The starting point is whether you want to heat a single room or the whole house and whether or not you live in a smoke control area. There is a wide variety of styles to suit all tastes from the traditional to very contemporary. Matching the heat output of a stove with the room it is going to heat is very important and it is best to take advice on this. Most stove retailers are very knowledgeable and willing to give advice. Look for the CE mark. It is now compulsory to have a CE mark.
The HETAS Guide is a handy way to check the pedigree of a stove but it is not mandatory to be in the guide and some of the best European manufacturers are not in it. Check the efficiency of the stove. The better stoves have efficiencies in excess of 70% and some more than 80%. The efficiency reflects the amount of heat being delivered into the room. Increasingly, people are opting for a DEFRA exempt stove, when they don’t live in a smoke control zone because they know that a DEFRA Exempt stove will have satisfied even more stringent emission tests for air quality.
Installing a stove is not a DIY job and a competent installer should be engaged. HETAS runs the largest competent persons scheme for installers and works closely with the industry to improve standards. A competent person can certify the installation safe. Otherwise the installation must be inspected and approved by Building Control.
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