Dimplex Fires Come Up Trumps

Dimplex Bach electric wall fireDimplex fireplaces have achieved an enviable reputation for producing electric fires with realistic flame effects. So it comes as no surprise that the developers of the new Trump International Hotel in Toronto have chosen to install Dimplex fires in most suites to add ambience to the building.

Dimplex have developed some groundbreaking fireplace products over the years. Their patented Optiflame system has become a world favourite since its introduction in 1988, generating a realistic bed of simulated flames which appears to emanate from the centre of the fuel bed. The appearance of the flame effect varies depending on the size of the fire and what fuel bed is chosen.

More recently Dimplex launched the Opti-myst system, a 3-dimensional smoke and flame effect which is hard to distinguish from a real fire. Opti-myst uses an illuminated ultra-fine water spray to create the illusion of smoke and flames, with further realism added by a fuel bed of glowing Optiglo logs and a shimmering ashbed.

The Dimplex product range include wall mounted fires, freestanding fires and fires for use with conventional fire surrounds. Shop for Dimplex fires from the comfort of your home!

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Small Woodburner Suggestions

There are so many woodburners and multi fuel stoves on the market that it can be hard to work out what stove is best for you, especially if you have very specific requirements. One common problem scenario is finding a suitable stove for a small living room, a boat, a caravan, a mobile home or even an outbuilding. To help you along the way this post rounds up suggestions for tiny woodburners with a heat output of 3-4kW. I’ve picked a mixture of top sellers in this output range and lesser known models

Pennine 4 Multifuel Stove

Pennine 4 Multifuel StoveThe Pennine 4 multifuel / woodburning stove is a British-made budget model with a 4kW heat output. If you’re looking for something well-made and affordable this is a great option. It is equipped with both primary and secondary burn for efficient operation, and airwash to keep the viewing window clean. The body of the Pennine 4 woodburner is made from steel with a cast iron door.

Villager Puffin Multifuel Stove

Village Puffin Wood Burning StoveThe Villager Puffin multifuel stove is a traditional woodburner with a 4kW output. Equipped with primary air control and an airwash system for cleaner glass, there is the option of a stainless steel back boiler to divert some of the heat into a radiator, towel rail or hot water. The Villager Puffin stove has a static grate for burning wood or solid fuel, and is suitable for top flue installation only.

Bohemia 30 Multifuel Stove

Bohemia 30 WoodburnerThe Bohemia 30 woodburner is ideal where hearth depth is limited. Wider than it is deep, the Bohemia 30 can take an impressive 30cm log, as well as being suitable for use with smokeless fuel. The steel body has a simple design which can fit in with both modern and traditional homes. The heat output is 3kW, and the efficiency rating is 74.4% for wood and 75.5% for solid fuel.

Dunsley Highlander 3 Multifuel Stove

Dunsley Highlander 3 WoodburnerDunsley are known for clever engineering, turning out a top quality range of intelligently designed stoves from their Yorkshire factory. The Highlander 3 is the baby of the Dunsley range, with a heat output up to 3.3kW. Options available include a canopy, stainless steel back boiler and choice of black or brass handles. The Dunsley Highlander 3 woodburner is made from steel with a cast iron door.

Broseley Serrano 3 Multifuel Stove

Broseley Serrano 3 WoodburnerThe soft curves of the Broseley Serrano 3 multifuel stove make it a great choice for modern interiors. The stove body is made from solid cast iron, which is great for holding heat and gently radiating it into the room. The Serrano 3 has primary and secondary air controls, with pre-heated airwash to help keep the viewing window clean. The heat output is 3kW, with an efficiency rating of 81%.

It can be difficult to know what woodburning stove to choose, but always remember there is plenty of help available. If you need some help or advice you can email or call us on 01484 434320.

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What Does a Fireplace Hearth Do?

Gallery Cranbourne marble fireplace with Neon fire basketWorking in the fireplace industry there are certain facts about fireplaces I tend to see as so obvious they don’t need to be explained. Every so often someone asks an unexpected question, which of course makes me wonder how many other people are unsure about the same thing. Recently one of our customers asked what a fireplace hearth does, and I decided to share the answer in case anybody else is wondering.

Most people just think of a fireplace hearth as the slab of stone which lies at the base of the fireplace below the grate, stove or fire. In fact there are usually two parts to a fireplace hearth – the decorative slab visible at the base of the fireplace, and a thick concrete sub-hearth below which lies flush with the floor. Together they provide a heat shield to prevent the heat from the fire from spreading to nearby joists which could catch fire if not protected.  The decorative hearth has additional fire prevention functions – by creating a raised area near the fire it subtly deters people from placing flammable materials too close to the fireplace, and it provides a non-combustible surface around the fire in case any burning embers spill out.

The traditional combination of sub-hearth and decorative hearth harks back to the days when open fires were the norm, but is still important for modern combustion appliances such as gas fires and solid fuel stoves. UK Building Regulations set out strict requirements for hearths for combustion appliances in Document J, which you can download here. It is vital to confirm that your hearth is suitable for any new stove or fire you are thinking of having installed, and this is one of the points a professional will check when visiting your home to do a fireplace or fire installation survey.

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Wood Stove Safety Tips From Fire Service

Villager Chelsea Duo multi-fuel stoveDumfries and Galloway Fire and Rescue Service recently issued some safety guidance in the wake of a number of house fires linked to wood burning stoves. Substantial energy price rises in recent years, coupled with the struggle to cope with recession, have made woodburners a popular way to save money on home heating bills. The trouble is that the pressing need to save money can tempt people to cut corners when installing their wood burning stove, increasing the risk of a house fire.

According to community fire safety officer Michael Aldersey of Dumfries and Galloway Fire and Rescue Service “When they are used correctly, wood-burning stoves are a safe and effective way to heat the home, but users should be aware of some basic safety considerations”. His comment appeared last week in The Galloway News, along with the following recommendations for safely enjoying your woodburner.

  1. The main concern is to make sure wood burning stoves are fitted professionally, including having the chimney checked before installation.
  2. People often leave firewood close to the stove to dry out before it is used, but the wood can get sufficiently warm and dry to catch fire even if it isn’t in direct contact with the woodburner. You should keep any flammable materials well away from your stove.
  3. The surface of a wood burning stove will become very hot during use. If you have young children in the house you should put a fireguard around your woodburner to prevent them getting close enough to burn their little hands.

These are all excellent points, but I would add that anyone who uses their woodburner with the door open should use a spark guard, and that it is vital to dispose of ash safely as embers can reignite hours or even days after the fire has gone out.

If you are thinking of getting a wood burning stove we recommend a professional solid fuel installation survey before going ahead to confirm it is a suitable heating option for your home, to get a clear idea of the installation costs and to ensure you have expert help in choosing the best stove for your home.

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New Stone Fireplaces from Pureglow

Pureglow Wenlock fireplace, Pureglow Wychbury fireplace, Pureglow Hanley fireplace, Pureglow Knighton fireplace

New Pureglow fireplaces L-R: Wenlock limestone, Wychbury limestone, Hanley marble, Knighton marble

We’ve just added some beautiful marble and limestone fireplaces from Pureglow to our product range. All are available with or without a fire, giving you the freedom to create the perfect look for your living room.

Pureglow Wenlock Limestone Fireplace

The Wenlock fire surround is crafted from solid Agean limestone, with a 54″ wide mantel shelf. The creamy tones of the limestone contrast with the glossy black back panel and hearth. It has a 75mm rebate and is suitable for use with gas and electric fires. The black granite back panel has a 22″ x 16″ cutout which is compatible with standard inset fires.

Pureglow Wychbury Limestone Fireplace

The Wychbury fireplace is crafted entirely from solid Sepol Portuguese limestone, and is suitable for use with gas and electric fires. The three-piece back panel allows for some flexibility in the opening size, making this suite a good option for use with fires which aren’t standard width. The mantel width is 54″, with a 75mm rebate.

Pureglow Hanley Marble Fireplace

The Hanley fireplace is made from Perla micro marble, a composite stone with consistent colouring and a smooth, glossy finish. Two sizes are available – 48″ width or 54″ width, both with a 75mm rebate. The 22″ x 16″ cutout is compatible with a wide variety of gas and electric fires.

Pureglow Knighton Marble Fireplace

The Knighton fireplace is made from Perla micro marble, with a matching back panel and hearth. At 56″ wide it will be an imposing feature even in larger rooms. The back panel opening is 22″ x 16″, ideal for inset gas and electric fires.

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Thinking of Buying a Woodburner?

Morso Squirrel 1430 woodburning stoveRising fuel costs and the green living movement have triggered a lot of interest in woodburners amongst people who have never had one before. While I know a wood burning stove is a great choice for many people, it isn’t right for everyone. It’s easy for stove shoppers to get caught up in working out how to choose the right woodburner, but you really need to begin by answering the question of whether a wood burning stove is right for you.

Let’s face it- a stove has to fit in with your lifestyle as well as your decor. You can always get the look of a woodburner with a gas stove or electric stove, but living with a woodburning stove requires more hands-on involvement with heating your home. For some people that’s part of the attraction, but for others it is more of a turn off. You really need to get a sense of what is involved before committing to buying your first wood burning stove.

Back in October I mentioned that Hayley Jones of uk-energy-saving.com had started an online diary recounting her experiences with a newly installed Morso Squirrel stove. Over the last few months she has given a warts-and-all account of getting used to her first woodburner. If you want an insight into life with a wood burning stove this diary is a great place to start.

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Wood Burning Stove in a Car…Whatever Next?

The internet has been buzzing for the last few days with pictures of a wood burning stove installed in a car. While the pictures are great, this video is even better!

Why Install a Woodburner in a Car?

The man behind the story is Pascal Prokop, a 38 year old living in Mettmenstetten, Switzerland. It all started when the heater broke in his 1990 Volvo 240 – no laughing matter in the bitter cold of an Alpine winter. While most of us would deal with this problem by getting the heater repaired, Pascal Prokop thought it made more sense to install a woodburner in his car instead. Out came the passenger seat and in went a woodburner complete with a chimney through the car roof.

No Seriously, Why Does a Car Need a Wood Burning Stove?

My first thoughts about this (at least once I stopped laughing) were to wonder whether our good Mr Prokop

  • Had too much time on his hands?
  • Anticipated ever having a special someone who might want to sit beside him in the car?
  • Was a little bonkers?

If you dig a little deeper the whole thing doesn’t seem quite so mad after all. Apparently fixing the heater in a Volvo 240 is a nightmare of a job (although almost certainly easier than ripping out the passenger seat and replacing it with a woodburner). And the cold snaps which turn into a national crisis in England pale into comparison to the worst a Swiss winter can offer. I’m not saying I’m convinced it makes sense to put a woodburner in your car, more that I accept the possibility of it making sense somewhere in an infinite universe. My knowledge of Swiss German is limited to guessing it’s probably the German-sounding language the Swiss man was speaking, so I don’t know what Pascal has to say for himself on the video. But I like to think he was talking about how his job requires him to spend all day driving round inspecting snow-laden trees and waving at everyone he passes, making an in-car woodburner every bit as essential as a steering wheel.

Don’t Try This at Home!

According to MSNBC Pascal Prokov built and fitted the wood burning stove himself, then went through official channels to get an operating permit from the Swiss authorities. I’m not sure how Swiss bureaucracy compares to the delights of UK regulations, but I can’t imagine such a contrivance getting the official seal of approval over here! But just for a moment let’s play with the idea of something like this hitting the UK roads…

  • Should you avoid driving through Smoke Control Areas, or drive through them faster to avoid getting caught belching out wood smoke from your car?
  • Would the police view refuelling while driving as better or worse than talking on a mobile phone?
  • Would twoccers be more likely to steal your car because it makes it easier for them to burn it out when they’ve finished joyriding?
  • Would boy racers install fake wood burners in their hot hatches to make them look faster?
  • Would stretch limos be fitted with jewel-encrusted woodburners to give them that extra bit of bling?
  • Would the cat enjoy being taken to the vet if riding with a woodburner was part of the deal?

World Record Wood Burning Stove

Pascal Prokov has been awarded a world record for being the first person to install a wood burning stove in a car. I’m pretty sure he’s entitled to a world record for getting most attention for installing a woodburner anywhere in the history of the world ever. However I have my doubts as to whether he is a true pioneer or mere proof of the power of social media. I once met a musician called Howling Chris who travelled Europe in a woodburner-equipped van little larger than a Volvo 240. If you see him tell him to give the World Records Academy a call…

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