Wood Burners – The Wider Picture

The dangers of installing wood burners in thatch properties has been well documented here and elsewhere http://www.thatching.net/?s=wood+burners.

It is thought the very high temperatures generated by these can transfer through the walls of chimneys and potentially cause thatch roof fires especially in older properties where flue liners are not installed and the chimney walls are thin and in a bad state of repair.

It was with interest then that I read just how popular wood burners have become with 175,000 now installed annually and the number of installers registered with Hetas (see below) up from 791 in 2007 to 3252 today.  Also a knock on effect has been that 70 new chimney sweeps have become members of The National Association of Chimney Sweeps since the start of 2013.

It is easy to see why wood burners have become so attractive with figures quoted for the cost of burning wood at 4p a kilowatt hour compared to 5p for gas and oil and 15p for electricity.

With regard to installing them in thatch properties our advice is to first get your chimney thoroughly checked out to ensure there is no risk of heat transference and this should apply even with newer properties and where the thatch is just one layer thick.  It is only when the cost of installing both the wood burner AND carrying out any chimney modifications are taken into account will the total cost be known.

Hetas at www.hetas.co.uk/ are worth contacting and their website says

“ We are the official body recognised by Government to approve biomass solid fuel domestic heating appliances, fuels and services including the registration of competent installers and servicing businesses”

Hetas also do a guide for thatch properties http://www.hetas.co.uk/professionals/installers/safety-notices/