WOOD BURNING STOVES
WOOD BURNING STOVES are as popular as ever and still our favourite technology. Everybody loves a fire and as human beings we’ve sat round a camp fire every night for the last 2 million years proving wood to be the ultimate sustainable material. A fire naturally makes us feel warm, cosy, safe and relaxed. Wood burning stoves are three times more efficient than an open fire, you don’t lose heat up the chimney when they’re not on and stoves are safe to leave un-attended.
Today’s regulations insist that stoves are very efficient and clean burning with all the best manufacturers viewing these as a base standard going beyond expectations. A good stove, installed properly, burning dry wood can easily provide 20 - 25% of the average home’s heating and is cheaper to run than gas (and oil). Wood is carbon neutral as it releases the same amount when burnt as rotting on the forest floor. Obviously we are very lucky to be based in Surrey and especially in the Surrey Hills with an abundance of wood. Using a carbon neutral, locally sourced, often waste product and sometimes free fuel to heat your home makes perfect sense to us
Wood Burners create a different heat in your home as basically a metal box gets very hot, heating the air around them and convection moves the hot air effectively around the room (and the rest of the house to some degree). This circulation of air is particularly important to the fabric of older buildings which were designed with open fires and are not as draughty as they once were due to double glazing and loft insulation.
Also you can always rely on your stove to keep warm, provide light and even cook on in times of electricity blackouts which are becoming more common, especially in rural communities, as climate change causes more extreme weather and the power network is put under additional strain with the uptake of electric cars, heat pumps, etc. Over the years we must of heard back from more than a thousand customers expressing how installing a wood burning stove has been the best addition to their home.
There are many stoves on the market and we supply all the leading brands. Here’s Our Top Ten Selling Stoves
We supply and install all the main leading brands of stoves.
A stove must be of good build quality, clean burning, efficient, user friendly, proven design and stylish as a stove is usually the main feature in the main room of your home.
Free Standing Stoves are the most common stoves we install. Freestanding means the stove needs an air gap around the stove which is very important for the stove to effectively heat the room. If hot air around the stove cannot rise then you won’t feel the full effect of your stove and quite frankly you’ve just wasted a lot of money! Ideally we want 300mm (12”) above the stove and 150mm (6”) either side of the stove. Not only is it very important to select the correct kilowatt output for the room but also to insure the stove will fit comfortably inside the fireplace opening. Constructional work (as listed below in Traditional Stoves) is part of our installation service.
Multi Fuel Stoves enable you to burn wood and smokeless coal/ smokeless fuel. The advantage of burning smokeless coal is that it burns hotter for longer so if you want the stove for background heat during the day or to burn overnight it might be advisable to get a multi fuel stove. Some stoves come as multi fuel as standard and most manufacturers offer a multi fuel option. Some stoves are just wood burning only. The main difference being that wood burns gases realised as it heats up, hence the dancing flames, so logs are best burnt on a bed of ash. Coal needs air underneath to burn so a multi-fuel stove comes with a grate and ash pan.
Cast Iron Stoves will retain heat for longer but take longer to heat up and sometimes need more attention building the fire compared with steel stoves which heat up quickly but won’t retain the heat once the fire has gone out. Many manufacturers combine both materials building the body from steel with cast iron doors and tops.
Traditional Stoves are generally fitted in existing fireplaces and usually the chimney needs re-lining with a flexible stainless steel liner so access is required to the chimney pot. Sometimes the fireplace needs to be enlarged by raising the lintel, increasing the width of the opening, rendering inside the chamber and painting with heat proof paint, plastering the chimney breast and fitting new hearths. This is all services we offer as part of our installation.
Cylindrical/ Convector Stoves are modern stoves where the stove body is surrounded by steel panels with pockets of air which will heat up a larger area quicker. Many convection stoves come from Scandinavia as their rooms are larger and very well insulated although most manufacturers now offer some options. Cylindrical stoves are very popular in open plan, extended kitchens possibly with vaulted ceilings. Quite often convector stoves are installed with a twin wall, thermally insulated factory made chimney system. Most can be fitted with an external direct air kit.
Inset Stoves and insert / cassette stoves are fitted into or built into a suitable opening. Similar to Convector Stoves they have an air layer around the main stove body and are designed to heat the room just as effectively and efficiently as freestanding stoves. Inset stoves can sit on a hearth with a three sided frame or off the floor, in the wall, with a four sided frame. Often we install inset stoves into existing fireplace surrounds/ mantle pieces where the opening can be formed with natural stone slips and header.
Boiler Stoves are increasing in popularity as it makes absolute sense to use your stove to also heat radiators and the hot water cylinder reducing your use of fossil fuels. Normally we link this with an automatic gas or oil boiler. Boiler stoves work really well with a Solar Thermal hot water system as using wood and the sun to heat ourselves is what we’ve done for millions of years. Unfortunately, retro fitting a woodburner with a back boiler can be costly and disruptive to the property so it’s not always financially attractive. We are one of the few companies qualified to install boiler stoves and our speciality is combining different heat sources.
Pellet Stoves are not that popular in the Surrey Hills countryside but are within the M25. They are very efficient, highly controllable and almost fully automated. With minimal smoke output, a renewable fuel source and low consumption it’s surprising the uptake in the UK has been slow compared with Europe. Burning compressed wood in the form of pellets really does get the maximum energy from the most proven renewable and sustainable fuel source – wood.
Double Sided Stoves are really good at joining two rooms together in a visual and practical way. With more people going open plan in their homes, a chimney opened up on both sides with a double sided stove can look stunning and really bring the rooms to life.
Cooking Stoves have always been popular and why not? They come in many styles and sizes from cooking ranges with ovens, hobs, etc to a simple warming shelf or a hot plate. Obviously they need to be installed in the right setting but just think of those lazy weekends on a cold winters day in front of a fire cooking your favourite dishes…
Chimney Systems We offer the complete service when it comes to chimneys for your stove or boiler. Whether it’s re-lining your existing, traditional brick built chimney with a flexible stainless steel liner or if you have no chimney, fitting a twin wall, thermally insulated system. At GSG Surrey we can also build chimney stacks with pumice liners for new builds, re-pair/ re-point old chimney stacks and fix lead work, etc around the chimney stack.
Fire Surrounds are a classic and formal chimney piece which come in natural stone choices of limestone or marble and there are many styles to suit every home. Our four best selling limestone surrounds are…
As with stoves we supply and fit all the leading brands
Oak Beams are always a nice addition to a stove installation and it’s always nice to have a mantle shelf. Our preferred beams are locally sourced oak from the Surrey Hills, air dried and bespoke to each home. They will crack, split and move in time bringing real character to your front room. They come natural and un-finished and some customers like to oil them but most just leave them as they come.
We also supply finished oak beams…
and wood effect, non-combustible beams
Hearths come in various materials and our most popular ones are made to measure in either Black Slate, Riven Slate, Honed Black Granite, Antique Granite and Polished Black Granite. Please let us know if you require samples.
Also glass hearths are popular on wood floors with cylindrical stoves.
Lovely 12mm Glass floorplates the perfect way to protect your flooring and ensure your install meets regulations.
GLASS FLOOR PLATE