Points to Consider When Choosing a Stove


Woodburning or Multifuel?

Choose a multifuel stove if you intend to burn smokeless fuels as well as wood. Multifuel stoves are fitted with a grate for the fuel to burn on with an ashpan located underneath. These grates often have a riddling mechanism that allows you to transfer the ash through to the ashpan with a push-pull handle.

Woodburning stoves do not tend to have a grate or even an ashpan – the fuel burns on the bottom of the firebox. This is because wood does not burn as hot as coal and doesn’t produce as much ash. In this instance the ash will need to be brushed/shovelled out instead.

However it is important to note that wood burns better in its own ash, so always keep a small layer of ash on the base of the firebox. Whereas if coal is sat on too much ash the fire will be hard to light and maintain, as the ash restricts the air flow to the coal for it to burn.


Steel or Cast Iron?  

There should be no difference in quality between steel and cast iron due to the high quality of the material and strict manufacturing and testing procedures.

The main difference is that steel will heat up a lot quicker than cast iron, but cast iron will retain that heat for longer. Cast iron is also easier to cast, so if you want a more detailed and decorative stove, cast iron is the material to choose.


Heat Output

An approximate calculation to find out the heat output required for your room is as follows;


Height x Width x Depth (metres) / 14 = kW output


Remember though that this calculation does not take into account how well insulated your house is, the number of external walls, windows and doors and whether you have stairs in the same room and would like to heat some of the first floor. Consider these factors and get advice from a HETAS registered engineer if you can – you may be limited by the size of your fireplace.


DEFRA Approval

DEFRA is the UK Government Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and regulates smoke emissions under the Clean Air Act 1993. If you live in a smoke control area the stove you choose must be DEFRA approved. To find out if you live in a smoke control area visit: http://smokecontrol.defra.gov.uk/locations.php



Cleanburn refers to the burning of wood only. If a stove has cleanburn, this means it will burn off excess hydrocarbons in the smoke by feeding extra air into the stove. This is also referred to as secondary combustion. These excess hydrocarbons would normally be drawn up the flue and be released into the atmosphere. Therefore cleanburn results in increased heating efficiency and fewer harmful emissions into the atmosphere.



All good quality stoves come with an airwash system. Air is flushed against the inside of the glass window, which helps reduce soot and tar deposits on the glass. However, you will still need to clean the glass from time to time. If the stove glass blackens badly and regularly it could be due to burning damp or wet wood.



Some stoves come with a huge range of design options, which are generally an aesthetic choice to make. Here are some examples:

  • Coloured enamel stoves such as ivory, red, green and blue.
  • Canopies to sit on top of the stove.
  • Decorative glass doors.
  • Some freestanding contemporary stoves can come on a plinth or sit on an integrated log store, instead of the traditional four legs.


Need more advice? Contact us on 01285 659887 or via sales@corinium-stoves.co.uk.