A reasonable guide to estimating the heat output in kW of a stove needed for a particular room would be to take the volume of the room in cubic metres and divide by 14.
Perhaps the single most important factor in installation is the Flue, the technical name for the whole of the chimney.
If your flue is sound ( does not leak) then usually a stove can be sealed to it at the bottom. As long as the correct top (Terminal) is fitted, all should be well.
If the flue leaks it will need repairing / relining, and this will often be expensive and messy.
A good first step is to get the chimney swept and ask the chimney sweep to do a smoke test to check that it is not leaking.
It is worth noting that a stove which is only used intermittently will generally work better with a lined flue. This is because with a stove only about 20% of the heat will escape up the flue, compared with say 75% for an open fire. A large brick flue will take a while to get to its best operating temperature when used with a stove.
Fitting a stove should be undertaken by competent tradespeople, and manufacturers instructions as to safe distances from the stove for any combustible materials should be observed.
In England and Wales domestic solid fuel appliances fitted in dwellings are subject to building control.
This means that either the local council building control department be informed about the installation or the installation is required to be supervised by a registered installer. (A register of certified installers is maintained by The Solid Fuel Association)
As long as you are not doing anything structural to the flue or the constructional hearth, there is not likely to be any objections from your local council. Any any competent builder should be able to complete the work.
Please note that "CORGI" gas certification does not necessarily qualify an installer to fit solid fuel appliances. Many installers are multi-skilled and qualified for both gas and solid fuel.
There must be access to clean the entire length of the chimney, including the flue connector and the space above any closure plate.
Some stoves can be swept through the appliance, but other models may need a separate access hatch fitting.
Before fitting a stove its often worth having a visit from your local chimney sweep to clean and check the flue for leaks.
The stove is connected to the chimney with a short (up to 2m) length of vitreous enamel stove pipe with flexible glass rope to allow for expansion. The stove pipe is preferably straight, but up to 2 x 45 degree bends (with cleaning hatches) can be used if absolutely necessary.
Where the pipe passes through the chimney closure or register plate, it is sealed with a rosette and glass rope. (Note that fire cement alone is not enough due to the different thermal expansions of the materials.)
For good heat distribution, there needs to be a minimum of 75mm free air space all round the stove. Some models may need extra space for servicing access and the more room you can leave around the stove the better will be the convective heating to the room. We would suggest around 150mm (6 inches) free air space as a good compromise.
Fuel is best stored away from the fire, for instance, at the other side of a heatproof wall keeping only a minimum amount handy for topping up the stove whilst in use.
All stoves need air to burn so you can't run one in a hermetically sealed chamber. You can't run one in an igloo either because it will melt. Luckily most people in the UK don't live in igloos or hermetically sealed chambers and most houses have enough free (“adventitious”) air to feed a small stove due to underfloor draughts, opening doors, etc.
For gas stoves there is normally no extra ventilation needed if the maximum gas input is less than 7kW.
For solid fuel/wood stoves a figure of 5kW is mentioned in the building regulations though there is no hard and fast rule.
The recommended ventilation area is 300 mm2 per kW for the first 5kW plus 850 mm2 per kW above 5kW
The chimney terminates in a vent which can be swept-through, at least 1m above the highest part of the roof.
Your chimney creates the draw or pull which makes a stove work. It must:-
Prefabricated chimneys should be fully insulated of at least 150mm internal diameter, conform to current standards and be installed in accordance with the manufacturers instructions.
We recommend keeping all combustible materials, which includes wooden parts, at least 500mm away from the stove or flue pipe. Plaster and oil-based paints won't stand up to heat, so use cement render and emulsion paint for walls near the stove.
The stove is placed on a solid non-combustible hearth, able to bear the weight of the stove, at least 125mm thick (including the thickness of the constructional hearth) extending at least 300mm in front of the stove and 150mm to each side (unless protected by a heat-resistant wall.) The hearth doesn't have to be raised up, but its edges should be marked.
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