How to choose the best fire & Fireplace
How to choose the best fire
One of the most important factors when choosing a gas or wood-fired stove is its capacity. People are often unaware that the average living room space requires only 3 to 4 kilowatts (kW) to warn the room. This is especially true as many homes already have central heating and the fact that today’s homes are already well insulated; the fire is often just used as partly a decorative piece or additional heating.
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, otherwise 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. With gas fires fires in particular this means you can’t enjoy the lovely flames or risk them being obscured by blackened glass.
Calculating the capacity needed to heat a room or the space you have in mind is very easy. The graph below indicates the capacities in kWs and the space to be heated in cubic metres (m^3). The number of cubic metres can be worked out by multiplying the length of the space, by its width and height. The capacity you require can then be read off the graph at the intersection of one of the three lines. The different lines indicate the degree to which your house is insulated.
This graph can hep you make a choice from a huge range of gas fires and wood stoves on offer in terms of the capacity that best matches your specific requirements.
Open and closed combustion
Additionally, the choice between open or closed combustion, also know as conventional flue gas and balanced flue gas, is equally important. ‘Open combustion’ often brings to mind an open fire, without a glass front, but this isn’t the case. Open combustion is the name given to a fire wherein the air is extracted from the room containing the fire or heater, and where the flue gases are removed via a single flue.
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 firer or the flue must always be horizontal and go upwards, through the roof and outdoors, and must even reach above roof height.
There is also the option nevertheless, of a closed combustion system, whereby the combustion air is directly extracted from outside and the flue gases are removed via the same flue. This extraction can be simply fed through the roof or outside wall.This means that there is an additional flexibility in the exact positioning of the fire. 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.
After having read this article we hope that you know have a clearer idea on what sort of stove or gas fire would be best for you, and that you will no doubt conclude that in making the final choice of your fire, you will need personal, expert advice. You would also of course want to see the range of models you are keen on in person, and maybe even see them in action.
As such we recommend that you consult with us at Banyo over the phone or either through e-mail for any personalised or additional advice you many want or even to discuss your stove fittings. We can also send through a sketch to help you visualise the fire or stove in your home as per your wishes.