Fireplace design and technology has advanced considerably in the past 15 years and Dutch manufacturer DRU is at the forefront of this dynamic sector.
Gas or wood – the pros and cons
Wood stoves and fires have become hugely popular in recent years. The traditional heavy cast iron stove has been superseded by lighter new steel-fabricated models, such as our Dik Geurts Ivar, which can be freestanding or set into an inglenook chimney opening.
There are many sources of logs that can be ordered online or you can make your own from locally-harvested wood. Always follow advice from your stove supplier regarding the best type of wood to burn and make sure it has been seasoned for the minimum length of time.
Gas fires, on the other hand, are available in a huge variety of designs and configurations, including two- and three-sided fires, see-through tunnel fires – such as our Metro XTU – and freestanding gas stoves. Most contemporary fires are operated by remote control and can be run on natural gas or LPG, so are possible even in remote areas.
No chimney? No problem
The balanced flue system, which was developed by DRU in the 1930s, enables a gas fire to be installed without a chimney. The concentric flue is concealed behind a false chimney breast and exits through an outside wall. Air for combustion is drawn from outside the building, with waste gases expelled into the atmosphere.
The result is safe, comfortable heating, a realistic flame picture and energy efficiency ratings of up to 85%.
The very latest gas fires can be controlled from a smartphone or tablet and, with the addition of the DRU PowerVent extended flue system, can be also located in high-rise apartments, loft conversions and many other previously inaccessible locations.
Look Book: Fireplace accessories
Once specified and installed, your fireplace will require an assortment of accessories to keep your self-build warm and cosy. Here, i-build lists its favourites.
Buy cheap, buy twice
With so much choice, and a flood of cheap Chinese stoves, it is very hard to know where to turn when choosing a stove and installer. Ludlow Stoves offers its advice on selecting high-quality stoves from reputable manufacturers.
HETAS is a not-for-profit organisation that approves biomass and solid fuel heating appliances, including the registration of competent installers.Registered installers are trained and approved to UKAS standards and can self-certify that their work complies with the relevant Building Regulations.
The annually-produced ‘HETAS Guide to Approved Products & Services’ contains listings of approved appliances for use with biomass, wood and solid fuels. It also contains details of chimney sweeps and businesses whose operatives have been trained and assessed in safety and good practice.
The guide is a very important document for the designer, retailer, installer, maintainer or user of appliances and systems using solid fuel as a heat source. It contains valuable efficiency figures for appliances, helping to determine whether a particular appliance is suited to a property and can be installed in accordance with Building Regulations, and also states when an appliance is DEFRA exempt, or MCS-certified.
Having someone that is knowledgeable and who can offer a wide choice of stoves in different styles and outputs is a key to a successful installation, here at Ludlow Stoves we are also happy to advise.