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Listed below are some of the more frequently asked questions we receive about our wood fires. If you can not find an answer to your query, please call our helpful Customer Services team on NZ Freephone 0800 161 161 or email us for assistance.
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Will a wood fire heat my whole home?
The correctly sized wood fire 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 wood fire 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.
What length of flue should be used?
A standard flue kit is 3.6m 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 wood 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 alarms also be installed for additional security and a safety guard considered where young children or frail/unstable people occupy a home. Smoke alarms are compulsory when installing a new wood fire. We recommend all homes have smoke alarms.
Do I need a flue shield?
A flue shield is fitted in almost 90% of all freestanding wood fire installations. This allows installation closer to the wall as it reflects the flue heat back into the room.
How often should I empty the ashes?
Due to the high efficiency of Kent wood fires, ash removal should only be necessary every few weeks. Ashes can be scooped up and removed easily through the door opening. Kent wood fires 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 wood fire 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.
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.
Ministry of Environment FAQ Section
How do I know this fire will fit?
All relevant measurements can be found in the Kent wood fire specification sheets found in the Product Range section of the website. Kent recommends that before purchasing a wood fire a site check is carried out by an approved installer (NZHHA has a list of these) to verify selection.
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 3.5kW of heat energy using a 70% efficient wood fire (30% of the heat energy is combined with the flue emissions).
How do I ensure I fit the correct hearth/floor protector for my Kent wood 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/floor protector 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 hearth/floor protector. The floor protector must extend under the wood fire with minimum distances in front of the door and to the sides and rear the wood fire. 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.
Your installer will assist you in ensuring the right choice of floor protector.
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.
Cool flue temperature is the main reason for puffs of smoke coming from your wood fire into the room. Other contributing factors could be:
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 wood fire.
Operating errors: Always open the damper and primary air control before you reload the wood fire - 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 wood fire. Too cold a chimney can cause none - or negative draught.
Flue liner: This must be correctly installed and have the right dimension.
What are the warranties for Kent wood fire products?
Please refer to our warranty policy.
For complete details please refer to the product manual.
What warranty is applicable to older Kent Wood Fire models not supplied by Aber?
There is a dataplate shown on the rear of freestanding fires and on the inside of inbuilt fires. If the dataplate states that the fire was manufactured for the BBQ Factory then the manufacturer's warranty applies for the BBQ Factory. You must contact the retailer from whom the fire was purchased and show your warranty certificate signed by the installer. Your retailer can then deal with any issues. If you need help identifying your model please refer to the older models and spares guide alongside. Please use our contact form if you need further assistance, note that pre-1979 Kent fire spares are no longer available, however we may be able to match a component for you if you supply a photograph (along with dataplate information).
How long will a wood fire last?
Depending on the operation and maintenance of the fire and flue, a Kent woodfire can be expected to last anywhere from 12-20 years (longer if really well maintained). The items that need most attention are the seals, the baffles, the firebricks, the glass and the flue.
How long do the bricks. baffles and air tubes last?
Bricks, baffles and air tubes are considered consumable parts and will need to be replaced to protect the longevity of the fire. Depending on fuel and how the fire is used, these parts can last 1-8 years.
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