Should You Switch Your Open Fire to a Wood Burner?
A lot has been said in the past few years about the impact burning wood in our homes has on the environment. However, despite their name, wood burners aren’t necessarily the culprit.
According to the Stove Industry Alliance, an open fireplace is the wrong way to burn wood. Not only does it release up to 10 times the amount of harmful emissions as a stove, but burning wood on an open fire is far less efficient. If you have an open fireplace, this means you will need more logs and will be enjoying far less heat than your neighbours with a wood burning stove!
If you are considering switching your open fireplace to a wood burner, you may be wondering exactly what the benefits are and how it can be done. Read on to find out more...
What are the Benefits of Switching from an Open Fireplace to a Wood Burner?
If you currently use an open fire, there is plenty for you to benefit from by switching to a wood burning stove. Burning wood in a fireplace produces a higher level of smoke than a SIA Ecodesign stove (find out more about these below) and is far less efficient. Take a look at some of these stats to see how this translates…
- An open fire has around a 30% efficiency compared to 70-80% of a stove
- SIA Ecodesign Ready stoves can produce 90% fewer emissions than an open fireplace
- A fireplace would require 16 logs to produce the same amount of heat as 5 logs in a SIA Ecodesign Ready stove
- 40% of wood is burnt on open fires across the UK. If this was replaced by wood burners, the amount of emissions reduced would be massive!
You can read more about the positives of buying a wood burning stove here.
What is a SIA Ecodesign Ready Stove?
‘SIA’ stands for ‘Stove Industry Alliance’. It is made up of manufacturers and suppliers in the industry who are working with the government to promote the potential benefits of wood burning stoves. Part of this is their ‘Ecodesign Ready’ scheme, which encourages manufacturers to meet a criteria for producing the lowest possible emissions - this is an impressive 55% lower than for DEFRA approved stoves!
If you are considering switching from an open fireplace to a wood burning stove, a SIA Ecodesign stove is a great option to ensure you comply with air pollution regulations.
How Do I Convert my Open Fireplace into a Wood Burner?
By now, you may have decided that converting your fireplace into a wood burner is right for you. Luckily, you will be pleased to hear that the process should be relatively straightforward! Here is a rough outline how to open a fireplace for a wood burner:
- You will need to measure up your fireplace recess to see what size stove will fit best into the wall. It's also important to get the right kW heat output; if it's too small it won't heat the room properly and it it is too large you may find it uncomfortably warm! See our stove kilowatt calculator for an easy way to find out what size is best for your room.
- Check out your chimney to make sure it is in good condition and get it swept. If you don’t already know, identify what class chimney you have. See our guide to stove chimneys for more information.
- It is best to have a HETAS registered technician install your stove. This ensures it is safe and complies with any building regulations. When complete, you will have a certificate to prove its safety.
- If you don’t have a HETAS technician to fit your stove, it will need to be inspected by building regulators to ensure it is safe once complete. This will be at an extra cost.
- Make sure your stove is sitting on an appropriate hearth. If you had an operating open fire, it will probably be perfectly safe for a stove. However, to be sure, check that it is at least 12mm thick, made of a non-combustible material and that your stove won’t heat it over 100°C.
If you buy your stove from Direct Stoves, we can provide you with everything you need to get your wood burner installed, including a flue pipe, register plate and a flue liner. If you have any questions, you can call our sales team on 0161 376 4191.