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Chimneys & Fireplaces

Reopening a fireplace

I'm thinking of reopening my fireplace. What type of fuel is most recommended and most energy efficient?

3 Answers from MyBuilder Chimney & Fireplace Specialists

Best Answer

You will loose 80% of heat up chimney with an open fire, best to fit a multi fuel or wood burner, you will get 80% of heat in the room.
Best fuel is well seasoned wood, mainly hardwood, also eco friendly.
Fit a twin wall stainless steel flue liner, raingaurd cap and register plate.
Keep to a small burner, 3kw and burn hot, keeps glass doors clean.
Note; you will need to notify building control unless you use a Hetas registered installer, who will issue the certificates.
Best thing we did 3yr ago, we save approx £150 on gas bill.
You could fit this yourself, so long as you notify building control, and you are confident with heights, bearing in mind you will have a 8m snake on your back, and is a 2 man job.


Answered 17th Feb 2011

Just be aware that the 2010 version of the Part J of the Building regulations can into force in October 2010. It stipulates combustion ventilation on all stoves even <5kw if the house was built after 1992. Also have to fit a sealed battery type carbon monoxide detector in the same room. The hearth spec has also been revised and also the clearance to combustable materials have been clarified. Means that many thatched houses existing chimneys will not comply if only a flex liner is used and the thatch is touching the chimney breast. Must have a building control sign off, otherwise your fire insurance will be invalid. Just a final note, you should have someone size your room for heat requirements. New build 50w/m2, refurbished 70w/m2, unrefurbished 100, old than 1920 with solid walls typically 150w/m2. I usually rate the burner at twice the room heat loss as most burner ratings are given flat out. 4kW room loss 8kW burner etc. 3kW will not raise the temperature quickly in an large old room with solid wall and high ceilings, I know because I have an 8kw burner in a 4kw loss (at -3 outside) room, it struggled to raise the room temperature in December, my house is large Georgian and built in 1816. As the other guy says, burn dry wood 20-25% moisture, any higher moisture than this and your will tar up your flue and burner as the secondary gas combustion will not happen giving lousy heat output. Recommend the purchase of a moisture detector from Ebay as due to increased demand many suppliers are trying to sell green unseasoned wood!! Many people near me are now burning 70/30 coal/wood as wood has got expensive to buy.


Answered 17th Feb 2011

Go to dunsley heats web site and it gives a calculator so when you add your room size it will tell you the kilowatt requirements also when lining your chimney which will be a requirement with a stove there are 2 choices of liner 904 or 316 grade try to get 904 as the warranty is 25 years not the 10 years you get with 316.And as the other guys have said wet wood is a real problem at the mo creating lots of chimney fires so get the moisture meter.


Answered 17th Feb 2011

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