Install a Wood Burning Stove

What Building Regulations do I need to adhere to (UK and Ireland)?

Before purchasing and installing a wood stove, it’s necessary to understand all of the building regulations and requirements that will need to be followed for installation.

Failure to follow designated building regulations for your area can end up costing you time and money.

In the event that you do install the stove and it is not according to regulations, it could cause you serious trouble if you try to sell the home later on.

Follow these links to the building regulations for your specific area:

Who Can Fit the Stove For Me?

The fitting and installation of a stove is best left to a professional stove installer unless you already have significant experience with this type of installation because you will need a Certificate of Compliance to be issued upon final installation of your stove.

For a list of local installers who are approved and reputable you can visit the Heating Equipment Testing and Approval Scheme (HETAS) website: http://www.hetas.co.uk/

HETAS is a UK body for certification and any of the wood burner installers accredited by this organization will be able to answer your questions regarding installation options and local regulations as well as questions about fuel supply and how to apply for possible grants.

What are the Ventilation Requirements?

The ventilation system is one of the most important aspects of your stove installation because it functions as the catalyst for the entire burning process.

The installation of your ventilation system can be the sole cause of your stove failing to perform to your expectations.

Decisions must be made regarding the proper size, height and configuration of your ventilation as well as the correct location.

A properly installed stove with a correctly placed ventilation system can reduce fuel consumption, give off more usable heat and even make maintenance a bit easier by preventing inefficient fires.

Guidance for ventilation can be found in the document, Building Regulation England and Wales Section J which recommends permanent ventilation of 300mm2/kW for the first 5kW of rated heat output and 850mm/2kW for stoves with output of more than 5kW. Flue system ventilation should be 4.5 meters when measured from cowl to ground.

Do I need a cowl?

It is good practice to fit your chimney with at least a rain cap so that rainwater does not collect in the body of the stove when it’s not in use.

A chimney cowl has been used for decades in order to stop smoke from drifting back down the flue and into the room.

It is also necessary for proper ventilation of your stove and to aid in keeping your chimney clear of debris from birds and leaves.

The look and function of the chimney cowl has been modified over the last decade to improve fireplace safety, maintenance and comfort.

How do I Season a Stove?

Seasoning a stove is done to prevent the cast iron from expanding too quickly.

In order to season your stove, you should light small fires and slowly lengthen the burning time throughout the first week of use.

Use only well seasoned wood in the stove and if need be you can let the fire go out and then start it up several hours later.

For wood fuel in a multi fuel stove, remove the grate to prevent the wood from burning up too fast, but for coal you need to leave the grate in the stove.

 

Do I need to Fit a Flue Liner When Installing a Stove?

A flue liner is the wall of the chimney that comes into contact with the products of combustion being conveyed outside and can be a concrete lining of the chimney, a factory made inner liner or a flexible liner inserted into an existing chimney.

It’s important to insulate your chimney with a liner in order to form a smooth and continuous chimney effectively reducing the number of surfaces where the deposit of tar and soot can build up and cause a chimney fire.

Insulating the chimney with a liner also cures the problem of smoke seeping out from the cracks in a masonry chimney and improves the draw of the chimney by increasing the flue gas temperatures.

There are certain regulations to follow as to the size and fit of the flue liner and it is required to be done upon installation of the stove or minimally before the stove is operated.

Flues that are too large for the size of your stove can be dangerous.