When specifying a wood burning stove, installers need to get it right in terms of style, application and making sure the product is sourced from a reputable supplier. Simon Holden offers some sound advice.

A wood burning stove provides a great focal point for any home, whether traditional or contemporary in style, and is a practical means of cutting heating bills, helping to lower the utility bills of the average family household. Today’s stoves have come a long way in terms of design and technology, with many models reaching efficiencies of up to 80%.

Purchasing a stove requires some thought, however; as well as choosing a reputable supplier who can guide you on all aspects from purchase to installation, careful consideration needs to be given to the application to make sure the stove you’ve selected has been sized correctly. Is it an open-plan space you’re looking to heat? How is the room used? What is the insulation like?

There are good online heat calculators that can give you a general idea of what size unit you need for the available space, many of which help you take into account influencing factors such as level of insulation, ceiling height, double-glazing and whether internal doors are intended to be open or shut on a regular basis, etc.

Safe installation

Once you’ve sourced a quality stove from a reputable supplier, it’s essential it is installed safely. Be aware that:

  • Installation of wood burning and multi-fuelled stoves is ‘controlled’ under the Building Regulations (as is relining or installing flues and chimneys) and should be carried out by a HETAS approved installer or get checked by building control
  • All wood burners must be CE marked under the Construction Products Directive. Choose a HETAS approved model to be on the safe-side
  • Reputable suppliers should provide proper manufacturers’ instructions, warranties, technical advice and installation support.

Staying safe online

If you’re purchasing a stove online, consider the following:

  • Is the site secure? Look out for a small padlock symbol on the address bar or your browser window. If a web address begins with ‘https://’ – the ‘s’ also stands for ‘secure’. In addition you would be wise to ‘Google’ any reviews.
  • Pre-payment When making a payment or setting up an account, you will be asked to choose a password. Make sure it is strong; use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols.
  • Payment Before payment, you will usually be asked to tick a box to say that you have read the site’s terms and conditions – MAKE SURE YOU DO READ THEM! Be aware that when using a credit card, you may be charged a small fee.
  • Extra layers Lots of sites have added an extra layer of security by including ‘Verified by Visa’ or ‘SecureCode’, which requires an additional password to complete payment. PayPal is often a good option too, acting as another secure ‘middleman’.
  • Consumer rights When making a large purchase, it would be wise to use a credit card, which gives legal rights under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act (on any purchases over £100). You also have the right to a refund if you are not happy with the purchase.
  • Fraud alert You should never be asked for your PIN or banking password when making a transaction online. You will be asked for your security code that appears on your card (CVV2 code). Unless you give them permission, sites should not store your card details after the transaction either.

Get it right, and sourcing the right product online can save a lot of time and effort, with purchases delivered straight to your front door, offering you the widest choice and the best bargains at the click of a button.


Simon Holder is co-founder at Euroheat