Annette

We are now open for appointments

We are now open for appointments

From today we will be open for consultations by appointment with up to 2 customers from one household and will practice social distancing. We hope this will give you a relaxed and personalised customer experience, so you can take your time and have the space required to make a considered purchase.

Appointment slots are available Monday to Saturday 10am till 5pm with evenings available every Thursday. We will take 15 minutes between each appointment to sanitise the showroom as required ready for our next customer.

Appointments can be made by email on info@thefireengine.co.uk or phone 01237 420904 to leave a message and we will return your call as soon as possible. We look forward to seeing you.

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Spring SALE now on

Spring SALE now on

Why not come along and grab a bargain in our Spring Sale?  We have a range of end of season, ex demo models of wood burning stoves in the showroom – save up to 70%. Here are just a few but there are lots more in our Bideford showroom so come along and take a look.

 

Hwam 3120c. 4.5kW 

Was £1855

Now £1200

Save £655

 

 

Hwam 4520c, 4.5kW

Was £1855

Now £1155

Save £700

 

 

Jotul F105 sl, 4.5kW

Was 1259

Now £880

Save £379

 

CHesneys salisbury 6

 

Chesneys Salisbury 6 series, 6kW

Was £1500

Now £750

Save £750

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Top tips for keeping your stove in good condition

Top tips for keeping your stove in good condition

As this year’s wet winter draws to a close and thoughts turn to spring, it might be time to start thinking about servicing your stove. A clean stove that has been thoroughly checked over is a safe stove and also a stove that is better for the environment. A modern wood burning stove can be a significant investment and a focal point in your home, it is therefore well worth looking after this appliance with regular maintenance by qualified professionals.

Wood burners are amazing feats of engineering and have been built to withstand regular heating and cooling cycles that are really quite extreme, reaching temperatures around the flue collar of around 700 degrees centigrade at times. The flue gasses are quite clean when burning dry logs in an Eco design 2022 stove. But, the chimney still needs a regular sweep every year.  The main component parts of the stove should be carefully disassembled and checked and replaced to ensure you don’t suffer any unexpected failures, rendering the stove un-useable when you need it.

We are rolling out our new service this spring to help you protect your investment with our Service Plan, more details will appear  soon, but in the meantime for more information or to book a service please call in to the showroom or call us on 01237 420904 and we will be happy to help.

The importance fuel quality

There has been a lot in the news lately about fuel quality, and this has helped us to reinforce the message about modern Cleanburn stoves, we just all need to burn dry firewood. New EcoDesign 2022 wood burning stoves love a diet of dry hardwood logs that are under 20% moisture content, they find it hard to digest the wrong fuel and when fed wet sticky soft wood logs they go off colour and belch out dark smoke.

Fuel quality is the single most important aspect of making a successful fire. To burn effectively, the moisture content of firewood needs to be less than 20%, whether it’s being used in an open fire or a stove. Freshly felled timber can have a moisture content of between 30% and 60%, which when burnt can cause dangerous creosote build-up in chimneys.

Using a moisture meter is a great way to check whether your wood will give you a safe and efficient burn, or if it needs further seasoning.

wood burning stove wood meterWe love these new Valiant moisture meters – they are so simple to use the screen will glow green if your fuel contains less than 20% moisture, indicating that it’s ready to go.

The new Valiant moisture meter can also be used in timber, floors and buildings in order to detect and measure moisture content.

We have these available from The Fire Engine showroom and are available at half price when you take out your stove service plan.

 

 

 

The importance of enjoying your stove

Wood burning stoves are tremendous and people love having one and there are many proud owners who would not be without one. Stoves are great for metal health, they promote exercise and are a form of truly renewable heat, the gases given off while burning are vital for plant growth and the by product of combustion the ash is a rich plant nutrient. Owning a stove is a way of life, and very much part of the family like a much loved pet. You have to love it, look after it and clean it, occasionally it will misbehave but it in return for being looked after and fed the right diet it will also reward you with a loving glow that reaches into a part of our primitive brain and gives total satisfaction. A modern wood burning stove will be the only appliance in your house that will work without an external power source. Obviously this is a bit far fetched but if there was ever a situation when a complete breakdown in society occurred and citizens confined to their homes,  with enough dry logs they could be just what we need to survive a period of isolation. Throughout history mankind has harnessed the cleansing power of fire to comfort and protect themselves from many threats and this could still be the case even in our modern world.

Keep warm, Will

 

 

 

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Watching flames is good for your well being

Watching flames is good for your well being

In these anxious times, did you know that staring at flames is good for your well being?

The trance-like relaxing ­effects of a campfire are well known but scientists have found that staring at flames reduces blood pressure – the longer people sit in front of a roaring fire, the greater the relaxing effect it has on them.  And, brain scans even showed that when the flames and noise are simulated in a laboratory they reduce blood pressure.

Chesneys beaumont wood burning stove

Campfires and fires in a hearth have played a key role in the evolution of human beings, with the flicker and crackle of burning logs directly linked to human psychology. Dr Christopher Lynn, a medical and psychological anthropologist, carried out tests on hundreds of volunteers to see how they reacted to a virtual fire.

 

“Fires are multisensory experiences that have numerous unexplored dimensions when considering human evolution.”

He said,  “For ancient hominins, it would have provided the following: light to extend the day and illuminate otherwise uninhabitable dark places; heat for cooking previously inedible food, warming bodies at night, and enabling migration into colder climates; a weapon to facilitate mass hunting and stave off predators; and, according to several scholars, social connection.”

So, help improve your well being.  What better way than to take a moment and look into the flickering flames of your fire?

 

 

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Guest Blog by Nic Snell, Managing Director of Certainly Wood

Guest Blog by Nic Snell, Managing Director of Certainly Wood

wood for wood burnersAs we continue to move through a difficult period in terms of wood burning and some of the negative press that it’s receiving, there is a lot going on within the industry to ensure that wood burning becomes part of the solution rather than a perceived problem. After all, it must be remembered that if everyone is so keen to make our country carbon neutral and in doing so, reducing fossil fuels, then surely using a truly sustainable and renewable fuel must have a strong argument for support?

The wood that you put into wood burners is just as, if not even more important, than the stove

So, whilst the Stove industry is working hard to improve the efficiency of stoves with the new range of EcoDesign stoves (which are significantly more efficient than open fires, or even older stoves) and the industry is looking to take efficiencies beyond these levels; the wood that you put into wood burners is just as, if not even more important.

Here at Certainly Wood, where we pioneered the kiln drying of firewood in 2005, long before anyone had even dreamt of rapidly drying wood in kilns, we process up to 18,000 tonnes of British kiln dried logs, which we source from a 100-mile radius of our base in Hereford.

We pride ourselves on our British firewood at a time when more and more is being imported from Eastern Europe from countries such as Latvia and Estonia. The imported wood can be quite good quality but it is mostly silver birch species which burns about 25-30% faster than our British hardwood which is mainly oak ash and beech. It’s one of my frustrations within the industry that there is presently no legislation in place to make suppliers declare the origin. I think it’s vital, but for some reason, importers don’t seem to agree!

Our wood comes from good woodland management

All our firewood comes from natural thinnings and whilst some people think that cutting down trees is bad, that’s just not true when it comes to good woodland management. When creating woodland, trees are initially planted close together, then as they grow and mature, they need to be thinned after about 10 years so as to allow space and light for the bigger trees to grow on and ultimately mature into valuable timber. Part of the process therefore is to remove the thinner weaker trees and that is what we use for firewood.

We then process the lengths of timber which we call cordwood, cutting them into short lengths (approx. 25cm) and then pushing them through a splitter. They then go over a grader and into cages which get placed in the kilns for approx. 50-60 hours bringing the moisture content down from circa 60% down to below 20% for the ultimate efficiency in burn quality. All our wood is registered under the Woodsure Ready to Burn certification scheme which guarantees the moisture content below this level. This provides a clean burn with no blackening of the stove glass or sooting and tarring of the flue of chimney and provides maximum heat output.

To find out more about what wood to burn in your stove ask one of our experts at The Fire Engine, or take a look at the Certainly Wood website here 

 

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How to choose a wood burning stove

How to choose a wood burning stove

Dik Guerts Ivan multi fuel stovesWell our winter seems to continue to have plenty in store for us this year. Have you managed to keep warm and cosy? It can be hard to stay upbeat when the weather is so wet and windy and there is little daylight.  One way is to curl up in front of a wood burner with a good book. If you don’t have one, we thought we could give you some simple guidance on how to choose one.

Your Home

The first thing to think about is what kind of home you live in. The needs of a small terraced house or bungalow will vary hugely to those of a detached manor house. You should also think about the following questions in relation to your home as they will help us to work out how much heat you will need to radiate.

  • How big is your home?
  • How old is your home?
  • How high are your ceilings?
  • Do you have bare floors or carpets?
  • What proportion of your home is made from glass?
  • Is it single or double glazed glass?
  • What stairs do you have in your home? Is it a one or two or more storey building?
  • How well insulated is your property?

All of the above will help us to determine how big and how powerful your new wood burning stove should be.

How big should it be?

All stoves measure the heat output in kilowatts which allows you to choose a stove that has a heat output that is proportional to the space you are looking to heat. It  sounds extremely complicated but it’s actually relatively straight forward and we can help you with it by measuring your room when we do our site visit.  All wood burning stoves have a kilowatt rating so you simply choose one that meets your needs.

Which fuel?

Burning dry wood is the more environmentally friendly that burning fossil fuels so the best fuel to put in your wood burner. Great strides forward in stove design have resulted in modern stoves having an efficiency of over 80%, compared to an open fire at 30% and a stove produced ten years ago, with an average efficiency of 65%. – choose an EcoDesign ready stove.

Which type?

chesneys beaumont gas stoveThere are three types of stove to choose from: inset,  freestanding or cassette. Inset stoves are designed to be built into the wall or chimney breast and fit snugly into existing fireplaces and generally speaking 80% of their output goes into the room rather than up the chimney.

Cassette stoves can be installed at various heights on a wall, usually within a closed hearth and usually sit more flush to the wall than other inset stoves. ~They get all of their oxygen from outside rather than drawing air from inside which helps to preserve the warmth.

And freestanding stoves are just that and have the practical advantage of being able to be placed pretty much anywhere and they release their heat slowly giving an even output through the room.

 

For more inspiration on the design of your stove take a look here and then give us a call on 01237 420904 to arrange your free design consultation in your home.

 

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What wood for my stove?  Some top tips

What wood for my stove? Some top tips

  1. Burn dry wood – Logs that aren’t dry will result in a fire that smolders and creates lots of tars and smoke. Wet logs will tend to blacken glass in stoves even if the stove is designed to keep the glass clean.
  2. Always burn dried (seasoned) wood, either by buying it dry, or by buying green logs and drying them yourself. Cracks and bark that comes off easily are signs of well-seasoned wood.
  3. Only use wood in your stove – wood is a major source of renewable heat energy and, burned efficiently, it produces virtually no smoke. As trees grow they absorb carbon dioxide (CO2), incorporating the carbon into new growth and returning oxygen to the atmosphere. When the wood is burned this carbon is oxidised and released as CO2. As a result, using wood from sustainably managed trees reduces net CO2 production (small amounts are released by the activities of processing and transportation) compared to using fossil fuels. This means that heating using wood can significantly reduce our reliance on fossil fuels while also reducing our CO2 emissions.
  4. Replace an open fire with a stove – an open fire is the traditional way to burn logs, it can be attractive and cosy.  It is however, a very inefficient method of heating as the uncontrolled air flow takes the hot air from the fire up the chimney, and draws warm air in from the rest of the house as well. This is replaced with cold, outdoor air drawn into the house through drafts and vents. Often an open fire will run at very low efficiencies (≈25%) resulting in large amounts of smoke and ash for very little useful heat output.
  5. Choose the smallest fire box you can for your heat requirement in your home (we can help with this), with controlled hot secondary air, and ash retained in the base of the fire – this will help the wood to burn efficiently.
  6. Use ‘Ready to Burn‘ wood.  Air quality and wood fuel has become a hot topic and stove owners are being asked to think about the impact burning poor quality firewood has on the environment. A stove is only as good as the wood it burns and so the Ready to Burn stamp of approval will reassure those who purchase firewood/briquettes with its logo that they are dry enough and immediately ready to burn.

 

Just ask us for advice about what stove to use and what wood to use in your stove – come and visit us in our showroom or call us on 01237 420904.

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Energy Efficient Renovation includes Wood Burning Stove

Energy Efficient Renovation includes Wood Burning Stove

A Desire for Cost Effective heating 

The motivation behind the renovation was simple. The family decided that they could not afford the gas bill to heat the house at the desired level so wanted their home to be more energy efficient.

The traditional Malvern Stone detached Gentleman’s Residence was built in 1880. The original Victorian part of the building has two feet thick solid walls, which effectively regulate the heat in the house in summer and winter. The extension now has super insulated cavity walls and 200mm deep insulation on the inside face of the walls. Attic spaces have been triple insulated and windows are double glazed. The aim is to have a house that has an energy rating of at least C.

Reduction in gas usage

The main form of heating in the house was gas. A new 92% efficient condensing boiler was installed Feb 2011. Prior to installing the stove the average daily winter gas usage was 18.66kw. A 74% multi fuel stove was installed in November, 2013. As the living room had an open fire, the family decided to replace it with a multi fuel stove because this meant that they could continue to burn the same fuel used in the open fire. When they learnt about the environmental benefits of wood they choose to switch to burning wood.

More efficient use of heat in the living area

Since installing the stove gas usage dropped to 13.8kw. Factoring out the gas used for water heating this represents a 35% drop in space heating gas usage. The winter was warmer than last, but even with that taken into account the drop in gas usage was still significant. The average temperature in the winter months of 2014 was 3 degrees higher than 2013.

Simon took advantage of the discounted summer prices for kiln dried wood and purchased eight 1.2 cubic meter bags. In the time since the stove was installed up to the end of February six bags have been used, costing £562.

The Living Room was warmer

Chesneys Beaumont log burner stoveThe most noticeable benefit of the wood burning stove had been the increase in temperature in the main living rooms. Since the stove was installed the thermostatically controlled radiators had only been used on cold mornings before the stove was lit.

The thermostats on the radiators in other rooms have been turned down to 16ºC when “on” in the evenings. The rest of the house does not need the radiators to come on when the stove is lit, unless it gets really cold. The temperature loggers show that the temperature in the downstairs living area has gone from an average 16ºC to a much more cosy 22ºC. To achieve this temperature using the gas boiler would have significantly increased the gas usage. Although the efficiency of the wood burning stove is lower than that of the condensing gas boiler, the energy is used more effectively.

Heat is now concentrated in the main living room of the house, where the family likes to spend most of their time together. Simon likes to sit a little further from the stove than his wife. She enjoys the direct heat from the fire. In this way, the heat from the stove suits both their heat preferences.

Reduces the need to turn on the central heating 

The plan is to install a second stove in other end of the house, along with a remote boiler thermostat. The family think that the warm air from both stoves will then permeate throughout the upstairs of the house, reducing further the need to activate the central heating.

To discuss how a wood burning stove can work within your home, call us to arrange a free survey and consultation on 01237 420904.

Source: SIA Retail Group – for more information visit the website here.

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Guest blog – Gerard from Dik Guerts

Guest blog – Gerard from Dik Guerts

Goedendag! My name’s Gerard and I’m UK Customer Service Manager for Dik Geurts.

I joined the team in Manchester in 2012 and have spent some time in numerous departments, from technical to sales and marketing, learning that it’s everything coming together that makes us who we are.

Is it reliable? Is it sustainable? Could it be easier? And how can we make it better?

At Dik Geurts we have four core values that are always kept in mind, whether one is on the factory floor, in the office, at a showroom or in a customer’s house. We all ask ourselves: Is it reliable? Is it sustainable? Could it be easier? And how can we make it better? These questions apply whatever the task, from the simple act of sending a letter to the challenge of building a custom stove. By asking as we go we are always improving our service levels, our products and ourselves – and we’ve come a long way.

Dik Geurts the company has roots in 1981, when Dik Geurts the person began producing wood stoves with distinctive designs, often using smooth curves and hard lines to draw in the eye and put focus on the flames. For the first time there was art in a wood burning fire, and Dik Geurts’ stoves proved incredibly popular locally. Before long they were known throughout the Netherlands for their unique, instantly recognisable style.

In 2007 the company became part of DRU Verwarming BV, a manufacturer with a rich history and strong presence in the gas fire market in the Netherlands, Belgium and UK. Joining with DRU allowed Dik Geurts to grow in many ways, producing new styles of freestanding and suspended stoves, as well as more classical built-in models.

dik geurts ivar 5 low wood burning stoveWith strong backing and new facilities the designs became more nuanced aesthetically and could be tailored to different countries’ tastes, growing the brand beyond the Netherlands.

One of the stoves produced for the UK market was the Ivar 5, a classic styled black box stove common in the region but with clear Dik Geurts styling: subtle curves, straight lines and a large, clear viewing window. The original Ivar proved a great success and led to the release others; the larger Ivar 8, a more traditional Aste and 2019 saw the introduction of the multifunctional Modivar.

At the same time as artistic license found more freedom, investment in research and development allowed the efficiencies to be improved with various innovations and new technologies. In the past there was one person crafting stoves by hand from local materials. Nowadays we test and choose all materials based on how they will affect the reliability and sustainability of the stoves we produce. Obviously a quality, high-gauge steel on the body of the stove ensures robustness, and the right hard-wearing paint ensures that the wear and tear of everyday use (and perhaps the odd thump of a dropped log) leave no lasting marks.

These are the details that drive us, and we go further…

It’s also clear that having a closed appliance improves efficiency, but through testing we found that using infra-red chalcogenide glass for the viewing windows makes the fire stay warmer for longer. This in turn keeps the room warmer longer and also helps to keep the glass clear, meaning the user doesn’t have to worry about cleaning it so often. These are the details that drive us, and we go further, making control of primary, secondary and tertiary airflow possible with one control slide, adding useful functions like external air connections to draw combustion air from outside the property, or self-close doors, or hotwater systems – and we won’t stop there.

Most of our stoves already comply with the 2022 EcoDesign directive, proving that they’re some of the cleanest, most energy-efficient woodburners available, but what about beyond the product? Well, for every Dik Geurts stove that’s sold a contribution goes toward carbon micro-credits. These are used to help women in the poorest parts of Uganda to plant more trees to preserve their environment and provide them with new sources of fuel. After all, wood is only a sustainable fuel source if new trees continue to be planted!

To find out if a Dik Guerts stove would be right for your home, book a free home survey with one of our experts – call 01237 420904.

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Guest Blog by Ian Sams, Commercial Director, Specflue

Guest Blog by Ian Sams, Commercial Director, Specflue

Sustainable stoves for tomorrow’s world, available today…

According to forecasters, 2020 will be the decade in which environmentalism is at the forefront of everyone’s minds. From the bushfires in Australia to Greta Thunberg’s address to the UN, society has been shocked into action. The majority of the world’s population are now moving away from single-use plastics and fossil fuels, beginning instead to embrace positive change. To preserve the planet for future generations, we may well find ourselves enjoying insect protein and 3D printed meals in the coming years, getting from place to place in electric pods driven by AI.

During the past ten years, organisations have been facing increasing pressure to adopt a genuine and responsible approach towards the environment that we live in. It is a truth recognised the world over that commerce generates a great deal more waste than consumers, whether it is produced by a small family-run enterprise throwing their cardboard in the general waste bin or a multinational corporation with a global environmental impact.

Specflue has long been a leading UK provider of products and services related to wood burning stoves. Therefore our products have always offered a low-carbon alternative to fossil fuels; and if logs are locally sourced, a wood burning stove is virtually carbon neutral. However, since the sector was identified as a legacy generator of particulates, Specflue has put environmental responsibilities at the heart of a twin strategy to become an active carbon-reduction enabler.

Firstly, as DEFRA has introduced Ecodesign legislation as part of its Clean Air Strategy to which all wood burners must conform by 2022, Specflue proudly promotes the fact that all of its products are already compliant. Conventional wood burning stoves offer a host of powerful benefits to householders. They are reliable, reduce heating bills, use a renewable fuel source, and Ecodesign ready technology is particularly energy efficient and clean burning compared with older incarnations. One of many exceptional examples of this technology is our Termatech range, available from the Fire Engine.

Secondly, Specflue has become the UK’s primary advocate for the use of ‘pellet burners’, which provide an even cleaner, next-generation evolution of the much-loved wood burner.

Amy MCZ pellet stove for the fire engineOne perceived drawback of woodburning stoves is that although you can regulate their air flow and heat output to a limited amount, you can’t simply switch them on and off, or expect instant heat. That’s where pellet stoves come in. Pellet stoves burn compressed wood or biomass pellets to create a source of heat. By slowly feeding fuel automatically from the storage container (the hopper) into the burn tray, a constant flame is created and monitored to ensure maximum efficiency.

Probably the biggest benefit of a pellet stove to its owner is its ease of use thanks to automatic ignition, power modulation and the fact that these stoves can be programmed; in fact, they can also be operated remotely as this film illustrates… MCZ pellet stove

But greater still is the benefit to the planet. The University of Manchester SUPERGEN Bioenergy Hub focuses on research relating to the use of sustainable bioenergy systems. Its director, Professor Patricia Thornley, recently advised: “Biomass heating [which typically uses wood pellets or wood chips as fuel] is a technology available today that can immediately reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with heat production. Calculating the exact extent to which this reduces greenhouse gas emissions is complicated because you have to look at where the wood comes from, how it has been processed, etc.”
“We have done those calculations for many different types of system and find that you do get good reductions in greenhouse gas emissions – 58% for a pellet boiler replacing a natural gas boiler in a home; 94% for a chip boiler in a district heating system.” If you’d like to find out more about this technology, ask one of the heating experts at The Fire Engine.

As Kermit the Frog once philosophised, it isn’t easy being green. However, necessity is the mother of invention – and we at Specflue are proud of the work we have been doing to innovate, to drive change and to continually operate some distance ahead of the legal requirements. Working with trade installers and retail partners, such as The Fire Engine in North Devon and North Cornwall, we continue to invest in leading our sector’s work towards the UK Government’s 2050 net zero carbon objectives, and we are always seeking to continually improve.

Call in to the showroom to find out more about Termatech stoves or MCZ pellet burners, or phone us on 01237 420904 to book your free survey.

 

 

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