# Questions about solid fuel services

### How many kilowatts does it take to heat a room

The following formula will help you calculate the size of stove needed to comfortably heat your room. PLease remember that the numbers of doors and windows etc in a room will have a marginal effect, so always over rather than underestimate. To produce a comfortable room temperature of around 70ºf  (21ºc) when the outside temperature is 0ºc, you will need 1kw of heat for every 14 cubic metres of space.

If you do not have double glazed windows in the room then add 1kw for each window. If you have radiators in the room that you plan to keep running minus 1kw for each radiator. Firstly you need to calculate the cubic metres of your room, by multiplying the length, the width and the height. If you then divide this figure by 14, you will get the number of kilowatts required to comfortably heat your room. (length in metres x width in metres x heighth in metres) ÷14 = mw’s

### What are the benefits of a multi-fuel stove?

A multi-fuel stove will burn a variety of different fuels. Recommended fuels include smokeless fuels, wood and peat, please bear in mind that wood will normally burn better on a wood burning stove. A multi-fuel stove is significantly more a efficient than an open fire. The best fuel to use is smokeless fuel and is specified by most stove manufacturers. Petroleum based industrial fuels should always be avoided.

### What are the benefits of a wood stove?

A wood stove will burn seasoned hardwood in the most effective manner. It will combine long burn times with the least amount of ash. A wood stove is significantly more efficient than an open fire. The best fuel to use is seasoned hardwood. For the best results this means dry wood of a moisture content of 20% or less.

The more moisture content the wood has, the more it will smoke and cause tar to build up in the flue. Not only that but it will produce less heat.

### What is the difference between a steel bodied stove and a cast iron stove?

A cast iron stove consist of panels that are bolted together, normally with rope joints and is the traditional material used to manufacture a stove. The cast iron panels take time to heat up, but retain there heat a lot longer and give an even temperature during the operation of a stove.

The most controllable stoves are often made of cast iron. A steel stove is made from a sheet of steel, that is cut, pressed and welded. It will heat very quickly to give prompt heat to a room. The door seal is often not as tight as a cast iron stove, but due to the elastic nature of steel its very durable.

### Can i run the stove with the doors open?

Most wood burning and multi-fuel stoves can be run with the doors open or closed.  Spark guards are available for some models for those of you that wish to have the doors open, but its worth remembering that with the doors closed stoves can burn up to 60% more efficiently than open fires.

### What is a chimney liner and do i need one

Since 1965 building regulations have required the installation of suitable class 1 liners in a masonry chimney, often being clay but sometimes concrete or pumice. We recommend re-lining even on these chimneys as we often see tar/creosote extensively built up due to flue gasses running cooler, swirling and therefore condensing.

Older masonry chimneys before 1965 should be inspected by a competent person to determine if its safe to use without a liner. Generally older chimneys require lining, and the type of liner used should be appropriate for the stove being fitted. An appropriate diameter will also need to be used to correspond with current building regulations, and will also ensure the correct chimney draft and  ensure all products of combustion are safely evacuated.

The material most commonly used for chimney lining is a stainless steel flexible liner and is available in two different grades 316 and 904L.  The latter is needed for smokeless fuels due to it being more corrosion resistant and 316 most suitable for wood.

### I don’t have a chimney can i still have a stove?

If you want a stove and don’t have a chimney we can supply and install one for you. The most cost efficient solution is to have a stainless steel twin walled insulated flue system fitted. Unlike a flexible flue liner this flue is ridged and has a layer of insulation sandwiched between an inner and outer steel skin and enables it to be closer to combustibles like rafters, joists etc.

A twin wall flue system can be installed internally rising up through the property and out of the roof or pass through the external wall and up the outside of the build.

### Does a lined chimney or a twin wall system still need sweeping?

In short, yes. Although soot/tarry deposits should be less depending on how you are running your appliance and how seasoned your wood is, your flue system will still need checking and sweeping on at least an annual basis.