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Frequently Asked Questions

Section 1 of this FAQ relates to questions concerning Gas Stoves

Q. How do I calculate the running costs of a gas stove?

A.To work out the running costs, simply multiply the gas consumption figures (heat inputs) by the cost per kWh given on your gas bill.

Q. How do I work out the efficiency of a gas stove?

A. Simply divide the maximum heat output by the maximum gas consumption (heat input).

Q. Should I wait for goods to arrive before commencing any building work?

A. Firstly, we would always recommend that you should have a survey carried out by a Gas Safe registered gas installer, HETAS installer or qualified NICEIC electrician (whichever is applicable to the goods you intend to purchase) to check and certify the compatibility of your chimney, flue, property and or circumstances prior to purchase to avoid disappointment. We would also recommend that you should wait until you have the goods purchased, on site, in your possession to take accurate measurements from before proceeding to carry out any building work or create any apertures in the wall to avoid potential costly mistakes being made, as manufacturers reserve the right to alter products or specifications without any prior notice as required.

Q. Do I need to have my gas stove serviced regularly?

A. The Health and Safety Executive, Gas Safety register, British Gas, and manufacturers of gas appliances strongly recommend they be serviced every 12 months.

Q. How do I decide which gas stove or stove to buy to heat my room?

A. As a rough guide only, measure the room and multiply the height x width x depth (in metres), and divide this by 14 and it will provide you with the average heating requirements for the room in KW’s. Although this method is dependant on the number of windows, construction, insulation, furnishings and any double glazing in the room. We therefore strongly recommend that all gas stoves, electric stoves and solid fuel stoves shown on our website be used as a supplementary form of heating and not as a sole source of heat in any room.

Q. If I don’t have mains gas can I still have a gas stove?

A. Yes you can. Most of the manufacturers products we offer are available to run on propane gas (LPG), a gas supplied in either bottle or storage tank form kept outside in the garden and filled up when required by a local supplier.

Q. What’s the difference between “Freestanding” and “Inset” stoves?

A. Freestanding stoves can be installed with or without a fireplace and have more flexibility in positioning within a room with the option of using stove pipe to vent the waste products of combustion safely away, rather than being dictated by where a chimney may already exist. Whereas inset stoves need to be installed in to the existing chimney location and being inset they don't protrude out on to the hearth like freestanding stoves.

Q. What type of control facility do you offer for operating gas stoves?

A. Most gas stoves are manual control with the control located, low down either at the side or front of the stove. However a number of stoves also have the option to upgrade to hand held remote control operated from the comfort of your armchair with some even having a facility of controlling the temperature in the room thermostatically.

Q. Are gas stoves expensive to run and will all the heat go up the chimney?

A. Significant improvements have been made with regard to gas stoves since there inception many years ago. Today gas stoves are far more efficient than they used to be with lower running costs and improved heat outputs than ever before. Although some gas stoves will be more efficient and provide more heat than others dependant on model and size.

Q. How do I convert BTU (British Thermal Units) in to KW (Kilowatts)?

A. Many heating engineers will use this method to calculate central heating requirements and loads. To convert BTU's in to KW (Kilowatts) simply multiply by 0.000293. If you want to convert kW to BTU simply multiply by 3414.

Q. How do I find out which gas stove is suitable for my home?

A. Simply click on the “Installation” tab at the top of this page, where you will see the relevant information on all types of chimney & flue options available. Once you have selected the option which best fits your home and circumstances, you will be able to search our vast range of stoves to find the most suitable stove that meets your needs.

Q. Are flueless gas stoves safe and efficient?

A. Flueless gas stoves have been around for quite sometime especially in America and Canada where it is widely accepted. Although relatively new to the UK in recent years the interest and understanding of the product is growing steadily. Flueless appliances incorporate the latest in gas technology using a catalytic converter which the combustion gases pass through converting carbon monoxide into harmless carbon dioxide and water vapour. The result is an appliance which is 100% efficient and is fully tested and approved to meet all current relevant safety standards. However there are minimum room size criteria’s to meet and ventilation requirements in order for the appliance to work safely together with a gas supply. Please note it is possible that you may experience some condensation in the room where the appliance is installed.

Q. Do gas stoves produce any soot and if so how can I clean my stove?

A. Most gas stoves with a fuel effect be it coals, logs or driftwood will produce some levels of carbon soot over time which is produced when the flame impinges on the fuel of the fire i.e. the coals. The best way to clean the fuel is to take it out of the stove (when cold) lay it all out on a piece of paper, then gently take each piece and softly brush it over with a clean, dry, paint brush. This will remove most surface layers of soot, then simply consult your instruction manual for the appliance which should show you how to re-lay the fuel on your stove. Please note stoves with light coloured fuel effects or with beige coloured fire backs or are generally light in colour will show up soot deposits more easily and sooner than that of a coal effect stove with a black background. This may be something you wish to consider before making any purchase from our website.

Q. What is an oxygen depletion system or (ODS) on a gas stove?

A. Most modern gas appliances are fitted with an (ODS) oxygen depletion sensor also known as an (ASD) atmosphere sensing device or oxypilot. These monitor the oxygen levels in a rooms atmosphere and shuts off the gas to the burner in the event of the flue becoming blocked or if there is poor ventilation.

Q. Do I need to fit an airvent in my room with a gas fire stove?

A. The need for an airvent will depend on the amount of gas the appliance uses i.e. the maximum Kilowatt heat input figure, size of room and size of fire opening. Although whilst there are a lot of gas appliances that are under 7Kw heat input which do not require a vent, we strongly recommend that you consult the technical details of the specific appliance you require before purchasing it from this website.

Section 2 of this FAQ relates to general questions concerning electric stoves

Q. What features do you get on an electric stove?

A. Electric stoves generally have the latest ribbon flame technology. On all models there is the option of choosing flame effect only or heated air of up to 2Kw, via a fan heater and some even have a cool air setting for the summer. Again different models may also have the added luxury of a thermostat and variable dimmer that allows you to change the brightness of the flame picture. Some electric stoves come standard with remote control for ease of operation from your armchair. Fuel effects generally tend to be either coal or log effect on more traditionally designed stoves, although there may be one or two offering pebbles on more modern or contemporary designed stoves as well.

Q. How much does an electric stove cost to run?

A. Based on electricity costing approximately 6.5 pence per kilowatt hour, with the heater on it will cost around 1.3 pence per hour. Although if you just have the flame effect turned on it would be between 0.5 and 0.9 pence per hour. These figures are supplied only as a guide and are subject to change at any time based on a mains supply with quarterly bill.

Q. How long is the cable on an electric stove?

A. Most electric stoves come with a 2 metre length cable with a moulded plug on the end. If a longer cable is required then you will need the services of a qualified electrician and under no circumstances should you attempt to extend the standard cable supplied.

Section 3 of this FAQ relates to general questions concerning wood & multifuel stoves

Q. Are wood or multifuel stoves economical?

A. Yes very much so. Cast iron stoves offer tremendous value for money when compared with other forms of home heating. Some stove manufacturers provide stoves with efficiencies in excess of 70% compared with only 15% for open fires.

Q. Are wood and multifuel stoves easy to light and control?

A. Yes, stoves are generally quite easy to light with dry kindling and newspaper. Once lit simple air vents can be turned to control the intensity of the blaze and amount of heat.

Q. Are stoves available in different sizes with varying heat outputs?

A. Stoves can come in all shapes, sizes and finishes. We offer a vast range with different heat outputs, so regardless of how big or small your room is there should be a stove to suit you.

Q. What is an airwash system?

A. A stove with an airwash system will tend to have a cleaner more see-through window. In non airwash stoves tar is deposited on the window when fuel is burnt (especially wood) darkening the stove glass or making it black. Airwash stoves take in air from above the stove window and pass (or 'wash') it over the surface of the window. This helps keeps the flames and gasses in the stove off the window itself as there is a layer of air protecting it. Less tar is deposited keeping the window cleaner.

Q. Does wood burn better on a bed of ash?

A. If you have a wood burning stove then let the ash build up to a reasonable thickness on the base of the firebox around 25-50mm. Do not follow this to the letter - become familiar with your stove and how it works best. I use a shovel and metal bucket to remove excess ash when it gets too high. Always leave a bed of ash in place - do not completely empty it out. If you have a multifuel stove with a grate, but will be burning wood for long periods then let the ash build up on the grate so you have a layer covering the grate up. When you come to burning coal make sure to empty all the ash out or it will not work well and you may damage the stove parts. If you will only be burning wood then choose a dedicated wood burner if possible as it will be more efficient at burning wood and the firebox will be larger than the multifuel stove. We do not recommend that you burn wood and coal at the same time: burning coal produces sulphuric acid and wood can contain a lot of moisture - this combination can coat your chimney in sulphuric acid solution which can quickly eat away at anything. Plus the conditions for burning wood efficiently are not the same as those for burning coal efficiently.

Q. Does coal have to be burnt on a stove with a grate?

A. You need a grate in your stove to burn coal which means that you need a multifuel stove. Nearly all multifuel stoves are designed to burn wood, coal, peat and other fuels. The grate in a stove is made up of bars of metal (nearly always cast iron) with gaps in between them. The bars may be fixed into one rigid unit or be separate and sit in a frame inside the stove. The gaps between the bars let air from below get to the coal. This also helps stop the grate bars getting too hot - they can get damaged otherwise. You need to make sure that the grate remains unblocked and that the ash in the ash pan does not come too close to the bottom of the grate or it will restrict the flow of air to the stove and your grate may get too hot and become damaged.

Most multifuel stoves have a riddling mechanism. This is a method which lets you move the grate in the stove from the outside so as to shake any ash that is blocking the grate down, through the gaps in the grate, and into the ash pan. Riddling usually works either by moving alternate grate bars up and down, by rotating a circular portion of the grate, or by letting you directly shake the whole grate. Some stoves have a fixed (non riddling) grate. In this case you have to poke at the fire with a poker to clear the grate of ash. We do not recommend that you burn wood and coal at the same time because burning coal produces sulphuric acid and wood can contain a lot of moisture - this combination can coat your chimney in sulphuric acid solution which can quickly eat away at anything. Plus the conditions for burning wood efficiently are not the same as those for burning coal efficiently.

Q. Do I need ventilation for a wood or multifuel stove?

A. If the stove has an output of more than 5kW then it is recommended that dedicated permanently open ventilation be installed with a cross sectional area of at least 550 square mm for every kW above 5. However if your house is very old with windows and doors that are not air tight then this may provide sufficient air for the stove, even if it is above 5kW. Please be aware that changes to the building at a later date will effect this supply of air. This means that it is good practice to fit dedicated ventilation for stoves over 5kW even if the stove has sufficient air supply at the time of installation. If your house is very modern with sealed doors and windows then dedicated ventilation may be needed for stoves under 5kW.

The vent should be placed in such a way that it cannot be easily blocked and so that house residents are not tempted to block it off to reduce draughts or noise.

It can be a good idea to place the vent close to the stove. Because the stove draws the air that it needs for combustion through the vent there will be a draught from the vent to the stove. If the vent is close to the stove then draughts are reduced and the house stays warmer.

If there is a mesh to guard against rodents coming through the vent, then the mesh size must be no less than 5mm.

Section 4 of this FAQ relates to general questions concerning our website

Q. Can you send me brochures on your products?

A. In the interests of protecting our planet. The Stove Megastore minimises its carbon footprint by not offering any brochures directly, as our comprehensive website is our virtual online brochure with more detail than you are likely to find in any brochure. However if you still feel you require a hard copy of any particular brochure and don’t mind sacrificing a few trees, then brochures are available directly from each respective manufacturer whose details are available on our website 24 hours a day (see the brochures tab at the bottom of this page). Simply contact the manufacturer of the products you are interested in either by email or by telephone and they will post brochures directly out to you.

Q. Do you have a secure server?

A. We have a secure payment environment where your credit/debit card transaction is fully protected. (View our privacy policy under the “customer services” heading on our home page for further information).

Q. What happens if my order is declined when I enter my details?

A. One of the most common reasons may be that your billing address does not match your details held with your credit/debit card company. Please check that your billing address is the same as the one shown on your statements. If you are still experiencing problems you can either speak to your card company or email or call our sales team.

Q. What is my security pin code?

A. Your security pin code is the last 3 digits on the reverse of your credit/debit card on the signature strip which is unique to you.

Q. What is an issue number?

A. Your issue number is on the front of your debit card which you will be asked to insert when proceeding with your order on our secure payment section.

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