Thursday 30 June 2011
With the help of BioMass Energy Centre who have provided the following graph and related research and documentation show that wood chips are the cheapest per kWh at just 2.6p followed by wood pellets at 3.9p per kWh, this is followed closely by natural gas at 4.1p per kWh. Surprisingly its heating oil next at 5.6pence per kilowatt hour.
After heating oil there is quite a large jump to the next priced fuel. LPG when bought in bulk comes in at 8.2p, a massive 4pence increase over natural gas, which actually comes as quite a shock. I'd have thought it would be quite similar, with LPG being possible 1-2 pence more expensive due to how its delivered.
Last but not least comes electricity, at a shocking (pardon the pun) 13p pence per kWh, more than treble that of natural gas and woodchips or pellets.
Fuel Price per unit kWh per unit pence per kWh
Wood chips (30% MC) £90 per tonne 3,500 kWh/t 2.6p/kWh
Wood pellets £185 per tonne 4,800 kWh/t 3.9p/kWh
Natural gas 4.1p/kWh 1 4.1p/kWh
Heating oil 56p per litre 10 kWh/ltr 5.6p/kWh
LPG (bulk) 54p per litre 6.6 kWh/ltr 8.2p/kWh
Electricity 13.0p/kWh 1 13.0p/kWh
So if you're looking for an energy efficient heater or fire we'd recommend that you'd look for a pellet stove such as the Aga Fusion(left) that can be programmed to come on up to 3 times a day or for a gas fire such as the Apex Capacious HE which boasts up to 89% efficiency when running on natural gas to make the most out of the fuel you're using.
Note: All prices are prone to significant variation with geographical region, order quantities, overall contract size and duration, time of year, delivery distance and time, etc. Woodfuels in particular are available at prices both significantly above and below those quoted, and bulk prices will be subject to a minimum delivery size of perhaps 3-5 tonnes. Wood pellets bought in bags may be significantly more expensive than those bought in bulk.
Tuesday 28 June 2011
The episode follows the two year journey from basically a couple of walls being held up with rubble into a stunning family home and bed & breakfast. As you can see below the castle was in complete disrepair.
Francis and Karen along with their team of archaeologists, stone masons, builders and decorators worked tirelessly to bring Peel Castle back from the Brink and to the right you can see the finished result:
"I first saw Peel nearly 30 years ago on the way to a holiday in Scotland with my parents.
I was navigating so we ventured down nearly every rough track between the Midlands and Oban until they reached ‘tower house fatigue’ and took the map off me. However I had been hooked, and who would not be? It was nestled in a valley within a parkland settling; a castle with parts over 750 years old and the main tower having been built by one of the last Knights Templar" -Francis Shaw
Now, enough about the outside of the castle (beautiful as it is). What we want to talk about can be found in the Old Bedroom, Situated on the second floor and the master bedroom, the Old Bedroom is a charming romantic bedroom, combining history and modern day amenities. The en-suite in the Old spiral staircase and King John's 'look out' for the wet room shower is all part of the original Pele Tower.
Nestled in the stunning open fireplace with exposed stone lintel and pillars surround it is the Gallery Firefox stove. The simple styling works brilliantly with both the traditional and contemporary aspects of the room, while the single piece cast iron body means that the maximum amount of heat is transferred into the room. It will not be difficult to imagine sat in front of the stove with the warm glow eminating from the large viewing window and just able to "take stock" as it were of all the history and character of the room and building you are sat in.
The exposed stone on the exterior wall just adds to the feel and almost adds to the effectiveness of having a traditional stove in an open fireplace warming the room.More information on the historic Peel Castle and images of other rooms in this stunning castle visit http://www.peelcastle.co.uk/
Sunday 26 June 2011
A wood boiler stove is an appliance that can burn wood to create hot water. Some take the form of what you would recognise as a traditional wood burner whilst others look and work much more like a gas boiler.
There are various types and permutations of boiler for wood stoves available but they all do the same job - they transfer heat from the burning wood into water, which can then be piped where it is needed and used for heating or domestic hot water. In a traditional wood boiler stove the boiler is usually a simple metal box filled with water and with 2 or 4 tappings to allow you to attach your water pipes to it. These tappings are usually 1" BSP fittings. Usually these boilers replace the fire-bricks inside the firebox of the stove and are known as back boilers because the bulk of the boiler is at the back of the firebox.
Wood boiler stove heat output to water
Wood boiler stoves can come with a variety of rated boiler outputs from around 5,000 BTU to 90,000 BTU. Make sure to check whether the rated output is the maximum or nominal. The nominal output is the output at which the stove would normally be run and is of course lower than the maximum output. You would not drive a car at it's full speed all the time and a wood boiler stove is just the same. Also when sizing the boiler stove for your needs remember that you need to use the nominal heat output.
Central heating and hot water from a wood boiler stove
A boiler stove can be used to power your central heating system and to provide hot water as well. Designing such a heating and hot water system is relatively simple but you will need the help and advice of an experienced heating engineer.
Wood fired central heating
Here the wood boiler stove is connected to the house heating system, commonly radiators, and the heat from the burning wood is pumped around the house. If your house uses underfloor heating then you would connect your boiler stove to a hot water tank and then the underfloor heating would be connected to that.
Heating hot water with a wood burning boiler stove
One of the differences between a boiler stove and a conventional gas/oil boiler is that it takes time for the hot water coming from the stove boiler to get up to temperature. This means that you cannot simply take hot water directly from the stove boiler: you need to connect the boiler stove to a hot water tank. The water in the tank is heated by the stove and stored up for use when needed.
In an unvented system there is no header tank and the water in the pipes is under pressure. Modern heating systems run by gas boilers tend to be unvented (or pressurised). One give-away is that there is often a pressure gauge on the boiler measured in 'Bar'. When the water in a pressurised system expands the pressure in the system increases. Most stoves are not suitable to be directly linked up to a pressurised system because with a stove it is possible to boil the water in the boiler. However a vast majority of stoves supplied by authorised dealers can be linked directly to pressurised systems with the incorporation of an expansion vessel - which expands to cope with pressure increases, a pressure release valve, and a heat dump system with additional safety features.
Friday 24 June 2011
Back in 1986 two friends (Bill Jenrick & Barry Charlton) going through a mid life career crisis decided to start their own business in the fireplace industry. Both experienced in running multinational companies and extensive experience in the gas industry they set about the daunting task of starting a new business.
With the help of Telford & Wrekin council (then the Telford Development Corporation) they got their first premises, a 150sqft room in the Telford Business Development center on Stafford Park and Charlton & Jenrick Ltd was born.
Twenty four years later the Charlton & Jenrick Group returns to Stafford Park, once again with the assistance of Telford & Wrekin council. The new premises, although just a stones throw from the original premises, are very substantially larger at 42,000sqft. It will be home to the group's gas fire manufacturing and product development operations, which employs 43 people.
The group is now a major player in the fireplace market employing over 120 staff across 3 sites in the UK and sales in excess of £12m. With it's 4 main brands, Katell, Paragon, Fireline & Matchless they are involved in almost all product groups including gas and electric fires, timber, marble & stone fireplaces and suites plus wood burning stoves.
Their customer base includes around 500 independent retail shops, local authorities, major national house builders and contractors.
The new premises on Stafford Park 2 offer increased efficiencies and the room for planned growth.
The full range or Paragon, Matchless and Katell are available to order from the Showroom at Fireplace Megastore with a number of items on display, combined with a number of brochures available giving access to see the full ranges.
Wednesday 22 June 2011
With this in mind and news from some of my friends in the industry that the newly launched House2Home Megastore has just launched some more furniture in conjunction with BM Furniture we thought we'd plan our ideal living room! We have based it around the typical new-build semi-detached property. On average measuring 16feet by 16 feet, including a staircase to the first floor on the connecting wall and the front door. As with most new build properties our "dream home" doesn't feature a chimney or a chimney breast. But we've got some ideas of what to put inside our living room.
Below you'll see the plan of the room complete with staircase with the wall at the bottom of the image and left hand side external walls.First things first, lets start with the fire! We wanted to create a contemporary look and feel and nothing shouts contemporary like a Hole-In-The-Wall fire! Without a chimney breast thou we're limited to balanced flue fires. Due to the size of the room we didnt want anything in a massive false chimney breast that would dominate the room. So we decided on the Kinder Limours (shown right). With it's contemporary graphite fascia and contrasting steel trim surrounding the aggregate stone effect and flames in the centre, combined with the wall-mounting plate meant that we recess the fire into a slimline chimney breast, further emphasising the fire as a focal point in the room, rather than risk the possibility of losing it in the large wall.
On the left you can see a mock up we did of the Limours on our living room wall, as I think you'll agree we think it would look fab! (Looks a bit lonely but we're on our way to furnishing a lovely living room)
Offering a whopping 4.2kW heat output and efficiency rating of 87% the Limours would allow us to turn the heating down for the rest of the house and just enjoy the warmth from the fire in a cold winter's evening.
Now for the sofa... One that caught our eye was the Dante from BM furniture and House2Home Megastore, this stunning leather corner group would be perfect to create that enclosed seating area feel while not dominating the room itself. Made of high grade category 10-35 or category 55 leather, the Dante is both a stylish and contemporary corner group, can either be used in the corner of a room or as we will be using it below to create an almost enclosed seating area around the fire. We also think it would create a nice social area, especially gathered around the fire, enjoying the warmth on a cold winters evening.
But obviously the room is far from complete with just a sofa and a fireplace, (as nice as they are!) We finished the room off with an Optia Black Wool Rug in front of the sofa to contrast the white leather and to offer something warm and fuzzy under-foot contrasting the cool feel of the wood laminate flooring.
The room is finished off with the Ponderosa style coffee table, CD/DVD unit and television stand in waxed pine, offering a completementary wood finish to that of the laminate floor.
Overall we think we've created a stunning contemporary living space that still offers that warmth you'd look for in your living room. We hope you agree and would like to thank FireplaceMegastore and House2Home Megastore for offering their help with our little project!
Thursday 16 June 2011
If you’d like to reduce the amount of fossil fuels that you depend on to heat the water in your home and, at the same time, significantly lower your carbon dioxide emissions, why not consider installing a solar water heating system? Solar water heating systems work by absorbing solar energy. The energy is transferred from the solar panel to heat the water in your hot water cylinder. Highly efficient, completely controllable and low maintenance, a solar water heating system is easiest to install if you already have a conventional ‘system’ or ‘regular’ boiler
and could provide up to 60%* of your annual hot water from a clean, renewable source of energy. Works come rain or shine, So ideal for the British Weather!Solar water heating panels do not rely on high temperatures or even direct sunlight to work. Even on cloudy days, they can deliver significant energy savings. That's because they work on the principle of light absorption, rather than needing heat or direct sunlight.
Unless your home is a listed building or in a conservation area, planning permission for solar water heating panels is unlikely to be required. However it is always best to check with your local planning office. For renewables planning guidance visit www.energysavingtrust.org.uk
Tuesday 14 June 2011
Here’s an example of a central heating and hot water system layout using a combi boiler:
A combi (or combination) boiler is an ingenious space-saving idea, and an increasingly popular choice in UK homes. In fact, combis now account for well over half of all the new domestic boilers installed in Britain every year.
A combi boiler is both a high-efficiency water heater and a central heating boiler, combined (hence the name) within one compact unit. Therefore, no separate hot water cylinder is required, offering space saving within the property.
Further benefits of a combi boiler are significant savings on hot water costs and the fact that hot water is delivered through your taps or shower at mains pressure. So you can enjoy powerful showering without the need for a pump.Another combi boiler benefit is that it can generally save you money on installation time and costs, since no tank in the roof space means less pipe work and a shorter installation time.
Combi Boilers such as the Worcester Greenstar 24i Junior 100280 Combi Boiler offer up to 90.1% efficiency and boast a grade A efficiency rating and gives a maximum heat output of 24kW to the central heating system and offers instant hot water as well as a keep hot feature.
Ideal for smaller homes and apartments the 24i Junior offers 9.8 litres per minute of hot water at 35 degrees. It also boasts highly flexible flue options and a wall-mounting frame to hide the unsightly pipework.
It also boasts a variety of control options ranging from the basic mechanical to the all-singing, all dancing digistal that features automatic daylight savings time adjustment, 24 hour functionality as well as a programmable room thermostat to accurately control the temperature of the house.
And a recent survey revealed that 9 out of 10 professional installers would choose Worcester for their own homes*. All of which gives you the reassurance of knowing that when you invest in a
Worcester product, its quality is endorsed by the professionals.
As domestic boilers currently account for 21%* of the UK’s total CO2 emissions, the fact that a Worcester condensing boiler also delivers dramatically reduced emissions of both CO2 and NOx (Nitrogen Oxide) helps in the battle against climate change. All Worcester Greenstar boilers are within class 5 – the lowest of the 5 categories – for NOx emissions.
Thursday 9 June 2011
Some say Fire and Water do not mix, The people at House2Home Megastore and Ambiente disagree...
The recently launched House2Home website has just unveiled the Kohala Three Polished Tubes Fire And Water Feature from Ambiente. The Kohala 3 Polished Tubes with Fire and Water Feature is a unique self contained water feature made from grade 304 stainless steel. Consisting of three brushed stainless steel tubes with colour changing LED lights, changing into 7 different colours, a unique feature that creates a stunning light show when reflecting up and off the clean stainless steel finish.
But LED's aren't the only light source on the Kohala, at the pinnacle of each stainless steel tower is a small bio-fuel fire, this, combined with the water gently running down the sides of the stainless steel tubes creates a very contemporary finish and a must have for any garden, but why confine such a contemporary and unique item to the garden, the included reservior can be placed into a planter to situate the fire in an office foyer or restaurant to reallly add that special touch. The flames use a clean burning ethanol eco fuel and would look work well in conjunction with an Apex Bio-Fuel fire indoors, utilising the eco-friendly and clean burning fuel to both heat your living room and create a stunning outdoor focal point for those long summer evenings.
Tuesday 7 June 2011
The unique vario-burner system from Drugasar means that unlike other Hole-In-The-Wall gas fires where there is just one single burner running in a straight line across the fire, the Metro 150's Vario-Burner® system zig-zags it's way across the entire breadth and depth of the fire, creating the look and feel of an actual log-burning fire, especially when the ceramic log fuel effect begins to glow.
As you can see in the above video, of the Metro 150's little brother, the Metro 130 with the black glass effect, this really adds to the overall look and feel of the fire, creating the illusion of even more depth to the fire and reflecting back some more of that coveted warm glow back into the room while not compromising on appearance.
Offering a substantial heat output of 11Kw, in both natural gas and LPG, this balanced flue gas fire will provide enough heat to warm even some of the largest living spaces as well as featuring fully-automatic remote control with temperature display as standard allowing control of the fire from across the other side of the room.
Look out for the Metro 150 balanced flue gas fire appearing in the lobbies of hotels, restaurants and larger living spaces across the country very soon.
Friday 3 June 2011
Napoleon Gourmet Grills originated in Canada as a small business and has had great success and is now broadening its horizons to pastures new. Now being offered over here in the UK by House2Home Megastore!
The success surely comes from the high standard of materials used on the products and the high specification finish to them too. An example of this is how Napoleon use only the finest 304 grade steel for the components and how externally the barbecues or grills are coated in a rust resistant coating. Napoleon also include a lot of innovation in there appliances. They now produce charcoal, gas and electric grills, from smaller portable grills to grills for the family and even professional grills too.
Accessories are also a great addition to the grill provided, and Napoleon have brought innovation and style to these items as well, allowing you to have your very own spit roast or rotisserie, purpose built griddle, built in ice bucket or even cook on a plank of wood for the added flavour! Obviously most of these ideas have been conceived before, but to have them integrated into your home barbecuing experience is something quite special.
The overall feeling about these BBQ grills is that they are very very good quality, and the higher up the range you go, the more features you acquire, the quality is superb throughout the ranges and worth having a look, some of these barbeques have more features than even my gas cooker in my kitchen!
Most Napoleon barbecue grills come with a limited lifetime warranty, for the length of time that you own the grill, indeed a lifetime. Napoleon Gourmet Grills only allow their products to be sold by reputable dealers whether online or in stores so if you get the chance then have a look, they’re sure to impress, and maybe next time you think of having a BBQ you’ll think of Napoleon!
Thursday 2 June 2011
Wood burning stoves are, as the name implies, stoves used solely for burning wood. Wood burning stoves have no grate or ash pan, wood is simply burnt on the base of the stove, usually in the bed of ash from the night before. This means that wood-burning stoves can fit more logs inside than the equivalent sized multi-fuel stove (which is what I have).
Wood burning stoves are generally cleaner than using coal and wood is a renewable fuel source which is carbon neutral, so is friendlier to the environment.
It is always good practice to line a chimney when fitting stoves, whether wood burning stoves or multi-fuel stoves, and you need to use registered installers to fit woodstoves as they fall under Building Regulations.
When you are deciding which of the wood burning stoves to buy, you need to work out:
- a) Will it fit?b) Will it heat the space?c) Are you in a smoke control are
- a?d) Which direction is the prevailing wind? If it blows back down the chimney you may need to fit a vent.
So how do you know if your choice of wood burning stove will heat the space? When buying wood burning stoves you need to know how much heat output they need to heat the room you want it in.Our friend at Nature’s Power have a great tool to work out what heat output and ultimately what wood burning stoves you can get to heat your room.
Smoke free zone
Even if you live in a smoke-controlled area, there’s nothing to stop you joining the wood burning revolution. Most wood burning stoves can’t be used to burn wood in smoke-controlled areas - but there are a growing number considered to be so super-clean-burning they are given an exemption from the wood burning controls. Clean burning wood burning stoves are more expensive than standard models, potentially 50% more.
And did you know, they say that the emissions from wood burning stoves are three to four times less than with an open fire. For a list of the councils that impose controls go to - Smoke Control Areas.
Why buy wood burning stoves?
Wood burning stoves are hot property at the moment. From traditional use in country cottages to cutting edge architecture, they are the latest fad in green heat and with the high oil prices and eco concerns there is extra demand for wood burning stoves, but are they really eco-friendly?
Everyone likes an open fire, but the efficiency of burning logs in a grate is very low (20-25 per cent efficient). An open fire has to suck a lot of the (warm) air out of the room, and it is replaced by cold air from outside.
Wood is the original carbon-neutral fuel. It releases carbon dioxide when it’s burnt, but the amount given off is the same as was stored by the tree when it was growing. I found out that if the tree was left to rot in the woods it would produce the same amount of carbon emissions released by burning!
Most firewood in this country comes from sustainable sources, so for every tree cut down another is planted, and the carbon released from the felled tree will be absorbed by another tree.
Both in terms of smoke and the amount of ash produced for the owner to clean up, modern wood burners are very impressive. And if the stove has self-cleaning air-wash glass a clear view of flickering flames is guaranteed.