Welcome to Ignite+ FAQs page. If you’ve got a question you’ll likely find the answers below. If not get in contact, we’d love to hear from you!
Arrrh! It's a minefield
The internet is a brilliant tool but sometimes we just end up tied in knots whizzing from one website to another, getting constantly conflicting information and many of us end up reaching for the wine bottle out of exhaustion of it all!
At Ignite+ we took the important decision to not sell our products online as we feel it’s so important to buy the correct product for your needs, not just your budget or taste.
We’ve been fitting stoves for many years. We know what stoves are particularly popular and we’ve selected some top brands and models with useful information and pros and cons on our ‘featured stoves’ page
That’s why we come out and talk to you. Face to face as it should be for FREE.
No pushy sales. Just useful, impartial advice and lots and lots of ideas and inspiration so you can start to make sense of what you’re actually wanting to do with your fireplace.
We show you how your stove will look in your room using the very latest software and we’ll follow it up with a fully itemised and descriptive quote.
We’ll invite you to our premises where in many cases, we can actually set up a room set to allow to visualise what we’re going to do for you.
We work in the Harrogate, York, Wetherby, Leeds, Skipton and surrounding areas but if your outside of here, just give us a call and we’d be happy to arrange a survey.
So now you have found us, you’re well on the way to sorting out that minefield that is purchasing and installing a stove.
First of all, have a good look around our website where we have lots of information, prices and inspiration.
How does the process work with you?
1) You contact us (here)
2) We’ll come and see you at a suitable time and give you a full and competitive quote along with ideas and lots of information on the iPad. We’ll discuss designs and show you some ideas which we’ll base our quote on.
3) Your detailed and itemised quote is emailed (or posted, or both) within 24-48 hours.
4) If you like, we can invite you to our premises where you can view our stoves and if possible, we’ll source your preferred stoves to view.
5) If you confirm with us, you’ll have your stove fitted usually within 4 weeks by ourselves.
6) You pay when it’s done.
7) We come back to see you to make sure everything is all ok and explain operation and maintenance with you. along with a starter pack for your first fire.
8) You will be delighted to leave us with a 5 star feedback!
For a more detailed explanation of what the process involves, visit our looking for a stove section
Why isn't my stove doing the job?
– The stove
– The wood
– The user
The stove MUST be suitable for purpose. Don’t waste your time with cheap imported stoves. (Under £400) They are invariably made from cheap recycled cast iron and made unethically to sell as many as possible to budget driven unsuspecting customers.
The main problem is that these stoves are made in gigantic foundries usually in the far east that churn out many different products but stoves need to be able to heat up to very high temperatures and also cool down over many years of use.
Cast iron (and particularly recycled cast iron) is very brittle so these stoves need to be made very thick so they do not crack under extreme temperatures. This results in your lovely new stove taking up to 3 hours to warm up. Not ideal when you want to light it in an evening for a couple of hours after you get home from work!
The other issue with very cheap stoves is build quality. Like anything, you get what you pay for. It’s important that you can regulate the temperature as it’s obviously colder in January than in April. Cheap stoves have much greater tolerances between handles, hinges and controls so you have very little control.
The type, quality and condition of the wood will be critical to the output of the stove. A 5kw stove can easily achieve 7kw with good quality dry wood while it may not even achieve 2kw if the wood is wet or unseasoned.
The reality is this. Yes it does need to be dry and seasoned wood.
Seasoning of wood occurs when the tree is felled (usually in autumn) and left to season over the winter. The rain during winter washes the sap from the wood. Then in spring, the tree trunk is cut and split (logged) and then stored under ventilated cover for a minimum of 9 months.
This then dries out the wood and then usually a moisture content of less than 20% is achieved. Moisture levels can be checked with a moisture meter which we can provide you with.
Wood dries out at different rates depending on the wood. So 9 months may not be long enough. It’s important to buy wood from a reputable source. We can provide you with logs as part of our installation. Just Ask!
If a log merchant doesn’t want you to test it (it’s happened to me), DONT BUY IT.
We can happily recommend some excellent wood merchants in the area. Just ask us.
Okay, so hard wood is slow growing and therefore is more dense and provides a greater calorific content (it’s hotter) than quick growing soft wood.
However, softwood is cheaper and more readily available. I recommend a mixture of the two.
The stove needs to get hot before the room gets hot.
Starting a stove burning softwood will get the stove hot quicker and once the stove is up to temperature, putting on hard wood will give you a longer burn at a higher temperature.
Think of your new stove a little like an oven. You need to preheat the stove like an oven. This is done by kindling and quick burning wood. Then the stove can be regulated by reducing the air intake.
They type of wood you burn is open to debate but as rule, ash, beech, oak are all good woods to burn.
Critically, avoid woods that are tantalised, pressure treated, painted and varnished and never attempt to burn MDF, chip board or other man made woods. The resins in the wood can seriously affect the life expectancy of your stove and flue.
The user. (Yes… You!)
Whether you’ve inherited a stove in a house you’ve bought or bought a stove and fitted it yourself or you’ve just not used a stove before, it’s so important to know how to use it correctly. Failure to use a stove correctly will not only affect the performance, longevity and heat output of the stove but can also be very dangerous.
Not enough air going into the stove will not heat the stove hot enough and can result in creosote build up in the stove and flue. This can lead to a chimney fire. It will also make the glass go dirty. You can also get smoke entering the room if the flue is not hot enough. A chimney needs to be warm in order to drawer the smoke away. If you allow the chimney to cool, the smoke will more than likely drop down the chimney and enter the room. THIS IS EXTREMELY HARMFUL TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.
Too much air going into the stove will burn wood very quickly. This will put a lot of strain on the stove. Imagine driving a car constantly at 100mph. It’s likely it won’t last too long. It’s important to ensure the stove is getting the correct supply of air to operate at a maximum efficiency. This will provide a clean glass, a warm room and a happy customer.
It’s a small thing but every stove we fit, we follow it up by a visit to go through operation and maintenance. This sets you on the right track and ensures you enjoy your stove from day 1.
Servicing your stove is again, similar to servicing your car. Yes it’s way more basic but ensuring the flue is swept regularly and the stove itself is operating as it should ensures a long and happy relationship with your new purchase. We’ll contact you yearly to ensure everything is okay and we’ll come out and service your stove and sweep your flue to ensure it’s in tip top condition before each winter. Good eh?
What's a flue liner and do I need one?
1) The purpose of a flue liner is primarily for safety.
In masonry chimneys constructed from brick or stone, (pre 1960s) the mortar between the brick can degrade over years of use resulting in debris falling down the chimney onto your fire. This means that smoke can then leak freely through the bricks and escape into floor voids, roof spaces or even other chimneys including next doors in many cases. This is clearly a major issue and a flue liner must be installed in these cases. These issues are particularly bad in houses that have had an open fire as the smoke from coal fires can really degrade the inside of your chimney.
However, there is a problem… It is very difficult to prove a chimney is leaking.
Some companies light a smoke bomb at the bottom of the chimney and if the smoke comes out of 1 chimney pot, the assumption is made that the chimney doesn’t leak. This test proves nothing.
The smoke may well be entering next doors bedroom and you be completely unaware if they are not in during the smoke test. It’s a major contentious issue with old school stove installers but we simply cannot allow anybody to be exposed to inhaling smoke from a stove.
2) Flue liners increase efficiency.
Imagine a car. The faster you drive, the more fuel you use. By driving slower, you use less fuel and your car is far more energy efficient. A stove works just the same way. By installing a flue liner it burns the stove at the correct temperature, sends less heat up the chimney and you burn less fuel. As a consequence, less heat also means less smoke entering the atmosphere.
3) Flue liners are far easier to sweep and maintain.
Without a flue liner, its very difficult to sweep the chimney. The chimney is a very big and the flue pipe from the stove is very small! Removing and refitting the stove every time the chimney is swept can get expensive. Many people have to have a hole knocked into the chimney with a door covering the hole. This is called a soot door.
4) Flue liners prolong the life expectancy of your stove
By burning at the correct temperature and drawing the correct amount of air, the stove will last longer as less pressure is put in the internal components. Going back to car, if you were to drive it like a maniac all the time you would not be surprised if the car enginedid not last too long. Burning a stove a the correct temperature will prolong the life expectancy the same as a car being driven sensibly.
How much does a stove cost to run compared to my central heating?
Placing the stove in a room where you think it could benefit more of the house is absolutely understandable but if this is a room where you generally don’t spend much time, are you really going to benefit? Try and think of a stove as a woodburning radiator. That can usually put them in context. Personally though I think they look a little better!
Our advice is to ensure you place your stove in your main living area so you can utilise it as much as possible.
This should mean you rely less on your central heating and more on your stove.
Remember that wood burning and multi fuel stoves are designed as room heaters, not house heaters so if you have a larger house with many bedrooms where the kids hang out in an evening, you’ll still need your heating on. A good recommendation would be to ensure you have thermostatic radiator valve fitted so you can independently control your radiators. This means your living room will not be centrally heated but the rest of the house could be if this was of a benefit.
That is not to say that in many cases, they can affect the bedroom (or room) above where the chimney runs and as the heat is very evenly spread, in many cases, downstairs living and dining areas. Of course it depends on the house and the layout.
There are so many different sorts of stoves that are designed for different needs. Larger areas can benefit from convector stoves or multifuel stoves as they can run for longer.
Talk to us. We can simplify this by discussing your needs.
How much does it cost to run a stove?
To answer this well asked question about how much it costs to run a stove, indicative costs for a cubic metre of seasoned wood costs around £70 for seasoned hard wood logs.
Ordinarily, on normal use for a 5kw stove which would heat an average sized 4m x 4m living room, we would anticipate 1 – 1 1/2 loads of wood per winter.
For installation prices, click here!
Are stoves safe around children and pets?
Educating our children is key to ensure they don’t get too close but its essential to protect them and the best way is a fireguard.
Fireguards can be purchased in all shapes and sizes and many companies actually offer a made-to-measure service.
Ebay is generally a good place to start or by contacting us, we can source a suitable fireguard for you.
Fireguards don’t have to be cumbersome monstrosities nowadays. There some great designs and can actually be quite pleasing to the eye.
ADVICE! Don’t buy one until your stove is fitted to ensure its sized correctly.
What is a smoke controlled area and how does it affect me?
Nevertheless, we’re under great pressure as a country to clean up our ‘act’ in accordance with European legislation.
Most populated areas in the UK are classified as smoke controlled areas.
Information from councils is somewhat inconsistent. Some councils have areas highlighted on their websites and some need calling to help you.
We can help so contact us and we’ll find out for you.
Living in a smoke controlled area prohibits you from burning wood and coal on a permanently fixed appliance. (coal fire, stove, range cooker etc)
The exception to the rule is when the appliance has been exempt from this law. This means the stove is then approved for a smoke controlled area. At that point, it is permitted to burn wood and approved smokeless fuel on your appliance. See here to be directed to HETAS website for approved smokeless fuels.
What does DEFRA approved mean?
The stove is handed to DEFRA who tests the stove independently. They assess the emissions of the stove and if the stove burns to required standards, the stove is then approved.
The manufacturer makes a small amendment to the stove prior to sending to DEFRA.
They ensure that a small supply of air is always maintained even when the stove is turned down to its lowest level. This ensures the temperature inside the stove never drops too low and always ensures the smoke is combusted inside the stove as opposed to be sent up the chimney/flue and into the atmosphere.
HOWEVER, it’s not simply a case of buying a DEFRA approved stove. It’s vital to burn good quality fuel. Burning poor quality, unseasoned, varnished, pressure treated or man-made wood (MDP, chipboard etc) WILL create smoke and this could result in complaints from locals.
How do I light my stove?
All stoves work slightly differently. If you haven’t had an instructional visit and need some help, contact us and we’ll pop out and see you.
1) You’ll need:
- Some nice dry kindling (small sticks)
- Matches or a lighter
- Scrunched up newspaper is optional. (useful for installations where you have no chimney but a external flue system.)
- Stove glove
- Logs. Small split logs and larger logs for later.
2) Build a tower of criss crossed kindling inside the base of the stove.
On woodburning stoves, you’ll place the kindling in the bottom of the stove.
On multi fuel stoves, you’ll place the kindling on top of the grate (pictured.) Try to leave some ash in the stove from your previous fire as ash helps the wood burn more efficiently.
3) Ensure all the air vets are fully open on the stove.
Some stoves have controls at the top and bottom, others have just one control. Ensure the control(s) are fully open as you light the stove to ensure we get maximum supply of air into the stove.
It’s very important to get the stove as hot as possible, as quickly as possible. We do this by burning fast burning wood (kindling) and applying lots of air into the heart of the fire. I call it “pre-heating” the stove just like you would do with your oven.
4) Light the firefighter and carefully place inside the kindling tower.
Add a few more sticks of kindling on top so the flames are in contact with the kindling.
5) Close the door but leave slightly ajar so the glass gets warm for a few mins.
This avoids condensation build up on the glass and directs even more air into the fire to get it super hot.
6) After around 5 mins… open the door slowly to avoid any smoke entering room and add some more kindling to the fire. We want to try to get some nice hot glowing embers on the base of the stove before we add some logs.
7) Add some small split logs or larger pieces of kindling. After around 10 mins, close the primary control (usually the bottom control). If the fire dies down, open up for a little longer until your fire is really roaring. Build up the log size and when adding fuel, you may need to open the primary control to get the fire established.
Add logs as the previous log burns down to approx 50% to prevent the fire from losing temperature. If you do add a log and the fire dies down, revert back to the above pre heating stage and open the vents fully to introduce extra air into the stove . The best practice is to place a log carefully at the back of the firebox on a bed of hot embers.
Ensure the control is returned to normal position once the fuel has ignited and the fire has established.
Do’s and Don’ts:
- DO ensure you close the primary control when the stove is hot. Otherwise, you’ll burn your wood too fast and cause “over firing” to the stove. This will cause serious damage long term.
- DO make sure you use a reasonable amount of kindling to get the fire hot. A good handful should do it.
- DON’T rush it! Build up your wood size from kindling to small split logs. Putting a large log on straight after kindling will more than likely put the stove out.
- DON’T clean the grate out too often. Leave some ash on the grate or the base of the stove. It’ll help the wood burn better.
- DON’T ever store logs next to your stove. They WILL catch fire.
- DO ensure you purchase good quality dry logs. We can source them for you if you wish.
How to light a stove. A brief You Tube video on how to light a stove.
I don't have a chimney. Can I have a wood burning stove?
My friend's stove is far too hot. It worries me that mine may be too hot as well...
It’s absolutely ESSENTIAL that the stove is suited to your needs. (Not just your budget)
We take a lot of things into consideration when we look for a stove for you and more importantly than anything else it’s the output.
Yes we want a big window so we can see the flames but if the stove is too hot, it’ll make the room very uncomfortable. Then if we turn the stove down, the window will go dirty. However, there are a range of stoves on the market called slimline stoves. They give you a larger viewing area without being too hot.
Remember, what stove we fit for you reflects directly on us and the advice we provide. It’s in our interests to ensure you end up with exactly the right stove for your needs, budget, lifestyle and home.
Can my stove power my central heating?
But hang on…
It must cost effective.
The boiler must pay for itself otherwise what’s the point?
It’s important to look at the big picture.
Cost of the stove, installation, plumbing work, upheaval, mess and decorating.
Also, a boiler stove uses a lot more fuel than a normal room heating stove. If you were to buy a 5kw stove to heat your room, the probability is that a boiler stove would need to be almost double that at around 9kw as much of the energy produced from the stove is sent into the central heating system.
That means you’ll be buying almost double the amount of fuel. Boiler stoves really need to be used for very long periods of time and this means that you’ll more than likely need to burn solid fuel. Solid fuel burns for much longer periods so would enable overnight burning whereas wood is unlikely to burn overnight so when you get up in the morning, the stove will have gone out. Solid fuel is quite expensive to buy versus wood and it’s quite dirty to handle.
A boiler stove may not be suitable to link to your existing heating system.
Many of us now have a modern combination condensing boiler. These boilers heat the water on demand when we turn on the hot water tap. This is called a pressurised system. It’s difficult and expensive to connect a stove to this sort of system.
A stove boiler essentially passes cool water into the stove and the fire heats up the water and sends it out of the stove into the central heating system. It’s that basic! However, the water must be stored somewhere until it’s required and a pressurised central heating system does not have a water storage facility. (Cylinder tank.) a pressurised thermal store could be added but is serious money and takes up quite a bit of room.
A standard central heating system is not pressurised. The boiler (gas or solid fuel) heats up the water and stores it in a cylinder tank usually in a airing cupboard. The water is stored in the cylinder until its used. This system is relatively easy to connect to a stove via a sort of junction box called a centraliser.
It’s of our opinion that a boiler stove is only really cost effective in the following circumstances:
Your erecting a new build house or completely renovating an old house –
You need some sort of central heating. It may as well allow woodburning as an option. We would recommend not restricting yourself to woodburning / solid fuel alone. A popular route is electric or gas under floor heating with a standard multifuel boiler on a separate system. The 2 systems do complement with other in our experience. Consider a thermal solar panel connected to your system as this can heat your hot water in the summer when you’re not using your stove.
Your are on oil powered central heating –
Despite oil dropping in price recently, it’s still very expensive to best your home and you do rely on deliveries and a large oil storage facility. Even though it’s expensive to have a boiler stove fitted, it’s likely to still pay for itself even in the medium term over using oil.
Can I not just fit the stove myself?
Would you really put you family at risk for the sake of paying a few quid to a registered and accredited installation company? I do hope not!
Yes, of course we charge to fit the stove and of course we’re going to advise you strongly not to even think about it but. However, a correct installation will give you complete peace of mind that the job has been done correctly, legally and safely.
Of course, the other glaring issue with installing your own stove is the legal side.
You have an obligation to either:
A) Have the stove fitted but ensure building control are aware and they must approve the work.
B) have the stove fitted by a HETAS registered installer. HETAS regulations are generally far more stringent than building regulations.
Many building control officers will not just advise you to find a HETAS installer as they charge to approve the work which may well not even meet regulations. Failure to provide correct sign off and registration can invalidate your house insurance in the event of a claim relating to the stove.
Remember… It’s a fire in your house!
You can confirm our registration here by visiting the HETAS website and finding us.
But the mess!
We’ve all heard horror stories of people who’ve had a kitchen or bathroom fitted or building work carried out by numerous different contractors only to end up with an expensive mess!
The key word there is contractors. We don’t use them. We never will.
That gives us accountability, consistency and transparency. It’s very easy to gain a bad reputation so we’re not taking any chances. That’s why we provide dust sheets, plastic sheets and rubber mats to protect wood flooring. We’ll advise during the survey the amount of disruption you can expect and discuss all elements of the installation so there will be no shocks or upsets during or after the installation.
If required, we’ll arrange to sweep the chimney prior to installing the flue liner to reduce the risk of soot falls and we’ll take additional steps to ensure your room stays clean if the chimney appears to contain soot or debris.
We guarantee you will not be disappointed but for your piece of mind, we’re also fully insured in the unlikely event of a worst case scenario.
Can we see the stove before buying?
We ask you to contact us first and we’ll come to your home to ascertain your requirements. After the survey, you’ll receive a full itemised quote within 48 hours.
We have loads of experience in not only fitting stoves but in the design aspect of the project. We all see stoves fitted on TV, magazine and at our friends houses and these all help us to gain ideas and inspration but sometimes, it’s nice to see the stove in the flesh (or metal!)
If you’re happy with our quote, we’ll source the stove for you if we can (following a small deposit from you) and we’ll set the stove up for you to view.
By doing this it helps you visualise better what we’re going to do for you.
We’re not limited to brands of stoves. We have a small snap shot of some our favourites right here.
It also means you don’t have to trek around Yorkshire looking at countless showrooms with thousands of different stoves to look at. Many of which are unsuitable for you.The way we operate:
Keeps our overheads down which means we’re cheaper than many of our competitors.– Helps you visualise the design you’re looking for.
Shows our commitment to you.
Allows you to see the actual stove you are buying without making a large financial commitment.
Saves you time driving around showrooms
Saves you money
What is different about Ignite+?
We love design. Darren studied interior design for over 3 years so we’re able to discuss the overall design for your new centrepiece in more detail than any other company. We have countless images to show you and we never, ever underestimate customers expectations. Many of us like a little more help to help us visualise. Afterall, its a life purchase and it needs to look right.
We do all the work ourselves. Accountability is so important to us us. We wouldn’t trust our company in anyone elses hands. You deserve the best and that what you get with us.
Clean, Tidy, Punctual, Flexible and attentive. Thats Ignite+
Annual maintenance of your flue and stove, full instruction on how to use your new stove and we’ll even provide the wood if you like. We provide a 5 year labour warranty and of course, we’re fully HETAS registered for your piece-of-mind.
Fitting you the correct stove is CRUCIAL to us. We’re only as good as the stove we fit. We will strive to obtain any stove you want to suit your needs. We will never sell you a stove just because we have it in stock or because we make more money! However, if you want to provide your own stove, thats fine
We keep our overheads down by having less staff, we don’t have a showroom in a town and we keep ourselves lean and efficient. That means we have far cheaper running costs than our competitors and we pass those savings to you.
Maintenance and Help!
It’s important to keep in mind a few things to ensure your stove stays in tip top condition for years to come. How you look after your stove determines how it performs and how long it’ll last.
Woodburning stoves: Clean out the stove as required but ensure you leave approximately 2.5cm (1″) deep in the base of the stove. Leaving ash will ensure the wood burns more efficiently.
Multifuel Stoves: Ensure the ashpan isn’t too full. Empty roughly weekly when used daily.
Glass can be kept clean using a baby wipe and dried with a dry cloth. Any stubborn marks can be removed by dipping the baby wipe in some ash and gently removing the stain off the glass. Dry with dry cloth or kitchen roll and chuck on the fire!
Check door seals are intact and the door is firm to close. It’s important that air doesn’t leak between the door and stove when used. If the door seals become damaged or unattached, they just be glued back in place. Rope adhesive can be purchased on line or contact us for assistance.
Check any moving parts (handle, door catch, controls) and give them a quick squirt with 3 in 1 oil or WD40.
If any firebricks become cracked, don’t worry. This is completely normal and will not affect the operation or performance of the stove. If however they have disintegrated, it’s a sign of burning damp wood and they should be replaced in due course.
The flue must be swept annually. Contact us for advise or contact our friends at Katie Sweep directly.
Not sweeping the flue will allow soot and deposits to build up in the flue and will reduce the diameter of the flue. This will result in smoke entering roof and potentially will cause irreparable damage to the flue
When closing the stove down for the summer, clean the stove out completely and leave the controls fully open to ensure airflow into the chimney. This will prevent any moisture build up in the stove.
Some handy Do’s and Don’ts
- Don’t put water on the stove to clean it. Use dry cloths or a well wrung our damp cloth and a dry cloth afterwards
- Always tighten any loose screws/fixings. Things can work loose sometimes.
- Always replace glass if it becomes broken Contact us for help
- Always replace door rope seal if it becomes loose or falls off.
- Never use the stove with the door open.
- Never use abrasive cloths or products on the stove glass
And contact us if you need any help or advise.
For any enquiries about our stoves or services, please contact us using the form, by email or telephone. We would be pleased to hear from you. Please do note that by making contact with us, you permit us to contact you where required via phone, text or email.
Showroom address:(By appointment only please)
Ignite+ Ltd, Gelsthorpe Farm, Whixley, YO26 8ED