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Small wood burner
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Treacodactyl
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 15 6:38 am    Post subject: Small wood burner  Reply with quote    

Does anyone run a small wood burner? I looked at a few the other week and was surprised how small some are but wonder how they perform. Do they give out enough or too much heat for an average 12m room? Are they more trouble than a larger stove, e.g. do they require more refilling and emptying?

I'm seriously considering running a couple of wood burners in our new house rather than central heating but I'm not sure of the practicalities - does anyone have a similar set-up?

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 11380

PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 15 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I would suggest that you look at the size of wood they use. If you are cutting your own, not a major problem as you can cut to what length you want, although 6" logs take twice as much cutting as 12" logs. If you are buying in wood, please try to get a stove that will take at least 10" logs, or you might have trouble finding a supplier.

The other thing to consider is what do you want to heat. Some companies calculate the wood burner needed on the size of the room it is in. Fine if you only want to heat that room, but it might end up being a very small stove. If you want to use the heat for other parts of the house too, get a larger one and let the heat out of the door.

I don't know all the calculations, but we are firewood suppliers, and we have had a wood burner in our lounge, which we use as partial heating for other rooms for about 30 years now.

sean
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41991
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 15 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

How small are you talking? We've got a Cleaview Pioneer 400 which does most of the heating for the whole house.

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 34032
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 15 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We've a tiny one, about a cubic foot. It's useless. I suspect it can't burn enough to generate enough heat to shove the cold air up the chimney to allow it to get started.

The only way I get that room heated is the steam iron, and the heat she produces doing her chores.

RichardW



Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 8441
Location: Llyn Peninsular North Wales
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 15 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We have a 5kw Aga little wenlock.

You can get a decent sized log in it once its going well. Burning just wood it does not need emptying that often. Using to much paper to get it going does up the emptying needs.

This is my next door neighbors company linky if you are after quite small, dif features or UK made (in wales).

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 15 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

What sort of area does the Wentlock heat and are you happy with the output?

We currently have a large multifuel stove in the lounge and oil central heating. The plan is to rip out the rads, put something like an Esse range in the kitchen (cooking and hot water), replace the lounge with a smaller wood burner and then add a small wood burner to the other end of the house.

Log size isn't important really as I'll be cutting my own but some wood burners did seem tiny.

I'll probably go with a popular stove and one a local installer is familiar with, but before I do just wanted to get a few opinions.

pollyanna



Joined: 03 Nov 2012
Posts: 221

PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 15 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The real problem with small stoves is not the length of the logs - that's easy to regulate - but the diameter of the logs. It is a real pain if you can't get good sized logs in. No chance of keeping it in all night if it can only burn small diameter logs.

vegplot



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 21298
Location: Ynys Mn
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 15 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You should work out what your heat requirements are first (ideally you should perform some thermal loss calcs. based on wall area, material, windows etc.).

Smaller stoves have, in general, better thermal efficiency than larger stoves for a given output but the burn requires more attention as the fuel volume is smaller requiring more frequent reloads. A stove that is too small is worse, IMHO, than one that is too large.

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14976
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 15 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Nick wrote:
We've a tiny one, about a cubic foot. It's useless. I suspect it can't burn enough to generate enough heat to shove the cold air up the chimney to allow it to get started.


We've a similar tiny one, which heats the lounge adequately, and most of my (bog standard, bought) logs fit just fine. You can't keep it in at night, and it only keeps the one room warm, although it does keep the chill off house unless it's really cold. It would be perfect for an occasional fire to sit by of an evening, if your main source was in the kitchen. Having not ironed since I have been here, I don't know how it compares! It does seem to benefit from more regular sweeping, though.

The one in the kitchen on the small side, and worked fine to keep the house reasonably heated last winter, except for the absurd draft because the kitchen door is warped and won't shut. We have a small, terraced stone walled house, which is not hard to heat.

The huge wood burner in our last house was hard to control and also impossible to keep in all night, because it couldn't be damped down to burn low enough. I am not at all convinced it was correctly installed, through.

The clearview in the previous house was utterly brilliant - medium sized, plenty of heat to keep the whole house warm (was situated centrally) and easy enough to keep in at night. It was properly installed, though. I think that makes a big difference.

joanne



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 7095
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 15 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We are in the process of getting our woodburners sorted out. They were originally put in by the ex and a friend and are not HETAS signed off.

The one in the front room is very small only 3.5Kw but puts out a decent amount of heat depending if the wind is blowing in the right direction.

The one in the back room is a Dunsley Highlander 7 and is apparently too big so needs to be replaced by one that's running around 5Kw

The installer says that the reason why the small one doesn't draw correctly is most likely due to the chimney shape and adding a liner will make a huge difference!

Ty Gwyn



Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Posts: 4306
Location: Lampeter
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 15 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Adding a liner is not going to alter the shape,but may correct the draw,

Does it have a good cowl?

joanne



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 7095
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 15 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Ty Gwyn wrote:
Adding a liner is not going to alter the shape,but may correct the draw,

Does it have a good cowl?


It's the draw that's the issue, he thinks that the chimney opens out too large for the fire which prevents it drawing correctly. He may replace the cowl or not depending what he finds

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 36251
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 15 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

re burner size based on a variety of commercial and hobo stoves burning wood my most important criteria are

good sized and shaped door/s and fire box .(for all the reasons above and a few more)
about 50%bigger than the desired out put(it isnt always ash and hawthorn)
well made to a tried and tested spec
good ventilation design internally and knobs that dont get hot externally(that last bit has been a sore point on quite a few stoves)

i have used ace ones made out of a cooking oil tin and rubbish expensive ones made out of rocking horse feathers and a hint of sale of goods act.

flue and fittings are part of the stove imho and need to be safe and effective,hard to block and easy to clean.(no buzzard tragedies)

as to look ,if it does what it should ,in the place it is for ,it will be a thing of beauty whatever the materials or style.

a place for a pan or coffee pot is nice

pollyanna



Joined: 03 Nov 2012
Posts: 221

PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 15 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That reminds me. Access to chimney for sweeping without moving the stove. I kid you not, I've seen it!

roobarb



Joined: 15 Apr 2008
Posts: 135
Location: Carmarthenshire
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 15 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Is there a reason for ripping out the radiators and not having central heating at all? Could you not get a woodburner with a back boiler for hot water and upstairs radiators? You may regret pulling out the central heating system if the woodburner doesn't heat the house like you thought.

We installed a Clearview with back boiler (heats the hot water tank and 8 radiators) in the kitchen, and manage to do some cooking on the top when its going full on. In addition we had a small Charnwood Country 4 (4kw) put into the lounge so that in the autumn/spring we could heat the living area without having to fire up the main woodburner. This really cranks out the heat and doesn't take much refuelling (it all depends on what you're burning). We have found that we still tend to light this in the winter as well as the Clearview, as it does stay cold in the living room, which is the last radiator on the system so doesn't always get very warm.

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