We have almost made it through January! It is such a long and depressing month and for many of us it is really hard to stay upbeat when the weather is so wet and windy and there is such a lack of natural daylight. Most British people find it difficult to deal with the January Blues and I had hundreds of comments from readers on this post telling me how they get through January.
I really loved hearing all your tips and advice for surviving this dismal month. People seem to fall into two distinct camps: those who face January head on and get outside as much as possible and those who retreat inside and tend to hibernate. I have to say I’m an indoor kind of person in winter. I don’t like getting wet and cold and I much prefer doing cosy activities inside like reading, watching films, spending time with friends and doing creative things with the kids. I like to bring as much hygge into my home as possible in January.
Given my preference for getting comfy indoors, I wasn’t surprised to see how many of my readers commented that they like to snuggle up in front of the fire with a good book. That’s my idea of heaven at this time of year. I wrote a post only a few weeks ago about my longing for a wood burning stove and even though we’ve almost made it through January I still desperately want a stove for our living room. However, if I were to actually consider buying one I don’t think I’d have the first the clue where to start. How does one go about choosing a wood burning stove anyway?
I figured that if I don’t know what to consider when choosing a wood burning stove, there are probably plenty of other people who don’t know either. So I’ve teamed up with local Devon-based company Arada Stoves to do my homework so you don’t have to. It’s fine, you can thank me later! I’ve basically learnt that there are four key variables that need to be taken into consideration when choosing a wood burning stove.
The first major consideration that you need to factor into your decision is what kind of home you live in. The needs of a small terraced house in the city will vary greatly to those of a detached manor house in the country. You should also ask yourself the following questions in relation to your home as they will help you to work out how much heat you will need to radiate.
- How old is your property?
- How big is your property?
- How high are your ceilings?
- Do you have carpets or bare floors?
- What proportion of your home is made from glass?
- Is the glass single or double glazed?
- Do you have any stairs at home?
- Are any potential heat vacuums?
- How well insulated is your property?
All of the above will help you to determine how big and how powerful your new wood burning stove should be.
How many Kilowatts?
Before choosing a wood burning stove for your home, you need to first work out the average heating requirement of the room in kilowatts. This will allow you to choose a stove that has a heat output that is proportional to the space you are looking to heat. This sounds extremely complicated but it’s actually very straight forward as there is a simple calculation you can do to work out your kilowatt requirements.
First, you need to measure your room, then multiply the width, by the length and then by the height (in metres). Then divide this answer by 14 and hey presto, you now know how many kilowatts you need to keep your room heated. All wood burning stoves have a kilowatt rating so you simply choose one that meets your needs.
It used to be the case that you would need to decide whether you were opting for a wood stove or a solid fuel stove. The difference being that wood burning stoves are designed to only burn wood-based products and NOT smokeless fuel, whereas solid fuel stoves burn smokeless fuel. These days however, you can opt for a multi-fuel stove that allows you to burn a variety of smokeless and solid fuel types as well as wood fuel.
There are three forms of stove to choose from: inset, cassette or freestanding. Inset stoves are designed to be built into the wall or chimney breast. Cassette stoves are similar to inset stoves but they can be installed at various heights on a wall, usually within a closed hearth environment. They usually sit more flush to the wall than other inset stoves. And freestanding stoves are just that! There are benefits for all three types of course.
Inset stoves fit snuggly into existing fireplaces and generally speaking 80% of their output goes into the room rather than up the chimney. Cassette stoves get all of their oxygen from outside rather than drawing air from inside which helps to preserve the warmth. Freestanding stoves have the practical advantage of being able to be situated anywhere and they release their heat slowly giving an even output through the room.
So I hope that helps! If you’re still a bit confused I’m sure Arada Stoves would be more than happy to discuss your requirements and help you find the perfect stove for your home. Bring on the Hygge!