. On completion a Data Plate will be fitted to confirm building regulation compliance.
Will a stove be more efficient than an open fire?
Yes a stove will operate at efficiency levels between 65-85%. Most open fires operate at levels of 25% or less.
How often do I need to sweep my chimney?
This should be done at least annually and preferable by a national association of chimney sweeps registered member who will provide you with a certificate of visual condition covering the flue/chimney and compliance with ventilation requirements.
Do I need any special ventilation?
All live fires need ventilation to ensure safe and complete combustion although stoves require significantly less than open fires. Stoves rated upto 5KW require sufficient room ventilation only. Stoves rated in excess of 5KW do require permanent ventilation and your installer will need to refer to the installation instructions for the specific size required.
Are there rules about areas of the city of Cambridge where stoves are required to burn smokeless fuel?
Cambridge has one ‘Smoke Control Area’ which covers the city centre, west and south west areas – details are on the local Council website
If you live in the Smoke Control Area, you have two options, either:
1) You must burn an authorised smokeless fuel these include anthracite, semi-anthracite and low volatile steam coals. Note that wood is not authorised!
2) Any coal, wood or other fuel, which is not an authorised smokeless fuel, must be burnt on an heating appliance that is certified exempt for your chosen fuel – a exhaustive list of these appliances is here: http://smokecontrol.defra.gov.uk/appliances.php?Country=e
Can a stove be installed if the property does not have an existing chimney?
Yes a stove can be installed without an existing chimney providing regulations are followed.
Is fluepipe supplied with a stove?
Every installation is different, and individual requirements for fluepipe therefore vary considerably. For this reason, flue materials are never included in the basic price of the stove, but are supplied as necessary for each situation.
Many thanks to Transition Cambridge for content