Stove Kilowatt Output
A Stoves Heat Output
A stoves heat output is measured in Kilowatts (kW) and the higher the kW the greater the heat output. If you have a stove that generates more kWs of heat than your room needs you could be too hot when the stove is working at its normal operating efficiency. The simple solution is to reduce the output, i.e. turn the heat down, but this means the stove is no longer working efficiently and this can result in incomplete combustion of your fuel which means more soot and/or creosote being produced on the stove window and inside the flue. You could open a window or door to let some cool air in, but this kind of defeats the object.
On the flip side, if your stoves kW heat output is too low for your room then it will not heat the room up fully and you may find you need the central heating on to back up the stove, again not a great solution.
Remember – if you choose a stove with a greater than 5kW output, i.e. 6kW and up, you may need additional ventilation in your room, e.g. an air brick. See our Stove Ventilation page for more info.
Kilowatt Output Calculator
Use the calculator to establish the kW output you need to heat your room.
Remember:The kW output you need to heat a room can be affected by things like:
Are the windows in the room super insulated or super draughty, double glazed or single glazed? Are there any doors in the room that lead to the outside world and are they draughty? Are there doorways leading to other rooms with no actual doors in them, so heat is being shared with other rooms? Is there an open staircase in the room for heat to escape through? Are any of the walls outside walls and if so are they insulated in some way?
So you may wish to select a stove with a slightly larger or slightly smaller kW output dependent on the type of room and how well insulated it is. If you are still not sure, when you arrange a site survey with your installer, they can make recommendations based on their knowledge and experience.
The Physical Size of a Stove
Don’t be fooled by the physical size of a stove – there is no rule that says the bigger the stove, the bigger the heat output. The size of a stove is determined by its design, what it’s made of, what fuel it can burn… etc. Some small stoves have a bigger kW heat output than some bigger stoves.
The physical size is important when it comes to the position of the stove, i.e. where exactly it will sit in your room. If its free standing, i.e. not in a recess or chimney breast and not near any combustible materials then you should have no clearance issue. If it is in a recess then the stove will need adequate clearance around it, i.e. space to the top, back and sides to allow air to flow around it. This ensures the heat gets to the room and is not wasted just heating up brick walls. More about the position of your stove can be found on our Stove Position page.
Keeping Your Stove Safe & In Good Working Order
Whichever stove you choose and whichever fuel you burn your stove needs regular sweeping and for this you will need a professional and experienced chimney sweep. That’s where we come in. Each stove manufacturer makes recommendations for sweeping frequency and East Sussex Fire Service recommend the following sweeping frequency based on the type of fuel used:
Smokeless fuels – at least once a year Bitumous coal (ordinary house coal) – at least twice a year Wood – quarterly when in use Oil – once a year Gas – once a year
We recommend sweeping at least once a year, before you start using your fire or stove to remove any soot and debris that has built up inside the chimney and to make sure it is not blocked. If you use your fire or stove regularly, have it swept regularly.