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Wood Burning Stove Overview

INSTALLATION REQUIREMENTS FOR STOVE INSTALLS?  Installation must be carried out by an approved Hetas installer or equal qualified engineer and must be in accordance with Building Regulations including document J. To investigate the suitability of your chimney, contact us for general advice or best of all to contact your local approved installer and arrange a site visit for a chimney survey. This is important firstly for safe operation and secondly the condition of your chimney will determine how effective your stove performs; a poor flue performance will affect its efficiency and general operation. Any existing chimney system must be swept and inspected before installation of the stove. All multi-fuel/wood burners must be installed in a class 1 chimney.

WHAT IF MY HOUSE HASN’T GOT A CHIMNEY? There are different flue systems on the market depending upon what your installation and site requirements are and whether you can build a masonry chimney or not. The most commonly used system in this situation is a twin wall stainless steel chimney system. These chimney systems are extremely flexible in terms of site requirements, installation and passing through floors, walls and roofs. Twin wall flues also keep labour costs down versus a masonry chimney as will often be installed in 1 day. Masonry chimneys (brick, concrete and pumice etc.) have different systems available such as a block and liner system which is then filled with insulation between the two as its being constructed such as Isokern Pumice Liners. Double Module systems are the two combined into 1 system with an inner liner and outer block with requires no filling, again these help reduce labour costs.

CAN YOU INSTALL TWO APPLIANCES TO ONE FLUE SYSTEM? No, this is not permitted in the UK. All appliances should have their own individual dedicated flue.

MY STOVE HAS A 6” COLLAR; CAN I INSTALL IT ON A 5” FLUE? No. The internal diameter of the flue must be no smaller than the stove flue collar at any point. If the stove has a 5” collar you must increase to a 6” liner unless the stove is approved for smoke control areas. Remember the chimney has to be class 1 as diameter is not an indication of class.

DOES MY CHIMNEY NEED LINING? We believe that all chimneys with a diameter 2” greater than the outlet of the stove should be lined as standard, however this should be decided by your qualified HETAS Engineer as height and location will be a deciding factor.

DO I NEED AN AIR BRICK? Yes if the output or manufacturer specified nominal is above 5kw. If the house was subject to pressure testing at time of construction (normally after 2007) then ventilation will be required regardless of output as the 5KW adventitious ventilation allowance is not permitted.

WHAT FUELS CAN I BURN? Manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines should be followed to make sure you don’t damage the stove and invalidate any warranties. Some fuels are listed below


Burn only dry properly seasoned or kiln dried wood. For best results, use hard wood with a moisture content of less than 20% when tested by splitting and testing the centre. Soft wood can be burnt but it does have higher resin content. If soft wood is burnt at low temperatures (often below approx. 140 degrees stove temperature or before wood fuel gasification occurs) this can foul the flue more easily.  Seasoned wood should be cut, split and stacked in a sheltered and well ventilated space for at least 1 year. This is mainly advertised as ‘seasoned’ wood, however be careful as producers don’t have an established industry regulator yet to keep a check on quality. Burning wet wood will produce tar and creosote deposits in the stove and build up considerably further in the chimney, wet wood will not normally produce a satisfactory heat output. Wood burns best on a bed of ash and it is therefore only necessary to remove surplus ash from the stove occasionally.

Best used in brick or turf form, moisture content of the peat must be very low. Some manufacturers do not include this as an approved fuel on their stoves.

DO NOT burn petroleum coke as it over fires stoves easily, overheats steel, cast iron, flues and can be extremely dangerous.


Stoves are not incinerators, you might not damage your stove but you will release all the chemicals and fumes from anything containing them into the atmosphere.

Anthracite is an approved natural smokeless fuel but quality and heat output does vary between suppliers quite significantly. It requires good air flow to give top performance and often requires to be used in conjunction with other approved manufactured smokeless fuels as per the HETAS approved list.

Please see for approved Manufactured Smokeless Fuels suitable for stoves

WHATS SMOKE A CONTROL APPROVED STOVE? Smoke control approved stoves are appliances that have been tested under set conditions and have achieved particulate (dust) emissions that satisfy DEFRA guidelines, amongst other tests, whilst burning wood. Smoke control zones (commonly built up urban areas) historically do not permit the burning of unauthorised fuels within these areas, however with the technological advances in stove combustion technology burning wood, an unauthorised fuel, has become so clean that many appliances will achieve the Status Smoke Control Approved. This simplified means you can legally burn dry wood on a smoke control approved appliance in a smoke control zone.

For further information on smoke control please see the Defra smoke control website

CAN I BURN WOOD ON A MULTIFUEL STOVE? Yes. Normally a multi fuel stove id deigned to burn wood and solid fuels. Primary and secondary control settings are normally different when you burn wood versus solid fuel. Always refer to manufacturer instructions for optimal settings.

CAN I SWEEP MY CHIMNEY THROUGH THE STOVE? Most stoves have an arrangement for the baffles to be removed for sweep and service. This method helps ensure the flue is clean top to bottom and that the baffle air ways are clear of debris.


CAN I DISCONNECT AND RUN MY BOILER STOVE? No. This is potentially extremely dangerous and unfortunately there have been cases of explosions with fatalities.

HOW MUCH SPACE WILL MY STOVE NEED? Always refer to manufacturers guidelines. Most common minimum recommendations to non-combustibles are 75mm to the rear, 150mm each side, 225mm above with 300mm in front for the hearth area.

WOODBURNER OR MULTI FUEL: WHATS THE DIFFERENCE? A wood burning stove is designed to burn wood only, this is normally on a solid base or in a well in which you get no ash pan. Often you will shovel to clean out the ash. A multi fuel stove comes with a grate normally with a smaller combustion chamber where you can burn both smokeless fuel and/or dry wood. There is often a riddling grate and an ash pan beneath for the removal of ash. When burning solid fuels you will produce much more ash compared to burning wood.

DO I NEED A DAMPER? If your chimney has strong or excessive draught, it can be worth fitting a damper on the flue system. This can help control and reduce the pull of the chimney which aids efficiency.


If you need any further information please do not hesitate to contact the stovesaver team. To see all products we do please visit our homepage which has everything you need for stoves and stove installation