Although it's officially spring, the weather hasn’t quite caught on, so it's no surprise that lots of us are still thinking about heating rather than cooling options for our homes.
When it comes to fireplaces, Jetmaster Heat & Glo is a well known name in both Melbourne, Victoria and Tasmania, and they have a large range of both gas and wood fireplace options.
We caught up with Anthony Blake from Jetmaster to find out what’s new with wood burning fires.
“Slow combustion stoves continue to be really popular, and they make up 60-70% of wood burners that we sell. Open wood fireplaces are increasing in popularity too, with lots of builds including them as a part of the al fresco area design”.
Apparently it's not just us who thinks a wood fire is a welcome addition to the home and so beautiful to watch!
Over the last couple of years there have been changes to the range of wood burning slow combustion heaters on offer, largely driven by the new Clean Air Emissions Act.
The Clean Air Act requires lower particle emissions, which is generally achieved by the fire burning at a higher temperature.
Now a savvy scout will know that if your fire is burning hotter, this also means that you are burning through your wood more quickly.
So it’s not surprising then that the most common questions consumers are asking about slow combustion heaters are: • Will the fire keep burning all night? • And, will the house stay warm overnight?
The ultimate goal it seems for the home owner wanting a wood heater is to find a slow combustion heater that conforms (and hopefully exceeds) the emission standards, has long burn times, and can be re-loaded without necessarily needing to be re-lit.
Finding that balance is also important when it comes to keeping your operating costs down too.
Manufacturers have responded by designing slow combustion fire boxes that are sometimes smaller than previous models. This helps to achieve the higher burn temperatures needed for the lower emissions standards, without chewing through the wood. This is a moment when bigger isn’t necessarily better.
As Anthony explains, ‘The important thing is getting the right unit for your home. The new slow combustion units like the Quadrafire 2100 Millennium have a much smaller footprint, so they take up less space in your room, but are capable of heating up to a whole 20sq house if they are teamed with a heat transfer kit.”
The key thing then, is getting good advice during the purchase process. Jetmaster have built up a strong partnership network of dealers across Victoria & Tasmania, and work closely with all their partners to make sure just about everyone has a local expert close by that they can tap into for good advice and recommendations.
Changes in wood fire and slow combustion heater styling happen slowly, but there are some very slick new fireplaces on the market that feature contemporary styling cues. In particular, units like the Kemlan C900, with its wide landscape opening, rather than the more traditional square or portrait shape. The Celestial C900 is particularly flexible, being available in both a freestanding and built in or insert designs.
So what are the things you should be weighing up when you are looking at a new slow combustion wood burning heater? Anthony says there are three key things you need to look at -
• Burn time
• And of course, styling.
There is one last thing that you need to know about – what’s the best wood to burn for your heater? Definitely not Tea Tree as that will reduce the life of your fire by corroding the fire box. Instead look for good Australian hardwoods with a moisture content of less than 15%, and maybe spend the $15 or so to get a moisture metre to check.
After that – sit back, and enjoy. Wood burning fires really are beautiful to watch and they add a special warmth & ambience to your home.
If you are researching heating options for your home, you may be interested in our blog expert fireplace advice too.