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Keep the home fires burning

We have recently had a wood-burning stove installed. With a baby on the way, I understand it's traditional to frantically embark on home improvement. Our house is old and draughty, as homes built around open fireplaces, one in every room, must be. The current central heating isn't very optimised for heat delivery, especially since we removed a good portion of the internal doors, and have yet to get around to replacing them.

The chimney breast, in what has become the main living room needed some attention, having suffered some water damage long ago, due to leaking. The leaks are gone, but the brickwork and surface plaster were left saturated and continued to deteriorate. Rounding it all off, it was mounted with a bulky, mantelpiece of slate, with ugly pseudo-wood veneer, and filled with garish orange ceramic tiles.

Installing the stove was a way of addressing these issues simultaneously. When fired up, it should produce a generous heat in the centre of the house, well suited to the original building design and airflow. As part of the installation, we've had the chimney lined, the fireplace and hearth reconstructed, and the chimney breast re-surfaced. We ordered the stove from Kindle in Bristol, and they also managed all the installation work, which only took a couple of days.


The stove is a ClearView Pioneer 400. A clean-burn design, and the installation is certified for use in smokeless zones, such as Bristol. It's a multi-fuel configuration, which can be used to burn (smokeless) coal as well as firewood. We've built a small log store in the back yard, and filled it with a metre-cubed of sawn firewood.

Due to the unseasonably hot weather, I've not had too much of a chance to get it up and running, aside from a few test sessions. I'm not yet sure what our practical fuel consumption will resolve to. In my tests, I've so far determined that it is capable of generating a startling amount of heat after just a few hours of operation.

On a less practical note, it is simply enormous fun having a large burning fire you can fiddle about with, sitting within easy reach. It's very easy to get hypnotised by the thing, when it's burning. I find it considerably more interesting to watch than most things that are on the television.

This entry was posted on Monday, October 5, 2009 at 07:56 in uncategorized.
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