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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Home on the Range

28 Aug

Wood burning range cookers look amazing, especially in traditional French kitchens and for many home cooks, a wood-fired oven is the ultimate culinary aspiration.
clean woodburning stove

If your home has a large kitchen fireplace, a beautiful wood burning range cooker is the icing on the cake. These hugely versatile appliances can offer so much on a practical level – cooking, room heating, hot water and central heating all in one – as well as epitomising idyllic country living.

As with any type of stove, however, it’s important to get expert advice in order to ensure you choose the right solution for your needs. Many of the same considerations apply, such as understanding the stove’s heat output and what will be appropriate for the size of the room.

Don’t forget that wood burning range cookers produce heat all the time, so the temperature in a small kitchen could reach sizzling pretty quickly! For this reason, it’s a good idea to consider adding hob lids to your cooker, in order to retain heat while the stove is not in use for cooking.

This also means, of course, that your cooker shouldn’t be placed too close to combustible materials, such as wooden cupboards or plastic light switches.

Wood burning range cookers boast an army of loyal fans for very good reasons. But when designing your kitchen, it’s important to consider whether you might want to use alternative cooking methods at certain times. For example, it may not be cost-effective – or comfortable – to have the cooker running every day throughout the summer.

In that case, it could be useful to also add an electric cooker to your kitchen layout, or even learn to master the barbecue!

We believe that these stoves make brilliant additions to any kitchen, so let’s have a chat and see if we can get a wood burning range cooker onto your menu today.

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Enter the modern age with a pellet stove

28 Aug

Many people long for the traditional charm of a wood burning or multi fuel stove in their home. But for some, a more contemporary take on this time-honoured heating system hits the spot.

Diadema Idro pellet stove

There are lots of reasons why, when looking for a heat source, a pellet burning stove could be the better choice for you and your home.

If you enjoy the on-demand convenience of central heating or electric space heaters but prefer the aesthetic appeal of a stove blazing away, a pellet stove is a brilliant solution. Whether you plan to heat your entire home from the appliance or just warm one room, pellet stoves are efficient, reliable and easy to control.

Pellet stoves effectively operate much like combi boilers, so you can set it to start heating up an hour before you get up in the morning, or while you’re on your way home. Better still, many can be operated via remote control or even your mobile phone, with the use of a GPRS module.

Also, pellets are neater and easier to store than wood, while still being a renewable fuel source.

All this 21st century technology doesn’t mean you have to compromise on the appearance of your new stove. If you love the traditional look of a wood burning stove, there are pellet burning alternatives that offer the same vintage style – such as the charming Teodora cast iron stove.

However, for those who love contemporary visuals, the Extraflame range has a fantastic selection of pellet burners that would complement even the most minimalist environment.

For example, we love the Melinda Idro pellet stove, which comes in two gorgeous colours and even has a remote control. Check out the rest of our pellet stoves and discover a whole new world of possibilities.

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Don’t take risks when heating your outbuilding

23 Jul

When considering how to maximise their space, many people will take advantage of outbuildings such as sheds, summerhouses or barns to create extra ‘outdoor’ rooms.

regency fireplaceWhether these are existing buildings or purpose-built, the lure of the great outdoors can result in fabulous home offices, workshops, studios or simply places to relax in peace. And if you want to use your space all year round, what could add more character and charm than a stove?

But if you’re planning to buy a wood burning, pellet burning or multi fuel stove for your structure, don’t take the risk of not having the stove professionally installed.

If your building is a simple one made of wood or stone, you may be tempted to think that you can install a small stove yourself and cut costs by using the cheapest flue options.

All the same safety regulations come into play when installing a stove in a shed or garage as when you’re putting a stove inside your home. Wood in particular is a combustible material and although it’s cheaper to use a single skin flue than to create a special chimney system, these do not have the same heat rating as a double skinned version.

This means that the flue could become too hot, which of course must be avoided at all costs in a wooden building.

Other safety considerations include the fact that you must provide a hearth that is big enough to prevent embers falling onto the wooden floor when you open the stove door.

Rather than cutting costs on safe installation, you could keep down the price of your summer project by buying a second-hand stove instead of a new model. We often have preloved stoves for sale – get in touch with us to find out more and get the best advice on how to stay both warm and safe.

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Can your stove meet your heating demands?

18 Jul

Summer is a very sensible time to install your new wood burning, pellet burning or multi fuel stove, before the cooler weather sets in.

Hunter Herald 14 Double Sided

However, as you stand in your living room or kitchen in July and try to picture your dream stove, it might be hard to imagine the room ever being cold – let alone accurately assess just how much heat you’re going to need.

When you’re shopping around for stoves, you’ll find that every model comes with a heat output figure, expressed in either kilowatts (kW) or British Thermal Units (BTU). This will give you an idea of how powerful the stove can be.

But although all the British stoves in our range have been independently tested in an approved laboratory using standard test fuel, these figures usually reflect the stove’s maximum capability when using well-seasoned wood. So, it’s important to bear in mind that the stove may not always achieve exactly that output, if conditions are not optimum.

It’s particularly crucial to consider heat outputs when buying a boiler model stove. If you want to power both your radiators and hot water supply from the stove, you must remember that the ratio between direct room heating and boiler output is proportional. Select too small a boiler and your radiators won’t get hot enough; choose one that is too large for your radiator network and it will run too hot, forcing it to burn off excess heat in the expansion tank.

Feeling a bit daunted by all these calculations? Stove Sellers has extensive experience installing wood burning, pellet burning and multi fuel stoves throughout France, so we can advise you on how to choose the right stove, with the right heat output for your space. Then you can enjoy the rest of the summer, safe in the knowledge that there’s a warm winter to come.

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