What should I consider when choosing a woodburner?

If you are in the market for a new woodburner there are a few points that might help you in your choice.

With stricter Health & Safety regulations since April, 2016, height restrictions are in force that prevent chimney sweeps getting on the roof without fall protection ie scaffolding or a harness. To avoid extra cost to the homeowner most fireplaces can be successfully swept from below. To sweep from inside, the woodburner must have an easily-removed  baffle. This is the tile or metal plate that sits in the firebox under the flue cavity.  If the fireplace has a fixed baffle the chimney must be swept from roof down.

Ask the fireplace salesperson to demonstrate how easy it is to remove the baffle. It might also be wise to ask them how easy it is to service and the cost and availability of replacement parts.

There appear to be some great bargains out there. But before signing up it is recommended that you check to ensure the place you are buying from can obtain the necessary council consents and provide a registered installer to fit the woodburner and flue. Every new woodburner requires a council consent. Buying the fireplace and flue and then shopping around for a registered installer to fit it might be harder and more expensive than you think. It is difficult to get a registered installer to fit a fireplace in the peak season when they are busy with installs for companies they contract to.

One purchaser told us in June he had been ringing around trying to find someone to install the fireplace he had bought and was told he would have to wait 14 weeks! He said he would not have bought it from where he did if he'd known the situation. This is a common occurrence.

If installing a new flue it is also a good time to consider adding some form of bird-proofing.

* We do not sell or install fireplaces. For a list of registered installers visit the New Zealand Home Heating Association website http://www.nzhha.co.nz