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What To Consider When Choosing The Perfect Fire
Two Things To Think About
When choosing a gas or wood burning fire or stove, you must take the size into account. The average sized UK living room only requires 3-4 kilowatts (kW) to heat adequately, and it can be problematic if the user chooses a gas, wood burning fire or stove with too high a capacity. The most common mistake made by consumers is going for a fire with a too high a capacity, and subsequently, they can only use the fire sparingly or burn at a low temperature as the room would become too hot. When this mistake occurs with wood-fired stoves and heaters, it results in poor combustion, high emission and blackened glass.
There is a simple calculation that can be done to determine the appropriate capacity for your room. First, you need to calculate the area of the room, multiplying the length, width, and height. You should then determine which of the three categories below your room fits.
Has floor and wall insulation
Is reasonably insulated
Has minimal double glazing
Has minimal floor and wall insulation
Has no double glazing
Has no floor and wall insulation
Category A is for rooms that are well insulated, with good floor and wall insulation, and have double-glazed windows. Category B is for rooms that are reasonably well insulated, but with little floor and wall insulation, and minimal double glazing. Category C is for homes that are poorly insulated, with no floor and wall insulation, and no double-glazing.
The better insulated your room, and the smaller its size, the lower the capacity of gas or wood burning fire or stove that is needed.
Graphs are available online that will enable you to plot your room and choose the perfect specification of gas or wood burning fire or stove. Alternatively, you can give us a call, and we can talk you through the process. We have experts that can help you select the fire or stove that best suits you.
Open and closed combustion
Once you know the ideal capacity of gas or wood burning fire or stove to choose; the next step is to decide whether an open or closed combustion unit is the most appropriate.
Open combustion refers to a system by which air is extracted from the room that the fire is in to aid combustion, and gases are expelled via the flue and up and out through the chimney. They are called open because the vents in the front of the fire create an opening into the room. They are only appropriate for homes with a) a chimney, and b) good ventilation. Type of stoves Good ventilation in a home is prerequisite when choosing your wood fire or stove as they have an open combustion system. In exceptional circumstances, such as when homes have a ‘Balance Ventilation System’ there are fires and stoves with exterior air feeds. There is an increasing number of fire and stoves that come with an exterior air feed already equipped but these may also be offered as an extra. In this system, the combustion air is extracted from outdoors. However, a wood fire or the flue must always be horizontal and go upwards, through the roof and outdoors, and must even reach above roof height.
Closed combustion units, on the other hand, are completely closed off from the room, and the air is instead extracted from the outside of the house using the flue, and expelled using the same flue. This extraction can be simply fed through the roof or outside wall, so there is much greater flexibility as to fire location, specifications, and designs. Due to the system extracting oxygen from outdoors and not from the room in which the stove is placed, the system is ideally suited to a well-insulated, modern and mechanically ventilated home. For gas fires, you will always be recommended to opt for closed combustion. However, if you would like to connect a stove or gas fire to an existing chimney which has a diameter of less than 150 mm, then open combustion may be an ideal option as it requires a smaller flue. These closed combustion or balanced flue gas fires and stoves are suitable for a much wider range of homes than open combustion or conventional flue systems.
After having read this article we hope that you know have a clearer idea of what sort of stove or gas fire would be best for you although you may want personal, expert advice. You may also, of course, want to see the range of models you are keen on in person, possibly even see them in action. As such we recommend that you consult with our specialist team over the phone at 0116 274 4057 or through e-mail at [email protected] for any personalised or additional advice you may want or to discuss your fires fittings.
At Nexus, we have a wide variety of open combustion/conventional flues and closed combustion/balanced flues, gas fires, and stoves, from a range of leading brands to suit all of your needs. With one of the largest showrooms in the Midlands and almost two decades of experience in the field, we can help you to choose from the most well-established and popular brands of gas and wood burning fires and stoves. Our experts are always available to give you advice on the fire most suitable for you.