Where?

The stove should be set centrally, if possible, in order to gain the maximum amount of radiant heat. It can be built to extend to the next floor and can be stoked from outside or from an adjoining space if one wants to avoid having the wood in the living room, although this may restrict the benefit to one area of the house. However, In practice, this can be acceptable if the main living area is not centrally located. It can also be overcome by installing two or more stoves.

A Ceramic Stove is very tactile. It has been found that people naturally gravitate towards the stove and tend to caress the tiled surface. Care should be taken to choose the location with this in mind.

Consideration should be given to siting a Ceramic Stove to ensure that its surfaces are fully exposed where possible. The heat output of a stove is calculated according to its surface area, mass and wall thickness and as much as 70% of its heat output is in radiant heat.

Directing this radiation into an unused space is counter-productive. Building the stove into a cupboard and placing walls around it would also dramatically affect its output. Stove design involves many calculations that take into account expansion, contraction, air-tightness, flue lengths, firebox geometry and wall thickness.

Ceramic Stoves behave somewhat organically as they heat and cool which necessitates a certain amount of flexibility and space. Placing a heavy chimney directly on top of a stove, for example, could result in disintegration of both the stove and the chimney and should not be considered. Where a stove rises through an upstairs floor it must be cleared by 50mm all round to conform to fire regulations.

This, however, can be a big advantage as controllable vents in this gap will allow convective heat upstairs at bedtime.

It is possible to construct stoves that perform more than one function although it must be said that, as with all multipurpose appliances, a stove will generally perform better the fewer functions it fulfils. Without a doubt, the most efficient stoves are those that produce heat only, although they can be, and are built with hotplates, ovens and water boilers for domestic hot water and radiator supply. In such cases the stove will act as the focal point for the whole house.

A popular system now gaining favour in Germany is a dual-purpose masonry heater that has a rapid response time and produces both hot convective air and long wave radiant heat. Like a typical ceramic stove it requires a short attendance time and burns the wood in optimum conditions, although the convective part has all the usual drawbacks associated with hot metal surfaces.