Choosing a Wood Burning Stove or Fire for Your Home

Choosing a Wood Burning Stove or Fire for Your Home

Thinking of adding a new stove or fire to your home, but don’t know where to start? Read on to find out a little bit about each type.

Looking for that rustic, analogue heating experience? You won’t find anything better than a real wood-burning stove or cassette fire. Watching logs burn down with dancing flames is a great way to de-stress and switch-off after a busy day.

What’s the difference between a wood burning stove or cassette fire?

Not to be confused with open fires, cassette fires, also known as inset or ‘built-in’ fires, feature an air-sealed door and glass window similar to stoves. This means they offer the same high-efficiency heat-output as a wood burning stove. Where cassette fires differ is how they are installed.  Cassette fires are built into a surrounding chimney breast, with only the front of the appliance on show. Unlike wood burning stoves, they allow plastering to the edge of the appliance for a seamless, integrated look.

Wood burning stoves, on the other hand, are able to sit independently of the surrounding walls and fireplace. This makes them a great option for either inglenooks or freestanding installations. Depending on your home and design ideas, a stove will usually require a bit less interior decorating as part of the installation. Wood burning stoves can be found in many different styles with modern and traditional options to suit your tastes.

Should I choose a wood burning or multi-fuel stove or fire?

Wood burning stoves and cassette fires come in two types, those designed to burn only wood, and multi-fuel models that burn either wood or smokeless mineral fuels for additional fuel flexibility.

Stoves and fires designed to burn only wood often feature slightly larger viewing windows than their multi-fuel counterparts. Inside these products, the burn chamber has a flat bottom to allow hot ashes to collect. This is because wood burns best on a bed of ash.

Multi-fuel stoves and fires give you the flexibility to burn wood or mineral fuels. Unlike dedicated wood burning heating products, they feature a riddling grate to allow air to circulate beneath mineral fuels for optimum burning conditions. Although mineral fuels do not provide the stunning visuals of burning logs, they take up less space when stored and provide more heat, making them a great option for places with limited space like cabins and houseboats.

What smoke and air quality restrictions should I be aware of?

When choosing your wood burning stove or cassette fire, make sure you are aware of any smoke control restrictions in your local area by talking to your local retailer. Urban areas such as towns and cities are often located in DEFRA Smoke Control Areas. Burning logs in these areas is only permitted on a DEFRA exempt appliance.

New Ecodesign air quality restrictions are planned to be introduced next year which will affect manufacturers like ourselves. In readiness for these forthcoming targets, we offer the largest range of wood and multi-fuel Ecodesign stoves and fires in the UK and Ireland. Lowering emissions to a minimum, their high-efficiency combustion systems use around 70% fewer logs than an open fire and around 20% less than a standard stove to heat your home.

Ask an expert retailer

Talking to your local retailer is a great way to find out which type of stove or cassette fire is suitable for your home and location. Your expert retailer will also be able to answer any installation queries you have as well as help you choose the right size fire or stove for your home.

6 responses to “Choosing a Wood Burning Stove or Fire for Your Home”

  1. My husband and I are saving up to build our home next year. Thanks for this article on home heating stoves especially mentioning that we should look into the smoke control regulations governing our state. It would be nice to have someone give us more advice as to what system might be good for our needs.

  2. Joe Boyle says:

    Please send me full details of the material you use when building around your high heat stove when building a feature wall above fire place

    • Chris Connick says:

      Hi Joe, thanks for your comment. We’d recommend the following board products:

      Skamol Enclosure board which is a Calium Silicate board
      Promat Promasil 1000L
      Skamo VIP-900

      Hope this helps!
      Best wishes, Chris

  3. Nathan Mccathie says:

    I have a Stovax cassette style multi fuel burner / what type of coal can I use ?

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