- Will a wood fire heat my whole home?
The correctly sized unit for a home is important.
Too large and it will be forever run on low causing poor combustion and creosote problems restricting the flue updraft.
Too small and it will fail to generate sufficient heat to warm the area.
Kent always recommend a site check of the home by a certified fire installer before installation. Bear in mind that while the heater may generate sufficient heat it then has to be circulated throughout the home. If the house doesn’t allow natural dispersal of heat (e.g high ceilings, long hallways etc). Circulation can be improved with a ceiling fan or heat transfer kit.
- Will a wood fire burn through the night?
The current Kent fire range will achieve an overnight burn provided the user is correctly loading and burning a good sized piece of dry hardwood overnight, e.g. Manuka, Blue Gum, Black Wattle, with a moisture content of less than 25%. For best results load a well established ember bed with larger dry hardwood logs and run on high for at least 45min before turning the air control down in 3 x 15 min stages (med, low and off).
- Do I need heat resistant board behind the fire?
While heat resistant boards, e.g. brick, sheet metal and promina board, were common with radiant fires, Kent woodfires fitted with a flue shield do not require such materials to reduce rear clearances to the standard servicing restriction of 100mm, and as little as 50mm in a corner installation.
- What length of flue should be used?
A standard flue kit is 4.2m in length. Additional lengths can be purchased as required.
- Can wood fires be used to burn coal?
This is not recommended - too high a temperature is achieved and this can damage your fire and void warranties. We advise the use of dry softwood during normal operation, with the use of dry hardwood for an overnight burn.
- Do I need a new fire permit?
All installations requiring a new or different model of fire require a fire permit. A fire permit will not only satisfy local councils, insurance companies but also grant the homeowner peace of mind. We recommend that smoke alrms also be installed for additional security and a safety guard considered where young children or frail/unstable people occupy a home.
- Do I need a flue shield?
A flue shield is fitted in almost 90% of all freestanding fire installations. This allows installation closer to the wall as it reflects the flue heat back into the room.
- How much wood will a fire use in a night?
This depends on how much heat you need to produce, as feeding a fire with lots of wood naturally increases heat output and wood use. Correctly operated using dry wood of consistent size, a Kent fire will consume approximately .5 to 1 average sized woodbasket of wood per night (around 4 to 8 pieces of wood).
- How often should I empty the ashes?
Due to the high efficiency of Kent woodfires, ash removal should only be necessary every few weeks. Ashes can be scooped up and removed easily through the door opening. Kent woodfires work best when a small amount of ash (approximately 20mm deep) is left in the firebox after cleaning. This insulates the bottom and prevents the base of the stove overheating and burning out. In fact, building up the ash bed helps extend the long burn cycle, while reducing the ash bed encourages greater heat output.
- Does your fire have a waterbooster or wetback?
Yes - our Tui Rad and Barker II are waterbooster capable and within the NZ guidelines to operate in clean air regions. All other fires can accommodate a waterbooster, however, as the warm air efficiency drops below the required 65% they cannot be installed in clean air zones (even though heat transferred via water is more efficient use of energy). Our rural non-clean air fires can be used (for properties greater than 2ha). For efficient hot water supply we recommend the cylinder be located no further than 3m away and no lower than the hot water outlet on the fire. A rise of at least 1:12 is advised.
Strictly speaking a “wetback” is a water tank fitted onto the back of a fire. The copper pipe systems found in modern wood fires is more correctly called a “waterbooster” and will still supply an abundance of hot water provided that the appliance is correctly installed and operated.
- What advice is provided by the Ministry for the Environment?
We have provided a link below to the FAQ section of the Ministry for the Environment website.
- How do I know this fire will fit?
All relevant measurements can be found in the Kent specification sheets. Kent recommends that all fire sales should be subject to a site check by an approved installer (NZHHA has a list of these).
- Does this fire come with a fan option?
A correctly designed and sized fire should not require a fan to assist heat into the room. In addition, fans require moving parts that wear out, can become noisy over time and require electricity to operate. For this reason Kent does not offer a fan option.
- Is burning wood a clean option?
Yes - if the wood is correctly dried and burnt in an efficient, correctly sized, operated and maintained wood fire. Wood is renewable and we have plenty here in NZ. As wood burns the CO2 produced is absorbed by plants, grasses and trees through photosynthesis - which then produces oxygen. Wood left to rot in the open produces more CO2, so we should not waste wood - we should cleanly burn it. 1kg of dried pine wood holds 18Mjs of energy ready to be converted into heat energy. This means 1kg of pine can produce 3.5kg of heat energy using a 70% efficient wood fire (30% of the heat energy is combined with the flue emissions).
- Are Kent wood fires made in New Zealand?
Yes - we arrange for manufacture to take place in Auckland using the latest production techniques, robust materials and quality controls. Each fire has a unique serial number, providing peace of mind if a problem ever needs to be rectified.
- How do I ensure I fit the correct hearth for my Kent fire?
Provided the overall hearth dimensions shown on the Kent specification sheets are met, all modern Kent freestanding wood fires can be installed onto a hearth that safely copes with hot ash. When in doubt refer to the fire specifications that are supplied with the fire.
These guidelines specify the requirements for a safe floor protector (hearth). The floor protector must extend under the heater with minimum distances in front of the door and to the sides and rear the heater. There are minimum floor protector sizes for wall and corner installations. There are minimum depths specified for freestanding fires and only suitable materials can be used. Kent inbuilt fires require an insulated hearth of at least 50mm concrete or equivalent thermal protection material.
For more information on hearth measurements, and to view our range of hearths
please view our wood fire brochure
- Which Kent wood fires can I install in my region?
Please find below a list of all regional clean air requirements and the Kent wood fires approved for use in each region.
- Why do I get smoke into the room?
There could be several reasons, you need to act quickly as
this is very unhealthy and unsafe.
Wood quality: Wood with a lot of moisture can cause more
smoke than the chimney can take away.
Air systems: Fans used for air conditioning, bathroom or
kitchen extractors might take their air from the chimney
(negative draught). In these cases you must bring outside air
into the fireplace.
Operating errors: Always open the damper and primary air
control before you reload the stove - open the door slowly.
Flue pipes: Remember that elbows and horizontal flue pipes
make restrictions on the draught. Too short a chimney gives
not enough draught for the fireplace. Too cold a chimney
can cause none - or negative draught.
Flue liner: This must be correctly connected to the fireplace
and the chimney - and have the right dimension.