Woodburner output advice please

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helens-hens

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Woodburner output advice please
« on: October 27, 2011, 12:52 »
Hi there

I am normally lurking around the hen house and chicken chat areas but was hoping somebody with experience of woodburners may be able to help me.

We are in the process of buying a woodburner & arranging to have it professionally fitted. We live in an old stone cottage where it is usually colder inside than out! The previous owners, in their wisdom, knocked the downstairs totally through so it is open plan and is also open to the stairway going upstairs.

Downstairs is about 22 ft long, 18 ft wide (at its widest) and 8 ft high. All the stove calculators point to a 6 kw plus stove but this means we legally have to have an air vent which we fear will let in drafts all year around as well as noise (we live on a busy main road).

Some of the 5kw stoves we have seen seem to belt out a lot of heat and the 4.9 kw model we are looking at means no vent is required.

I know it is a long shot but does anyone have experience of a woodburner in a similar sized room who could give their experience of it?

Thanks in advance
Helen

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smud6ie

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Re: Woodburner output advice please
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2011, 16:34 »
 the calculators I have seen don't seem to work out in the real world and based on my experiance 6kw is not large enough unless its just for back ground heat,especially if there is nothing to stop the heat going up the stairs.
We have an 8kw jotul in a 12ft x 15ft x7.5ft  room, it has 3 outside stone walls and if the door is left open to the hall and upstairs landing it will not keep the room warm enough in the winter.
I have been burning wood for around 40 years and have several years supply under cover so the moisture content could not be lower.
between the WB cooker and the jotul we get through well over 10 tons a year ,thats proper tons,not what some so called wood merchants loosly refer to as a ton.
smud6ie
« Last Edit: October 27, 2011, 16:40 by smud6ie »

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Goldfinger

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Re: Woodburner output advice please
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2011, 17:48 »

This will be our 3rd year with our woodburner, recommend them to everyone because of the cost of utilities going up  :tongue2:. And we live in an ex council house.

Our burner is if I can remember is about 8-9kw, and that heats our 22x11ft living room nicely  :happy: plus, we always have all the doors open so the heat can 'spread' through the house.

We don't have a 'vent' as such though, there's a gap around the flooring under the kitchen benches behind the kick boards where the air comes in through the air bricks under the floor.

The size of your house, I'd say (think) you may need 11kw or even bigger. (you can't turn a little one up any more, but you maybe able turn down a larger one)

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John

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Re: Woodburner output advice please
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2011, 19:51 »
Our experience is the 9Kw model we have was great last year when it hit -15 and does pretty well in normal weather. However, we bought a fairly cheap stove and it doesn't work as well as a Jotul (which I saw in action in Norway). It's probably worth spending out on a good make.

Ours is multi-fuel, which is good. You can use coal to provide a bed and it stays in even when the logs have gone. I think it's a toss up which is cheaper - logs or coal. Unless you've your own trees, of course.

As for the legally required vent hole... builder's squirty foam is brilliant stuff for filling holes. If your house is well sealed and draft proofed then you'll probably need the vent though. Do ensure you've a carbon monoxide detector in any case
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helens-hens

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Re: Woodburner output advice please
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2011, 15:04 »
Thanks for all your replies - it is always helpful to hear others experiences.

I guess we really have to decide whether this is going to be the main heat source or to work with the existing central heating. Whichever it is it would be nice not to be totally reliant on British Gas with their exorbitant prices!

Thanks again

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John

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Re: Woodburner output advice please
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2011, 20:35 »
Whichever it is it would be nice not to be totally reliant on British Gas with their exorbitant prices!

British Gas - LUXURY!!!! Try Calor (or any LPG or Oil supplier) then you'll know what real pain is :)

Seriously - our total energy bill last year was over 2,000 - hence installing insulation in the loft that's nearly 500mm thick.

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Trillium

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Re: Woodburner output advice please
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2011, 19:26 »
One thing to keep in mind with having both a woodburner and other heat, is that if the thermostat for other heat will be in the same room as the woodburner, then the heat supply won't come on and heat the rest of the house if the woodburner is going and giving out heat even slightly higher than what the thermostat is set for. This can be important for pipes in washrooms, etc.

My thermostat, unfortunately, is around the corner from my woodburner, and the rest of the house is very cool when the woodburner is on. Sadly, wood heat does not go around corners into other rooms very well  :( I have an eco fan on the woodburner and a ceiling fan going with the woodburner but heat still won't go around corners. 

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GrannieAnnie

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Re: Woodburner output advice please
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2011, 21:17 »
I can't remember what kw our woodburner is, but when we had it re-installed 3 years ago to bring it up to Bldg Reg Standards, the people told us that we had to have an air vent in the lounge.  Brian in his wisdom told them to put the vent low down, but wished he hadn't as that does give us a draft when its cold and windy.  So we do block it up on bad days!

However, I think if it had been higher up, we wouldn't get that draft. 

The woodburner (also multi-fuel) heats up the lounge (24ft x 12ft) nicely, but the heat that goes out the lounge door goes half way up the stairs, then disappears into the stairwell!

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smud6ie

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Re: Woodburner output advice please
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2011, 22:28 »
When a stove heats a room it fills it with hot air from the top down so if the vent was up high a lot of the heat would rise and go out through it.
The best place for a vent not to create a draught is to have it low down  behind the fire/stove.
If this was done from another room you may get the warm air circulating better through the house but the stove would need to be large enough for this and may not comply with BC
smud6ie
« Last Edit: October 29, 2011, 22:58 by smud6ie »

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helens-hens

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Re: Woodburner output advice please
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2011, 09:15 »
The air vent is the thing that is worrying us, particularly as we live on such a busy main road. There is double glazing in the front of the house because of this and in spite of this, as I tap away on the keyboard now, and particularly as it is raining it is really quite noisy.

It now looks like we are going to opt for the smaller stove and avoid the vent. We want something that we can sit around and enjoy and think it is probably the better option for our needs.

Good point about the thermostat. I must admit I haven't a clue where it is  ::) so I will have a look for that now!

Thanks for the replies again. We should have it installed and up and running by the 2nd week of December. I'll give you the verdict then!

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John

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Re: Woodburner output advice please
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2011, 18:46 »
Since I added the insulation in the loft, I'm wondering if we'd have been better with a 5Kw stove than 9Kw. Even with the dampers screwed in we were roasting last night. Mind you, I was burning hawthorn and that burns really hot.


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mumofstig

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Re: Woodburner output advice please
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2011, 18:53 »
plus it hasn't got really cold ouside yet, you may be gals of the heat later  ;)
Lesley x
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smud6ie

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Re: Woodburner output advice please
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2011, 19:28 »
Since I added the insulation in the loft, I'm wondering if we'd have been better with a 5Kw stove than 9Kw. Even with the dampers screwed in we were roasting last night. Mind you, I was burning hawthorn and that burns really hot.


you can always put less logs on to reduce the output,I would always go for the larger stove cos you can't cram more in that it has space for when you need some oomph ;)
smud6ie

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John

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Re: Woodburner output advice please
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2011, 20:23 »
you can always put less logs on to reduce the output,I would always go for the larger stove cos you can't cram more in that it has space for when you need some oomph ;)
smud6ie

Trouble is with ours that it doesn't seem to have a smoulder setting - putting less on is easy but it burns fast even with the air vents closed so just goes out. Unfortunately you can't test drive a woodburner.

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smud6ie

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Re: Woodburner output advice please
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2011, 21:24 »
If your stove is not a clean burn model which are designed not to fully shut down then air may be entering through poorly fitting seals.
you can check them by placing  a single strip of paper between the door a stove body then closing it and see if the paper is trapped ,try this all the way round .
smud6ie



 

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