Small woodburner – recommendations

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  • Small woodburner – recommendations
  • The Morso fires are very nice (we have one). Carefully consider what you need it for – if you are only ever going to burn wood then only buy a wood stove. If you think you will burn coal/coke etc, then get a multi-fuel stove.

    Make sure the chimney is in good condition though!

    Premier Icon Capt. Kronos
    Subscriber

    The guy I am going to get into fit it will be checking the chimney first – can get it lined if needs be!

    It probably will be a wood only fire, although coal can be convinient…

    Basically I am looking to get enough output to heat the walls of the house – old houses work well if you use em right, that thermal mass is my friend 😉 Think the Badger was the size up from the Squirrel… but I could be wrong (seem to recall someone making one called a Puffin too, quite where these names come from I don’t know!)

    I installed a Charnwood Cove 1 two years ago.

    It’s really good. Contemporary looks, no squirrels and stuff. It burns really cleanly. Never normally have to clean the glass. It has a flat top and also heats a kettle well. We have also cooked baked potatoes and made bread on it (using a dry fryer pan).

    Charnwood also do various add-ons. At a building show this year, I saw a little clamp-on water heater which fits round the flue. I was trying to persuade them also to make a little stove-top oven, and they were really listening. Nice company.

    Watch out for the the cheapo unbranded stoves from places like Machine Mart. They will work, but less efficient and dirtier to burn, and you won’t be half as chuffed with the result!

    2hottie
    Member

    We have the Morso Squirrel in our 120 year old terrace house, however the heat it can give out may not be enough for the house your suggesting. Last winter we found it hard to keep the whole house warm with it however the front room was very toasty. We have put new double glazed windows in and new doors and what a difference! the thing will heat the house but I would go for the multi fuel option as they will burn hotter imo, also use very dry hardwood for the best heat output.

    Things to look for are:

    The chimney, does it need lining? I would recommend getting a chimney sweep in, to do a smoke test, some are honest however most are not so be warned as some will tell you to get it lined when you don’t need too. Also to watch out for are smoke control zones, we are in one so had to pick the stove to suit. Building control at the council will be able to help. Then getting a certified installer would be good “Hetas” I think. Next up is the chimney pot, in certain conditions this causes the fire to draw the smoke back down the chimney and fill your front room! (this happened to me) You may need a new pot to stop this.

    Think that is everything..

    but I would go for the multi fuel option as they will burn hotter imo, also use very dry hardwood for the best heat output.

    I don’t agree with that comment – all they do is have additional vents and a large adjustable base plate which, when set up correctly (ie the right vents open), would simply mean less space for the wood which only needs air circulating from above.

    Regarding the chimney – if you need to line it, seriously consider the lining you choose – a steel one will not last as long as a properly installed concrete one as the heat oputput from a stove is huge. Of course steel costs much less to fit.

    2hottie
    Member

    M-F to be honest I’m new to the wood burning game so I think you may well be right, I do however add coal/coke to mine with a log on top so that maybe the difference in heat output?

    woffle
    Member

    HETAS installers or chimney sweeps will be able to advise you as to regards ventilation and the state of your current fire and any particulars regarding installation – there are minimum clearances that you have to adhere to around the stove (I think it’s 4 inches) and some models need external air supply to the room (via a vent etc). Your chimney may need lining if you’re in a old building and it’s on a shared wall / it’s crumbling etc. This isn’t cheap. Again, if you’ve ever had birds nesting on the chimney you’ll need a specific cowl and it’s best to get this done when the stove is fitted rather than afterwards.

    As far as stove recommendations so – we’re having a Stovax Stockton 4 fitted in the next few weeks. The aim is to heat a 3.5×3.5m room and this should be spot-on. It’s costing about £550. If you go for a wood burning only then you should pay a reduced VAT rate which helps. Ours is multifuel as our central heating is run off another stove in our kitchen/diner (thoroughly recommended).

    Regarding the chimney – if you need to line it, seriously consider the lining you choose – a steel one will not last as long as a properly installed concrete one as the heat oputput from a stove is huge. Of course steel costs much less to fit.

    This is an of contention. Different builders / fitters will tell you different things regards steel vs. ceramic/concrete liners – there are horror stories about the latter crumbling. This then means the whole chimney has to be reamed out at huge expense and mess. Supposedly the National Trust have now stopped going for anything other than steel as they’re a mystery when it comes to long-term reliability because it’s a relatively recent technology. We’ve heard lots of pros and cons from impartial fitters – we had the decision made for us on the basis of cost alone – steel is significantly less expensive but even that can be £1000 for a chimney…

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    The main difference between a multifuel and a wood burner is the addition of a grate. Most of the multifuels can have the grate removed to increase the space for wood burning. A multifuel gives you the option of adding coal for a bit of extra heat.

    We have a Hunter Hawk which is a great little stove, but not quite big enough to heat our living room properly. It will be upgraded to one of the Hunter Heralds once our building work is complete.

    Premier Icon Capt. Kronos
    Subscriber

    The fitting side of things will be all done by a bloke that knows what he is doing, so will take advise from him at that stage 😉 Just getting my head around costs at the moment since we need to get some sofas too… and so it is a budgeting nightmare!

    Useful thoughts these though, cheers 🙂

    woffle
    Member

    Budget-wise we’re looking at paying something in the region of £1800 including the removal of old fireplace and making good the new alcove and laying a stone hearth, lining of the chimney 🙁 (but the flue is shared with a fire in our girls bedroom and we can’t take the risk with nasty fumes etc), cowl and installation of the stove.

    I can recommend a couple of decent firms in the South East (Kent/Sussex)

    2hottie
    Member

    Rob try these people for your sofa,

    http://www.sofasofa.co.uk/about-us

    They had a great range an mucho cheap!!! paid less than £500 for a 3 seater sofa with a single chair both in leather delivered.

    The price for our burner was £700 ish!!

    jupiter
    Member

    Dowling stoves, the only stove worth buying. You can of course ignore my suggestion, but believe me there is no better stove on the market.

    I do however add coal/coke to mine with a log on top so that maybe the difference in heat output?

    Well yes – if you do that then output would be different. Do note though that both shouldn’t really be used together – it isn’t like an open fire – one fuel burns very differently than the other and in the closed environment it isn’t ideal…
    How to burn wood on a stove…

    When are we going to do a ‘pictures of your stove’ thread anyway???

    2hottie
    Member

    cheers M-F I think I’ll be changing my ways now! An my Grand parents who told me how to use the burner!

    donald
    Member

    If you are going to burn wood this winter then get it Now and get it properly dry over the summer.

    Premier Icon Capt. Kronos
    Subscriber

    Just in the process of buying a new house (well… as new as a 300 year old house can be), and am thinking of popping a wee woodburner into the living room. At the moment it has a fire place with no grate/ash box… and a gas pipe sticking up to insert a gas burning fire. I don’t like gas fires, so am planning to get a guy out to price up installing a woodburner. Since he doesn’t sell em, I am starting to get some ideas of what to put in there and costs so it can be all ready come winter!

    It isn’t a big room, so thinking something along the lines of a Morso Squirrel, or perhaps one size up from that (the house being old is also lacking such things as double glazing and cavity wall insulation so would probably take a higher heat output than a modern house). Anyone got any other suggestions of stoves I should be looking at, and places to buy them from!

    (There is already a wee stove in the dining room, but that is on the ground floor and the living room on the first… besides… you can’t have too many woodburners in a house!)

    Cheers

    Also – get a paper log maker – I make a batch every couple of years using all the newspapers I collect up and use them to supplement the logs I throw on.

    Premier Icon Capt. Kronos
    Subscriber

    Aaaah – had forgotten about sofasofa, been directed to them in the past!

    £1800 for the fitting… but more than I was expecting to hear that, but we shall see – don’t know if I need a liner or not yet, and I am guessing that is a large part of the work.

    The chimney runs up through the middle of the house, so no shared chimney issues there then:

    Pics

    The wee stove in the dining room is on that brochure – no idea what it is! The living room is directly above, and with the connected study gives me about a 7.25 x 3.1m space to heat. There is central heating, but I like burning wood instead where possible 😉 (It’s going in the room where the fireplace can be seen on the far right of the second row of pictures, that fireplace is – probably – original to the house, so will get shifted up to the bedroom and retained as a “feature” or something!)

    tankslapper
    Member

    We fitted a Stovax Stockton 5 last year – simply stunning

    bristolbiker
    Member

    Euroheat Harmony 13 here – Around £2500 for the stove, liner, hearth, fitting and commissioning a couple of years ago. Stove was about £300 pricier than ‘normal’ as its rated for smokeless areas, burning wood and coal. Fitted it as part of rebuilding the whole of downstairs and it is without doubt the best thing we did 🙂

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    I went the other way and instead of removing the fireplace installed an inset Esse 300. Not quiet as efficient as a standalone but takes up little space. As it was under 5kw it did not need an air brick and due to the nature of the design it slots straight into the fireplace without theneed to line the chimney. I did the work myself in less than an hour. Its multi fuel and the box is quite small so I do end up splitting the logs a bit smaller than most but it did wonders for our heating bills this winter.

    petestuart
    Member

    Got a Charnwood country 4 and love it!

    woffle
    Member

    About £1000 of that cost is chimney lining and cowl – steel liner and then backfilled behind it. Then it’s sealed to the top plate in the hearth and thoroughly smoke tested. The general rule of thumb seems to be that if you’re in a detached property or it’s relatively recent you’ll probably get away without lining it if you want to – there’s more risk of chimney fires etc but any decent HETAS guy will be able to talk you through the ins and outs.

    The other £800 includes the stove!

    -m-
    Member

    We’ve got a Charnwood Island II which we bought last year. It’s probably a bit big for what you want, but some really nice design features and smart engineering without being too sophisticated/complex.

    sqweeeezzz
    Member

    We have a Charnwood Country 4, nice small dimensions for fitting in the fire place with good heat output for the size of stove that can still take 12″ plus logs. And I’ll second the recomedation for sofasofa – top notch for the money 🙂

    Firebelly FB in charcoal here.

    Fitted a stainless liner and cowl as our terraced house chimney was a knacker, smoke came out of fireplace in front room when bombed in living room. I’ve heard a few too many horror stories about chimney fires now so would always fit a liner for piece of mind.

    I fitted ours myself, took a day to knock out and clean up the hole (biggest job) the chimney liner was quite tricky but took about half a day. another half day for plastering etc. then another day for the hearth and fitting of the stove.

    I made my own hearth and register plate so all in cost around £1100 (stove was £675 of that and liner £250)

    Christowkid
    Member

    We’ve got a Morso Squirrel – really nice little stove, kicks out some hear for its size and is a cast stove ( not bits of sheet welded together!) Morso make good stoves and guarantee to keep spares even if/when they go out of production…. but they’ve kept their range for years. Our main stove is a morso panther, brilliant! 18 years on and still going strong.
    I sincerely hope your mate who’s fitting it is HETAs engineer. you can d-i-y it but now need to get the local Building reg’s man in to check, which costs, so all in all best to get it done proper in the first place. Not sure, but possibly mess up insurances if fire or anything went wrong?
    Our main chimney is lined with concrete/pearlite mix, put in by locally franchised org. ( argh, forgotten name! – Ceeco??) ) , guarantee 35+ years, never been know to fail. Now they’ve let the franchise go and set up independantly and use steel liners, as steel now viable and less expensive. You almost certainly will need it lined, as chimneys are designed for open fires, liners reduce size, are insulated to increase efficiency and guarantee that the flues and exhaust gases go *up* the chimney not *through* the chimney into a gently sleeping bedroom…..
    I’d recommend a multifuel, as you can rev it up with a bit of solid fuel. this year our log supplier ran out of seasoned logs for the first time ever. He supplied reasonable ones, but as he said ” with a bit of coal or something in they’ll soon catch…” with the world and his wife going over to stoves, the supply of *good* quality seasoned wood will be hard to get. A multi fuel lets you burn other things, or a mix like we do.
    Go on…..do it, you’ll love a good multifuel!
    ceers
    Q

    Premier Icon Capt. Kronos
    Subscriber

    It’s okay – not a mate doing it, but a guy who basically makes his living from installing the things! He is CORGI (well, whatever has just replaced it) registered to deal with the gas pipe that is there, HETA for the solid fuel side of things… and is a competent builder to sort out all that side of things too 😉 Don’t think he is cheap mind!

    Just been looking at the Aarrow Eco thingymajig – 5kW output, looks about ideal.

    Premier Icon tommytowtruck
    Subscriber

    We got a Firefox 5 last winter – more at the Budget end of things at £300 but seems well put together and we’re very happy with it so far. Got our Chimney sweep to fit it which was another £300 or £350 (can’t remember which) – including taking out our old fireplace and surround and the tons of rubble behind it! Speaking of which – anybody on the look out for a nice cast iron fire and/or slate fire surround?!?!? Oh, we didn’t get a liner fitted – get your chimney sweep to check it out – he’ll be able to advise whether one is required depending upon the condition of your chimney. To be honest, if your chimney is in ok nick it might not be such a bad diy job if you’re into that kind of thing.

    cchris2lou
    Member

    we just had a Stovax Huntingdon fitted .

    Stove was £750 alone and with fittings and others it came at just above £2000 .

    it is not cheap but well worth it .

    konabunny
    Member

    I am thinking about a small woodburning stove next year too, so all this is very interesting to me right now.

    Genuine question: presumably it’s more eco to burn newspaper logs than to recycle them and burn gas to heat a front room, right? (Assuming you were going to read the papers anyway and that you’d have a gas fire installed instead).

    joemarshall
    Member

    Genuine question: presumably it’s more eco to burn newspaper logs than to recycle them and burn gas to heat a front room, right?

    Possibly not – according to the analysis linked below, it is better to recycle than to burn it in an energy producing incinerator, which presumably would be more efficient than your stove.

    http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/briefings/paper_recycling.html

    Wood burners are only going to be carbon neutral if you can get some spare wood from a local source, which is becoming increasingly hard to do as more and more people get the things (because they think they are carbon neutral). Otherwise they’re just a quite inefficient and environmentally unfriendly way to heat a house (although it is nice having a fire obviously).

    Joe

    konabunny
    Member

    oh.

    i didn’t think it would be carbon neutral, though. well, actually, hold on, if you bought wood from a managed forest, wouldn’t that be carbon neutral (+/- the amount of carbon involved in cutting/transporting it to your door)? Or am I misunderstanding carbon neutral?

    woffle
    Member

    we buy our wood locally – it’s comes from managed and sustainable forests/woods in Sussex/Kent. As I see it the carbon cost is that used in delivery – it’s certainly a whole lot better than our alternatives which would be LPG, Oil or electric storage heaters…

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