how a stove works

How a Stove works

How a Stovax stove works – and how to choose the right stove for you

How a sotve works diagram

Today, stoves are available in many different shapes, styles and sizes. The exact features for each Stovax stove are given on individual product pages but, typically these will incorporate an airwash system for the window; many have a ‘cleanburn system’ with secondary air; certain stoves also include an ‘external air’ facility and yet others are fitted with integral boilers to provide domestic hot water and run radiators.

Accordingly, below is an explanation of the features you may wish to consider when choosing the right stove for your home:

Primary Air

This is the air that is drawn into the stove, typically at a low level to maintain the combustion of the solid fuel being burnt. Usually, the primary air enters through a control on the front of the stoves which can be adjusted to control the amount of air entering the firebox and, thus, giving you the opportunity to regulate the intensity of the fire. This, in turn, will alter the heat output.

Primary air is the best way of controlling a stove burning solid mineral fuels and may also be used to start a wood fire however primary air is not normally used in a log fire once the logs are burning well.

Stovax Airwash System

Airwash is a specific Stovax design feature that uses a specially placed vent or vents to draw in cool air from the room which is then heated and ducted to ‘wash’ over the inside of the glass. This feature helps to keep the glass cleaner for longer, allowing you to enjoy the glow and flames to the full.

Airwash air is the best way of controlling a stove burning wood and can be used a small amount in a stove burning solid mineral fuels to keep the glass clean.

Convection Air

Where Stovax stoves include a convection system, cool air from within the room is drawn into the convection chamber, the air is heated as it rises within the stove which then flows out into the room. The hot air rising draws in more cool air setting up a continuous flow maintaining added heating efficiency.

Some Stovax models also have the option of an electrically-operated fan to boost the convection process and provide a quicker warm up time within your room.

Stovax Cleanburn System flames

Introducing pre-heated, secondary air into the firebox at just the right point promotes efficient combustion of any unburnt hydrocarbons which may be in the smoke. This ‘cleanburn’ process can greatly increase the combustion efficiency of your stove and dramatically reduce the amount of unburnt particles going up the chimney. This can reduce your servicing costs and, save you money in fuel. It also gives you an improved flame visual.

External Air

All wood and multi fuel stoves with a heat output above 5kW will require the provision of additional air for combustion into the room in which it is installed. An External Air facility allows this air to come directly from outside your building rather than through a vent into the room, thus eliminating draughts and adding to the overall heating efficiency.

Boiler stoves

Stovax High output Boiler stove are specifically designed to provide domestic hot water and/or run radiators as part of a stand alone system. The number and size of radiators you can operate will depend on the ‘heat output to water’ of the particular model.

Alternatively, you can ‘link up’ some boiler stoves with your existing heating system. The ‘link up’ system can connect with gas or oil sealed heating systems, combi’s, underfloor heating, advanced electronic controls and solar panels, helping to save money on fossil fuels and reducing your reliance on single source heating.

In both cases, it is strongly recommended that your requirements an experienced stove retailer and/or heating engineer.

Smoke Control Areas

Most town and city homes are located in Smoke Control Areas as designated by the Clean Air Act 1993. To burn logs on a stove in these locations, the model installed must have been granted exemption from the regulations by the government through DEFRA. This exemption is given only to appliances which have been independently tested to demonstrate particularly cleanburning combustion. Otherwise, you may only burn smokeless fuels on a multi fuel stove within a Smoke Control Area. Stovax have one of the most comprehensive choices of stoves for use in Smoke Control Areas.

More information on smoke control areas.

The difference between Wood burning only and Multi fuel stoves

Wood burns best on a bed of ash with its combustion air coming from above so wood burning only versions of stoves have a flat fuel bed and no ashpan.

Multi fuel stoves usually have a riddling grate for the effective combustion of solid mineral fuels but also have airwash so that they can also effectively burn wood. The riddling grate allows the ash and cinders from smokeless fuels, anthracite or peat/turf briquettes to be riddled into an ashpan below, maintaining the primary airflow through the fuel bed and, hence, creating the optimum conditions for efficient combustion of those particular fuels.

According to models, Stovax multi fuel stoves may have either an internal or externally controlled system for riddling the grate.

Further information on lighting a fire.

How to choose the right stove for you

We would always recommend taking advice from your local Stovax retailer before selecting your stove. However, the key factors to you will need to take into consideration are:stockton 5

  1. Style/ aesthetics you desire
  2. Heat output appropriate for the room/space you want to heat
  3. Fuel type – wood burning only or multi fuel
  4. Do you wish the stove to heat water as well as the room?
  5. Are cleanburn, airwash and efficiency important to you?
  6. Do you wish to burn wood on a Smoke Control Area?

The answers to these questions will narrow down your selection and help guide you to the ideal stove for you. Please use the Product Finder on this website to help you with this refining process.