Using a wood burning or multi-fuel stove for central heating.

Using a wood burning or multi-fuel stove for central heating.

A wood burning stove or multi-fuel stove can be part of a central heating system to keep your house warm and provide hot water. While there are several ways to achieve this, the basic principle is generally the same: some of the heat energy produced by burning wood or other fuel in a stove is transferred to the water in your tank which is pumped to the radiators around the house.

Installation costs of a stove and boiler can be similar to the price of setting up other home heating systems. However, as wood burning or multi-fuel stoves tend to be more energy efficient than other heating devices, many people find that a stove attached to a central heating system helps to significantly reduce monthly fuel bills and carbon emissions. As the cost of gas and electricity continues to rise, more and more of us are switching to wood burning stoves to heat our homes. 

A qualified heating engineer can advise you on which boiler and system will be right for your home and heating requirements. Here are some of the factors that need to be considered:

  1. What type of boiler do I need?

    To provide maximum efficiency, economy and comfort, your stove and boiler need to suit the particularities of your home and heating requirements. Your decision may depend on whether you are adding a boiler to an existing stove or installing a completely new central heating system. A clip-in back boiler can be added to a separate stove, whereas an integral back boiler, which tends to be more efficient, is fitted to the stove by the manufacturer.

    The material of the boiler will also be a consideration. For example, while stainless steel or glass-lined steel boilers tend to cost more than steel boilers, their durability may be seen as a long term investment.
  2. What is the required heat output?

    A qualified heating engineer will be able to calculate the heat output, measured in kilowatts (KW), required for your home. This will depend on factors such as the size of the property, insulation, the average range of temperatures expected for that geographical location and the pattern of heat requirement determined by the domestic routine of you and your family.
  3. What will suit my taste and decor?

    Due to the increasing demand for wood burning and multi-fuel stoves, models are available in a broad range of styles that vary from traditional cast iron stoves to more innovative and contemporary designs. Take time to consider the full range available or, if you are finding it difficult to decide, contact a reliable supplier who will help you find the right style and model to suit your taste and budget.


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Gr8Fires 2019-12-17 15:25:56
@ Mr A Castaldo Hi Mr Castaldo, Here is our small range of inset boiler stoves, so you can see if
any are small enough for this job:

Mr A Castaldo 2019-12-16 21:59:21
Im a gas heating engineer and taking a back bioler out Want to leave Fand R pipes so can heat or
assist just hot water when fire lite Have you a small inset solid feul boiler that would be
practical for this task. Or what type would you suggest thanks. Installing new 18KW HE boiler in
garage Hoping to help energy bills in future. Thanks foir any feed back or ideas
Regards A.Castaldo

George MacKenzie 2019-08-19 14:02:51
Looking at replacing open fire with back boiler stove. However at the moment I get rusty water out
of the tap on occasion with just one steel radiator (boiler, tank etc copper), and am concerned if I
get a boiler stove this will get worse. I read somewhere that the boiler should be stainless steel
when used in an open system, but this doesn't seem to be highlighted anywhere else. Or will the
problem subside with time. Thanks George

Gr8Fires 2017-12-04 11:13:10
@ Helen Hynd Hi Helen Here are our boiler stoves, which can be plumbed into your central heating: Let us know if you have any
questions. Thanks, Gr8Fires

Helen hynd 2017-12-02 20:54:29
Looking to change my central heating to a log /coal burner with new radiators

Gr8Fires 2017-09-05 13:42:29
@ Darren Rose Hi Darren Your best bet is to use the calculator here to work out the output you need
to the room: In terms of the radiators, obviously the back
boiler will have to come out and be replaced by a boiler stove. The output you need to the boiler
will all depend on the size, shape, surface area and performance of the radiators, whether they are
double or single radiators, old cast iron radiators etc. As a guide, an average-sized radiator
would require 1.5kW of output, but this is only a guideline. That would work out at 9kW, plus the
output you need to go to the
room. Thanks, Gr8Fires

Darren Rose 2017-09-03 13:31:30
I live in a mid terrace 2 storey with 6 radiators , standard 16 inch open fire with back boiler ,
was wondering what size of stove i would need thanks

Gr8Fires 2016-11-28 15:59:46
@ margery cummings Hi Margery It sounds like it could be kettling, one of the causes of which is
overheating (so your installer could be right). Another cause is limescale, but it sounds like the
installation is relatively new. Is it possible that the heat output of the stove is not sufficient
for the number of radiators in the system? Thanks, Gr8Fires

margery cummings 2016-11-28 12:07:05
we have a woodburning stove connected to boiler for heating water/rads. our problem is if we turn up
the thermostat to get the rads hotter the whole system starts banging very loudly! We had the guy
who installed it look at it but he didn't offer any advice other than to try and keep the themostat
down, which isn't what we need in cold weather. any advice would be much appreciated, thankyou

Gr8Fires 2016-11-27 21:38:32
@ John Dimsdale Unfortunately not, John. Sorry we can't help with that one.

John Dimsdale 2016-11-20 20:28:04
Do you have any contacts in Spain as I live on the Northern Costa Blanca?

James Carty 2016-10-09 12:55:35
hi i have gas central heating and the rads come on at 5 am in the morning is there a way to do this
using a multi fuel stove thanks

Gr8Fires 2016-09-05 10:22:20
@ Jose Lopes Hi Jose, As long as the installation itself is legal, it is fine to link up a
wood-burning boiler stove to your existing central heating system. Thanks, Gr8Fires

jose Lopes 2016-09-04 14:46:50
I would like to know if having a wood burning stove for Central heating e hot water working
alongside with the gas heating I have do I break any rules or just opt for a normal cooking stove ?
Thanks jose

Gr8Fires 2015-03-17 14:08:16
@Brian Smith. It depends on the exact size of the living room, but you should be OK. That Stratford
16HE would give a nominal heat output to the room of between 2.5 kW and 9 kW. More details here:

Brian Smith 2015-03-16 20:14:08
Hi I am planning to change my boiler stove which currently only supplies hot water. I have had the
plumbing done but I am worried as I have a 3 bedroom two bathroom house with ten radiators but a
small living room and don't want the living room to get to hot. I am looking at the Stratford 16 HE
as my plumber says I need at least 11KW to the water but more would be better will I cook in my
living room with this size of fire

Gr8Fires 2015-01-28 12:44:49
@Colin Scott Hi Colin, our specialism is very much in the appliances and parts (we don't carry out
installations), so we're probably not the best people to advise on that. We'd suggest getting in
touch with HETAS. Thanks.

Colin Scott 2015-01-26 15:32:45
Gr8fires I have a stove fitted just want a price or some to give use advise on installing a system
that will give use all ower heating needs! Can it be installed with a header tank in the loft to
hold the water in ! So we don't needed the fire on 24 / 7 Please advise Regards Colin

Gr8Fires 2015-01-26 11:23:22
@Colin Scott Sounds great - let us know if you need any advice on installing a stove in the

Colin Scott 2014-10-06 21:40:24
Dear sirs I am renovating my home with extenchion out the back to kitchen diner!

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