It’s hard to beat the crackle and flicker of a log fire for creating a cosy ambience in your home – not to mention the warming glow it provides in the cold of winter. Despite this, since the advent of central heating, fewer and fewer families have enjoyed the unbeatable combination of toasty heat, warm light and authentically cosy atmosphere provided by a fire.
Perhaps you have a fireplace but are concerned about safety, especially with young children and pets in the house. Or maybe your house has a chimney and decorative fireplace, but you’re concerned about the expense of restoring it to working condition – not to mention the constant cleaning required to keep it in top condition. Either way, wood burning stoves provide a great alternative – and they’re easy to install, too.
Wherever you’re installing your wood stove, you’ll need to pick a flue. If your house already has a chimney, the easiest way to install a wood stove is to use a flexible flue liner – this simply runs from the stove and up the chimney to expel smoke. Don’t be dismayed if your home doesn’t have a chimney, or if you want to install the stove in an unusual location – you can install a steel flue that runs through the house to an exterior wall. You can find a great range of wood burning stoves and flues available from online retailers such as Glowing Embers.
A poorly fitted flue or wood stove can constitute a terrific risk to your home and family. At best, it could cause a unpleasant and potentially dangerous build-up of deposits in the chimney. At worst, the hot gases could pose a fire risk. In addition, leaking carbon monoxide, even in low doses, can cause chronic health problems if unchecked or even rapid poisoning and death in confined, poorly ventilated spaces. Make sure you employ a HETAS certified engineer to install your wood stove and use a fire alarm and carbon monoxide detector to make sure you can enjoy your wood stove with peace of mind.
Once your stove is correctly installed, you’ll no doubt be itching to get it fired up. You’re sure to find a local supplier of wood fuel logs no matter where you live, so be sure to stock up. Keep plenty of fuel on hand – there’s nothing worse than running out of logs in the depth of a chilly winter night!
Only use dry fuel. Wet logs will burn poorly and produce less heat, of course, but they’ll also produce more smoke and can counter-intuitively result in an increased risk of fire – the cool, wet smoke causes highly combustible creosote to condense inside the chimney. Be sure to keep your fuel in a dry and airy place until needed.