HELP & ADVICE FAQ

FIREPLACES
I don’t want to replace my carpet/flooring. Can a hearth be made to fit?

Yes! Made-to-measure hearths are available in a wide range of materials to match or contrast with your surround. Please contact us for a quote.

What is a rebate?

Most fireplace surrounds have a rebate, which is the difference between the outside and inside leg return. It is the distance from the face of the back panel to the wall behind. Fire surround rebates are usually between 25mm and 75mm but can occasionally be increased to allow for a deeper fire to be installed against a flat wall.

What materials are your fireplaces made from?

We have fireplaces incorporating a wide range of materials including solid oak, conglomerate marble, natural marble, limestone, slate and granite

Do fireplaces come in different sizes?

Fireplaces are available in many different sizes from 36” upwards. A fireplace size is usually given as the width of the mantle. The most popular mantle widths are 48” (1220mm) and 54” (1372mm) so there is a huge choice of style and finish at these sizes. In addition to standard fireplaces, we also design bespoke surrounds in marble, limestone or oak to suit your personal requirements.

GAS FIRES
What is a conventional gas flue?

There are two types of conventional flue – Class 1, Class 2 (pre-fabricated or Pre-cast). If you have either of these then a gas fire for a conventional flue should be suitable. A Class 1 flue is generally a traditional brick chimney, originally used for an open fire. It is also possible to build a Class 1 flue into a new build property, usually using a pre-fabricated steel or clay flue system. Many homes built since the 1970s have Class 2 flues. They are normally one of two types: a metal pre-fabricated flue pipe with a 5” (125mm) diameter, terminating in a metal gas cowl on the roof; or a pre-cast flue, sometimes called a letterbox flue, with smaller dimensions, usually terminating in a raised ridge terminal on the roof.Class 2 flues require a shallower gas fire than class 1 chimneys.

Does my chimney need to be lined for a gas appliance?

This depends on the appliance you choose. All conventionally flued gas stoves must be fitted with a gasliner of equal diameter to that of the flue spigot on the stove, regardless as to the condition of the existing flue. A gas vent terminal should always be fitted at the top to prevent birds or leaves creating a flue blockage. Assuming that the chimney is sound and passes a smoke test, standard 16” inset fires and traditional outset fires do not require a chimney to be lined. However a liner is required with most larger gas fires.

I don’t have a flue or chimney. Can I have a gas fire?

In many cases yes! Balanced flue gas fires, which usually vent out through an external flat wall, are designed for this type of home. If you can't put the fire against an outside wall then you could consider a flueless gas fire instead.

What is a Balanced Flue gas fire?

Balanced Flue (BF) fires are specially designed for homes without a useable flue or chimney. The fire usually sited on an outside wall. It has a glass front, and a sealed flue system, where the outer flue pipe draws air into the appliance, while the products of combustion are expelled through the inner flue pipe. 16” BF fires can often be installed with a deep rebated fireplace against a flat wall with minimal building work required. The larger, more contemporary BF fires will require a false chimney breast to be constructed as part of the installation. As these fires are glass fronted they are more highly efficient fires than the open fronted conventional flue ones. Installation is subject to compliance with gas regulations.

What is a flueless gas fire?

A flueless fire or stove does not require a flue, as the combustion gases pass through a catalytic converter, and the appliance does not need to be on an outside wall. Flueless products are very efficient as 100% of the gas burned is turned into heat energy. They should be placed in a room with a volume of at least 40m3 and need a permanent air vent through an outside wall providing 100cm² of free air.

Can I have a gas fire if I don’t have a gas supply to my property?

Yes.Many gas fire manufacturers make their fires in LPG versions too so you can use bottled gas, provided you have a suitable place to store the gas bottles.

Who should install my gas fire and how often should it be serviced?

Any gas fire should only be installed by a registered GASSAFE engineer who will issue the relevant certification. Gas fires should be serviced annually irrespective of the amount the appliance has been used. This is to ensure that the fire is safe to use and to comply with manufacturer's warranty conditions. Proof of service history will be required by manufacturers in the event of a claim.

Can I mount a TV on the wall above my gas fire?

We do not recommend mounting a TV above a gas fire for reasons of safety and because heat rises which can cause damage to the TV and cabling. Gas fires have a high heat output. The majority of our gas fire manufacturers do not recommend mounting a TV above their appliances. One of our suppliers do produce a heat shield for use with some of their hole-in-the-wall gas fires to allow a TV to be mounted above it. However this is at your own risk.

ELECTRIC FIRES
Do I need an electrician to fit my fire?

If the fire is to connected to an existing mains socket or fused spur then you do not need an electrician. However installing a new fused spur or additional socket should only be done by a qualified electrician

What is the heat output of an electric fire?

Electric fires have a maximum output of between 1.5 and 2kW on the highest setting.

How much do electric fires cost to run?

Most electric fires are fitted with LED bulbs. These have a low running cost of a few pence an hour when the fire is used with just the flame effect. Costs will vary according to the rate your energy supplier charges per kWh but, as an example, if you are charged £0.18 per kWh then using a 2kW heater on an electric fire would cost £0.18 x 2kW = £0.36 per hour.

Can I mount a TV on the wall above my electric fire?

Yes

STOVES
I don’t have a chimney. Can I have a solid fuel stove?

If you don't have a class 1 brick chimney then the stove will require a twin wall flue system. This is a flue designed to meet building regulations and is bespoke to your property according to several environmental factors. A site survey is required to determine exact requirements.

I live in a smoke control area. Can I have a solid fuel stove?

In smoke controlled areas you are allowed to burn wood on a stove which is rated as DEFRA Exempt. We stock a wide range of suitable appliances.

Do I need planning permission for a stove?

Your stove should be fitted by a specialist stove installer who is registered on the HETAS competent persons scheme. They will issue a Building Regulations compliance certification and registration. If the installation is not undertaken by a HETAS registered installer then it is a legal requirement to notify your local authority Building Control department of your intention to install a stove. Although this is not 'Planning Permission' in the strictest sense, the appropriate building Regulations compliance certification for the installation work will almost certainly be requested should you ever wish to sell your house or there is an related insurance claim. We understand that some insurance companies now ask that you inform them of stove installations and they will ask to see this documentation.

Does my chimney need to be lined?

For a free-standing stove we recommend that the chimney is lined as this meets the manufacturer's installation recommendations and will give you the greatest efficiency.

What is the difference between multi-fuel and wood-burning stoves?

Multi-fuel stoves have a metal grate and ashpan. The grate allows the constant draft under the fire needed to burn coal so means that they can burn coal or wood. Wood-burning stoves do not have a grate and ashpan as wood burns best on a bed of ash and does not need a draft underneath. They are for wood only.

What heat output do I need for my stove?

Heat output is important to consider when choosing a stove. As a general guide, to calculate the heat requirement for your room work out the volume of your room in cubic metres (length x breadth x ceiling height) and divide by 14. For homes built from 2008 onwards which are built to much higher insulation standards, dividing by 20 is probably more appropriate.

Do I need an air vent for my stove and if so, why?

Ventilation ensures that there is enough oxygen in the room for the stove to burn the fuel efficiently and safely. If there is not enough fresh air the combustion of the stove will deteriorate and it will produce more carbon monoxide which could be dangerous. All solid fuel stoves over a nominal 5kW output require a permanently open air vent on an outside wall. Properties built after 2008 require an air vent for all solid fuel stoves whatever the output. Certain appliances are available with a ducted air supply which will pipe air directly into the stove from the vent.

What type of wood can I burn?

All wood should have a moisture content of less than 20% before it is suitable for burning. This is easily measured using a moisture meter which can be purchased in our store. We recommend kiln-dried wood as it has the lowest moisture content (but obviously needs to be stored in a dry place for that to be maintained). All other wood must be seasoned for a minimum of 2 years in a dry, well ventilated store. Burning wood with a moisture content over 20% can damage your appliance, reduce efficiency and increase emissions.

Can I burn coal and wood together?

We would advise against combining fuels. A multi-fuel stove is suitable for burning coal OR wood separately. When mixed, the gasses produced combine to form sulphurous acid which will drastically shorten the life of your liner, can damage your stove and could lead to a chimney fire.

How often should my chimney be swept?

It is recommended that your chimney/flue system is swept at least twice a year, more if the stove is used daily during the coldest months.

VISIT OUR SHOWROOM

FAIRWAYS
FIREPLACES LTD

15 Sherwood Road
Aston Fields Industrial Estate
Bromsgrove
Worcestershire
B60 3DR

(Use B60 3BG for Sat Nav)

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