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Countdown to a Cosy Christmas

21 Nov

With the festive season on its way, all thoughts are turning to this year’s Christmas celebrations.

If you have a wood burning, pellet burning or multi fuel stove, you’re probably looking forward to getting the family together around its cosy glow. For sheer seasonal cheer, it’s hard to beat the warmth, comfort and atmosphere that a stove can bring.

contemporary stoves

However, even the jolliest Christmas can be ruined by a stove that stops working effectively or becomes unsafe because it hasn’t been properly maintained. So, just as you start making your Christmas shopping list for presents and treats, now is a good time to tick off a few boxes concerning your wood burning stove.

Your very first job is to make sure that your chimney has been swept recently. The law in France states that chimneys must be swept every six months during its period of use, so if you haven’t already done so, now is the time to book your sweep.

Next, perform a check to make sure that all your stove’s elements are in good condition and working well – include rope seals and gaskets in your stove MOT. The vermiculite fire bricks in your stove can crack or break with use, so check them over to make sure they’re in good condition. If any elements need to be replaced, get in touch with us and we can order the correct items for you.

Cleaning the baffle and removing soot deposits from the baffle plate are also good ways to ensure the best performance from your stove.

For a safe, warm and hassle-free Christmas, take these few basic steps and you’ll be able to look forward to a roaring fire that adds to the festive atmosphere, day after day.

 
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Not a millionaire? You can still save money with a stove

22 Oct

For many of those who weren’t lucky enough to win the largest Euromillions jackpot ever – €190 million – keeping heating costs down will still be a priority this winter.

contemporary stoves

Wood burning, pellet burning and multi fuel stoves can be highly energy efficient. We sell a wide range of stoves with heating efficiency ratings in excess of 80%. However, there are additional ways to make your stove work as hard as possible, as cheaply as possible.

For a start, sourcing the fuel for wood burning or multi fuel stoves can be much cheaper if you buy from people in your local community, rather than from wood suppliers. Farmers and tree surgeons can be a great place to start.

Finding and drying your own wood results in free fuel, but you must ensure that the wood has been seasoned for at least two years before you use it. The wood should also have a moisture content of less than 16%. If the wood is wetter than that, it won’t burn, resulting in very little warmth.

You can’t tell how dry wood really is just by looking at it. Fortunately, you can buy a moisture monitor that will tell you whether the wood is ready to blaze or a damp squib.

Another way that you can save money is to check whether you quality for the tax credit, or Crédit d’Impôt Transition Energetique (CITE). If you meet the criteria, you can benefit from a reduction in TVA and get a further 30% off the cost of the stove.

But don’t delay, the conditions of CITE are due to change at the end of this year and will then be based on the income of the applicant. Under the new format, you may not receive the 30% discount or any at all. So, if you’re thinking about installing a stove, there’s no time like the present.

 
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How to avoid Halloween chimney horrors

18 Oct

Autumn has arrived with a vengeance in the last few weeks and now that the evenings are creeping in, owners of wood burning, pellet burning and multi fuel stoves will be looking forward to firing up the flames once again.

Chimney Sweeping

But as tempting as it might be to snuggle up with the family on Halloween to enjoy the cosy warmth from your stove, you must pause and think about your chimney. When was it last swept?

In France, the law states that you must have your chimney swept every six months during its period of use. This is to help avoid chimney fires by clearing away any debris such as soot, leaves, sticks, birds’ nests and any other animals that might have moved in over the summer.

If your chimney was swept more than six months ago, you must hold off lighting your stove until the job has been done. Chimney fires can be devastating and they pose a significant safety risk for you, your family, your pets and your home itself.

In England, research suggests that 50% of chimney fires take place between January and March – peak season for stove use. Over in the United States, there are approximately 25,000 chimney fires per year, causing more than $125 million worth of damage.

It’s safe to assume that unswept chimneys will have accounted for many of these fires so, don’t become just another statistic. Call in a professional, such as Stove Sellers, to sweep your chimney thoroughly and ensure that you’re in a safe position to enjoy your stove this autumn and winter.

But hurry, this is a busy time of year for all chimney sweeps! Get in touch with us today – we can banish the curse of the unsafe chimney and make sure you only have sweet dreams this Halloween.

 
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Have you Claimed Tax Credit for your Wood Burning Stove?

24 Sep

If you’re thinking of buying a wood burning, pellet burning or multi fuel stove, you’re probably aware of the many great reasons for getting one.

multi fuel stove

Stoves look fantastic, smell great, are highly energy-efficient and most of all, they just have the special ‘something’ that turns any property into a home.

However, you might not be aware that they can also give your finances a boost. Perhaps you fell in love with France over the summer and are thinking about becoming a French resident. In that case, here’s one more reason to move to this beautiful country: you can benefit from a reduction in TVA and also get a further 30% off the cost of the appliance, thanks to a special tax credit.

The Crédit d’Impôt Transition Energetique (CITE) is a state aid that’s available to anyone carrying out renovation work on their property that improves its energetic performance and efficiency.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be paying income tax in France to qualify for the tax credit, but you do need to file your tax return even if it states zero. As long as your French property is your main residence and not just a holiday home, you can apply. You don’t even need to own the property; tenants can also qualify.

There are some criteria that must be met, though. Firstly, the stove must comply to certain efficiency regulations. It’s also essential that the same company that supplied the stove must fit it. That company should also be RGE registered and part of a tax credit compliancy scheme – just like us.

If you want to be sure your stove will qualify, get in touch with Stove Sellers today. Our extensive experience of selling and installing stoves ensures that you’ll take possession of a beautiful, tax credit-eligible stove that you really love.

 
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Clean up your Act for Autumn

17 Sep

As autumn arrives and the outdoor lifestyle of summer recedes, it’s natural that our focus turns back to our interior spaces.

wood burning stove

If you’re thinking about exchanging your open fire for a wood burning, pellet burning or multi fuel stove, you may be wanting to remove the inevitable black residue, caused by soot and smoke, that has accumulated on the brickwork or wall at the back of the fireplace.

Personally, we rather like the characterful look of a fireplace that has been lovingly used over the years. However, we understand that many people want to smarten up the backdrop before adding a beautiful new stove. So, here are some tips for making your brickwork fresh and ready for the new addition.

There are several fairly simple methods for cleaning off soot debris, most of which involve just a few basic materials and a bit of elbow grease. The first step should always be to run a brush or vacuum cleaner over the brick to remove any loose debris.

For cleaning off the more stubborn marks, you have a few options. Marks that have been made by tar and smoke are likely to be greasy, so a simple combination of washing up liquid and hot water, applied with a stiff bristle brush, rinsed with clean water and then wiped down with a dry cloth, can be very effective.

Creating a paste of washing up liquid and salt gives you an abrasive solution that helps to shift tough residue. Alternatively, adding ammonia or Borax to the dish washing liquid – again, with that essential elbow grease – can give you good results.

So, once your fireplace is sparkling clean and your thoughts turn to how fabulous a new stove would look in the rejuvenated space, it’ll be time to give Stove Sellers a call!

 
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