Gransnet forums

Woodburning stove

(21 Posts)
Luckygirl Sun 03-Feb-19 15:12:29

Ours is just 2 years old and properly maintained.

I have been complaining of a sore throat and wheezy cough which bizarrely goes away over night. I thought I had a mild cold but the fact that it comes and goes is a bit suspicious. I am beginning to think it might be the stove, although there is no smell of smoke. Maybe it just dries out the air too much.

We have CO alarm and all is well on that score.

Anyone else experienced this?

Chewbacca Sun 03-Feb-19 15:18:26

I've had my wood burner for over 10 years and I'd say I've found the reverse! When I use only the gas central heating, I find my skin is horribly dry and itchy and I have a dry niggling cough that bothers me all the time. On the other hand, the heat from the wood burner doesn't seem to be as arid and airless and it affects me far less.

Luckygirl Sun 03-Feb-19 15:59:48

Ah - I see!

I have had a ferret round behind the TV and there is an air inlet vent. I managed to prise it off and found that someone had taped some clear plastic over it. So I have dealt with that - removed plastic and returned vent to its place - sore throat or not, it cannot be a good thing to have the vent closed like that.

OH is now in despair as he thinks insects will get in! I have had to go on ebay to get a vent that is insect proof.

merlotgran Sun 03-Feb-19 16:03:43

You're right about the vent. A woodburner should have a ventilation brick nearby. Ours has insect proof mesh behind the slide. We keep it open at all times.

Gonegirl Sun 03-Feb-19 16:08:58

So long as it is a Cleanburn and you use well seasoned logs you should alright. You don't burn it with door open at all do? Our old open fire used to give me a cough and that is why we changed to a wood burner.

Mind you, any fierce heat can dry the air out which aggravates a cough.

Gonegirl Sun 03-Feb-19 16:13:05

Don't think we've got a ventilation brick and it was fitted professionally just over a year ago. It's got vents to let air in. A side one near the top which is supposed to be left about three quarters of the way open, and a bottom circular one which you close once the logs have caught.

lemongrove Sun 03-Feb-19 16:14:30

All is clear now Lucky.... you had a ferret round! One of ours at The Argy Bargy Bar escaped the other week, may we have him back please?😁
No problems here with woodburning, did you have your chimney lined? You do need a vent, but insect proof mesh is easy to buy as others say.
Also as others say, anything that dries out the air can aggrevate a cough.

Day6 Sun 03-Feb-19 16:15:47

To our delight the house we bought a few years ago came with a woodburner. it was one of the things which convinced us it was the right house for us. Sadly it hasn't been a happy experience. It has a horizontal flue to the outside of the house and then an outside metal chimney is attached upwards.
It's been properly installed according to all enquiries we have made and is only six years old.
It creates so much smoke when we light it which permeates the whole house. It takes ages to get going (sometimes it splutters out) and we end up with a very smoky room. Opening windows in the winter doesn't make sense, so we can't use it. Thank goodness for central heating.
I have read that you have to warm the chimney first (with a hair dryer, so says advice online!) to ensure the smoke rises when the fire is lit.

We'll give it a go when we can be bothered.

I hope your vent does the trick Luckygirl

silverlining48 Sun 03-Feb-19 16:18:45

Woodburners over 5 kw need a vent, otherwise not. We had a dual fuel 5 kw fitted last year, so no vent was needed. Well that’s what we were told....and that’s partly why we didn’t get a bigger burner.
Love ours, its a cold house (single brick) but keeps the room warm so much so that we leave the room door open to warm up the hall and stairs.
How about leaving a jug of water ( flowers optional) in the room, we were told to do that when we had a piano. Stopped it drying out apparently.
Hope you feel better soon lucky.

Gonegirl Sun 03-Feb-19 16:21:29

Ours is on an inside wall and goes straight up to the chimney. Where would this vent be?

Gonegirl Sun 03-Feb-19 16:22:33

Ah! Ours is is 5kw. That explains it.

merlotgran Sun 03-Feb-19 16:30:29

We converted our granny pad three years ago so it's probably modern building regs. Our big beast is 12Kw so definitely needs ventilation!!

Gonegirl Sun 03-Feb-19 16:33:09

Crikey merlot, that must take some logs!

merlotgran Sun 03-Feb-19 16:39:30

Yes it does. I wish we'd chosen a size smaller but we don't have any other heating to pay for apart from an oil filled radiator that comes on for a couple of hours early morning when it's really cold.

We have plenty of poplar wood of our own but it doesn't burn well by itself so we mix it with seasoned wood which we buy.

silverlining48 Sun 03-Feb-19 16:39:31

Day6, friends have a similar horizontal flue to you, and they also have trouble with smoke, but have noticed it’s a problem when the wind is blowing from a particular direction. Otherwise it works ok.

merlotgran Sun 03-Feb-19 17:09:08

Horizontal or sloping flues can be troublesome on north facing walls. We have an anti downdraught cowl on ours which helps prevent 'blowback'

Luckygirl Sun 03-Feb-19 17:22:43

I am not sure of the KW rating of ours; but I feel happier with the vent unblocked. We have a flue liner and it runs directly up. And a proper cowl.

We have not had smoke problems - we just a get a really good fire going to start with which warms the flue. Initially the stove fills with swirling smoke which dissipates as the flue warms up. We do not open the door to put more logs in until it is well and truly burning properly.

We burn kiln-dried logs which are costly but burn very well with little tar. I am assured by the supplier that the kiln is fuelled by wood off-cuts and sawdust and is not wasteful of fuel.

Fingers crossed that the throat will be happier with the open vent.

Luckygirl Sun 03-Feb-19 17:25:03

Well - just looked up our stove and it says "No airbrick required" - hmm.

merlotgran Sun 03-Feb-19 17:33:01

Sounds like it's working fine, Luckygirl.

aggie Sun 03-Feb-19 18:22:07

Our logburner has a pipe from the outside into it , the chimney is straight up steel tube , there are various levers at the back , I have no idea how to work it ! It ia new as is the house , but we have underfloor heating and south facing patio doors and most days I have to leave them open as the sun , or even the daylight , heats the place to uncomfortable levels in the kitchen / living room . I wish we hadn't got it , expensive ornament

Luckygirl Sun 03-Feb-19 18:50:19

We got rid pf the stove that was here when we first arrived - it was HUGE and red and a real pain - it had so many different sliders and knobs to fiddle with; and sometimes it would "blow back" and smoke would puff out through every available crevice.

Our new one has one slider - open/shut - end of - even I can understand that!