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    Can any one please help me? I live in a skinny semi detached cottage in Kent. There are no corridors - the cottage goes from room to room the wide of the house being the width of the rooms - 4 in total, each room measuring about 10'x10' (Imagine a rectangle cut lengthways down the middle and you have the two cottages). The house is in a cold pocket with temperatures regularly dropping to freezing in winter, the weather and wind hits the length of my cottage and I have lots of external walls. In due course of time the cottage will be knocked down and rebuit thus I do not want to spend more than absolutely necessary on this house and hopefully reuse new stuff for next house.

    Problem: There is no central heating and I am changing this. There is no gas here but we did have oil connected to an ancient oil burning stove chich I have taken out. We have an endless supply of wood. Currently I have one log burning stove in the sitting room at one end of the house but the heat never reaches the kitchen at the other end of the house.

    Thoughts: I was thinking of putting in a new log burning stove with a back boiler to heat the house and to hopefully provide warmish water. (Currently there is only an immersion heater). I ws also thinking of putting in an oil condensing boiler to boost water/heat for house when necessary. The fireplace is 33"wide, 14" deep and 43" high. Thus the size of the log stove will be restricted.

    Firstly: Do log burning stoves with back boilers work?
    Can I integrate a back boiler/log stove with standard central heating?
    Does anyone know of another method of heating that would be suitable.

    Any help greatfully received.

    Many thanks, Ruth
    • CommentAuthorRachel
    • CommentTimeOct 4th 2008
    Hi Ruth,
    I run a clearview wood burner with a back boiler. It is fantastic and I have very hot water. I am going to try and run the underfloor heating system from it aswell. I've heard these stoves can run many radiators with a back boiler.
    • CommentAuthorjoe.e
    • CommentTimeOct 4th 2008 edited
    Yes, they do work very well if they're good stoves and well set up. We have an Aarrow that provides a tank of very hot water a couple of hours after lighting. We also have an oil boiler that heats the same tank (at great expense these days). I strongly recommend Morso stoves as being the best I've come across, although the Aarrow is fine too. The Morso Squirrel Cleanburn might suit and can have a backboiler - I don't know if it would fit your gap, but it's not a big stove. They're very popular on narrowboats for heating and hot water.
    • CommentAuthorRachel
    • CommentTimeOct 4th 2008
    I have used a morso- v. good and Clearview_ v.v.good
    • CommentAuthorcaliwag
    • CommentTimeOct 26th 2008
    • CommentAuthorBluemoon
    • CommentTimeOct 26th 2008
    As long as the back boiler is integrated into the stove, and not just placed inside. I had an Efel Kamina stove first, I found that condensate ran down between the boiler and the back, thus corroding the steel, Now have a Yeoman, it works very well.
    Have you thought about using an Esse for cooking on?
    you would be best installing a system using a neutraliser. We heat our 3 bed, 2 bath house with a solid fuel Rayburn and a log burning stove. we run 12 radiators from this system. We have no other form of heat in the house. We have more domestic hot water than we can use. The house is red hot. We burn scrap wood.
    When you select a stove, make sure you go for one with a large heat output to the back boiler and small amount to the room. Stoves are always over sized to the room need and under perform to the back boiler. You can always have a radiator in the room with the stove if you need more heat.
    • CommentAuthorTuna
    • CommentTimeOct 28th 2008
    I've been recommended against boilers on stoves - both from a supplier/installer - who says they rarely perform as the manufacturers claim and will soon tar up, and from a family member who says they are much more difficult to maintain a good fire, unless you go all guns-blazing (which wouldn't suit our house as it should be pretty highly insulated.)

    Make of that what you will - anecdotal advice and the opinions of suppliers tend to cover all bases. We're veering away from a boiler on our stove.
    • CommentAuthorsune
    • CommentTimeOct 28th 2008
    Look up link up, link-up, or linked heating systems on Google....stoves are good in combination with solar thermal as in the summer (when you wouldn;t dream of lighting your stove) the solar does most of the work, and in the winter the stove can provide space heating too.

    A boiler stove will tar up if you burn bad wood in it and/or you slumber/slow burn. If you burn well seasoned wood, at a good rate (which you should be doing anyway) you should not have a particular problem.

    In my family home a range with a boiler provided the hot water while I grew up and in my house a boiler stove and another range provide heating and hot water. I have not found problems with tarring up.

    Remember that the outputs stated by manufacturer may be the maximum output - this allows you to correctly size the boiler. Look for nominal outputs to get an idea of 'normal' operation.
    • CommentAuthorTuna
    • CommentTimeOct 28th 2008
    Posted By: sune
    A boiler stove will tar up if you burn bad wood in it and/or you slumber/slow burn. If you burn well seasoned wood, at a good rate (which you should be doing anyway) you should not have a particular problem.

    True for the original poster, more of a problem with us, as we're building with SIPs to near passive-haus levels. The entire house should need less than the minimum heat output of most stoves to keep it very warm - so burning at a good rate would cook our living room.
    Comments on stoves tarring up are all valid. This is a very good argument for under sizing the heat output from the stove to the roomand maximising the boiler size. You dont want a stove you need to reduce the output on by throttling the air or you will get more tar.
    We run our stove in the lounge (open to most of the house) flat out for most of the time. It only has 4kw output to the room on coal so probably 3kw on wood. This approach reduces the tar issue to the point where it doesnt seem to be a problem. We have been using this stove for 3 years with no problem, mostly on wood.
    • CommentAuthorsune
    • CommentTimeOct 29th 2008
    But at the same time it is not necessarily a good idea to run the stove flat out all the time: you can still run a stove hard but just with less fuel to achieve a lower output....
    If you run the stove flat out most of the time then it means that when it is very cold you will need additional heating rather than being able to crank up the stove - ie burn more fuel.

    Tuna - I agree. I too am starting to plan a very efficient house and I think I will go for a gasification boiler for that, perhaps with a stove for occasional use.
    • CommentAuthorwookey
    • CommentTimeOct 31st 2008
    A log batch boiler and a large thermal store is a better technical solution than a back-boiler, but it's also more expensive. A batch boiler is always run at max efficiency for a burn, then the heat is stored in the buffer tank and drawn off during the day for heating and/or hot water as required. One burn a day is plenty for a correctly sized system.

    Back-boilers do make a stove burn cooler which reduces its efficiency somewhat. It works better on big boilers than small ones (which is probably where the 'advice against' comes from Tuna).

    Wood-burners are much prettier than batch (or pellet) boilers as well as being cheaper :-)

    Re using a 'neutraliser' - yes it is a really good plan to have a neutral point to mix heat from wood-burner, solar, log boiler, oil boiler or whatever as required. However it's best to do this via a buffer store rather than a dunsley neutraliser unless you are desperately short of space.
    • CommentAuthorphiledge
    • CommentTimeOct 31st 2008
    We've been running a Clearveiw 750 with back boiler for several years now and no problems with soot or tar. The chimney/flue has never been swept because there is minimal soot to sweep. The key to minimising soot or tar deposits is to burn dry/seasoned wood(2 years under cover) and get the fire up to temperature quickly. When you light the fire burn it hard for the first hour until the fire is hot and has a good bed of embers you can then throttle back the air and top up wood as needed. Get a stove thermometer so you can maintain the stove at a minimum temperature. The stove does all our hot water and space heating through the autumn/winter/spring with solar doing the hotwater in summer.

    All of the above is in the Clearveiw operating info that comes with the stove and it works. If the manufacturer of your stove doesnt tell you these things then buy from one that does! Quality counts.
    We have just bought a barn of a farmhouse and need to put in a woodburner to run a backboiler and central heating . The house has 10 rooms to heat and we have looked at the bigger fires on the market both Clearview 750 and Stratford TF70B AND TF90B does anyone have any views over which is more efficient? We have a Clearview 650 which we use to heat our smaller cottage and we really like it (it is linked to a rayburn,) but we want to get away from oil so need maximum efficiency!
    • CommentAuthorEdF
    • CommentTimeDec 23rd 2008
    Make of this what you will, as it was nearly 30 years ago. I once had a small house with a Charnwood (or similar) multifuel stove, running mainly on wood. It was a new system I had installed.There was central heating with six radiators on the system. The domestic hot water was gravity fed to an indirect cylinder close to the stove. I found that all the heat went initially to the hot water tank, which often boiled, and to keep the radiators hot the stove had to be racing away, using loads of fuel. In the depths of the winter after banking up the fire and closing it own, the fire would be out by 2am, so we woke up to a freezing cold house in the morning - deep joy! And that was with only a couple of rads turned on. With the fire burning low, the heat went to the hot water cyclinder.. I find that a wood stove works best (for us in our present house!!) as a room heater, with another form of fuel for central heating.. Our present house has propane powered CH but we only use it when we have guests. We have a big Villager stove in the living room/kitchen, which will stay in all night if required, and a 2Kw electric convector in the bedroom, using 200 - 300watts usually, only during the night. It's economical and works well and we're 500ft up in a Highlands glen..
    Ruth, can you put another small woodstove in the kitchen? Seems logical (and cheapest) if you have unlimited wood. If no chimney, use a twin wall flue..
    • CommentAuthorTheDoctor
    • CommentTimeDec 23rd 2008

    a new neighbour has just moved in and 'inherited' a stove with the house.
    no idea what it is, but it is very very tarry inside. very thick, and running down the sides in hard globules.

    How do they clean it?

    very very hot burns? how long?
    • CommentAuthorphiledge
    • CommentTimeDec 27th 2008
    Cleaning a tarred or sooted chimney/flue by having a "very hot burn" is probably asking for a chimney fire?
    • CommentAuthorcontadino
    • CommentTimeDec 28th 2008
    My Charnwood has a back boiler in it, which is our sole source of warmth throughout the autumn/winter/spring. It works very well. It heats the water in the tank, then a radiator. I have another radiator that will be going in in the summer. It's the 6Kw model of stove and there's plenty of heat there which could be used.

    It stays in all night - we normally go to bed at about 10 (we're farmers) and I can normally fire it up by opening the vents and popping some twigs in until about 3 in the afternoon.

    The glass tars up a little overnight, but each time I get it going again it clears. The backboiler has tarred up but again, it has it's own level as it seems to just burn off when the stove is running.

    When I initially installed the boiler, it was running without the rad and the water in the tank was overheating, so I'd recommend with any stove/boiler you have some way to deal with the excess (UFH, rads, etc..)
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