Learn the Lingo: Wood Burning Stoves

Learn the Lingo: Wood Burning Stoves

As the days and nights get colder our minds turn to things much warmer - and nothing is quite as welcome or as toasty as the thought of curling up in front of a wood burning stove with a warm cuppa in hand. If you’re fortunate to have a wood burner at home then you might find yourself looking for wood burner parts and spares to get yours up and running now that the nights are longer. Here at Buy Plumbing Online we are fortunate to have a fantastic relationship with Dunsley Heat so we exclusively stock a wide range of Dunsley Highlander stove parts and spares (if you have a Dunsley Highlander stove you’ll find our post about determining your model of Dunsley Highlander stove particularly useful). Alternatively if you’re in the market for a brand new wood burner or some general parts for your existing stove then it’s wise to brush up on your wood burner terminology. In this installment of Learn the Lingo we are diving into the roasty toasty world of wood burning stoves and the terms you’re most likely to come across when talking about them.

Collage of different wood burning stoves

Wood Burning Stove Glossary of Most Common Terms, Parts & Spares

 

Term

Definition

AIRWASH

This can sometimes be confused with 'cleanburn', airwash is a system dedicated primarily to the task of maintaining clean glass so that you always have an unimpeded view of the fire. Typically this is required when burning wood and wood based products, this system is most often brought into the firebox from just above the stove door, the air is sucked in via the natural vacuum of the fire and also pulled down the inside of the door glass thus producing a 'curtain of air' between the fire and the glass. This curtain helps to keep the glass clear and is sometimes referred to as 'secondary air'.

ASH CONTAINER

(ALSO KNOWN AS 'ASH CARRIERS', 'ASH CADDIES' AND 'ASH BOXES')

These are quite simply a metal container to empty hot ash into. Normally kept by the fireside, this enables the user to safely and easily transport ash through the home and also provides a safe place for the ash to cool.

BAFFLE LANDINGS

(SOMETIMES KNOWN AS 'T/PLATE LANDINGS')

The brackets on the insides of some stoves (that are normally welded), these form a platform for the baffle / throat plate to rest on.

BAFFLE PLATE

(ALSO KNOWN AS 'THROAT PLATE')

The baffle plate is located in the upper region of the stove firebox and is often referred to as a ‘throat plate’. The throat plate deflects the flames and heat generated by the fire around itself before exiting out into the flue - the throat plate plays an important role in helping your wood stove to generate more heat from the wood, by helping to keep waste gases inside the stove for longer and reflecting heat back into the firebox. Without the throat plate in the way, stoves wouldn’t be able to produce as much heat because all of the warm air would be rapidly lost up the flue.

BALANCED FLUE

A balanced flue appliance is a type of room sealed appliance which draws its combustion air from a point outside the building adjacent to the point at which the combustion Products are discharged, the inlet and outlet being so disposed that wind effects are substantially balanced. Balanced flues may run vertically, but in the most common configuration they discharge horizontally through the external wall against which the appliance is situated. (Source Document J 2002, Section 0:)

BLANKING PLATE

The majority of stoves have an option of a ‘top’ or ‘rear’ flue pipe exit. Whichever is not connected to the flue needs to be ‘blanked’ off - essentially closed. This is what the blanking plate/disk does.

BTU

British Thermal Unit: each unit measures the amount of energy used to heat or cool one pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit.

CE RATING

This is the European standard by which products are rated - you'll often find this noted on a sticker or chart in the manual or production information booklet you receive with your stove etc.

CLEANBURN

This is a system introduced in order to obtain higher efficiency from the burning of wood based fuels. A cleanburn system will normally bring air for combustion into the firebox at a point either directly into the flame or above the flame into the combustion gases. The effect of adding oxygen to this stage of combustion will ignite the un-burnt elements thus providing a more complete burn. This will provide the user with better efficiency for fuel and a cleaner flue as less particles are expelled with the exhaust fumes. (applies also to 'Tertiary Air' further down)

COAL SAVERS

These are the bricks or plates used to reduce the physical size of the interior firebox. Hence reduces coal usage, but also the heat output.

CONSUMABLE ITEMS

These items are the parts and components of your stove such as stove fire bricks, grate bars, stove door glass, gasket seals, door rope seals, throat plates etc. These items are considered consumables as they can and will wear out over time. These items are not usually covered under warranty however if your stove is used and maintained correctly you can prolong the life expectancy of these items thus avoiding the need to replace them prematurely.

CONVENTIONAL FLUE

A duct, pipe or chimney for channelling exhaust gases from a fireplace, stove or range cooker to the outdoors. The primary direction for this kind of flue is vertical - up, up and away! We offer a range of flue parts and spares online and all with free UK wide delivery.

DHW

This is simply the common abbreviation for Domestic Hot Water.

DOOR GLASS

This is the stove door glass on your wood burner that grants you a viewing window to the fire within. This isn't to be confused with ordinary glass as this glass is designed specifically to withstand high temperatures and therefore cannot be toughened. The thickness on stove glass can vary from 3mm to 5mm depending on the manufacturer. in some older appliances a series of glass strips were used instead of the more common pane of glass you find on wood burning stoves today. (applies also to 'Stove Glass' further down)

DOOR GLASS GASKETS

The glass on a stove requires an airtight seal around it. A poor seal may cause the fire to become harder to control as the fire is still able to draw in air even when all the air vents have been closed. There are various products available for this like door glass seal strips, some are more suited to specific styles of glasses than others so check with your manufacturer to see what suits your model of wood burning stove.

DOOR SEALS

(ALSO KNOWN AS 'DOOR ROPE', 'STOVE DOOR ROPE' OR 'DOOR SEALING ROPE')

The door sealing rope is the important bit that will keep your door flush and held tightly against your stove to keep all that toasty roaring fire goodness performing as it should. Now over time the door sealing rope will become worn or damaged and will require replacing. The rope is often made of a type of fibre glass and is held into place using a special rope adhesive designed specifically for use in the extreme heat conditions of your stove.

HEATFANS

These are exactly what their name implies - they are heat powered fans designed to circulate the warm air generated by a wood stove directly into the room. These silent fans run purely off the heat generated by the stove and are normally for solid fuel stoves.

FAN FLUE

(ALSO KNOWN AS 'POWER FLUE')

A fan flue is a duct, pipe or chimney for channelling exhaust gases from a fireplace, stove or cooker to the outside by the use of some kind of fan at a point of exit to push the gases from the appliance.

FIRE BRICKS

(ALSO KNOWN AS 'STOVE FIRE BRICKS')

The stove fire bricks are located within your stove and are normally found lining the rear and side of the inner cavity space of your stove (where the fuel goes). These days they can be made from a variety of materials including cast iron, clay or more commonly in recent years now a vermiculite fibre board. You can buy stove fire bricks separately or in whole sets - buying as a set often saves you money when compared to buying each brick individually.

FLUE DAMPER

Located in the flue collar or flue pipe, helps to regulate the draw of the chimney.

FLUE SPIGOT

(ALSO KNOWN AS 'FLUE COLLAR')

The flue spigot or collar connects the flue to the stove.

GRATE

This is the base on which the fire sits. You'll often find it referred to specifically as a wood burning grate, a multi fuel grate, a riddling grate, an oscillating grate etc - depending on the type of stove you have.

GRATE BARS

(ALSO KNOWN AS 'STOVE GRATE BARS', 'RIDDLE BARS' AND SOMETIMES 'FIRE BARS')

These are the bars on which the fuel sits and their design and placement allow air to come from underneath the fuel, essentially encouraging the air to be drawn up through the fuel inside your burner. Grate bars quite often have a function to ‘riddle’ which is to allow the ash to fall through.

HEARTH

A base intended to safely isolate a combustion appliance from people, combustible parts of the building fabric and soft furnishings. (Source Document J 2002, Section 0:)

HETAS

HETAS is the official body recognized by the UK Government to approve solid fuel domestic heating appliances, fuels and services and national organisation working for consumer safety and the wider public interest in safe, efficient and environmentally responsible use of biomass and other solid fuels.

HIGH TEMPERATURE ROPE ADHESIVE

This is the glue used to adhere rope seals and other rope gaskets to stoves. Designed to withstand high temperatures you'll often find it sold alongside door sealing rope as they are often purchased together.

LOG GUARD

(SOMETIMES KNOWN AS A 'RETAINING BAR' OR 'FUEL RETAINING BAR')

The retaining bar is located in the front of the firebox to prevent fuel falling forward on to the glass or out of the stove, they have several different designs but all perform the same function, we stock both the regular Dunsley Highlander retaining bars and also the Dunsley Highlander Solo retaining bars.

MOISTURE METERS

An instrument which measures the moisture content (in this case) of wood.

MULTI FUEL KIT

A kit of sorts that contains all the necessary parts required to convert a wood burning stove into a Multi Fuel appliance.

MULTI FUEL STOVES

A stove which can burn coal and/or wood.

PRIMARY AIR

Identified as the most important source of air required for combustion, supplying the oxygen to the area beneath the fuel. This air is therefore drawn through the fuel, ensuring that the necessary oxygen reaches as much of the fuel as is necessary. When burning smokeless fuels / solid fuels the primary air serves as a dual purpose by providing cool air to the grate system, important because the solid / smokeless fuels burn at a temperature high enough to damage the grate.

ROOM SEALED

A term generally used when describing a combustion system which incorporates the means to draw the air required for combustion directly into the appliance. This eliminates the need for a permanently open source of ventilation into the room as the combustion air is essentially flowing straight through the stove effectively sealed from the room.

ROPE SEALS

(MOST OFTEN IN REFERENCE TO 'DOOR ROPE')

These are fibre glass rope used to form air tight seals in joins and more commonly around stove doors. It is vital to keep an air tight seal around the door just as with glass gasket seals in order to have an efficient and controllable appliance. Rope thicknesses vary according to manufacturer as well as the softness of the rope. Rope seals are normally held in place by a high temperature rope adhesive as mentioned above.

SECONDARY AIR

These days this is commonly referred to as an “Airwash” system - this source of air is usually either drawn into the appliance from above the fuel or channelled to enter at the fire box above the fuel.

SMOKELESS FUEL

A fuel which does not produce visible smoke when burned. The term is usually applied to specific solid fuels.

SOLID FUEL

Solid fuel refers to various forms of solid material that can be burnt to release energy, providing heat and light through the process of combustion. Common examples of solid fuels include wood, peat and coal.

STOVE

Apparatus that generates heat for warmth, commonly using coal, oil, gas, wood or electricity as a source of power.

STOVE GLASS

See 'Door Glass' mentioned earlier.

TERTIARY AIR

See 'Clean Burn' mentioned earlier.

THROAT PLATE

See 'Baffle Plate' mentioned earlier.

U-SHAPED CHANNELS

A fibre glass ‘U shaped channel’ is one type of gasket used to form an airtight seal around stove glass.

VICUCLAD

Vermiculite based insulating board used in more modern stoves as a lighter in weight replacement to the traditional clay firebrick material.

VERMICULITE

Vermiculite is the name of a group of hydrated laminar minerals (aluminum-iron magnesium silicates) which look like mica. This natural mineral is used in many sectors, from the building industry to gardening. It's the common name for hydrated laminar magnesium-aluminum-iron silicate and it is commonly used to make the stove fire bricks used in many of the stoves on the market today.

WOODBURNER

A stove which uses wood as its sole fuel.

 

Confident in your mastery of wood burner lingo? If you’re after a part or spare for your wood burner we’ve got you covered for a wide range of Dunsley Highlander parts and spares as well as door ropes, seals and high temperature rope adhesives but if you’re still unsure about a part don’t worry, just give us a call on 01862 808040 and we can chat to you to help ensure you get the right part for your needs.



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