How to connect a wood burner to central heatingThe question often asked is "how do I connect a wood burning stove to a central heating system". This is a specialist area and one that has to be dealt with carefully. Done correctly it will transform a home and be very economical to run however if the system is not installed correctly then it can be extremely dangerous.

The old saying "go and run a bath kids" which was triggered by the the noise of the water tank banging is no longer an acceptable safety measure!!

Multi fuel and wood burning stoves with back boilers. 

There are wood burning stoves and multi fuel stoves with integral back boilers or wrap round boilers and there are clip in boilers. Some boilers are sized in order to provide domestic hot water but are not large enough to do the central heating. There are some stoves that are designed to run on a gravity feed only and there are some new specialist stoves that can be run with pumps and even used in conjunction with a pressurised (unvented) heating system.

Thermal stores, buffer tanks, thermal cylinders, accumulator tanks, open vented cylinders and unvented cylinders,  can all look similar if you do not know what you are looking at. 

The size of the tank and the way it is set up is critical to how it will work.

At one end of the scale a small one bed dwelling with one bathroom can be set up to run with a wood burner and offer a central heating system with ample domestic hot water for bathing and showering. This type of set up would benefit from an electric imersion heater so hot water can be produced in the summer when there is no wish to light the stove. If solar pv is fitted to the property then this can contribute to the electricity consumption.

On the other hand if the property is large and has a high demand then more complex systems can be designed. It is not uncommon to find properties with oil boilers which have been resigned to be used as an automatic back up to a renewable heating system. Gasification boilers, wood burning stoves with back boilers and Solar thermal are all heat sources that can be linked. Under floor heating, radiators and Thermaskirt are some room heaters that can be connected to the thermal store.

Domestic hot water can be delivered to the whole house at mains pressure either via a coil or a plate exchanger. The choices seem endless and bespoke systems are best designed by an expert.

When designing a system consideration should be given to the property size and location, the availability of fuels, the occupancy level, the age and phisical ability of the occupants and their life style. Whilst considering all these things it is also important to understand the costs of the equipment, the running costs of the chosen and the value of the property to which it is being installed.

Click here for more information on Thermal Store solutions.

For advice visit Cheshire Design Centre in Congleton or call us on 01260 290044.