Boiler stoves or 'wet' stoves can contribute to your heating and/or hot water system.
Boiler stoves however are not for the faint hearted and are only suitable in some circumstances. We have installed lots of boiler stoves however the circumstances in which they are a suitable and viable heat source are always the same.
When is a boiler stove a suitable heating source?
Large parts of the North, Wales and South West use solid fuel appliances as their primary source of heating and hot water, so solid fuel boiler stoves are very common. In these areas anthracite is used to fuel the heating system, which burns much hotter and for longer periods.
In the South East, mains gas is the norm and integrating boiler stoves is only now increasing in popularity with the rising cost of oil and gas. The trend however is not towards coal based products but for wood. Wood burning boiler stoves require regular loading as the fuel burns out quicker and does not burn as hot as solid fuel. Heating a whole central heating system via a wood burning boiler stove is a big commitment offering limited automation of the system.
From experience, the following characteristics are always present for successful boiler stove installations:
- New build properties with a very low heat requirement and renewable heat sources are required to meet their Code 4-6 requirements for building control purposes
- Off-grid properties where oil and LPG is expensive. This is usually combined with access to free logs/wood.
- Environmentally driven customers who wish to use a renewable heat source over gas or oil
When is it a nice idea, but usually unsuitable?
We have lots of customers who would like their stove to run some radiators or make a contribution to their hot water. In the vast majority of cases this is unsuitable for the following reasons:
- It is very expensive to combine a boiler stove with an existing gas boiler or convert an existing system over. To do it properly, it requires the installation of a large, expensive thermal store (tank), as well as other safety features including a copper header tank and heat leak radiator. The installation is often between £10,000 - £12,000 including the stove and kit.
- The fuel savings over mains gas are rarely sufficient to justify the outlay of a boiler stove installation.
- It requires a lot of space, often more than an airing cupboard can give, to site the thermal store
- There is no-one at home during the day to load the stove and the gas boiler continues to run much of the time
- There is insufficient space to store the amount of logs required to fuel the stove.
If you are on mains gas, out at work all day and have no access to free wood, we recommend that you consider a dry stove heating your largest, most used, downstairs room. This is an economical install that can still use decent quantities of locally sourced wood and reduce your heating bills.