How to improve effectiveness of fireplace - fit a woodburning stove?

One of my relatives uses an open fireplace for heating during the winter, using a mixture of coal and wood. The wood is effectively free. The fireplace doesn't seem to produce a lot of heat, and I've read that a woodburning stove might be much more effective, by virtue of drawing less cold air into the house and sending less heat up the chimney. I have some questions:
The regularly-swept chimney copes fine with the mixture of wood and coal burnt in the fireplace, so is it likely be be OK with a wood stove, if suitably connected? The house is about 20 years old.
The house is in a rural area, but there are a few houses nearby. Is the exhaust from a woodstove likely to cause more nuisance to them than that from the fireplace?
An ideas where I can get a cheap stove? I'm hopefully monitoring my local Freecycle group, but I guess recent energy price rises have made wood stoves very sought-after.
Any other things worth trying?
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Simon wrote:

Stoves are more efficient really due to the longer path the flue gases take through the structure, and the more surface area of the structure: our open fires take hours to really heat a room, because there is a mass of about 15 tonnes of masonry and the like that needs to get warm first..but they heat the room for about 12 hours after the fire goes out!!
Stoves, drawing less air into the flue, (can) run the flues a lot hotter. Regulations insist that even a decent existing open fire flue be lined..and this will cost you the bets part of a grand I am afraid. Consult your BCO for details..
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The Natural Philosopher coughed up some electrons that declared:

I can offer some input on this, having discussed the very same issue with the local stove shop down the end of the village.
His opinion was that, yes, the flue must be lined as you say for the same reasons. However, he was of the opinion that the lining may not need any packing (eg vermiculite) around it if the chimney is good and relatively free from tar. On this premise, I was told that DIY fitting his stainless steel liner would be straightforward and would cost in the low 100's for 7m of liner and top + bottom end parts. In short, he said I could get a reasonable quality medium sized stove and liner+parts for a grand from him and he was fairly confident the BCO (who he knew in passing) would probably be OK with it, although of course I should check first, he added, quite reasonably.
Proof's in the eating of course...
Cheers
Tim
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another stove tip is to have an air intake pipe coming up through the floor or wall so the fire takes its air from there not sucking cold air through the cracks under the doors and in the windows...
i am still investigating this...
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[george]



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my house was built early 60'sOn Sep 17, 9:24 pm, "George \(dicegeorge

my house was built early 60's and Bonk n Co reckons it will have a lined chimney, all that they say I need is a collar bit, (not their term) to mate the pipe from the stove to the chimney.
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Tim S wrote:

Do you not have to be registered with CORGI or similar to install a wood burning stove? I know its not gas, but adequate ventilation & CO2 escape must be considerations?
--
Dave - The Medway Handyman
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The Medway Handyman coughed up some electrons that declared:

I don't know in the general case of doing for hire or reward.
But, for your own home, you can certainly do gas plus this will be under a BNA regarding the flue anyway (same BNA as the 6 million other jobs on the house!).
So, I think the answer is certainly no in my case; in your case, if you were doing as a job for someone else, then I'm uncertain. Most of the stove guys are registered with their professional body, HETAS, so perhaps this body covers the ventilation requirements associated with a stove fit?
Cheers
Tim
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The Medway Handyman wrote:

No,but you must pass building regs.
The hazards are les explosive and being gassed, and more fire related.
The kernel of the regulatins are there to ensure that the stove has adequate ventilation, that the flue goes out of the living space sensibly without leaks, and that the hottest parts of the stove and flue are well insulated from suitably fire resistant adjacent materials.
What this boils down to is that flues must be very well sealed, and prefarably double walled insulated to both keep flue temperatures up high enough to keep tars out of the flue, and protect any flammable stuff near the flue from catching fire. If the chimney is already decent and old enough, you may be allowed to drop a flexible flue down. Otherwise its double insulated stainless flue. Expensive.
The hearth area should be already good enough, but you need a gap between the stove doors and anything flammable covered with fireproof tiles etc, and any wood or plasterwork close to or behind the stove needs a masterboard type covering on it - essentially asbestos board without asbestos.
Current wood prices are well below oil/gas prices though, so it is cost effective.
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wrote:

Wood I can understand, but why does plaster need covering? Its not flammable
Anna -- Anna Kettle Lime plaster repair and conservation Freehand modelling in lime: overmantels, pargeting etc Tel:    (+44)  01359 230642 Mob:  (+44)  07976 649862 Please look at my website for examples of my work at: www.kettlenet.co.uk  
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Anna Kettle wrote:

It degrades when hot. And exposes the wood behind..if its over masonry, I think its allowable. Check with BCO. Not sure here. My house is timber so I may have been thinking too narrowly.
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Anna Kettle wrote:

My immediate reaction to reading that (from a completely uninformed POV) is that plaster is likely to be formed from plasterboard, which has a surface layer of paper. Even if skimmed, the heat could make that paper char.
But another possibility is that, with repeated overheating, plaster will simply disintegrate. After all, the gypsum is basically made into plaster by a 'burning' process.
--
Rod

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wrote:

The answer to my own question is that plaster is not flammable, at least not at the temperatures which will surround a woodburning stove. Plaster is basically rock and needs to be heated to significant temperatures before it changes state
Timber and paper on the other hand are flammable and if either of them is masquerading as plaster then there is a fire risk. In Tudor times, timber framed smoke bays were sometimes installed in houses instead of masonry chimney stacks. Not many survive
Anna -- Anna Kettle Lime plaster repair and conservation Freehand modelling in lime: overmantels, pargeting etc Tel:    (+44)  01359 230642 Mob:  (+44)  07976 649862 Please look at my website for examples of my work at: www.kettlenet.co.uk  
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Anna Kettle wrote:

IN a fire, it crumbles. Anyway check with BCO.

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Anna Kettle wrote:

If you are thinking lime plaster (and that would be expected!), I don't know. But for gypsum the temperature is quite low and could easily be achieved round a wood burner.
"Gypsum rock is converted into gypsum plaster by driving off some of the chemically combined water. Heating gypsum at 120°C for one hour results in a hemi-hydrate (CaSO4.1?2H2O) – with three quarters of the water removed. Gypsum hemi-hydrate is also known as Plaster of Paris. Prolonged heating over several hours results in the formation of anhydrite with practically none of the chemically combined water left."
<http://practicalaction.org/practicalanswers/product_info.php?products_id05
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Rod

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wrote:

Well I suppose I am because I've often seen lime mortar used to line fireplaces and flues. I just looked up the burn temperature and 900degC is mentioned
Anna

-- Anna Kettle Lime plaster repair and conservation Freehand modelling in lime: overmantels, pargeting etc Tel:    (+44)  01359 230642 Mob:  (+44)  07976 649862 Please look at my website for examples of my work at: www.kettlenet.co.uk  
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Anna Kettle wrote:

Well that's probably the source of the confusion then: I regard lime plaster as pretty much like cement render, and cement of the portland type needs to be red hot before it degrades. Although it will, as the back of my open fires testifies: bricks and mortar have been etched away by heat. Even the cast iron firebacks that went in after I noticed that have cracked. Hence the need for 'fireproof cement' when constructing hearths.
`But plasterboard which is gypsum, on a bonfire, goes crumbly very rapidly. I assume household ordinary plaster is similar.
Again I don't have absolute date but the builders I worked with recommended render for the space behind the stove, not plaster.
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