Frequently asked questions...
Who are HETAS?
HETAS is the official body recognised by the Government to approve solid fuel domestic heating appliances, fuels and services including the registration of competent installers. You can look at the HETAS website here: www.hetas.co.uk and you will find us as a registered HETAS installer in Mansfield and Nottinghamshire under our trade name of Morleys of Nottingham Ltd.
Why do I need a HETAS registered installer?
A HETAS approved installer will have the skills and the experience to install your stove safely and to a very high standard. Your HETAS installer has the knowledge to overcome any problems that arise during the installation and will be able to self certify the installation. They will be able to provide you with a HETAS certificate on the day of the installation.
Why do I need a HETAS certificate?
A HETAS certificate is a legal document that is required to be presented to your insurance company if requested. Should there be a problem and HETAS do not have a record of a HETAS certificate at the property then it can null and void your insurance. When an installer provides you with a Certificate he will keep a copy for himself and the third copy will go to HETAS who will keep it on file should they receive a request from an insurance company etc.
I don`t have a structural chimney in my house. Can I still have a wood burning stove installed?
Yes. Absolutely. The sophisticated engineering of "twin-wall" chimney systems means that virtually any property can have an installation of a stove. A twin-wall chimney system is a stainless steel chimney that is attached to the exterior of your property. It can be silver in colour or powder coated black.
How do I know if my existing chimney is safe and suitable to use for an installation?
All existing chimneys can be assessed by our HETAS engineer, pressure tested and re-built if necessary. If it is found that your chimney is unsuitable then we can fit a chimney liner down the existing chimney. A chimney liner is a flexible, metal sleeve that connects via pipework to your stove to ensure that there are no leaking fumes or smoke and will also ensure a more efficient draw and burn.
How big a stove should I buy?
Your HETAS engineer can advise you on this upon their survey of your property. If you wish to know before then, there are various calculators you can find online. It all depends on the size of your room, height of ceilings and age of property.
What is the difference between having a wood burning stove and an open fire?
The efficiency of an open fire is approximately 40-50% less efficient than that of a wood burning stove. A wood burning stove allows the user to have control over the rate of burn and heat output to the room by being able to change the settings on their stove. In addition to the flame heat output, the stove itself will act as a radiator. The residual heat from the stove will continue to heat your room even when there are no flames.
The opening of my fireplace is very small. Can I still have a fire fitted?
When your property is surveyed, your HETAS engineer will assess the dimensions of the opening and the structure of the breast around it. More often than not, the opening can be widened to accommodate the dimensions of your stove. Alternatively, many people opt for a smaller or inset stove instead.
What does DEFRA approved mean?
A DEFRA approved stove means that the stove has approval from the government to use the stove with dry wood only, or approved smokeless coal, in a smoke controlled area. These restrictions are usually placed in heavily populated urban areas, normally larger towns or cities. You can find out if you reside in a smoke controlled area by contacting your local council. If you do live in a smoke controlled area, your stove must be DEFRA approved. Some stoves that are not DEFRA approved have a DEFRA kit that can be purchased to convert it. Ask the manufacturer if this applies to the stove you are interested in.
Should I have a wood burner or multi-fuel stove?
In smoke controlled areas, Smokeless coal can be used. Coal requires less re-fuelling and is useful for burning over-night or if you are out of the house. Lighting a coal fire can be time-consuming and requires the user to empty the ashes daily and clean out the firebox before the fire can be lit. Smokeless coal can be dirty to handle and dusty to use.
Alternatively, wood lights easily, is a carbon-neutral fuel and burns it's own ash, ie it doesn't need the ash pan emptying as often. It is also cleaner to handle and fragrant to smell as it burns. Wood needs more re-fueling than coal and can`t be relied upon to burn over-night. If you have a DEFRA approved stove, then dry wood can be burned in smoke controlled areas.
Can I connect my wood burner to a central heating system?
Many stoves have the option of a back boiler, this can provide hot water or link into a central heating circuit to distribute the heat around the house. With the right stove, your HETAS engineer can install a safe and very effective system that will give you years of economical heat.
How long will my stove installation take?
Depending on what you are planning on doing, most installations take between a single day to a full week. If your existing fireplace meets the requirements and specifications of HETAS and you simply need a liner installing and a connection then typically this would take a day to complete. If you need your hearth re-designing or chimney breast excavating and rebuilding then this can take from two to three days. Sometimes it is found that your chimney stack needs work to comply and this can make the installation process longer. Room re-designs with construction work to walls etc are longer installations. Your engineer can give you a better idea of the length of installation upon your survey.
How often should I have my chimney swept and can you recommend a sweep?
A chimney should be swept at least once every year. If your stove is a boiler stove then at least twice. Sweeping the chimney not only removes soot, cobwebs and any other debris but by having a regular service of the chimney you will also maintain the output and performance of your stove. With debris inside the chimney the appliance will have to work harder to burn fuel and will be less efficient. A build up of soot and debris can be dangerous. unswept chimneys lead to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide and the risk of chimney fires.
We recommend a meticulous and friendly sweep in the Mansfield and Nottingham area called Greg. You can find his details here:
We have tried to cover as many questions as possible here. If you have any other questions that we haven`t listed then please contact us either through the contact form or our email address below.