Thursday 31 January 2013

Verine Carmelo HE

The Verine Carmelo HE is a brand new balanced flue gas fire that has a beautiful contemporary design. The Carmelo HE is the latest product from the British manufacturers Verine so you know it is going to be a good quality fire, which is verified by the 7 year guarantee!!

This extravagant fire will provide your room with a high maximum heat output of 6.5kW with an efficiency of 75%!! That is more than enough to keep your room very warm whilst also saving on running costs.

Verine have supplied this fire with a fully thermostatic remote control which can be used to light the fire as well as adjust the fame height and heat output. The remote control also allows you to regulate the temperature of the room on a timer so your room can warm whenever you wish, all from the comfort of your chair!!

Don't have a chimney or flue? then the Verine Carmelo is the perfect option for you with the added bonus of having a balanced flue option which allows you to vent gases straight out of the building but it must be mounted on an external wall. This Balanced Flue option draws air in from the outside whilst expelling combustion gases from the inner pipe.

The Verine Carmelo HE is sure to be a major talking point for any home with its unique contemporary design as well as being highly efficient. This High Efficiency fire is only available from quality showrooms and will definitely be in high demand!

Tuesday 29 January 2013

Infinity 600CF

Compact, beautiful and well designed the 600CF Infinity gas fire from Charlton & Jenrick offers all the designer looks of the flagship 890CF gas fire and at 603mm wide will fit a huge proportion of current housing stock.
The conventionally flued 600CF hole in the wall gas fire is an excellent stand-alone product in its own right but also offers the solution to those customers that really like the Infinity 890CF fire but don’t have the room to fit it into their chimney breast.
The fire comes fitted with black ribbed liners and a log fuel bed that offers a mesmerizingly realistic flame effect using Charlton & Jenrick’s unique in-house developed burner. A very respectable 4.2kW output is achieved from the modest 5.5kW input thanks to the development team’s state of the art firebox design. This impressive performance makes the fire 76% efficient and presents a very positive sale to the energy conscious public.
As with all the fires in the Infinity range the 600CF comes fitted as standard with a full sequence radio frequency remote control system. A choice of 7 trims accompanies the fire; Polished Stainless Steel, Graphite or Piano Black Profile trims or Polished Stainless Steel, Brushed Stainless Steel, Piano Black & Graphite Flat trims. The trim range is deliberately selected to be identical to that offered on the 890CF. Peter Mintoft, Director explains “when we launched to the 890CF last summer we already had the launch of the 600CF in mind to follow this year. Our retailers have the 890CF on display in their showrooms and whilst it is being received very well indeed there are firm opportunities for a more compact version where households have a smaller chimney breast or fireplace opening. Now with the 600CF gas fire in the portfolio customers can achieve the same dramatic effect as 890CF but perhaps do not have the space.
The Infinity range are only available from showrooms and cannot be purchased Online, so why not pop down to your local Infinity retailer and experience the quality of an Infinity fire first hand.

Sunday 27 January 2013

Choosing an Electric Fire

Trying to choose a contemporary electric fire to suit your modern lifestyle? This can be a tricky decision, especially with so much choice out there on the market. Here’s a little guidance to help you on your way.
Before choosing your new fireplace, check that you have a mains supply. Then you need to think about why you have opted for an electric fire as opposed to the alternatives. Some choose to this low effort option because it allows you the effect and warmth of a fire, without having to install a chimney.  Others choose this route as it is a stunning addition to your home that many style conscious consumers have envisioned to be the focal point in their homes.
Whatever your reasons, keep in mind your particular requirements, as this will help you to choose the style and features that you desire.  This is a personal choice which will make a long term effect on your living space.

Perhaps you’re looking for a hearth on a budget, such as the Orial Deltona inset electric fire, the classically looking electric fire that works with both modern and traditional fireplaces. Or perhaps style is more important to you than cost, such as the latest new available model from Apex, the Rio Grande, featuring a solid natural stone fascia (shown with Travertine) boasts a stunning realistic LED Flame effect that uses next to no energy while on flame effect only while also boasting remote control, allowing you effortless control of your fire.

When searching online for ideas and designs, make sure to visit reputable sites which offer style ideas and package deals with the leading manufacturers, like Costa, Apex, Beaucrest and Orial all offering a large variety of different styles of electric fire. Also, finding information on new trends in the business  (We aim to keep you informed here at Fires, Fireplaces & Stoves) will keep your style current and up-to-date with the fashions of today.
Some sites even offer product reviews and real life stories of the people that have chosen to add this exciting fixture to their homes.  This could help you gain great ideas for your home and lifestyle.
If you are still undecided, one of the best ways to envision your new space is to actually visit a showroom in your area. Here a range of fires are showcased for you to view, and you can also seek advice from their helpful, experienced advisors, who can demonstrate all the features of any fire that takes your fancy.
The option is then either to buy in store or online.  Make sure to check for any postage or package deals, as this can really cut the cost of your investment.  Some sites even offer free postage, direct to your door, on their products!

Friday 25 January 2013

Drugasar Trio Gas Stove featured on Restoration Man

The Drugasar Trio is a Slim Line, freestanding gas-fired fire with a robust appearance. Both large and small living spaces can have a lovely 3D fire centre point that is visible from several angles. The tall, glowing flame-effect is striking and is highly visible through any one of the three glass panes.
Using the incredibly flexible DRU balanced flue system, the Trio can be situated almost anywhere in the home, shown here with the standard up and out flue in matching anthracite. 

Three glass viewing windows on the front and either side of the fire allow a view of the fire from almost any angle in the room, while remote control means this item can be controlled easily without having to get up from your chair.
4.5kW heat output through realistic log fuel effects and efficiency of up to 80% efficient mean that not only can this fire be the perfect focal point of any room, but can also serve as a heat source enough for almost any sized living space.

Wednesday 23 January 2013

Our Favourite Electric Fires

The Brilliant Newdawn is a unique electric fire from Brilliant Fires.This revolutionary new electric fire can be ordered in 100 different colours so it can be ordered to match or contrast almost any wall colour in any room in the house as it is designed to be hung on the wall and does not need to be inset in any way.
Design B features mock four-piece trim with right angled corners to give the illusion of the trim being made up of four separate pieces of Corian, this adds a more post-modern and classic effect to the fire, especially when finished in a darker colour such as Cocoa Brown or Black Quartz. While design A has rounded corners and no mock four-piece detailing and is a very modern and contemporary design.
The revolutionary Newdawn Electric, only projecting 75mm from the wall features either pebble or traditional driftwood fuel effect combined with LED’s to create a deceptively deep and realistic looking fire while being extremely energy efficient when used as flame effect only. The fire-back comes in either traditional brick fireback to add to the illusion that the fire is set into the wall or in the modern slatted fire-back to give a more modern and contemporary feel.
This fire would be perfect, with its thermostatically controlled electric fan heater generating up to 2Kw in heat for almost any room in the house and can be used purely to add to the ambience with the flame effect only setting.
Design A or B would both fit perfectly in any modern or contemporary furnished home in a colour that would either compare or contrast to the primary colour of the room. 

Apex Rio Grande
The Apex Rio and the larger Rio Grande are certainly worth a look, featuring a new and inproved LED flame effect that has to be one of the most realistic on the market with 4 different brightness settings allowing the fire to just provide that ambience of a smouldering fire or to really give that feeling of warmth when sat in front og a bright fire.
Remote control as standard the Rio & Rio Grande offer sizes that can both be understated or as a true focal point, the Apex Rio Grande is 1.3metres wide, and truly be the centre of attention on those long winter nights or chilly summer evenings.While the LED flame effect means that just having the flame effect on to create an ambience will not hurt your wallet, LED's using a substantial amount less energy than electric fires using standard bulbs.

The Rio Grande, shown left, is a stunning hang on the wall electric fire. Available with 5 different fascia options ranging from the natural Travertine fascia to the impressive Zimbali Glass and on to solid Natural Basalt to really give a feel of quality to the fire. All the stone fascias are real stone, (no micro-marble here) with the each travertine fascia being unique, your Apex Rio Grande could really be one-of-a-kind!

Already proving to be very popular with Apex Dealers due to the variety of facias available and the solid natural stone fascias available offer a welcome break from the all-too common tv-esque black glass electric fires.
The Zimbali Glass, pictured right, adds an exotic touch to the Apex Rio range, not something i've seen on an electric fire before. Suggesting African influences to an item that is very traditionally western European in design.
The Apex Rio & Rio Grande are now available from all good Apex Retailers with the Rio Grande in Travertine now on live display at Fireplace Megastore.

Monday 21 January 2013

A truly Complete Heating System

The home heating environment has changed radically since the days of our parents and grandparents. Jonathan Eyre, sales director for BCG, believes that householders should be viewing fires as part of the heating system, working in conjunction with central heating, rather than as an occasional alternative.

"Many home habits and skills are passed down in the family, and while the technology behind our home heating can be very modern and controllable, sometimes the way we use it is a hangover from more basic times."

It's time for a reassessment of how we use fires in the home heating environment. It's time to start thinking of them more as part of one unit, not fires and central heating as separate items.

More people are becoming aware of the fact that technology can play a part in controlling home heating and minimising fuel bills. Insulation and double glazing play their part, but with that done, it's how you control your heating that drives the bills down. Correct, imaginative use of modern fires add to both efficiency and atmosphere.
What has been established in the house-holders mind-set is the concept of turning on only the sitting room fire during the first of the cold evenings in autumn. It's a common-sense move. "No need to heat the rest of the house, let's save money by having the heat just where we need it."
This practise is commonly known as 'zoning' and it's just this principle that can be used to help drive down bills and cut fuel use, and is already used extensively in commercial and industrial heating systems.

However, all too often as winter arrives, the temperature continues to drop, the central heating is put on and the fire is forgotten. And it's easy to understand why. The central heating is kicking out a lot of heat and it would be wasteful and uncomfortably hot to have the fire on as well. Thankfully, this is an easy problem to solve and it comes back to 'zoning'.

To reduce fuel costs it's important to take the concept of zoning a step further and with a modern heating system, it is far easier to control the temperature of the house than perhaps their parent's heating system. Thermostatic radiator valves can be fitted to each radiator and these can be used to reduce the amount of heat that is wasted heating unused rooms such as a spare bedroom or perhaps reducing the amount of heat given off in the kitchen that is usually well heated by the oven during cooking. These radiator valves can reduce the amount of heat required to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the house and could be used to reduce the heat coming from the radiator in the living room, allowing you to relax in front of the romantic glow of a high-efficiency gas fire such as the Apex Capacious, while ensuring the rest of the house is kept warm. That cosy night in front of the TV watching a favourite film is all the better for having the fire on.

Some years ago fire sales were declining, largely due to the heating industry pushing the benefits of central heating and householders believing that fires were inefficient and expensive. But people have not lost the feeling that a house is not a home without a fireplace. Now with high-efficiency gas fires, such as the Apex Capacious or Verine Orbis HE and thermostatic radiator valves it is possible to enjoy that ambience without overheating and ensuring the rest of your house is kept warm during the darkest depths of winter.

The long lasting appeal of fires in the home is because, used correctly, they are efficient, attractive and put the heart into a home.

Saturday 19 January 2013

Thinking of renting your property? Best install a stove first

Wood burner stoves certainly stole the heart of the nation’s homeowners in 2012, but it seems that renters now also want to jump on the bandwagon.

According to experts, the key to attracting prospective tenants is to install one of these efficient appliances, as more and more people go in search of the comforting, country feeling brought about by a cosy log fire.

Scotland-based CKD Galbraith has noticed a trend for tenants to seek out homes to let that come equipped with wood burning stoves, indicating that if you want to rent out your property in the future, the most sought after properties now feature a woodburning stove.

Across Scotland, CKD Galbraith has witnessed higher levels of enquiries where a property has a wood burner stove or some other form of multi-fuel system.

This is partly driven by current interior trends, but for many tenants, it seems the lure of lower utility bills is sending them in search of stoves.

Modern clean burning stoves come with an efficiency rating of approximately 80-85 per cent, as long as it is looked after properly. This is in sharp contrast to the average open fire, which has a typical maximum efficiency rating of 25 per cent.

Recent technological developments also mean that stoves no longer just have to be a secondary heat source and can in fact act as the primary way to heat a house.

Wood burning stoves can be located almost anywhere in the home where there is enough space and connections to a heating circuit. Teamed with a boiler, the appliances can be used to run a property’s entire central heating system and hot water supply.

What’s more, modern stove water heating installations enable systems to store energy for later use when the stove isn’t operating. This makes them the ideal multipurpose heating solution for landlords and tenants looking to combine efficiency and ease of use with style.

CKD Galbraith claims that anyone who wants to let their property quickly and for the maximum achievable rent, investing in a wood burner stove is increasingly appealing.

Shirley Kenyon, lettings manager at CKD Galbraith, said: “Wood burning stoves are in demand by tenants. We have witnessed an increase in tenants asking for properties in rural areas with wood burners as they believe these offer energy efficient heating systems beyond standard central heating.

“Tenants always look for value for money and are very savvy when it comes to the costs involved in running a home and the potential savings they can make. They see the effective use of wood burning stoves and open fires as a popular way of cutting heating costs and creating a warm and cosy home.”

Therefore, Ms Kenyon recommends installing log burners for any landlord with a rural or historical property. Reinstating open fires also makes homes more attractive to tenants.

With many people unable to get on the property ladder, the rental market is becoming more and more competitive and it is these solutions that will enable certain homes to distinguish themselves from the rest.

Ms Kenyon’s tips follow the assertion by Dawn Carritt, historic home expert and director of Jackson-Stops & Staff, that fires are making a comeback in the nation’s homes. The expert told the Daily Telegraph that more and more people want statement-making fires and fireplaces, to capture the glamour and essence of years gone by.

“The fireplace is the fingerprint of the house,” she said. “It tells you so much about the people who lived there in the past and about their status. In Tudor times, fireplaces in larger homes became flamboyant and elaborately carved. Quite often, too, the wealth of the owner would be demonstrated by the number of chimneys.”

A wood burning stove and an attractive fireplace can also help to add value to a letting property when the time comes to sell it.  According to Ms Carritt, a fireplace alone can add “anything from £5,000 to £10,000” to the value of a property, as long as it complements the home. “By the same token, though, an ugly fireplace can reduce the price,” she concluded.

Thursday 17 January 2013

New Suites from Robinson Willey

The new line-up of electric suites from Robinson Willey provides a complete flexible, low cost heating solution. Combining fire, surround and back and hearth panel all in one box, these models are available in a variety of wood finishes to provide the ideal compliment to both modern and traditional interiors.

The Anderwood electric fire suite features a natural oak effect surround and modern electric fire with side switch controls and LED flame effect. The 48inch shelf width provides the perfect presence in even some of the largest living spaces and the side switch controls allows control of both the flame effect as well as the heat output and bringing to an end the tedium of having to get onto your knees and fiddle with the controls normally obscured behind the fret.

The Rochester, like the other suites in the Robinson Willey  range, has been designed to meet the requirements of social housing providers. For maximum efficiency, LED lamps light the flame effect and when used independently of the heat, the estimated running costs are just £2 per year (flame effect only setting). For maximum control for the user, the Rochester has a choice of 1kW or 2kW outputs and thermostat to avoid heat wastage. And like all Robinson Willey fires, the Rochester is 100% efficient at the point of use.
Installation is simple, as the Rochester simply plugs in and comes with a two-metre cable and one-piece fuel bed. Wall brackets are also supplied to discourage tenants removing the suite. Maintenance visits are also eliminated as the LED lamps have an astonishing expected lifespan of 100,000 hours – that’s around 55 years! And as it’s electric, there are no worries about flueing and no concerns about emissions either because unlike gas, no annual safety checks are required.
With dimensions of 1230mm wide, 1053mm high, 380mm deep including hearth and a 225mm mantelpiece depth. But for those with their heart's set on the Rochester, but with perhaps a smaller living space. The Rochester is also available in a Petite that is just 991mm wide, allowing even the smallest of living spaces to enjoy a feature fireplace.

Tuesday 15 January 2013

Fantastic Prices on Gazco Fires

In the 1920s and 1930s the Arts movement combined art and technology to bring aesthetic appeal to any object in daily use. This evocative style is still influencing contemporary design.
Adhering to the movement's original concept, the Arts Logic E Box Balanced Flue Gas Fire, echoes the style of the era whilst incorporating the latest gas fire innovations. It is available in the popular 16" width in either brass or silver and choice of coal or pebbles.Suitable for homes without a chimney or flue with an immediate external wall allowing the balanced flue to vent horizontally directly through to the outside of the property and boasting up to 86% efficiency meaning that very little energy is wasted.

Based on a traditional design, the Gazco Spanish E-Box fire has remained a firm favourite with homeowners for almost two decades.The silver finish with matching fret combines the very traditional styling with a modern twist, allowing it to be installed in more contemporary living spaces.
Running on natural gas, with a maximum heat output of 3.8kW, the Gazco Spanish E-Box boasts incredible efficiency of up to 77% and can be used with Class 1, 2, prefabricated & precast flues.

Specially designed for contemporary living, this stunning ‘hole in the wall’ gas fire creates a visual delight in any living space. Its central feature is a modulating single ribbon of living flame that dances above a bed of white stones for that stunning contemporary feel.
The Studio Edge gas fire is for those who require minimalist modern perfection. This premium gas fire has an eye-catching no-frame design and glass front for high efficiency, and is available in the Studio 1 size for a conventional chimney, as well as for a balanced flue for houses without a chimney.
The Studio 2 Edge, a slightly larger model is also available at  in a balanced flue model that allow the perfect compliment to a contemporary living space. All these Studio Edge fires boast remote control for ease of use as well as the balanced flue models feature the Edge installation kit, a small lip allowing you to plaster almost right the way up to the fire, truly a frameless finish. While the Studio Edge 1 for conventional flue features the cool wall installation kit, that requires a slightly deeper installation depth, however avoids creating hot spots on the wall above the fire.

Sunday 13 January 2013

2013 Year of the CE tested stove!

In July 2013 the EU's Construction Products Directive (CPD) becomes regulation (CPR) in the UK. This is very important in the stove world because it means that it will be a legal requirement for any wood burning or multi fuel stove sold in the UK to have undergone the EN13240 CE Test (or EN13223 in for inset or cassette stoves) to ensure that the stove meets critical efficiency, constructional and safety standards. The Stove Industry Alliance and Hetas have long been concerned about the prevalence of imported stoves without CE Test certificates or CE markings as well as stoves purporting to have CE plates and which upon further investigation are seen to be fake. This is not only good news for reputable stove dealers and manufacturers but ultimately for the safety of the end user. In the meantime there will be an awful lot of suspect stoves being 'dumped' before July, so be very careful about buying any new stove for less than around £400.

Why should my stove have a CE mark?

The CE mark has always been important, but after July 2013 it will be a legal requirement for all multi fuel stoves and woodburners to have a CE 'plate' attached. Currently all stoves imported into the UK require a CE Test certificate to ensure that they conform to European safety and efficiency standards – EN13240 for freestanding stoves and EN13229 for inset stoves. Home produced stoves do not yet require this, but virtually all UK manufacturers undertake the official tests to these standards irrespective of whether there is a legal requirement or not. Unfortunately a number of unscrupulous importers and dealers have been getting around the CE requirements by claiming stoves are CE tested when they are clearly not, with some stoves even carrying fake CE plates. Many stoves have arrived in the country over the years with a 'CE' mark which simply indicates that they are 'China Export'.

Naturally, the safety issues arising from such practices (as well as the unfair competition) have been of considerable concern to reputable dealers, importers and manufacturers in the UK for a number of years. After one fatal accident involving such a stove in 2011 the issue was raised with Trading Standards by the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) and Hetas, supported by GasTec. Credit is due to John Reeves of Broseley Fires who has been relentless in his efforts to raise awareness of the safety issues of 'cheap' imported stoves. Such was Trading Standards' concern that when budgets were being cut all round them they managed to secure funds to buy 10 different stoves, as a mystery buyer, from a number of sources and have them all tested by GasTec. One stove was so dangerous it is now the subject of a court case and therefore the findings of the study cannot currently be reported. However, we understand that nearly all of these 10 stoves failed the requirements of the CE EN standards.

The good news for consumers is that from July 2013 all multi fuel stoves and woodburners, including boiler stoves and inset stoves, for sale in the UK and Ireland will be subject to the legal requirements of the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) – just like the rest of the EU. However, unlike some other EU regulation deadlines there will be no derogation period. This is time the time allowed 'to execute necessary test programmes and ensure all factory production methods are implemented', as they say in EU speak, or in reality the time normally given to some of our EU competitors to ignore such legislation! So this means that CE type-testing and certification will be mandatory for all solid fuel appliances and anyone involved in the distribution and selling of such stoves will be breaking the law and punitive penalties applied if convicted. The Stove Yard, as reputable stove dealers and founder members of the SIA, welcome any legislation which helps remove inferior and unsafe stove products from the marketplace.

The CE test procedure involves everything from testing the efficiency and heat output of the stove to its construction standards and safe operation. This includes testing seemingly small details such as the temperature of the door handle, the critically important safe distances to combustible materials and the suitability of the instruction manual. Finally, the stove is tested in a 'worse case scenario' situation and over-fired to ensure that its construction integrity is maintained throughout. Above all, a genuine CE plate ensures that your stove has passed a basic quality benchmark and is safe to use which plainly many of those stoves without the CE are not. When you take time to think about the high temperatures stoves can operate at and their potential Carbon Monoxide (CO) dangers, you'd have to be crazy, for the sake of a hundred pounds or so, to risk installing and operating a non-standard stove in the middle of your family home.

Friday 11 January 2013

Heroes of Fire

William Flavel (1779-1844)
Working at the Leamington iron foundry established by his father, William introduced the 'Kitchener', the first all-in-one cooker with ovens, hotplate and grill, and wrote extensively on the theory of heat and the construction of fireplaces.

 Charles Portway
In the 1830's Charles Portway took inspiration from the enclosed metal stoves which had appeared in North America, and built his own version to heat his Halstead ironmongery store. The design proved so successful that a neighbouring shopkeeper asked Portway to build a stove to heat his store too. Portway set up a foundry to produce his 'Tortoise' stoves under the slogan 'Slow But Sure' - so successful they lasted up to the 1980’s almost without change.

It was the first heating appliance to offer fuel efficiency as a major selling point, so that Robert Higgs, the chief executive of the Heating and Ventilating contractors association argues the Portway was the “founding father of energy efficiency”.  

 Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790)
The inventor of all inventors, Franklin was responsible for popularising the earliest of metal stoves, the 'Pennsylvania Fireplace' - an open fire in a five-panel cast-iron casing which could stand in the middle of the room and so radiate heat in all directions.
Franklin's own version of the design passed the hot gases through a labyrinthine heat exchanger at the back of the fire, extracting so much heat that upward momentum was lost and the appliances smoked badly. It took David R. Rittenhouse, another hero of early Philadelphia, to improve Franklin's design by adding an L-shaped exhaust pipe that drew air through the furnace and vented its smoke into a brick chimney. 


 Jacob Bronowski (1908 - 74)
Polish mathematician, philosopher, polymath and expounder of science and art in The Western Intellectual Tradition and the BBC series The Ascent of Man, Bronowski was also research director of the UK National Coal Board, where he was substantially responsible for the development of the 'Homefire' process to remove smoke from bituminous coal.

Wednesday 9 January 2013

Efficiency Explained

Efficiency in heating appliances is the proportion of useful heat given out in relation to the energy put in. A typical 1kg wood log has the potential to release about 5kW, so if two such logs burned for 1 hour on a stove of 75% efficiency they would give out 2 x 5kW =10kW x 75% = 7.5kW, and the 7.5kW figure is the one the makers will quote as the rated heat output. A higher efficiency means proportionately less heat lost and more heat into the building. Unfortunately, for solid fuel stoves and fires it isn't that simple... 

The 'net' formula now used in EN Standards for calculating efficiency does not account for the heat which is wasted in merely boiling off the water present in the fuel. With coal and wood this is very significant. The more accurate 'gross' efficiency is usually about 0.9x the net efficiency, so a European appliance claiming to be 80% (net) efficient is probably closer to 72% (gross) and this gets even lower when burning 'green' or unseasoned wood with a high moisture content.

 As long as everyone uses the same gross or net value, then efficiency percentages are a "figure of merit" and it is easy to compare products, but every single log and every lump of coal is different and will burn with very different efficiency, while the quoted efficiency will likely have been achieved using carefully prepared fuels and settings which may never be encountered in practice - simply placing logs in slightly different position can vary efficiency by 10 percent, similarly mislaying the coals on a gas fire can dramatically reduce the efficiency.

Quoted efficiencies ignore heat gained or lost outside the heating appliance itself. There might be more heat gained into the building from a warm internal chimney, and therefore higher overall efficiency, notably with inset appliances to EN 13229. But then again there might be heat losses, and therefore lower efficiency, from heat storage and transfer systems, notably with independent boilers. Appliances do vary in efficiency, but the quoted efficiency figures for most solid fuel appliances should be treated as a very, very rough guide only. Efficiency figures often depend on the ingenuity of the test technician rather than any intrinsic property of the appliance.

Table of minimum recommended efficiency in the in the UK Domestic Heating Compliance Guide and in the EN Standards

UK Suggested
European 'EN'
Open fire (inset) 37 41 30
Open fire (Freestanding Convector) 47 52 30
Open fire (inset convector, mineral fuel) 45 50 30
Open fire (inset convector, wood) 43 47 30
Open fire + Boiler 50 55 30
Open fire + High Output Boiler 63 69 30
Dry room heater stove 65 72 50
Pellet Stove 65 72 70
Room heater with boiler 67 74 50
Independent boiler, anthracite 70 77 74
Independent boiler, wood 65 72 67
Masonry heater - - 70

 Gas and solid fuel conventional appliances only work because of the The Chimney Effect - by losing a certain amount of heat into the chimney, they make the gases there rise and so safely evacuate smoke and pull fresh air onto the fuel to make it burn. An appliance with a very high efficiency is losing less heat into the chimney and, unless its chimney is perfect, it may encounter problems in generating enough draught to make it burn effectively, or safely evacuate smoke. This is why appliances with the very highest efficiencies, some above 90% (net), almost invariably require the flue to be lined.

It is not normally practical to directly measure the heat output of a gas or solid fuel appliance, instead, samples of the waste flue gas are taken - usually using a flue gas analyser the chemical composition of the gas indicates how efficiently the fuel has been burned and its temperature indicates how much of the heat generated has been captured and how much is lost into the chimney.

Given the temperature of and percentage of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the exiting flue gas, the, moderately accurate, Siegert's formula gives the efficiency from:

100 - ( (MeanFlueTemp ºC - MeanRoomTemp ºC) x (A1 / CO2%) )

(Where A1 is: Anthracite=0.683, Coke=0.290, Bituminous Coal=0.672, Lignite=1, Peat=0.7, Dry Wood=0.650)

The heat output in kW is then calculated from:

(Efficiency x Potential heat in kW x Fuel burned in kg) / Burn time in hours)

Monday 7 January 2013

Now is the time to promote efficiency

In January this year, I asked in HVP magazine whether 2012 was going to be the ‘year of renewables’. Now, as we put the finishing touches to the final issue of the year, it seems the only honest answer can be ‘no’.
Although the Green Deal has now been launched, the financing won’t be available to homeowners until January next year, and little has been done to raise public awareness of the potential benefits of renewable technologies.
The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) has always said it is not prepared to invest in the kind of national marketing campaign that’s really needed to get the Green Deal and its various schemes off to a flying start. Instead, the government has maintained that responsibility lies with the heating industry for getting the public enthusiastic about improving the energy efficiency of their homes.
While it is true that the industry must be prepared to play its part, expecting manufacturers and suppliers – many of whom are struggling with falling sales – to find large amounts of spare cash to plough into consumer marketing is simply unrealistic.
That said, news of a £125 million cashback scheme to encourage early take-up of renewable technologies, along with the £12 million being given to seven cities across England to publicise the Green Deal and support local supply chains, raises the hope that DECC is now acknowledging it has an important role to play in ensuring the early success of the scheme.
There are even growing rumours that DECC is considering a £2 million national publicity campaign, which would go a long way towards supporting those installers who have invested time and money in making their businesses renewables-ready.
It is also heartening to see that a number of manufacturers and organisations are doing their part to get the energy-efficiency message across to as wide an audience as possible. Drayton has launched an online homeowner website to explain to consumers the energy-saving benefits of heating controls, and the Heating & Hot Water Industry Council’s Hole in the Roof campaign is promoting the simple changes households can make in their homes that will save them money.
As the weather gets colder and most of the ‘Big Six’ energy companies introduce significant price hikes, now is the perfect time to educate a public that’s keen to find ways to keep their bills down

Saturday 5 January 2013

New: Gas & Woodburning Stoves from Acquisitions

A highly energy-efficient, lower-cost heat source that uses genuinely renewable natural fuel, the trusty wood-burning stove is steadily gaining in popularity once more. These top-quality, elegant new cast-iron and steel models are made exclusively for us at the UK’s oldest stove foundry. Free-standing or inset, matt black or sleek gunmetal, multi-fuel or gas, they’re designed to function beautifully in any setting and can be set off to stunning effect by one of our surrounds. Most are approved by Defra for use in Smoke Control Areas, so whether you’re a rural or urban type we’ve got the perfect stove for you.

Acquisitions have used sophisticated styling and proportions to create the Bloomsbury, a modern classic, precision-engineered in high-grade steel and cast iron and available in black and gun-metal grey. Pictured free-standing but equally at home paired with a beautiful surround, the Bloomsbury is approved to burn both logs and smokeless fuels – even in town. The stove boasts a slim profile that’s suitable even for shallower hearths, an extra-wide window for a generous flame picture, and the ingenious Afterburn™ self-cleaning system. 

A gas remote-controlled version is also available,  giving out 5kW of heat and efficiencies of up to 75%.

The Cannonbury Compact freestanding multi-fuel stove is ideal for smaller rooms or for creating an inviting focal point in a modern, open-plan living space. Like the inset model, the Cannonbury Compact can even be left burning overnight. With precision-engineered air controls, sturdy legs, a steel top and Georgian fret detailing – inspired by the Somerset hob grate – this clean, contemporary design can be used free-standing on a suitable hearth, as shown, or housed in a purpose-built cavity or fireplace. The Afterburn airwash system also keeps it remarkably clean on the inside.

The Cannonbury stove is also available as an inset model,
This economical multi-fuel inset stove – approved for use in urban areas – improves on the efficiency of an open fire by up to 400%. Available in two depths to suit the room size and required heat level, it comprises a firebox inside an outer casing, with a cavity between the two. Cool air drawn in at the base is heated and rises out of the top to evenly heat every corner of the room; this process also reduces the temperature of the stove's surface. 

Each stove bears the Acquisitions hallmark on a discreet, toning steel plate – a daily reminder, should you purchase one, of the quality in which you've invested.

Thursday 3 January 2013

Karma Fires Influence HE Contemporary

The Karma Fires Influence HE Contemporary gas fire would be a great addition to any modern living room. The contemporary and modern glass fronted finish with bronze accented trim that would really draw the eye in to the realistic coal fuel effect and gas flames.
The maximum heat output of 3.8Kw would be plenty to heat the average living room with a class 1 or 2 chimney or flue, while the 83% efficiency means very little energy is wasted. The 195mm inset depth provides a deep fuel bed and a more authentic looking fire. The Karma Influence is also available in a 4-sided version for hole in the wall installations or as a more traditional fire to fit a more traditional living room, with rumours circulating that a balanced flue version could be available very soon.
This contemporary fireplace would look best on a slightly lighter backplate and surround that would really accentuate the bronze trim which frames and draws the eye towards the dancing gas flames.