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.