Things to consider when purchasing a stove
As schools reopen we tend to start thinking ahead to shorter days and colder weather, hopefully the cold stays away for a while but we can use this time to prepare for winter.Stove sales have been on the increase as homeowners throughout Ireland search for more efficient means of heating their homes. Homeowners can save up to 60% in fuel costs by installing a high efficiency stove as an alternative to an open fire.
People often ask where they should begin their search for a solid fuel stove, choosing and installing a high efficiency stove should not be a difficult process. However, there are important decisions to make and a few things to look out for to ensure the stove you purchase meets your needs.
1. What size stove do you need?
You should ensure the stove you choose is the correct size for your requirements. Do you need to heat a single room or multiple rooms through your central heating system? A room heating stove simply replaces your open fire and come with various heat outputs depending on the size of your room. A central heating boiler stove can heat radiators throughout your home. You'll need to measure your room to get the number of kWs needed to heat it using this calculation:
height (m) x length (m) x width (m) and multiply your answer by 0.606 to get the kW needed.
For a central heating stove you need to calculate the kWs needed to heat the room and count the number of radiators you wish to heat. You will also need to take insulation levels and aspect of the house into consideration.
2. What is the stoves operating efficiency?
High efficiency stoves are regarding as stoves with an efficiency of over 65% which means that 65% of the fuel burned in the stove will be converted to useful heat. A higher efficiency stove represents better value for money. In an open fire up to 70% of the heat goes up the chimney meaning that the efficiency rating of an open fire is roughly 30%, any improvement on this will save you money as you will be getting more heat from the fuel you are burning in your stove.
3. Is the stove quality approved?
It is vital to look for high quality when choosing your stove. All registered stove systems are listed on Sustainable Energy Ireland's Home-heating Appliance Register of Performance (HARP) database or the HETAS Guide. You should consult these databases prior to selecting a stove. www.seai.ie and www.hetas.co.uk. Check to see whether the stove has been manufactured to Irish and European standards
- CE Mark - this means that they comply with the essential requirements of the European health, safety and environmental protection legislation.
- ISO certified - IS0 9000 Quality Standard and ISO 14001 Environmental standard - these are the Quality and Environmental standard set by NSAI (National Standards Authority of Ireland)
- Q Mark - EIQA certification confirms a manufacturer's commitment to the highest standards of quality and excellence.
- BER Requirements - current building regulations as set out by the Department of Environment
4. Does the stove have any additional quality features?
- Cast iron grates - Not all grates are the same in stoves. Grates with higher chromium content are able to withstand higher firebox temperatures and are more resistant to warping. Smokeless fuels burn at much higher temperatures than coaL and can reduce the lifespan of grates and internal castings with lower chromium content.
- Superior grade enamel - Stanley have a special enamel formulation that gives a high gloss finish with longer lasting shine to their stoves.
- Carbon monoxide emissions - the latest clean burn technology has been incorporated into Stanley stoves which delivers the most efficient use of energy and protects the environment from harmful fumes - it also helps to keep the window clear for the optimum view of your fire.
5. What after-sales service is available?
- What warranty is available with the stove?
- Will spare parts always be readily available? Cast iron stoves are likely to last over 15-20 years however they may need some replacement parts. It is therefore advisable to check that you can purchase spare parts through the lifetime of the product