F.A.Q's

This area provides you with the answers to the most frequently asked questions asked. If you have a specific question not listed, please contact your local ACR stockist for more assistance and advice.

Why is my stove smoking back into the room?

At the time of the year when the weather has suddenly turned very cold, it is possible that you could have smoke coming back into your room from the chimney. This could be down to a number of reasons but the most common cause is the flue being cold. Smoke is very lazy and isn't going to keep trying to battle past a plug of cold air in the flue so will spill back down into the room. The trick is to get as much heat into the flue as possible to shift that plug of cold air and allow the flue to draw correctly. This can be done through correct lighting of the stove - try using the top down method as demonstrated in our "how to light your stove" video at the following link https://acrheatproducts.com/video This gets heat into the chimney quickly. If you are still experiencing smoke coming back in, just light a sheet of newspaper on the grate and open all air controls and when lit, push the door to but no close it. This should very quickly heat the chimney and then follow with the top down method of lighting.

If you are still experiencing smoking back, we would recommend that you have the flue inspected for any blockages.

If the flue isn't tall enough this could be another reason why the flue is not working as well as it should. Or there may be too many bends in the flue system which are causing resistance and not allowing the flue to function properly.

Fuel is also a common cause of smoking back. Logs with more than 20% moisture burn at cooler temperatures and will never perform as well as dried wood. Test your wood for moisture content and if it is higher than 20%, store until it has reached the required level and buy kiln dried wood to get you through.

If after all of this, the stove is still smoking back into the room then it could be a lack of ventilation in the room. Stoves need air to work and the newer the home, the more likely it is to be air tight. Wall insulation, modern glazing and extractor fans all have the ability to cause issues with how the stove operates and if there is insufficient air in the room, the stove will not work as it should. A simple way to see if this is the case is to open a window in the room and see if this improves the situation.

The real facts about woodburning stoves

The Stove Industry Alliance have launched a new video along with a fact sheet to accompany this to give the real facts about woodburning to counter the misconceptions of woodburning which have been in the press over the last couple of years. We hope you find this very useful - please follow the link to the video https://youtu.be/9VQnSgquvp0

Woodburning Stoves & PM 2.5

Woodburning stoves have seen a lot of negative press in the last year and although we have made comment on this previously we thought it would be good to address some of the comments with regards with PM 2.5 which have once again arisen in the news this week.

PM 2.5 is given off when burning wood however, wood is one of the only truly renewable fuels in this world. Ethical log suppliers are growing new trees which will help safeguard the next generation. Trees absorb CO2 whilst growing and emit Oxygen. We think it is safe to say that diesel, a derivative of the fossil fuel crude oil, does not produce a major percentage of the world's oxygen like trees do.

At this point in time, there are no statistics which provide information specifically about woodstoves and their emissions into the UK atmosphere. The current information published by the government also includes open fires, bonfires, wildfires, pizza ovens, fire pits and BBQ's within the same category as woodburning stoves. Now, I am not sure about you but I tend to light my woodstove when it gets cold in late Autumn and then stop when it warms up in March and I guess that's when pretty much everyone with a wood stove follows the same pattern. It is therefore interesting that the summer months, when woodburning stoves are not being lit, the levels of PM 2.5 are usually at their highest. It is important that this is tackled too as woodburning stoves certainly can not be blamed for summer PM 2.5 levels.

Don't get me wrong, we know that woodburning stoves can be improved and are striving to ensure that all of our stoves meet the new regulations for EcoDesign 2 years ahead of the required deadline. A 10 year old woodstove will have higher emissions that a EcoDesign model. An open fire has even higher emissions infact, an EcoDesign stove will have up to 90% less emissions than an open fire and up to 80% less emissions than a 10 year old stove.

It seems clear that by replacing an open fire or an older stove with a new EcoDesign stove will make a massive difference to the levels of PM 2.5 released into the atmosphere.

However, it is vital that the correct fuel is burned on these stoves. There is little point in investing in some of the cleanest stoves ever to then undo that good work by burning wet wood. Logs with no more than 20% moisture should only ever be burned. The wetter the wood, the less heat you will get and the more PM will be released. Don't overload the stove with logs and then slumber it as this is the worst way to operate your stove for it's own sake and the sake of the environment - slumbering produces poor air quality.

It is also more important than ever that the stove is operated as per the manufacturers instructions and maintained properly with an annual service to ensure that it is working as efficiently as possible. The chimney should also be swept at least once a year to assist with the proper running of the stove. We can all see a difference in the performance of our cars once they have been serviced so it is worth ensuring your stove is looked after properly too. Infact, your warranty could be effected if you don't properly maintain your stove.

We are proud to be producing stoves that are among the cleanest available and helping to reduce the levels of PM 2.5. However you chose to heat your home, it is a fact that fuel has to be used. If burning gas, oil or electric in your home heating, these are all fossil fuels which will contribute towards poor air quality and are not renewable fuels. If you are off grid, you probably only have the choice of oil, LPG or wood to heat to your home. We need to be able to make the choice of using alternative fuels such as woodburning as a reliable way to warm your home whether you are in the town or countryside and when done in conjunction with an EcoDesign stove, wood with less than 20% moisture, well maintained and operated correctly this is still a good option to the alternatives.

I don't have a chimney - can I still have a gas stove installed?

Our range of gas stoves are balanced flue so in most cases, it will be possible to install one of our gas stoves into your home. If you have an existing chimney, this can be lined with a Renovation Kit or you could come off the back of the stove and straight outside when using the Snorkel Kit or you could come off the top of the stove, take the flue up and then outside to the outside wall using the Up & Out Kit. Always check the suitability of the stove with your local stockist before purchasing.

I've heard that woodburning stoves might be banned?

Let us reassure you that there are no plans to ban woodstoves. Recent articles in the press and media have given that impression but DEFRA has included woodburning stoves in their Clean Air Strategy and they are recommending installing SIA EcoDesign Ready stoves along with using Ready To Burn logs. A little known fact is that the Mayor of London has even paid for adverts placed in the Evening Standard to advise this too! You can therefore be confident buying a SIA EcoDesign Ready stove that they are not going to be banned. Most of the ACR stove range are already SIA EcoDesign approved and it is our aim to ensure that all of our range is approved by the middle of 2020.


Will the saving I make on my utility bills outweigh the cost of the stove?

This depends on the use of the stove and how much money you spend on the stove. Stoves come in various price brackets but dont be tempted to make savings on the installation - you must ensure you chose a HETAS registered installer. If you fit thermostats to your radiators then you should see less usage of your gas as the stove heat distributes around the room and into other rooms. Alot of people see reductions to their gas bills from the onset of using the stove. I am lucky enough to have my flue running through the centre of my home so when I light my stove, the heat warms the lounge but as we keep the door open into the hallway, the heat then rises up the staicase and keeps the upstairs of the house warm too. By operating our stove this way, we rarely put our central heating on and when we do, it is because the temperature outside is close to zero degrees. If you are lucky enough to get free supplies of wood then you can make some dramatic savings to your utility bills.

Can I install the stove myself?

NO! You must use either a HETAS acredited installer (please visit www.hetas.co.uk for details of approved installers in your area) or if you use a non-HETAS approved tradesman you must contact your local authority to come and inspect the installation and they will sign the work off. Carrying out the work yourself could be extremely dangerous - the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning are serious if the work isnt carried out by a HETAS installer. Also, you run the risk of not installing the appliance in accordance with current building regulations or manufacturers instructions which could lead to clearance requirements not being adhered to, the flue not being correctly fitted etc - both of which could lead to a chimney or house fire. You will also require the certificate to prove the work has been carried out as per Building Regulations when you come to sell your home.

How efficient is a woodburner compared to an open fire?

Far higher. An open fire has an efficiency of approximately 20%. Compare this to at least 80% for an ACR woodburning stove. When burning a woodstove with the door closed, you will lose approximately 20% or less of the heat up the chimney. With an open fire most of the heat is lost up your chimney. A stove is a far more efficient method of burning wood. Choosing a SIA EcoDesign Ready stove will ensure that you are purchasing the most efficient stoves available in the market.

Can I burn anything on my stove?

Ideally you should only burn wood on a woodburning stove and this should be well seasoned with less than 20% moisture content. Treated wood, e.g wood that has been painted, creosoted and railway sleepers must not be burnt in your stove. These will release harmful pollutants into the atmosphere and could harm your stove. Unseasoned wood will have too high a moisture content and will mean you get far less heat out of the fuel but will also cause tar and creosote to build up inside the stove and the flue liner which could lead to a chimney fire - it will also decrease the efficiency of your stove and increase pollution within the atmosphere. If buying wood from a petrol station etc, always ensure it has the Woodsure "Ready to burn" logo on as this guarantees it has less than 20% moisture content. Burning unseasoned wood is not good for the environment either - it has never been more important to ensure that you burn wood with less than 20% moisture content than now.

If you have a multifuel stove, you can burn seasoned wood and smokeless fuels. Make sure that your smokeless fuel has less than 20% petroleum content with your fuel merchant before buying. A high pet coke content will overheat the internal components of your stove and wil cause premature damage.

Modern stoves are not really designed to be an incinerator so it is best to recycle your rubbish rather than burn it on the stove. Paper and newspapers can be used to start lighting the fire but never put any plastic on the fire.

What is the best way for me to store logs?

It is always best for logs to be stored slightly off the ground and with plenty of airflow around them to enable them to season. There are plenty of log stores on the market to chose from with some costing hundreds of pounds. We have always used Log Tidy's to store our own wood at home which are a steel frame onto which you stack the logs and once dry, there is a cover you can place over them to stop them getting wet from rain etc. For just £20 inc vat these are a great way of starting to store your logs. They are especially helpful if you need to store logs close to the house or need to store in various areas of your garden perhaps.

I have heard that burning wood is bad for the environment - is this true?

When a tree is burned, it releases carbon into the atmosphere but only what is has absorbed in its lifetime. This means that it is carbon neutral and will release far less carbon during burning than fossil fuels, gas and electricity. A lot of modern woodburning stoves have tertiary burn systems or catalytic burn systems which will reburn the emissions prior to them being released into the flue to have an even cleaner burn. As members of the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) we are striving to introduce EcoDesign approved stoves to the market sooner than the required date of 2022. SIA EcoDesign stoves give the highest efficiencies possible, a reduction in emissions and are up to 90% more efficient that an open fire. Recent bad press about woodburning in cities has not taken into consideration modern stoves such as the SIA EcoDesign models which can help solve the problem rather than add to it. Most emissions from woodburning in city centres are down to open fires being operated with wet wood and house coal which is prohibited in smoke controlled areas. If the open fires were replaced with high efficiency woodburning stoves using "Ready to burn" logs with less than 20% moisture content, there would be an automatic reduction in poor air quality. log_pile.JPG

We have just had a tree cut down. Can I burn the wood straight away?

Freshly cut wood has far too much moisture in it to be able to burn it properly. It is best to cut the wood into smaller rings and then chop into the logs. These should then be stored for at least 18 months to 2 years, ideally under cover to protect from the rain and snow but allowing air to move between the logs, before being burned. It is a good idea to buy a moisture meter to check the moisture level in your logs before burning them. They should have no more than 20% moisture content.

If you were to burn unseasoned wood, you would need approximately 4 times as much fuel to get the same heat as you would get from burning just 1 seasoned log making it a false economy. Burning unseasoned wood will also create tar and creosote in your stove - this will blacken the glass up, make the insides of the stove black and sticky and will tar up your chimney which could lead to a chimney fire.

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Having a woodburner seems like a lot of hard work

Compared to just flicking a switch for your central heating, a wood burner is going to require more effort however this can become part of the fun.

Alot of families make collecting their wood a family activity. Others will have their logs delivered so it can be as easy as loading the seasoned wood from the bag straight into the stove. There is an old saying that tells you that a woodburner will keep you warm 3 times - once when you collect the wood, once when you chop the wood and then once when you light the wood. Most people though will tell you that the extra effort is well worth the benefits.

You will need to clean the stove out and empty the ashpan everyday but nowadays stoves are far cleaner than you remember.

Do I need anything on top of the chimney?

Normally all you should need on the top of the chimney or flue is a rain cap. This will stop rain coming down the flue and ending up inside your stove. It will also help stop birds nesting in the flue and twigs and sticks being dropped down the flue by birds.

Do I need to sweep my chimney?

We recommend that your chimney should be swept at least once a year by a qualified chimney sweep. It is advisable to do this before the start of the heating season - summer is a great time to deal with this.

Can I burn any solid fuel on my stove?

No! If you have purchased one of our multifuel stoves you can burn either seasoned wood with a moisture content of less than 20% or smokeless fuels. Smokeless fuel should have a pet coke content of no more than 20%. Any higher than 20% and you stand to damage the interior of the stove and craze the glass panel. Your stove is not covered by warranty if the incorrect fuel has been burned. We would recommend that you always check with ACR to confirm the fuel you wish to burn if you are in any doubt.

What clearances will I need around my stove?

This will depend on which stove you are interested in as the clearances can differ from model to model. It is always best to refer to the manual for your intended stove which can be found on the product page of the website.

What does DEFRA approved or DEFRA exempt mean?

DEFRA approved and DEFRA exempt both mean the same thing which is that if you want to burn wood if you live in a smoke controlled area, you will need to choose a stove which is DEFRA approved / DEFRA exempt. This means that the stove has been stringently tested on behalf of the government to ensure that it is clean burning and passes the required standards for woodburning in smoke conrolled areas. You can safely install a DEFRA approved / exempt stove if you live in a smoke controlled area.

Will I need an air vent?

It depends! If the property is older than 2008 and has not altered dramatically e.g an extension added, new windows installed or rooms knocked into one then the chances are that you will not require an air vent on a 5Kw or below stove. Your installer will be able to confirm if any additional room air is required. If the property is post 2008 then your installer will need to calculate if additional room air will be required or not. As properties become more air tight then additional room air is required. An appliance with an output of above 5kw will require additional room air and your installer will again calculate the required amount for your chosen stove.

Why is the glass getting dirty on my stove?

Normally this is due to unseasoned wood being burned. We recommend that your only burn wood with a moisture content of 20% or less. Any higher than this and the moisture will condense on the glass and create tar. If you are not burning the fuel hot enough you can also find that the glass will blacken up too. Best to check the moisture content with a moisture meter prior to burning the wood and then don't keep the fire slumbering for long periods. When buying bags of logs, always make sure they carry the Woodsure "Ready to Burn" logo - your guarantee that the logs have a moisture content of less than 20%.

Should I have my stove serviced?

Yes! We recommend that your stove is serviced by a suitably qualified professional such as a HETAS registered engineer annually. As part of the service, the engineer will strip down the internals of the stove to thoroughly clean the stove, replace the door rope seals and inspect the general condition of the stove and replace any parts as necessary. Most ACR stoves are supplied with a 10 year warranty and a condition of this warranty is that the stove is serviced annually by a qualified engineer. A serviced stove is an efficient stove. By renewing components such as the firebricks at the first sign of wear and tear should prolong the life of the stove. Always keep a record of when your stove was serviced along with our invoice as this may be required in the event of a warranty claim.

I don't have a chimney. Can I still have a stove?

In most cirumstances the answer if yes. A twin wall flue system can normally be installed to the property which will allow a stove to be connected and operated. Speaking to your local HETAS registered engineer will confirm this for you.

My stove glass has crazed - why has this happened?

Crazing occurs when a solid fuel with a high pet coke content has been burned. When some smokeless fuels with a high pet coke content are burned inside our appliance, they burn at a hotter rate causing damage to the ceramic coating on the glass.

We would recommend you stop using the specific smokeless fuel causing the issue and choose one from the list below that has a lower pet coke content, a maximum 20%:


Maxibrite briquettes - Comprise anthracite fines (as to approximately 84% of the total weight), petroleum coke (as to approximately 12% of the total weight) and starch as binder (as to the remaining weight)


Supacite briquettes- Comprise anthracite fines (as to approximately 84% of the total weight), petroleum coke (as to approximately 12% of the total weight) and starch as binder (as to the remaining weight)


Briteheat Plus briquettes- Comprise anthracite duff (as to approximately 75 to 95% of the total weight), petroleum coke (up to approximately 20% of the total weight) and an organic binder (as to the remaining weight)

What are the basic hearth requirements?

The majority of appliances must stand on a level fireproof hearth with a minimum thickness of 12mm as the hearth temperature created is below 100°C. Certain appliances such as the inserts have a higher hearth temperature and will require a different hearth type. For dimensions for how far the hearth needs to protrude at the front and side, please see the manual section of our website as they differ from model to model.

Is it ok to put my TV over my stove?

Televisions, electrical equipment and artwork generally do not react well to excessive heat and as heat rises, this can put these items at risk of damage. We therefore do not recommend that you place these items above your stove.

Where is the serial number of my stove located?

Serial numbers on our appliances are located on a silver data plate. Depending on the stove you have the location of the data plate is as follows:

CAST & ELECTRIC - the data plate is located at the back of the stove in the bottom right hand corner.

CONTEMPORARY - the data plate is located at the back of the stove in the bottom left hand corner.

STEEL ( excluding the Tenbury )- the data plate is located on the right side of the stove underneath – in which the data plate twists out.

TENBURY - the data plate is located on the outer box of the stove on the left hand side of the door.

What will the running cost of my gas stove be?

To calculate the approximate running cost of your gas stove, you will need to refer to our latest gas bill to check how much you are paying per Kw of gas. Let's say you are paying 3p per kw currently.

Then check the input of the stove. For example, the Neo range of gas stoves have an input of 8.2Kw

Now multiply the input rating (8.2) x the price per Kw (3p) which will equal the running cost per hour (8.2 x 3 = 24.6p)

If you were to run your stove for 4 hours a day, the cost would be 24.6p x 4 hours = 98.4p