Dimplex Club electric stove providing heat to Inveraray Castle

Inveraray Castle is the ancestral home of the Duke of Argyll, Chief of the Clan Campbell, and it is also currently home to a Dimplex Club electric stove.

The popular tearooms at the iconic castle on the banks of the River Aray are heated by a Club, which you can see in the photo above.

In addition to being one of the most popular tourist destinations on the west coast of Scotland, the 18th-century Gothic-style castle is also well-known as being the location for the 2012 Christmas special of Downton Abbey. So, if it looks familiar but you haven’t visited, that is probably where you know if from.

It is easy to work out why the castle would have opted to invest in the Dimplex Club to provide some warmth and cosiness to the tearooms. Its traditional cast-iron style and realistic Optiflame® log effect create a look that is entirely in keeping with Inveraray’s tradition. And with the flame effect working independently of the heat source, they can create the right ambience even if the temperature doesn’t call for heating. So whatever the weather, the tearooms are always looking cosy and welcoming.

When extra heat is needed, it is available at the click of a button, cleanly and with no effort required. That means staff can focus on providing service to their customers.

If you would like to heat your own home with a Dimplex Club just like the one found at Inveraray Castle, you can buy one here.

Why DEFRA approved stoves aren’t really DEFRA approved stoves

You will often hear people talking about DEFRA approved wood-burning stoves. It is a commonly used phrase for appliances that you are allowed to used in smoke control areas. We even slip into using the terminology ourselves occasionally, but strictly speaking we are wrong when we do.

That is because there is no such thing as DEFRA approved stoves. What we are all talking about when we use that phrase are DEFRA exempt stoves. Splitting hairs? Perhaps, but there is a subtle differentiation.

To say something is approved by DEFRA implies it has their endorsement, that they are vouching for its quality. In fact, the appliances in question are exempted from the Clean Air Act.

Specifically, the stoves are exempted by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in accordance with changes made to sections 20 and 21 of the Clean Air Act 1993 by section 15 of the Deregulation Act 2015 (or section 50 of the Regulatory Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 in Scotland or by regulations made by Welsh Ministers in Wales).

Being exempt from a piece of legislation is not the same as having approval. So, when you are confronted with a so-called DEFRA approved stove, what you are actually looking at is a DEFRA exempt appliance: one that has been shown to burn efficiently enough that the gases it emits are acceptable in smoke control areas when the owner i using the specified fuel(s), operating the stove in accordance with the instruction and installation manuals and meeting any other conditions specified by DEFRA.

Our approved DEFRA stoves

So, we cannot bring you DEFRA approved stoves, but we can bring you some approved DEFRA stoves: woodburners that are exempted by DEFRA and also have a thumbs-up from Gr8Fires. Here are some of our favourite DEFRA exempt stoves…

Mazona Rocky 6 kW Smoke Exempt Multi Fuel Stove

Our best-selling stove is hugely popular for its timeless design, quality cast iron construction and bargain price tag. It also comes with the additional benefit of being DEFRA exempt. Have a closer look.

Dimplex Langbrook 5 SE Multi-Fuel Stove

The Dimplex Langbrook boasts an unusual, contemporary design. Those rounded edges and chunky feet create an eye-catching look, which you can enjoy even if you live in a smoke control area. Have a closer look.

Thorma Horby 10.5 kW Grey Wood Burning Stove

Make a big statement with the freestanding Thorma Horby, which is modern in styling and will create an impression in any room. Have a closer look.

Aarrow i400 6kW Flexifuel Multi Fuel Stove

Aarrow stoves are always sleek and stylish. This i400 is a cassette stove that can slot into a recess for a very tidy look. Have a closer look.

Aarrow Farringdon 5kW Wood-Burning Stove

We told you Aarrow stoves are sleek and stylish. The minimal Farringdon is another case in point. Have a closer look.

Mazona Portland Inset Multi-Fuel Stove

A versatile and well-priced inset stove that slots straight into a standard fireplace opening and works well with various styles of decor. Have a closer look. Also available in black and cream enamel versions.

Click here to see more DEFRA exempt stoves

What is the internal plate at the top of a woodburner?

We are often contacted by people who have inadvertently discovered a plate sitting inside their woodburner at the top of the firebox.

If they are baffled as to what the internal place is, that’s pretty ironic because it is actually called the baffle.

Since it is tucked away at the very top of the stove and is usually made from cast iron, it is easy to miss. As a result, the baffle often comes to people’s attention when they accidentally dislodge it during cleaning or refuelling, or else when something goes wrong (like they notice a hole in it).

How do I know where the internal plate goes?

We’ve just discussed the circumstances under which a lot of people become aware of their plate, so their instant reaction is usually: “How do I put it back where it came from?”

The easiest way to do this is to consult your stove manual, which should provide instructions on fitting the baffle. If you don’t have a manual, it should still be fairly obvious. Usually there are small pegs sticking out of the internal wall that the baffle will rest upon. If you sit the baffle on top of the fire liners (the plates protecting the side and back of the stove body), the pegs or other method for holding the baffle in place should now be slightly above it.

What is the purpose of the internal plate at the top of a woodburner?

The baffle plate has two main roles. Firstly, as just mentioned in relation to the fire liners, it protects the top of the stove body from the most intense heat and flames.

But its main purpose is to save you money. It effectively blocks the most direct route up your chimney, forcing the gases to go around it before going upwards. This helps to keep flammable gases in the firebox for as long as possible to give them the best possible chance of being burnt before they disappear up the flue.

This helps you to get the most bang for your buck with the fuel you burn and is also better for the environment because it is not good for unspent gases to be emitted into the atmosphere.

Why is my baffle damaged?

If you are reading this because you have noticed the internal plate at the top of your woodburner is worn or warped, this article will help you to work out what’s gone wrong and how to address the problem.

Retro woodburners to suit 1950s and 1960s midcentury decor

If your home is decked out in retro or vintage decor, you don’t want your woodburner to let the side down.

Here are a selection of wood-burning stoves and multi-fuel stoves that work well with midcentury interior design. Although they are all contemporary appliances – with all the efficiency benefits that brings – but look like they wouldn’t have been out of place in a living room in the 1950s or 1960s.

Invicta Oxo 10kW Wood-Burning Stove

The Invicta Oxo looks like it could be the bad guy in a 1960s sci-fi TV series, but it is actually another very interesting stove designed by French manufacturer Invicta. The design comprises both stainless steel and cast iron, while the 10kW heat output will add warmth to even large spaces. Have a closer look.

Dimplex Langbrook 5 SE Multi-Fuel Stove

Like many woodburners, the Dimplex Langbrook is a black box. But its subtle design features help to give it a very retro look that set it apart from those other appliances. Rounded edges and unusually chunky feet give the Langbrook its distinctive look. Have a closer look.

Invicta Ove 10kW Wood-Burning Stove

The humble egg provided the inspiration for some midcentury design classics, not least Arne Jacobsen’s iconic Egg chair. Continuing that trend is the Invicta Over, a large and spectacular feature stove incorporating a beautiful rounded design and oval glass window. Have a closer look.

Invicta Luna 10kW Wood-Burning Stove

With its tall legs and curved lines, the Invicta Luna has a distinctly midcentury aesthetic. Unlike a console table or desk that might also match that description, it comes with the benefit that it pumps 10kW of heat into your home. Have a closer look.

Invicta Ch’ti Poele 8 kW Wood-Burning Stove

The Invicta Ch’ti Poele boasts an unusual design that is very much in-keeping with the geometric shapes that dominates much midcentury design. The asymmetry gives an eye-catching look that is somehow retro and contemporary simultaneously. Have a closer look.

Invicta Alcande 6kW Wood-Burning Stove

Another woodburner that looks like it has come straight out of the 1960s. The rounded capsule style stove body is very Space Age, while the legs would not be out of place on a piece of Scandinavian furniture. Have a closer look.


What is a riddling grate?

A riddling grate is a grate featuring a mechanism that allows the bars of the grate to be moved.

The benefit of this is that the bars to be tilted to allow ashes to be tipped directly into the ashpan without you having to worry about facilitating that particular journey.

A riddling grate will be found on a multi-fuel stove, rather than a wood-burning stove. Wood burns best on a flat bed of ashes, so many wood-burning stoves do not incorporate a grate or an ashpan. Please note: other woodburners are designed to have a grate – often a non-riddling grate – so if you have an appliance that has a grate it is important that you continue to use one.

Many modern multi-fuel stoves will have an externally controlled ridding grate, which is even handier for the user. With the mechanism to move the grate bars accessible via a handle on the outside of the stove body, ashes can be tipped into the ashpan without the need to even have the door open. That helps with limiting the amount of dust that gets into the room, but its key benefit comes when the stove is in use…

Smokeless coal, which is the type of coal that should be used on multi-fuel stove, burns best when there is a good supply of air from beneath. This air supply could become limited if cinders and ashes start to block the gaps between the bars. You can immediate alleviate this problem by riddling the grate and clearing some of the ashes. This task is much easier to accomplish with the aid of the external controls, which can be easily used with the aid of a stove glove and avoid the need to access anything inside the firebox.

More wood-burning and multi-fuel stove jargon-busting here.

Woodburners to match 2017 interior design trends

Are you redecorating your home this year? If you renovations include installing a wood-burning stove, here are some examples of appliances that work well with some of the most popular 2017 interior design trends.


Invicta Modena 12 kW Yellow Enamel Wood Burning Stove

The jungalow trend is all about bringing a tropical look into your domestic settings. There’s a little bit of Palm Springs, a little bit of Ibiza and lots of plants and animals involved. Something like the Invicta Modena 12 kW in yellow animal ought to match a tropical palette and sit nicely alongside your ferns, crocodiles and other exotic finishing touches. Have a closer look.


Carron 4.7 kW Green Enamel DEFRA Multi-Fuel Stove
Carron Green Wood Burning Stove
Green is tipped as the must-have colour for 2017. The colour specialists at Pantone, plus a host of interior design experts, are preaching that leafy tones are the ones to go for. If you’re following that trend, the dark green enamel finish on this Carron appliance should be very much in-keeping with your room. It’s an DEFRA exempt appliance, which means it can be used in smoke control areas. Have a closer look.

Art deco opulence

Invicta Ove 10 kW Wood Burning Stove

Opulence is in for 2017, but in the form of classic art deco looks rather than brash nouveau riche decor. That means soft shapes and gentle curves aplenty, which makes the Invicta Ove the perfect woodburner to complement the look. A grand design feature in its own right, it also benefits from that curvaceous body and rounded glass window. Have a closer look.

Carron Dante 5 kW Black Enamel DEFRA Multi Fuel Stove
Carron Dante Wood Burner
If the Invicta Ove is a bit too big, in stature or heat output, for your requirements, the Carron Dante would make an excellent alternative. It too boasts an art deco inspired curved design. A flat front gives way to the gentle curves of the stove body and its base to create a sort of half-cylinder look. Very on trend. Have a closer look.


Invicta Ch’ti Poele 8 kW Wood Burning Stove

In contrast to the curves of the art deco look, another interior design trend for 2017 is the geometric look. If points, angles and triangular shapes are what you’re looking for, look no further than the gloriously asymmetrical Invicta Ch’ti Poele 8 kW Wood Burning Stove. It works equally well if you’re continuing last year’s industrial chic. Have a closer look.

Not found what you wanted? Click here to see more stoves.

Can you put a woodburner flue through a polycarbonate roof on a conservatory?

Can you put a woodburner flue through a polycarbonate roof on a conservatory

One of the most frequent questions we are asked by people who are interested in installing a wood-burning stove in a conservatory is: can you have a woodburner flue running through a polycarbonate roof?

In this article, we will answer that question for you.

Conservatories are very popular places to install stoves. Given that they are living rooms in which people want to spend time relaxing, yet can become cool in autumn, winter and spring given the amount of glass, it is very appealing to add a boost of warmth that makes it a comfortable environment all year round.

Understandably, a major concern before going ahead with an installation is the safety concerns about putting a flue pipe through the plastic roofs – usually polycarbonate – that tend to be used on conservatories.

The good news is that it is safe to pass a flue pipe through a conservatory roof as long as you follow these steps…

Use a twin wall flue

Sometimes called an insulated flue, a twin wall flue is a flue pipe surrounded by a layer of insulation, surrounded by another pipe. It will not got as hot as a single wall flue and is therefore safe for use with the polycarbonate roof.

Use rubber flashing

You probably won’t be able to screw or fix a lot of flashing options to the polycarbonate roof. If this is the case for your conservatory, simply use rubber flashing sealed onto the roof with silicone to keep rainwater out. If this looks unsightly from inside the conservatory, you can place a cover plate at the top of the flue before it exits the conservatory.

Consider the Building Regulations

The place at which you choose to put a flue through your polycarbonate roof might be influenced by the Building Regulations. For example, Document J of the regulations states that a flue must terminate at least 2.3 metres away from any window horizontally. Make sure you’ve studied the regulations and given due consideration to the position of your appliance within the conservatory before starting to make a hole in the conservatory roof.

Where are Carron Stoves made?

If you are considering buying an appliance from the Carron Stoves range you might be wondering where they are made. They are renowned for their high quality build, stylish design and exciting range of colour options, but where are Carron Stoves made? Let’s find out…

Carron Stoves are made in China.

The Carron brand has a long history dating back to the 16th century. The Carron Company was an ironworks established in 1759 on the banks of the River Carron near Falkirk, in Stirlingshire. It produced cannons, engines, pillar boxes, red telephone boxes and, of course, wood-burning stoves and ovens. Indeed, Benjamin Franklin is rumoured to have left a stove design at the Carron factory during a visit to the works.

The current generation of Carron woodburners is not related to the original company, which went into liquidation in 1982. They are made in China and imported to the UK and distributed by JIG UK Ltd, which is based in Lincolnshire.

What does that mean for you?

The fact that you’re looking for information about where Carron Stoves are made suggests that you have in mind that you like to buy a stove that was made in a particular country. For most people reading this blog that will be the UK, since that’s the market we serve. If that is true in your case, you might be interested in this article on British made wood burners.

Equally, if you were hoping to read that Carron are made in the UK, please don’t be too disappointed to learn that they are not. They are still excellent appliances that operate very well and look the part in any room. If finding out where Carron Stoves are made had led you to question buying one, please read the customer reviews on the model that you were thinking of getting. This should set your mind at rest because these are fantastic wood-burning stoves.

Have another look at the Carron Stoves range here.

Best British made wood burners

Do you like buying British when possible? If so, you would probably prefer to buy a British made wood-burning stove. The good news is that there are plenty of great options on the market when it comes to British made wood burners. In this article, we will look at some of the best stoves made in Blighty.

GBS Mariner 5 kW Multi Fuel Stove

As British built appliances go, the GBS Mariner is very reasonably priced. This 5kW model is available for just £295. It boasts a stylish, modern design and a high-quality steel body with clean lines. The stove body is covered by a 10-year guarantee. Have a closer look.

NB: The GBS Mariner is also available in a 4kW version.

Hamlet Solution 7 kW Multi Fuel Stove

The Hamlet Solution is another British made, contemporary stove with a stylish steel body. At the time of writing, it is available for £349.99. It too has a 10-year guarantee. Have a closer look.

NB: The Hamlet Solution is also available in 4.5kW DEFRA exempt, 9kW, 11kW 5kw inset, 7kW inset, 12kW inset, 9kW inset, 12kW boiler, 16kW boiler versions.

Villager Bayswater 7.5kW Multi Fuel Stove

The Villager Bayswater neatly combines a sleek modern silhouette with some traditional detailing, which means it is equally adept at adding some heritage to a new-build home or a subtle modern touch to an older property. Among the traditional features are a beautiful double door design. The stove body is covered by a lifetime guarantee, which suggests you can put plenty of faith in the quality of this British build. Have a closer look.

Aarrow Ecoburn Plus 5 kW Flexifuel Multi Fuel Stove

Devon-made Aarrow stoves make some of the most popular contemporary stoves available, including the Ecoburn Plus 5 kW. As well as a stylish modern design, this appliance also boasts a large viewing window and a lifetime guarantee on the stove body. Have a closer look.

NB: The Aarrow Ecoburn is also available in 4kW, 7kW, 9kW, 5kW inset 7kW inset and 11kW inset versions.

Don’t get ripped off when buying logs for your woodburner

Moisture Meter Woodburner

When buying fuel for your wood-burning stove, choosing logs that have already been seasoned comes at a premium. Fuel retailers justifiably charge more for logs that have been cut, chopped and stacked for 12 months or so.

But how do you know just how well seasoned the logs you’re buying are, other than taking the word of whoever you’re buying them from that they are fully seasoned?

The easiest way to ensure you are not getting ripped off is to take a moisture meter with you when buying logs (or to have one handy when they are delivered to your home).

A moisture meter will tell you the water content of a log. A well seasoned log should have less than 25% moisture and might even be as low as 20%. If you find that the moisture content of logs you’re being supplied is much higher than that and they are being sold to you as seasoned logs, it is time to ask questions or find another supplier sharpish.

What’s the issue?

Aside from the possibility that you are being misled by the person selling the logs, green or freshly cut logs contain up to 45% moisture. When you burn logs that contain that level of moisture, a large amount of the energy created when you burn them is expended on evaporating the water rather than heating your room.

This also results in an inefficient burn, which creates more smoke. The lower temperature due to the poor burn can cause this excess smoke to condense while still in the flue and create a build-up of creosote. This further reduces your stove’s performance and increases the risk of chimney fires because it is flammable.

All of which means it is well worth investing a little over £20 to get your own moisture meter and check exactly what you’re burning on your stove.

Click here to buy a moisture meter.