As the cold snap bites, homeowners thinking about installing a wood burning stove are being urged to look out for the HETAS (Heating Equipment Testing and Approvals Scheme) logo to ensure the safety and efficiency of their appliance.
HETAS is a not-for-profit organisation which is responsible for approving stove installers, chimney sweeps, appliances and fuels.
It has trained heating and plumbing professionals in Ireland for over 12 years and last April it launched its competent persons scheme to give consumers confidence that work carried out by a HETAS registered business is safe and meets Irish building regulations.
Colin Rodgers of Rodgers Stoves in County Down, was the first in Northern Ireland to register with the scheme and today shares his top tips for getting the most out of your wood burner.
1. Burn dry wood
Burning wet wood is inefficient as it demands a lot of heat to boil off the water before the stove gives out the proper level of heat and creates a lot of smoke. Use dry wood that has been properly sourced and seasoned or kiln dried.
2. #Hashtag your wood
The most effective technique for building the fire is to make a small stacked structure of wood by making a hashtag out of the stacked kindling around a fire lighter with one single log on the top, bark side down.
3. Get sweeping
Chimneys should be swept at least twice a year when burning wood, before the start of the heating season and after the peak of the main heating season.
Consumers are encouraged to look for the HETAS Registered Installer logo on installer websites and vans or visit www.hetas.co.uk and use its simple postcode search tool for HETAS registered installers in your area.