The March edition of 25 Beautiful Homes recommends the Stovax Huntingdon 35 woodburning stove as a similar model to the traditional woodburner shown on p.96 in the Hampshire villa belonging to Sarah Bedford and John Pyne. The gothic lattice work on the stove door is a great fit for a Victorian building, as is the solid cast iron construction. But what if you want to get this look but need a different type of stove?
Aga Minsterley Woodburning Boiler Stove
Solid fuel boiler stoves are becoming increasingly popular as part of money-saving & green heating systems. The Aga Minsterly boiler stove is capable of heating 4-5 standard single radiators as well as giving out 3.6kW to the room. It can be used with both wood and solid fuel, and uses cleanburn technology to achieve 73% efficiency.
Franco Belge Ardennes Double Door Woodburner
The Franco Belge Ardennes stove is a double door powerhouse ideal for heating larger rooms. Two sizes are available – 11kW and 15Kw – and you have a choice of glossy enamel colours if you don’t like the standard matt black painted finish. An outside air kit is available if you want to bring in combustion air to the stove without having to install an air brick.
Broseley Canterbury Gas Stove
The Broseley Canterbury gas stove looks traditional but has been designed with modern homes in mind. It’s a slimline model which can be installed on a standard-depth hearth, available in black, blue or green finishes. Broseley also make a balanced flue gas stove and electric stove in the same design. These are very popular with people wanting realism because they use a cast iron carcass.
Dimplex Rectory Electric Stove
Dimplex are one of the UK’s most popular brands of electric fire. Although best known for their inset fires, Dimplex also make some great electric stoves. The Dimplex Rectory stove comes with both log and coal fuel beds and features the Optiflame® flame effect. A remote control is supplied so that you can fully enjoy it without having to get out of your armchair.
Where do you put a fireplace when you don’t have room for one? This might seem like a daft question, but there is a distinct trend towards smaller rooms in modern properties. As well as making us feel hemmed in, these restrictions on living space create some real practical problems. How do we fit in enough seating to be sociable with family and friends? Where do we put all our stuff? And how do we make a small place feel like home rather than a rabbit hutch?
Modern houses and flats generally have excellent central heating systems, without any physical need for a fireplace to keep you warm. But that isn’t really the point. Evolved as we are, fires still speak to a primordial part of us. They represent home and comfort and safety, and the hypnotic effect of flickering flames is truly relaxing. The central heating may keep our bodies comfortable but it doesn’t warm our hearts.
So what should we do if we crave the comfort of a fire but simply can’t fit in a conventional floor level fireplace? The answer is to head for the high ground and look at wall-mounted fires instead. There is a great range of shapes and sizes available to fit whatever space you have available. Most are modern in style but there are a few with a more traditional look if the contemporary isn’t your cup of tea.
Wall fires are incredibly versatile, with gas and electric models available for both recessed and flat-wall installation. The biggest problem you’re likely to face should you want a wall fire is which one to choose! I’ll come back to this topic later with a look at how to choose the right wall fireplace. In the meantime why not sit back and imagine how a wall fire could improve your living space.
There’s nothing like the ambiance and comfort of a real fire, but decades of reliance on central heating seem to have left some gaps in our understanding of fire safety. I’ve seen too many news stories lately about house fires which started because ash from an open fire or woodburner wasn’t disposed of safely. Many people don’t realise how dangerous hot ashes can be, assuming the risk of fire disappears as the flames die down. However, even when it looks as though the fire is dead embers can stay hot enough to start a fire for several days afterwards.
The worst story I’ve heard about recently was the Christmas morning blaze in Connecticut which killed three little girls and their grandparents. Apparently the children had been concerned about Santa getting down the chimney if the embers weren’t removed from the fireplace. Their mother’s boyfriend is believed to have cleaned out the fireplace and left the ashes in a bag in or near an entryway, close to the rest of the household rubbish, where they reignited during the night and set fire to the house.
Even when nobody is hurt a house fire can be devastating, causing entire families to be displaced from their homes. Always make sure smoke and fire alarms are in working order, and above all develop good fire safety habits.
Safe Ash Disposal Tips
- If you leave ashes in the fireplace make sure a fire screen is in place.
- Never use a bag, cardboard box or plastic container to collect and dispose of ashes. The ideal ash container is a small metal can with a tight-fitting lid.
- Never use a vacuum cleaner to collect ashes from your fireplace or woodburner.
- Once you collect the ashes from your woodburner or fireplace, take the ash container outside immediately.
- Place your ash container outside, well away from the house.
- Allow at least 4 days for ashes to cool before dumping them.
- If using ashes on your garden take care not to tip your ashes near something which could easily catch fire such as dry leaves, and make sure you moisten the area before dumping the ashes.
The Morso Squirrel woodburner has long been one of the most popular Scandinavian stoves on the British market. Over the years the Morso Squirrel stove family has grown, but always retained a traditional appearance. The latest addition, the Morso Squirrel 1416 stove, is a departure from tradition with clean, contemporary styling to suit modern homes.
The Morso Squirrel 1416 is a compact 4kW multi fuel stove capable of burning wood, briquettes and manufactured smokeless fuel. It has been designed for clean burning, and has a net efficiency rating of 78.4%. DEFRA approval is pending, and once passed it will be legal to use the Morso Squirrel 1416 in Smoke Control Areas.
Today one of the leading UK’s leading financial websites recommended wood burning stoves as a way of saving money on energy costs. The article appears on www.thismoney.co.uk and suggests a range of simple tips for saving energy, and therefore money. These include switching energy suppliers, improving home insulation, using a water conditioner to remove limescale, using rugs on wooden floors during winter, turning down the heating thermostat by one degree, and using a wood burning stove.
The article rightly points out that wood burning stoves are far more efficient than open fireplaces, comparing estimated efficiency of 15-20% for open fires to 70% for wood burning stoves. Woodburners vary in efficiency, with those incorporating clean-burn technologies such as secondary and tertiary burn being ahead of the field. Many log burning stoves now burn so cleanly they are DEFRA approved for use in smokeless zones.
The ultimate in fuel-efficient domestic woodburners are pellet stoves such as the Aga Fusion pellet stove, which can achieve 90% efficiency. The Aga Fusion burns pellets of compressed wood waste, which are exceptionally dense and dry for wood fuel, and is programmable with an automatic start-up cycle. This level of automation comes at a price however, inasmuch as the initial purchase cost is higher than for a log burning stove.
As today is our last day of business before the Christmas break, we would like to wish all our customers the best for the festive season. Our normal business hours will resume on Tuesday 3rd January, and in the meantime our opening hours are as follows:
|Saturday 24 to Monday 26 December
|Tuesday 27 to Friday 30 December
||10am to 4pm
|Saturday 31 December
|Sunday 1 January
|Monday 2 January
||10am to 4pm
Our stove & fireplace showroom is holding a winter clearance sale from 27th December. Prices start from £199, and everything must go! Our showroom carries only a small percentage of the thousands of products we sell online, so please call the showroom on 01422 373540 before visiting if you are outside our local area to avoid disappointment if they do not have the product you are interested in.
News coverage and discussion of clean burning wood stoves tends to focus on their environmental and financial impact – improvement of air quality through reduced emissions, carbon footprint management and money saved through increased fuel economy. But there is another important aspect to this issue – the impact on wildlife occupying woodland areas.
A recent article in The Times of India describes an initiative to encourage residents of villages in the Valmiki Tiger Reserve to switch from traditional mud stoves to clean burning Chulha stoves. This will reduce the villagers’ dependency on the local forest for wood fuel, supporting rejuvenation of the forest and increasing the security of the 11 tigers who live there. So far villagers who have made the change are seeing a reduction in fuel use of around 40%.
The initiative is also boosting the local economy, with a group of women trained as installers initially paid to install the stoves in their own homes to serve as demonstration units, then able to charge a fitting fee to people who decide to get a Chulha stove. The local potter also benefits from the new market for clay stove pipes.
As well as making for a safer environment for endangered animals, use of Chulha stoves offers significant safety benefits to their owners. Traditional cooking methods carry high risks of burns and smoke inhalation not just in rural Indian communities but in many parts of the world. The Chulha stove is one of many clean burning stoves designed to offer a safe, cheap and efficient alternative.
The tigers and other animals in the Valmiki Tiger Reserve are at constant risk from poachers, who earlier this year killed a male rhino in order to cut off it’s horn. While poaching presents a direct risk to endangered animals such as tigers and rhinos, their continued wellbeing also depends on maintenance of their natural environments by minimising human disturbance to forest areas. Reducing consumption of firewood by changing to clean burning stoves immediately reduces the need for villagers to intrude into the tigers’ forest home to gather fuel.
The world’s wild tiger population has dropped by 95% over the last century. You can adopt a tiger through WWF for as little as £3 a month – an ideal Christmas present for animal lovers!