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Useful Information

Having an idea of how you would like your Stove Installation to look as a finished product,

Can help us give you a faster & more accurate response with your stove selection / Estimate. 


There are so many variables to how a Fireplace & Stove installation can look

So we have put together a few Styles of Fireplace Chambers, Hearths & Stove Installations

to help you get an idea of how you may like your Stove Installation to look.


For more Examples of Finishes/Styles click the link below for our work gallery

"Wood Burning / Multifuel Stove Installations"

Removing Old Fireplaces

Removing old Fireplaces

If you have an Existing Chimney Breast or Fireplace surround,

Chances are you may need the surround removed or your Chimney chamber size increased

to house your new wood burning stove. 

Removing the old fireplace & removing the rubble from the Chimney chamber recess

will reveal the original fireplace opening & brickwork.

The state of the original brickwork will be hard to judge, until the rubble has been removed

Depending what alterations have been made in the past to your chamber

The chambers brickwork could be stained from previous fires or patched up here and there with random mortar/brickwork, so a lot of the time the chamber will need some form of work.

You can have your chimney chamber (Recess) Rendered with sand and cement that can be painted at a later date. Boarded out with fire resistant boarding, for a flat smooth finish or you can even have brick slips installed to give that fresh brick fireplace look.

Bear in mind that whatever material you choose Will slightly decrease the overall Chamber Depth & Width depending what materials you choose.

There are some example photos attached below of different styles of fireplace chamber materials /Hearth Stone styles & a few photos of the typical state of fireplace brickwork once the backfill (rubble) has been removed

Different Chamber Recess Styles

Different Hearth Styles

How to light a fire






Different manufacturers have varying lighting techniques to aid ease of use and reduce smoke emissions. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions when using your stove. In the absence of manufacturer instructions, contact an installer or chimney sweep who will be able to offer appropriate advice.

There are two popular methods of lighting a fire:



For both methods you will need a firelighter, kindling and your firewood. Use the appropriate safety gloves and equipment.

Traditional Method of Lighting a Fire

With the use of a firelighter and a small amount of kindling, a small amount of heat will be produced to warm the flue. Firelighters can be an easier method as they burn at a steady rate, unlike newspaper which can differ dependent on its state when burned.

When using paper that is too lax, the paper will burn too fast and may not ignite the kindling; this will mean restarting the lighting process. Paper that is too compact will not combust properly and smoulder causing excessive smoke: where the flue is not up to temperature this may emit from the apertures of the appliance.

Traditional Lighting Steps

  1. Use two tabloid-size pieces of newspaper crumpled into a loose ball about the size of a cricket ball or firelighters and place them in the combustion chamber.

  2. Place small pieces of dried kindling into a triangular shape over the newspaper, allowing for air gaps. On larger appliances place two smallish logs on either side of the kindling to allow for larger logs to be placed over the well alight kindling.

  3. Ensure that the air controls are set to the manufacturer’s guidelines to make lighting as easy as possible.



The Traditional Method of lighting a fire has been used since the dawn of wood burners but due to technologies advancing the little black box has evolved. With appliances now being more efficient not as much heat is lost up the chimney and more radiated into the room.

The upside down method aids in the flue getting up to temperature more quickly and removes the need to open the appliance door to add fuel to the kindling which means there is less of a chance of the combustion chamber cooling.

Once the well ignited kindling has burnt through, the flue shall be warm and the logs which the kindling has sat upon should now be charred and ignite cleanly.

Upside Down Lighting Steps

  1. Place two small logs across the fire bed.

  2. Place 5 pieces of kindling across the two logs, then 4 pieces laid at a 90-degree angle across the bottom layer and place two firelighters in between the gaps.

  3. Add another five pieces of kindling laid in the same direction as the bottom layer.

  4. Set the controls of the appliance to the lighting position.

  5. Light the firelighters and close the door of the appliance. The fire will slowly increase, warming the flue gradually without producing copious amounts of smoke and pollutants to the atmosphere.

  6. Set the air controls to the manufacturer’s settings.

  7. Leave the kindling well alone until the top of the appliance is warm and then close the primary air control, the kindling will fall between the logs. Once these are burning well the burn rate of the appliance can be adjusted and more logs applied to the fire as required.






Choosing your firewood

Woodsure is the UK’s only woodfuel quality assurance scheme. Trust Woodsure certified suppliers for reliable, high-quality wood fuels.

The Woodsure website has a postcode search to help find your local firewood supplier. When purchasing firewood for immediate use always look for the Ready to Burn certification mark. This demonstrates that the moisture content of the firewood is no more than 20% and is ready to burn.

Ecosy+ 5kw Signature Wide Defra Approved 5kw - Eco Design Ready - Woodburning Stove.webp
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Slumbering a stove

Back in 2014 HETAS ran an article on slumbering in Technical Bulletin #4. Slumbering a stove can cause issues if an appliance isn’t designed to do so. With air quality a headline issue, HETAS is issuing a reminder to registrants.

Slumber mode is when an appliance is purposely set at a low or minimum  output normally for overnight burning to be revived in the morning without the need for relighting. Some mineral fuel burning appliances are designed to operate in a slumbering mode and would be CE type tested to show that they are safe to operate in this manner. A small number of wood burners have been CE type tested for continuous operation and have been shown to be safe and able to slumber for the required 10 hours minimum and be revived again at the end.

User Beware when slumbering a stove

Users should however be aware that there are particular problems associated with using an appliance for extended periods at low output especially if the appliance is not designed to operate in this way. Similarly, these problems occur if the appliance has not been sized according to the heating load applied to it so that it must be 

turned down to low output in order for the living space to be comfortable.

Problems with slumbering a stove

Running appliances at low output can lead to incomplete combustion, especially when burning a high volatile content fuel such as wood logs. This will lead to the formation of sooty and/or dry deposits on the flue lining as well as increased levels of carbon monoxide and particulates in the products of combustion. In addition,  when appliances are used at low output for extended periods of time the temperature of the chimney reduces and there is a tendency for the products of combustion to also be lower in temperature – which will lead to an increased likelihood of condensation forming in the chimney.

The presence of condensation together with flue deposits that may contain acidic compounds will present a risk of corrosion where metallic components are used for the flue lining. If the intended use of the appliance is for slumbering on a regular basis then it is wise, whenever it is necessary to reline the chimney.

Safe Disposal of Ash from Your Stove

Hot and cooling ashes can be a fire and carbon monoxide hazard. Make sure that you leave sufficient time after a fire to let the ash cool and keep the door to the stove closed. Ensure that all disposing of ash is done so with the correct equipment, such as safety gloves. Use a galvanised steel or metal ash can or bucket that can be sealed to collect all the unwanted ash. Take your time to remove the ashes to avoid any ash spreading across your room. Slowly transport the container outside of your house and dispose of in a designated area. Do not allow ash to collect in the bucket inside your house for any period of time.

Some stoves operate with a small amount of ash, check your appliance user instructions for best practice for your stove.

Coal ash should always be disposed of safely, wood ash can be used in several ways once cooled. Check with your local council for specific guidance for disposal of ash into general waste.

There are many uses for fully cooled wood stove ash, including:

The HETAS Advice Hub is a great place for general tips and advice on operating and maintaining your stove.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an extremely poisonous gas that can be present in the fumes from the combustion of fuels which aren’t burnt under the correct conditions. Fuels such as gas, oil, solid mineral fuel and biomass all have the potential to emit CO. The gas cannot be seen, smelled or tasted making it difficult to detect. Homeowners with a stove should fit an audible CO alarm conforming to BS EN 50291 and positioned in accordance with Building Regulations Approved Document J.

Find further guidance on carbon monoxide safety here.

Sweeping Safety

In addition to regular maintenance tasks, you should also have your chimney swept in accordance with the fuel you are using and the appliance manufacturer’s instructions. As a general rule, the following guidance should be adhered to, your local approved sweep will be able to provide you with specific guidance on a sweeping schedule.

  • Smokeless Fuel: Once per year

  • Coal: twice per year

  • Wood Burning: Quarterly when in use

  • Oil Fired: Once per year

carbon monoxide advice
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Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an extremely poisonous gas that can be present in the fumes from the combustion of fuel’s which aren’t burnt under the correct conditions.

Fuels such as gas, oil, solid mineral fuel and biomass all have the potential to emit CO. The gas cannot be seen, smelled or tasted making it difficult to detect. There are measures you can take to protect yourself.

Protect yourself from CO

CO alarms should be regularly tested in accordance with the manufacturers instructions and should not be regarded as a substitute for regular maintenance of both the appliance and chimney.

The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

The early symptoms of CO poisoning are usually similar to common ailments such as upset stomach, tiredness and flu.

The common symptoms can include:

  • Headaches

  • Breathlessness

  • Nausea and/or vomiting

  • Dizziness or Collapse

  • Chest and/or stomach pains

  • Erratic behaviour and/or Visual problems


Actions to take in a CO emergency

If you suspect fumes are escaping from your combustion appliance into your home, or your carbon monoxide alarm goes off.

  • Turn the appliance off.

  • Open doors and windows to ventilate the building.

  • Leave the building immediately and don’t return until your appliance or boiler has extinguished and the air in the room is clear.

  • If you feel unwell go to your Doctor,  or call one of the following:

    • call NHS England on 111 

    • NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 (in Wales)

    • NHS 24 on 111 (in Scotland)

    • If it is urgent phone 999 for an ambulance. Tell them you feel your symptoms may be related to carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • Before you reuse the appliance, have it serviced by a HETAS Registrant and the chimney swept by an Approved Chimney Sweep.

  • Do not use the appliance until you are told it is safe to do so.

  • Contact the HETAS Helpline on 01684 278170 which is available Monday-Friday 8:30am to 5pm (4:30pm on Friday)

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