Using a Wood Burner or Multi-Fuel Stove with a Hot Water Thermal Device.
In recent decades, as society has become increasingly aware of the environmental impact of our energy-rich lifestyles, more and more people have started looking for cheaper, more efficient ways to stay warm. The cost of heating a home on coal, gas or oil alone is simply becoming too expensive for many households and according to expert opinion our appetite for fossil fuels is unsustainable.
Wood burners and multi-fuel stoves are providing an attractive and efficient solution to this problem. As they are considerably more efficient in terms of heat output than open fires, they can replace traditional fireplaces without the family having to sacrifice the aesthetically pleasing focal point at the heart of the home.
Furthermore, the popularity of stoves in recent years, means manufacturers and designers have collaborated to fill the market with models and styles to suit all tastes from minimalist chic to farmhouse pot-bellied stoves. While the response to market demand has broadened the range of stoves available it has also ensured steep competition. This is good news for consumers as appliances and services remain affordable.
Increasing market demand has also ensured a broad range of options are now on offer for how stoves function within a home heating system. For example, a stove can stand alone to heat the room in which it is placed, or it can be linked to a water heating system, heating not only the water in the taps, but the water that is circulated throughout the house in the radiators. This means that consumers can heat the whole house through burning wood alone depending upon the size of their house, their heating requirements and the availability of wood.
A hot water thermal device will store the excess energy produced by a wood burner or multi-fuel stove until it is needed. The fuel that is used to heat one room can therefore be transferred throughout the house or to hot water taps as and when it is required. Not only is this a very energy efficient way to heat your home, it can also be a much cheaper option than firing boilers that operate on gas or electricity.
The broad range of options available means you must take care in choosing the right stove for your home and heating requirements. Talk to a reliable stove supplier who will be able to advise you what size of stove you need and how to ensure you meet the building regulations.
Gr8Fires 2019-01-02 11:01:51
@ christopher hopkins Hi Christopher This is one of those that would be much easier for someone to
diagnose in person, but one possibility is that there's an airlock in the system - in which case
bleed all radiators and try any release valves for excess air on your boiler. Thanks, Gr8Fires
christopher hopkins 2018-12-29 13:17:48
Job description I have a central heating system heated by my front room multi fuel fire,4 radiators
i think,though it may have been happening before , though again not as pernoused as the last 2
nights a blow off pipe in the loft has violently discharged hot water into a header tank in the
loft,at the same time 1 radiator became incredibly hot while the other 3 remained cold there is a
control valve on the side of the fire to regulate the temperature of the water heated ,but again its
operation did not alleviate the violent discharges which occurred every 15-20 minutes and seem to
desist as the fire was allowed to burn out i have turned off .all let go out all possible relevant
Gr8Fires 2018-01-05 10:26:45
@ Vicky Allan Hi Vicky Very difficult to say, particularly without knowing the size of the
radiators, how many radiators, the heat output of the appliance etc. We'd recommend getting an
installer or two out to have a look and give their verdict. Thanks, Gr8Fires
Vicky Allan 2018-01-03 18:21:15
Hi We have an existing wood burning stove that heats our hot water and supposedly our.central
heating via wet radiators. However, in order to sufficiently heat the radiators the stove has to be
far too hot for the room it is in and uses far too much wood which we have difficulty getting well
seasoned. We want to be as carbon neutral as possible but also use less wood. Can we find a smaller
stove which will adequately heat the room it is in and also the hot water tank ,but NOT the central
heating. This would allow us to use less wood . We would install an electrically heated wet radiator
system for background heat for the rest of the house which would also have the advantage of being
more controllable and able to be programmed to maintain a low heat if we are away during frosty
weather. Thank you, Vicky Allan
Gr8Fires 2017-12-18 07:14:52
@ Lloyd Wilkinson Hi Lloyd We don't do installations, so it would be guesswork on our part. Best to
have a couple of engineers specialising in wet installations have a look and give you their
thoughts. Thanks, Gr8Fires
Lloyd Wilkinson 2017-12-14 22:33:08
Hi! I am looking to get a multi fuel stove for my Camper for those very cold days, I'm looking to
get one with the boiler system. My question is what type of water tank would you recommend to store
the hot water as space is limited. Thanks!
Gr8Fires 2017-01-27 09:23:13
@ Chris Henshaw Hi Chris The easiest option is to buy a boiler stove (i.e. a woodburner with a
back boiler) and have that plumbed into your central heating system to service all the requirements
you mentioned: https://www.gr8fires.co.uk/stoves/boiler-stoves We don't perform installations, so
we'd recommend getting an installer specialising in wet installations to take a look for you. It can
be tricky to get the system balanced with just radiators, so with the underfloor heating as well,
it's probably a job for a professional. Make sure you pick a stove with enough oomph to heat
everything you need it to. Thanks, Gr8Fires
Chris henshaw 2017-01-25 17:22:33
What equipment would I need to run an electric boiler with a Wood burning boiler stove to pre heat
the water before the boiler as to reduce running costs. Under floor heating and hot water taps are
to be heated. Any advice would be greatly apprecuated.
Gr8Fires 2015-09-04 11:53:32
@ G Pickford. It will depend on how much hot water is needed. A wrap around boiler is just another
name for a high output boiler (up to 30kw), simply because it has more surface area to transfer heat
to the water within. Most high output boilers are for use with radiators. These are steel or iron,
so there will need to be rust inhibitor in the pumped water. For this reason, the boilers tend to
be made of steel, too, instead of the much more expensive stainless steel. This is called a closed
system because the water serving the boiler radiators and coil in the hot water tank never mix with
the hot water in the tank. The small output clip-in boilers, like those for the Aarrow stoves
(typically 1-4kW), are made of stainless steel and this allows them to be directly plumbed into your
hot water tank with no need for a coil in the tank. In this case, the hot water from the tap will
have been in the boiler at some point. This is called an open system. In terms of pressure, there
are sealed and vented. This means there is either a header tank for the boiler in the attic or there
is a pressure vessel near the main boiler. The likes of the Stratford boiler stoves are high
output, designed for used in a closed system. These can be vented or pressurised but because there
will be corrosion inhibitor in the water running through the system, the cast iron pump should be
fine. There are building regulations regarding boiler stoves and we would recommend you look for a
HETAS installer capable of WET installations to advise on those and ensure your installation
complies with them.
g Pickford 2015-09-03 11:18:52
Hi what kind of heating boiler would you recommend a wrap around boiler or a fixed boiler
incorporated within the stove also a iron pump or a bronze pump oh can you buy john guest pipe and
what are the building regs or would you have to have a sealed system or a open vented with a multi
setting to accommodate a gas boiler as a back up
Gr8Fires 2015-02-08 16:22:59
@ Mr P O'Neill. Hi Mr O'Neill you'd probably need an output of around 12kW to heat the radiators,
plus an extra you want to top up the water or heat the room it's in. That's only a rough guide
though - best to contact a plumber.
mr p o'neill 2015-02-07 10:39:43
i need a wood burner for Portugal, no coal here" we want for radiators only. possibly 8 rads, we
need a control system . we have underfloor heating (diesel) at the moment but costs a fortune in
Portugal. but wood is cheap.we have Solar panels for hot water, ie showers and kitchen. your advise
would be appreciated. please
Gr8Fires 2015-01-26 12:38:37
@Thomas Kellett Hi Thomas, Working to the biggest possible radiator size and an average water
tank, you'd need approximately 10kW of heat output for the boiler, plus additional output to heat
the room. You can find a calculator to work out output needed to the room here:
https://www.gr8fires.co.uk/calculator You might also find the boiler stove section of this free book
of interest: https://lp.gr8fires.co.uk/beginners-guide/ Thanks.
thomas kellett 2014-11-16 18:21:04
I am interested in muliful cast iron stove that will provide hot water to small dwelling including 4
heating radiators the property concerned has 4/5 room areas. Your advice greatly appreciated.
Gr8Fires.co.uk 2013-12-12 17:03:07
Hi David, We don't do installations ourselves, but what you're suggesting is certainly achievable.
You'd just need a boiler stove and have it plumbed into your existing heating system. There's a bit
more information here:
david brown 2013-12-12 14:00:37
Its ok pointing out the above but basic design would help me to see if pipe work can be fitted to my
existing heating system. I would like to install wood burner which gives me hot water and heating
can you help?