Stove Sizes

Ensuring that your wood burning stove or multi-fuel stove is large enough to provide the appropriate heat output is an integral part in choosing the right stove for your home. Choosing the right size stove ensures that your home is not only adequately heated, but also that you are not spending more on keeping it running than necessary. Additionally, having a large space or hearth does not necessarily equate to needing a large stove, and the right room temperatures will be up to personal preference. However, there are certain considerations that need to be kept in mind when choosing the right stove for your home.

Since all stoves are specifically designed and manufactured to function optimally when they are correctly loaded with the right types and amounts of fuel, choosing a stove with a larger heat output than necessary may be ill advised. For example, a larger stove with a reduced fuel load could result in the fire chamber not generating enough heat. This leads to the body of the stove not being able to operate as it should, causing a lacklustre fire and a poorly heated home.

The flue may also be negatively affected by a poorly functioning fire chamber, as the gases in the system may rise slower which will increase the likelihood of creosote buildup in the system. The airwash system may also be left functioning poorly, since the system relies on the high heat to burn any residual particles off the glass. A larger stove with a reduced fuel load can also have a negative impact on the environment, as this system would involve the production of smoke and soot, increasing pollution levels. This may potentially have legal consequences in a Smoke Control Area, regardless of whether or not a DEFRA Approved stove is used.

Choosing a stove that is too small will also have a range of negative consequences. If a stove is too small to adequately warm up your home, you would have to stock it up with more fuel in order to overcompensate. This could potentially lead to the permanent damage of your stove and flue system due to the overheating of the various essential components.

When choosing the right stove for your home, another factor that needs to be taken into account, along with the volume and size measurement of the room, is the insulation of your house. Central heating in other parts of your home, large windows, smaller homes, and prevailing winds are all important considerations in understanding what size stove you might need in your home.

The functionality of the stove within your everyday living habits is another important factor to consider. In a standard, square UK living room, the stove will traditionally be placed in the fireplace, and presents limited problems with installation, placement, and subsequent functionality. However, if your living room is larger than usual, more extensive calculations may be needed to ensure that you choose the right stove. Usually, stoves placed in longer living rooms may need twice the heat output as stoves installed in traditional living rooms, for example, a 10kW stove instead of a 5kW stove, to compensate for the larger space. However, the livability of a 10kW stove may be lower, as they are more powerful and may be more uncomfortable to sit in front of for extended periods of time.

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One widely held belief is that, for typically sized living rooms, a slightly larger stove than the size shown by the calculations would be ideal, however the size should not be larger than an additional 1kW. This additional output will allow you the flexibility to add more fuel on colder days without the need to over-fire your stove, as well as the ability to cut down on the use of a central heating system in late Spring and early Autumn.

Aesthetic style is another factor to consider when choosing the right stove for your home. If you have a larger fireplace, a wide-bodied stove might be the right fit, as it gives the impression of a larger stove, with a longer, stretched firebox, while to increasing the actual heat output. Examples of these stoves include the Hunter Slimline models, and the Esse 100 and 200 models, while examples of stoves with additional aesthetic elements, such as canopies and long-boxes, include Yeoman and Dunsley. All the stoves supplied and installed by Lee Davies Fireplace and Brickwork Specialists will allow you to get the most out of your stove’s visual impact.

Largely, choosing the correct stove output to suit your needs will be based on a combination of theory, practicality, and personal preference. The experienced installers at Lee Davies Fireplace and Brickwork Specialists will offer you their expert opinions and onsite advice on the best stove to install that will suit all you aesthetic and heating needs.
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The method of calculation listed below is based in the industry standard calculation. It uses the scenario of a wood fire stove or multi-fuel stove used to heat a room to 22°C, with an outside temperature of 0°C.

The calculation works as follows:

  • Measure out the length, width, and height of the room in metres, and multiply them with each other (LxWxH) to arrive at a volume in m³
  • Divide this total by 10m³, 15m³, or 25m³, depending on the insulation standard of the room in which the stove will be functioning (the better the insulation standard, the lower the number you need to use)
  • The total following the division will be represented as the optimal kW output needed to heat your room

The three figures (10m³, 15m³, and 25m³) represent the estimated amount of air that would be heated by 1kW of heat generated by a stove. These figures account for the various standards of insulation, from almost none, to state-of-the-art, as well as the heat output. This calculation would allow you to work out a rough estimate of the optimal output you would need from you wood burning stove or multi-fuel stove to adequately heat your home. Lee Davies Fireplace and Brickwork Specialists will be able to assist you with your calculations, as well as advise you on the best options you have available to you. We will also source and expertly install any stove that suits your needs and maintain the comfort level of your home.
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Lee Davies Fireplace and Brickwork Specialists will be able to make sure your wood burning or multi-fuel stove is properly installed, and performing safely and efficiently. We are HETAS Registered, and fully qualified and experienced to carry out a range of installation in an extensive number of settings, including Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Devon, Hertfordshire, Berkshire, Bedfordshire, and London. We also carry out our installations according to all the necessary requirements of local building regulations, and allow you to bypass the costly, time-consuming building notice applications.

We work according to the latest industry standards, not only of HETAS, but also according to the requirements of the Building Control and Building Regulations Document J. Our team pride themselves on their concern for the best practises according to these regulations, and we take great care to ensure that when we install your wood burning stove or multi-fuel stove, I do it safely, properly, and with care and attention.
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