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FAQ – Stoves

Here are some common questions about stoves, along with some great tips and tricks to help you take care of it the best way!

Stoves - In General

What are the different stove types?

Currently, we sell 4 different types of stoves, distinguished by which fuel they use. This would be; wood, multi-fuel, gas, and electric. These different fuel types most commonly have either freestanding, or inset models. However, some very posh stoves can hang from the ceiling, like the Nordpeis ME, or the Onyx Orbit. You can get free-hanging stoves in most fuel types too.

If you’re unsure what stove would be best for you, take a look at some of the questions on the left. If you still aren’t sure, give us a call or an email and we could advise on which one would suit you most!

What does kW mean? How many kW do I need for my house?

kW means kilowatt. It is the measure of each stove’s heat energy output, so it basically measures how hot it gets! Typically, different stove heat outputs range from about 3kW to 9kW. The kilowattage of your stove is most often determined by the size of the room your stove is going to be in. Generally, you can work out what kW stove you need by measuring the length, width and height of your room, times them all together and then divide by 14.

For example, if your stove is going in a room that is 7m long, 4m wide, and 2.5m high, then that would equal 70 cubic m. Divide that by 14, and you get 5, so you would need a 5kW stove for that room. Don’t worry if you don’t get a round number like that, just round it to the nearest whole number (e.g 4.7 would be 5kW, or 4.2 would be 4kW). From there, you can choose your stove!

How do I clean the glass on my stove?

For solid fuel stoves, you can take a sheet of newspaper, scrunch it up, dip into some water, then dip into the ash in your ash pan. Lightly scrub the inside of the glass door until it clears up!

For gas stoves, take out the glass, and you may be able to get the soot off by wiping with a damp microfiber cloth. However, if the soot is too stubborn, making a paste with a small measure of baking soda and white vinegar and scrubbing with a microfiber cloth should help lift it!

What are the energy efficient ratings for different stoves?

For different fuels and some stove types, we can compare the energy efficiency, so how hot it gets for how much fuel you use.

Using the Stovax Stockton 5 as a base stove model, the different versions are as follows:


  • Wood – 79% Class A, average output of 5kW


  • Multifuel – 79% Class A, average output of 5kW


  • Gas (Balanced Flue) – 91.8% Class B, average output of 3kW


  • Gas (Conventional Flue) – 65.8% Class E, average output of 3kW


  • Electric – average output of 2kW
Stoves - Solid Fuel

What's the difference between wood burning and multi-fuel stoves?

Wood burning stoves are pretty self explanatory, they only burn wood, and are generally seen as more eco-friendly because of this.

Multi-Fuel stoves can burn multiple different types of fuel (although NOT at the same time) such as; wood, coal, anthracite, briquettes, peat, and more. It’s important to check that your fuel is smokeless, if you’re in a smoke controlled zone. The eco-friendliness of a multi-fuel stove is only determined by the fuel you burn in it. For example, burning anthracite or wood would be more eco-friendly to burn than coal, due to the different emissions they let off.

Lots of stove manufacturers make their wood stoves also available as multi fuel, such as Stovax’s Huntingdon 30. Often you will be able to find the same designs of stove in both wood only and multifuel. However, some stove manufacturers, like Arada, just cut out the middle man and only make multifuel stoves, since they can burn wood anyway!

Which wood is the best for my stove?

Now you might be thinking ‘Which wood? Surely it’s all the same, right?’… It’s not!

Typically, when buying wood already cut and bagged, it will be labelled either ‘softwood’ or ‘hardwood’. While in the bags they may look the same, they produce a noticeable difference when burning them!

Softwood will always burn quicker than hardwood will. It’s great for getting a fire started up and going quickly, but not the best for a sustained fire over a longer time (over an hour or so). It’s great at producing an instant heat for a quick warm up.

Hardwood is best for keeping a fire going. It burns hot, but slow, as the flames work their way through the tight grain. On average, one hardwood log could burn for up to 5 hours, so they’re great for just chucking on the fire and forgetting about. Plus, while hardwood is generally more expensive (not by a lot though), you get a lot more bang for your buck!

But of course, all wood will be pretty much useless if it isn’t seasoned properly. This is when it’s dried out enough to burn, below 20% moisture. If you don’t know how to test your wood, look at the tip below this one!

How do I moisture test my wood? Why do I need to?

Moisture testing is essential for the wood you want to burn. Learn how to by watching this video.

It is important to moisture test your wood because burning damp wood can be detrimental to the health of your flue, and your home. Burning damp wood produces a thick smoke that can leave tar on the insides of your flue or chimney. This tar build-up is a major cause of chimney fires.

Freshly chopped wood can take up to 2 years to dry properly, you want to aim for near 20% as a maximum moisture level. The lower the better! But if you don’t fancy the wait, you can buy kiln-dried wood which is ready to burn straight away.

How often do I need my chimney swept?

It’s always recommended to have your chimney swept at least once a year regardless of what type of solid fuel stove you have. A sweep will get rid of any blockages or build up you may have in your flue, as well as highlighting anything in need of repairs.

It’s important to have your chimney swept annually (as a bare minimum) in order to lessen the risk of chimney fires (which can be caused by excess build up). Stay safe and sweep your chimneys!!

You can lessen the amount of build up in your chimney by burning your fires correctly, with plenty of air, as well as using clean burning fuels like <20% moisture content wood, and smokeless coals (for multifuel stoves).

Is wood burning really sustainable?

Wood burning is significantly more sustainable than burning non-renewables like oil or gas. This is because the carbon output from burning wood is offset by the amount of carbon absorbed by that tree in its lifetime. As long as log-cutting companies promise to re-plant the trees that are cut down, it’s essentially carbon neutral!

How do I use the vents on my stove?

All solid fuel stoves will have at least one vent, usually at the bottom, for primary air flow. Some stoves may have another vent too, which will usually be at the top, for secondary air flow. Both vents will let you adjust how quickly the fuel burns by controlling the stove’s air supply. Usually, the valve works with left being closed, and right being open.

When lighting your stove, you’ll want to open both vents fully. This allows for the initial small flame to grow quickly! Once the fire is properly going, and caught onto the starter logs, you can start gradually shutting the bottom vent.

Once its going strong with the bottom vent closed, you can start to gradually shut the top vent. You won’t want to shut it completely, you want to try and find an even balance so the fire isn’t dying down or burning too much. If a fire is burning too hot, you will lose more heat through the flue rather than radiating into the room. So, finding this balance is key to using your fuel the most efficiently!

Why we love stoves

We truly believe that a stove, whatever style or fuel, can really tie the look of a room together. You just can’t help but feel cosy when it’s lit! Plus, many stoves can provide the entire house with heat, leaving you feeling warm almost anywhere. They’re also quite sustainable, because wood is a renewable energy (since you can always plant more trees), so what better than to share our love for stoves to you all!