How to choose the right gas fire for your home

How to choose the right gas fire for your home

If you are looking for a heat source that is the focal point of your home at the push of a button then a gas fire is a good option. But, which one? Here we give an overview of some of the key points to think about before having a gas fire installed.

1. Do you have gas?

Before you choose your gas fire this may seem an obvious question but not all homes have a gas connection. However, even if you do not have mains gas it is possible to have a connection for propane gas.

2. Where do you want the fire to go?

Do you have a gas fire right now? Then you can either leave the new gas fire in the same position, or you can choose to install the gas fire in a different location in your home.

3. What about the flue?

The outlet for flue gases (the flue) can be installed through the wall or roof. This means that you can even choose to place a gas fire in the middle of your living room or between two rooms. You do not have to be restricted by an existing location but can have the fire installed in the most convenient location in your home. To find out what would work for you ask us to come along to do an installation survey.

4. Think about gas consumption

Capacity and consumption of your gas fire is a key point for consideration. A fire with a high capacity is often chosen. You may think that a fire with a high capacity is better by definition and that it will heat the room more quickly. However, a fire with a capacity that is too high will heat the surrounding area too quickly. As a result, you will soon be forced to turn the fire down or even off, and you will no longer be able to enjoy the flames. Also, a fire with a high capacity cannot dissipate the heat evenly. That is why it is important to choose a gas fire or gas heater that is a good match for the room you want to heat in terms of capacity. We will establish the right capacity for your gas fire when we undertake our survey.

5. What is the right capacity?

What you need depends on several factors. It depends on the volume of the space to be heated and how well your home is insulated. The capacity is determined by multiplying the length, width and height of the space and thus calculating the cubic meters of efficiency.

chart describing gas fire capacity

A – for well insulated homes
Is your home equipped with good insulation, such as roof insulation, floor and/or cavity wall insulation or double-glazing? This is usually true for new, recently built houses or homes that have not been professionally.

B – for reasonably insulated homes
Is your home fitted with older insulation? Do you have double-glazing, but only basic wall and floor insulation?

C – for moderately insulated homes
Is your home poorly insulated and do you not have double-glazing? If you allow your home to be better insulated in the future, you may have a fire that provides too much capacity.

We are the South West stockist of gas fires from Dru and Global, find out more here.

Call us to arrange your free gas installation survey on 01237 420904.

Posted by Will Lloyd in News, 0 comments
Time to close that open fire – and replace it with an EcoDesign wood burner

Time to close that open fire – and replace it with an EcoDesign wood burner

New generation wood burning stoves are now so clean and efficient. Not only can you clearly see the flames, but the radiant heat comes straight at you. It looks and feels just like an open fire.

Whilst traditional open fires do allow you to see the flames, they have now been identified as a major source of air pollution. This makes it hard to justify still lighting one. Not only does 80-90% of the heat go up the chimney but also particulate matter is released direct into the air. By installing a new Eco Design 2022 clean burning wood stove you can personally reduce emissions by up to 90%.

In its Clean Air Strategy, Defra recognises that all wood burning is not the same. Also, reductions in particulate emissions (PM) can be achieved through the installation of EcoDesign Ready stoves burning dry wood.

Stove industry alliance chart about impact of open fires against woodburnersBurning wood produces particulate matter (PM) but the amount produced depends on how the wood is burnt. Independent research conducted by Kiwa Gastec on behalf of the SIA has shown that SIA EcoDesign Ready stoves can reduce particulate emissions by 90% compared to an open fire and 80% compared to an old stove.

To deal with domestic burning, the government will ban the sale of the most polluting fossil fuels and ensure that only efficient and clean wood burning stoves are available for sale by 2022. The government is also consulting on phasing out the sale of traditional house coal and on limiting the sale of wet wood, the type found on garage forecourts. Look for the Ready to burn logo on bags of logs to ensure your firewood is dry and suitable for your stove.

So, if you love a real open fire but are concerned about what to burn once house coal becomes unavailable the answer might just be to install a wood burning stove.

Wood burning stoves are not only much more efficient when compared to open fires, they are environmentally more friendly especially when compared to burning coal on your open fire.

When harvested from efficiently managed forests, wood logs are obtained as a natural by-product of the thinning process. This is a form or renewable and sustainable biomass fuel. This is essential to the conservation of the forest, as it ensure there is enough light and space for the remaining trees to thrive. On a continuous cycle, felled trees are replaced and replanted, thereby preserving the woodland for future use. Firewood logs are therefore virtually carbon neutral, and as a result, woodland is being increasingly recognised as a valuable resource for sustainable fossil free fuel.

Contact us on 01237 420904 to find out more or visit our showroom to speak to our experts.

Posted by Will Lloyd in News
10 things you can do with wood ash from your wood burning stove

10 things you can do with wood ash from your wood burning stove

Wood burns better on a bed of ash as it helps combustion of the new wood so no need to empty everyday. However, now and again you will need to empty the ash (how often depends on how often you burn your wood burner.) Take the top layer away and rather than throwing it in the bin, why not try some of these recycling ideas?

1. Clean your wood burning stove

If you’ve got a wood-burning stove with airwash then your glass should keep itself nice and clean. But if you do need to clean your glass by hand, we find that a bit of newspaper dipped in some cool ashes does the trick. A damp sponge dipped in the dust scrubs away sooty residue.

2. Use on the garden

Use ash to enrich compost. Before applying to the soil, throw some into the compost bin and mix through. This will help to enhance the nutrients in the compost. Wood ash tends to contain lots of lime, which is useful for combating acidic soil. Have a look at the Royal Horticultural Society website for more tips on using ash in your garden.

3. Stop nasty garden pests

Spread some ash evenly in garden beds as ash repels slugs and snails. Tiny piles of ash used as borders around each of your plants will help to keep unwanted visitors away from your plants. Insects, slugs and snails can all be deterred from tucking into your plants by a simple pile of ash.

4. Melt snow when it gets colder

When the snow falls, use wood ash to add traction and de-ice without hurting soil or concrete underneath.

5. Give your family silver a good shine

Simply mix a paste of ash and water together and apply to make a nontoxic metal polisher. It is abrasive, but if used with care it’s mild enough to create a nice shine without causing any damage.

6. Stop pets smelling around the house

Just take a handful of ash and rub into your dog’s coat to help neutralise any lingering doggy odours. Then you can let them back into the house to curl up beside your wood burner!

7. Hide stains on paving

The disaster of wet paint spatters on cement can be hidden by sprinkling ash directly on the spot. Then just blend in with a scuff of a boot.

8. Control pond algae

One tablespoon per 1,000 gallons adds enough potassium to strengthen other aquatic plants that compete with algae, slowing its growth.

9. Give your tomatoes a boost

For these calcium-loving plants, place 1/4 cup right in the hole when planting.

10. Make some soap

Soaking ash in water makes lye, which can be mixed with animal fat and then boiled to produce soap. Salt makes it harden as it cools.

Let us know if you have any ideas to add to our list.

Posted by Will Lloyd in News, 0 comments
Gas fired wood burner – the look of a wood burner with the convenience of gas

Gas fired wood burner – the look of a wood burner with the convenience of gas

One of the main reasons for choosing a gas fired wood burner is convenience. Sit back, and at the click of a button it bursts into life!  Every Chesneys gas stove is controlled by a hand-held remote-control device that allows you to control the flame height and heat output from the comfort of your armchair. So, if you want the stunning look of a real log burner then perhaps a gas stove could be an ideal option.

If a wood burning stove isn’t suitable for your home or needs, a gas log burner can provide an aesthetically pleasing true alternative.

The beautifully crafted stoves from Chesneys strike a perfect balance between elegance and efficiency.  It will look great in a fireplace surround or as a standalone statement piece. It is so convincing!  Chesneys have created a fire that emulates the flame pattern of a real fire. The individually hand painted logs produce a deep lifelike glow.

To find out more come into our showroom to see a live demo or call us on 01237 420904 to arrange a free home design consultation.

Posted by Will Lloyd in News
Don’t be underwhelmed by underfloor heating

Don’t be underwhelmed by underfloor heating

If you are considering your own grand design or buying a new property with underfloor heating, it might be worth combining this with a wood burner. A stove will give you fast radiant heat and creates a beautiful focal point in your main living area.

Underfloor heating has become the heating choice for most individual new build homes. It is equally popular with self-builders and renovators and for good reason. Underfloor heating gives a level of ambient comfort, efficiency and extra wall space.

It works by effectively turning the entire floor area into a radiator, via warm water pipes (wet UFH) or electric mats concealed within the floor structure. Warm water pipes are typically embedded within a screed. But there are other methods of installation, particularly for renovators.

Check the reaction time

A new efficient air source heat pump, connected to an underfloor system, is a wonderful green way to heat a new house. The resulting gentle heat, due to the floor’s large surface area, rises steadily upwards and there are no cold spots or draughts. So, this makes for a very comfortable environment. However, with a sudden drop in outside temperature it can take hours for the system to react and bring the house back up to temperature.

This is where the wood burner comes in

One way around this is to run the system at a constant lower temperature of say 15 – 18 degrees C to provide the gentle background temperature and install a wonderful wood burner. This can quickly raise the temperature with its beautiful radiant heat. With modern wood burners this can also be an incredibly stylish feature in your living room.

Highlight Heating

A modern wood burning stove can be the highlight of your home. It adds fossil free heat, and makes a wonderful feature with so many amazing designs now available from stove makers like Contura.

Modern wood burners are so easy to light, they get hot quickly and the glass stays clean. The clean door means you have a lovely clear view of the flames. Someone recently told us that watching the fire is also good for our mental health. But, who doesn’t like watching a fire? We might have grand designs on a modern home, but like our ancestors we still like the comfort of our cave.

To find the right stove for your home, give us a call on 01237 420904 or call into our showroom in Bideford.

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The Fire Engine joins national stove alliance

The Fire Engine joins national stove alliance

Local stove and fireplace retailer, The Fire Engine, is among the first in a group of independent retailers to become members of the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) as part of its new retail scheme.

The SIA Retail Group was formed earlier this year and membership is open to independent retailers with showroom displays in the UK.
The SIA is a trade association for the stove and fireplace industry in the UK. Its members were among the first manufacturers to develop appliances that meet Ecodesign requirements – new standards for emissions and efficiency of domestic wood burning appliances – well ahead of the January 2022 deadline, and positioning wood burning stoves and fireplaces as part of a low carbon, sustainable and renewable heating strategy
Using improved burn technology, an SIA Ecodesign Ready stove produces 90% less emissions than an open fire and 80% less than a stove that was manufactured 10 years ago, making a significant improvement to air quality.
The Fire Engine based in Bideford, is one of a growing number of independent retailers that have joined the SIA Retail Group and is able to offer the very latest stoves available on the market. Commenting on their decision to join the Group Will Lloyd, owner of The Fire Engine said:
“The Fire Engine is very proud to be a part of the SIA Retail Group. The SIA is a well-respected trade organisation and including independent retailers as members means it is representative of the whole stove industry in the UK. By choosing an SIA Retail Group member showroom customers can be assured that they are receiving the very best advice on which appliance is suitable for them and their lifestyle. Plus, they will be safe in the knowledge that we can guide them on installation and maintenance, and the best type of fuel to use to ensure they get maximum efficiency and minimum emissions.”
Morley Sage, chair of the SIA, added: “Modern SIA Ecodesign Ready stoves are high efficiency, low emission, renewable and sustainable biomass heating solutions their owners can be proud of, and we are delighted to welcome The Fire Engine to the SIA Retail Group. Membership reassures the public that they are in safe hands when choosing and installing a stove or fireplace and provides retailers with the support and expertise of the SIA.”

For further information on the SIA Retail Group and a list of members visit

Posted by Will Lloyd in News
Aike Pellet stove or design classic?

Aike Pellet stove or design classic?

Beautiful clean lines and simple design of the Aike pellet stove. Surely a design classic?

The Aike pellet stove from MCZ has no front vents, made with a structure entirely made of painted steel. The new firebox features curved lines and is equipped with ceramic spark plug ensuring ignition times are reduced by 40%. You also have the option of using a handheld remote control or your smartphone.  Find out more about the Aike pellet stove here.

Phone us on 01237 420904 or call into our showroom in Bideford to find out more about having pellet stove in your home.

The most efficient and clean heating system

Pellets are an increasingly popular for those who are interested in an eco-sustainable source of energy. This is because pellet combustion is very efficient. With the same amount of fuel you will be able to achieve more heat with pellets than with wood. Additionally, pellet burns better and assures a very clean combustion. This is why pellet stoves benefit from the tax benefits and incentives for energy efficiency and renewable energy. They are some of the best environmentally-friendly alternatives you could choose to heat your home as well as to save on bills.

Posted by Will Lloyd in Home Page, News
12 steps for lighting your wood burning stove

12 steps for lighting your wood burning stove

Well, the nights are certainly cooler now and we lit our wood burner for the first time in six months. So, here are 12 steps to help you with lighting your stove.

1. Only use firewood that has been stored in an airy place under a roof during the summer.

2. Place two slightly larger logs at the bottom and three layers of finely chopped wood across on top.

3. Place the firelighter in the middle of the kindling.

4. Light and leave the door slightly ajar until the smaller pieces of wood are burning well.

5. Leave for 15 minutes.

6. Once the fire has got going nicely, close the door (It might not burn so intensely when the door is shut).

7. When you have a fire in your stove, the chimney acts like an engine. When the chimney is hot enough, there will be a constant flow of air through the stove.

8. The draft in the chimney depends on the type of chimney. A steel chimney heats up faster than a masonry chimney.

9. When the flames have died down, it is time to add two normal-sized logs.

10. Open the door carefully and slowly to allow the pressure inside the stove to equalise before opening the door fully.

11. Place the logs crosswise on top of each other so there is space between them for air circulation.

12. Reduce the air supply to about half once the logs are burning.

Now, you can sit back and enjoy the warmth of your stove…



Posted by Will Lloyd in News, 0 comments
5 tips to get your wood burning stove ready for winter

5 tips to get your wood burning stove ready for winter

As the evenings are getting cooler and the days shorter, now is the time to dust off your wood burning stove and get it ready for the long winter ahead.

It is likely that you haven’t used your log burner all summer so here we have five things you need to do to get your stove ready.

1. Cleaning
– Get your chimney swept before the start of each season.
– Empty the ashpan of ash and un-burnt wood from inside the stove.
– Use a glass cleaner for the glass doors or just damp newspaper dipped in ash and it will do the job. Once the glass is clean simply wipe down with a damp cloth to remove any ash.
– Make sure the seal on the door of the wood burner is clean and free of any ash using a soft brush.

2. Check the rope seal
This is a good opportunity to check that your stove rope is in good condition. This is vitally important, both for safety and efficiency as it creates a smoke seal around the door, ensuring that harmful carbon monoxide and smoke goes up the flue, and not into your room.

The rope seal also ensures that the air feeds the fire through the air vents and not from the join between the door and the main body of the stove, therefore making your stove more efficient.

If the rope is split or frayed, contact us on 01237 430904 to have it replaced.

3. Stock up on logs
Fill your log basket with wood and order more logs to keep you going for a few months. We are entering the most uncertain winter for 50 years so it is well worth getting the log store in order. Invest in kiln dried logs, kindling and firelighters, it might be the best money you have ever spent.

4. Make sure it is EcoDesign 2022 compliant
EcoDesign 2022 is a government backed and European-wide programme designed to lower emissions and improve the UK’s air quality. The EcoDesign regulations will set new efficiency requirements for all stoves meaning you will save money on fuel and help to improve air quality at the same time. If you are not sure if your stove is compliant then just give us a call at The Fire Engine on 01237 420904 and we can let you know.

5. Lighting your wood burning stove
When your wood burning stove is clean and your log store full, you can settle down and enjoy the heat. Finally, check and test your carbon monoxide monitor and if you don’t have one you can pick one up from our showroom in Bideford.

Posted by Will Lloyd in News
Gorgeous Contura 510 stove in the sale – save £300

Gorgeous Contura 510 stove in the sale – save £300

Do you fancy having a gorgeous Contura wood burning stove fitted into your home? Why not call in and see us in our showroom in Bideford? We are having a refit of the showroom before the season kicks off and having a sale of some stoves so we can make some space for some new ones.

The Contura 510 is the perfect stove if you have a corner space.  Its large glass door spreads light and heat around the room. The handles are integrated into the stove and do not get hot.


Posted by Will Lloyd in News