How to size your fire
Determining kW output required
You should never choose a stove solely for it looks and design – there are many other considerations that you need to take into account. It is important that the stove’s output capacity matches your actual heating needs. We have spoken to many a client who has received poor advice and fitted a fireplace that just simply was not up to spec.
Determining the heat output you require is not a straightforward question as many factors need to be considered.
All closed combustion fireplaces carry a Kilowatt rating and we calculate how much area can be heated by applying a common formula used throughout the fireplace industry. As an approximation, 1 kilowatt will heat 30 cubic meters.
Where this becomes tricky is that this calculation is very subjective to variables such as the insulation of the room and house, number of windows, and the outside temperature. The desired room temperature should also be considered as well. What can I say, some people like it hot!
The Kw of your fireplace and the heat distribution can always be complemented with a ceiling fan to circulate the hot air down, or you could purchase one of our Stovepro heat powered fans. Keeping the flue pipes in the room (as opposed to flueing to the outside) will give you approximately 1kW of additional heat for every 1.2m of flue (based on 150mm diameter pipe).
Stove output ratings are sometimes provided as nominal (average) or maximum or a range. While you stove may provide 10kW output at a maximum it is not a good idea to burn it at maximum for long periods. We think of it like this: Just because your car can go 180km/hour you don’t drive at that speed constantly.
We recommend that you but slightly bigger kilowatt output than required. You can always burn less wood, damp down your fire or open a window but when it is freezing and you can’t make a low output stove burn any hotter than its maximum output.