Why wood fires are a great way to heat your home

A wood fire is still a great way to heat the home and everyone who has one will say that there is nothing quite like it. Read on to find out why you need a wood-burning fireplace and how you can get one.

While gas has become the in thing in recent years, advancements to clean burning technology for wood fireplaces means they can often be more efficient than a heat pump. In fact, some units can put out the equivalent of 16-18 Kilowatts – that’s more than two large heat pumps!

Benefits to having a solid fuel burner

  • They work well with heat transfer systems
  • If you have access to cheap firewood, it’s a cheap way to heat your home
  • A wood fire burner is ideal for those rural properties with owners who don’t mind a bit of manual labour to get a roaring fire as a reward.
  • If you’re unlucky enough to be out of power, the models that can boil a jug or fry an egg are a bonus!

Requirements for solid fuel burners in the Waikato:

Regulations around wood-burning fireplaces can be strict and there is a process to follow before installing that wood fire. An application for building consent will need to be lodged with the local council – for this you will require the following:

  • A copy of the wood burner specifications
  • Scale floorplan of the house (showing proposed wood burner and smoke alarm locations)
  • Proof of title
  • Letter of authority (only if the installer is doing the consent application), and a certified installer’s details (installer’s details can be supplied later if need be).
  • The fireplace will need to meet NZ environmental regulations, which can be found on www.mfe.govt.nz (Multi fuel heaters are exempt from NZ Environmental regulations)
  • Smoke alarms need to be installed within three metres of bedrooms and are a good idea throughout the house
  • Flue drawings and roof flashing design and location

Consent costs sit at $350 for Hamilton City Council and $365 Waikato District Council (both are GST-inclusive) and can take around 20 days to process.

With the weather packing it in, there’s never been a better time to get the heating sorted in your home this winter. Wood fires are no longer the smokey old polluters they used to be and shouldn’t be ruled out for an efficient and rewarding way to keep the family warm.

Send us an email or give us a call – we can talk you through wood-burner options and get that home heating sorted once and for all.

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