Conservatories are now built to be warmer and more insulated than ever. But without any heating, even the most energy-efficient conservatory will start to feel the chill during the winter months.
There are several options available to heat your conservatory, these include extending your central heating, adding an electric heater, or installing a log burner.
Extending your central heating to your conservatory will require building regulation approval and can be an expensive and messy job, whilst electric heaters can be expensive to run and take a long time to heat up the room.
Log burners are a popular choice as they not only look attractive, but also provide a powerful, energy-efficient heat source, turning your conservatory into a cosy snug during the winter months.
Advantages of a log burner
The key advantages of heating your conservatory using a log burner are:
- Powerful heat source – A log burner will heat up the room very quickly and efficiently.
- Cosy – There’s something very cosy and romantic about sitting around a flickering, crackling fire.
- Cost-effective – As well as being energy-efficient, wood is generally cheaper than gas and electricity, helping you to save money on your energy bills.
- Attractive – Log burners come in a variety of attractive designs, often becoming a focal point in the room rather than something to be hidden like a radiator.
Do you need planning permission for a log burner in a conservatory?
Planning permission is not generally required providing that the log burner’s flue does not extend more than one metre above the highest part of your home’s roof.
If you live in a listed building or a designated area you should check with your local authority whether you require planning permission to install a flue on your home.
Even if your log burner does not require planning permission, you will need to ensure that it adheres to UK building regulations.
Approved Document J – Combustion appliances and Fuel Storage systems sets out the regulations and guidance for installing a log burner.
Installing a log burner: what to consider
Installing a wood burner in your conservatory requires careful research and planning to ensure that it is installed safely and according to UK building regulations. Some important things to consider include:
- Size of stove – To ensure that you can achieve a comfortable temperature in your conservatory it’s important to choose the right size of stove with the appropriate kilowattage for the size of the room. There are plenty of free online calculators to help you get an idea of what kW log burner you should be looking for.
- DEFRA stove – If you live in a DEFRA smoke control area then you will need to select a DEFRA approved stove that burns fuels that are authorised in your area.
- Chimney – You will need to install a flue to get rid of smoke and gases. This is done using an insulated flue called a twin flue that goes straight through your conservatory roof. Generally, a pane in the roof of the conservatory is cut for the flue to pass through.
- Position of log burner – Building regulations state that if a flue is installed close to your house’s outside wall it will then need to extend above gutter height. Ideally, it is best to situate your stove at least 2.3 metres from your house’s outside wall. This allows smoke to disperse sufficiently before reaching your home. Building regulations state that at this distance the flue is only required to extend 1 metre above your conservatory roof.
- Base – in order to comply with UK building regulations, the base that your log burner sits on should be non-flammable. If your conservatory is carpeted or has a wooden floor you will need to put down a tile or stone base for your stove. The tiled base must extend at least 300mm in front of stove and be at least 50mm thick.
- Carbon monoxide alarm – A faulty log burner can leak carbon monoxide, so it’s important to remember to fit a carbon monoxide alarm.
If you are in any doubt about whether your log burner meets UK building regulations, you should always check with your local authority’s Building Control department before proceeding, to ensure that your plans are safe and to avoid hassle and expenses later down the line.
Installing a log burner in a conservatory
It is possible to install a log burner yourself, but this is classed as ‘controlled’ work under building regulations, meaning you will need to have the proposed work and completed project inspected and certified either by your local council or a private building inspector.
Alternatively, the safest and most straight-forward way of installing a wood burner in a conservatory is to have a HETAS registered fitter install and certify the work – in which case you won’t need to apply to your local council.
Applying for planning permission or building control certification
It is simple to complete an application for either planning permission or building control certification online.
If you are not using a HETAS registered fitter, you will need to apply to the Building Control department of your local council for certification.
You should make sure that you start your application for Building Control certification at least 10 days before you wish to start the work.
It is possible to attach all supporting documents and plans to your online application and pay the fee online. Fees are usually between £120 and £200 depending on which local council you are applying to.
Once your new log burner has been certified you will receive paperwork to confirm that it has been inspected and is safe and legal. Keep this paperwork safe as you will need it for insurance purposes and when you sell your home.