How to choose a wood fire heater

Nothing beats huddling around a roaring wood fire heater in winter. But how do you choose the right one? Heating specialists Scandia share their top tips on how to select the right wood fire heater for your home.

Radiant wood heaters

Radiant heaters (pictured above) use a different process to convection heaters to warm your house. The outside of the heater radiates heat, warming things around it. The closer you are to the heater, the warmer you'll feel. This style of heating is ideal for outdoors as well as indoors, and is also preferred for the “fire-like” warmth it gives off.

Due to less heat rising than the convection process, this may be a more effective style of heating for houses without much insulation. One thing to note with radiant heaters is that you need to make sure combustible materials aren’t too close to the heater. To increase performance, Scandia recommends leaving open a number of doors within the room to promote natural air flow and a more consistent and comfortable warmth. Another good tip is to use a ceiling fan, which will also help distribute heat evenly.

Scandia heater

Convection wood heaters

When choosing a wood fire heater, you have a choice of two heating styles: convection or radiant.

Convection heaters give out a consistent heat that is often considered gentler and more even than radiant heat. They work by drawing air in from the floor of the room that gets heated and pumped back into the room. This hot air rises and pushes colder air into the heater. This cyclical process is best suited to insulated homes with standard ceiling heights.

 

Scandia heater

Free-standing or in-built

If you have an existing fireplace, you may want to install an in-built wood fire heater into it. This is an efficient and cost-effective alternative that will provide you with clean heat and is a sustainable choice. Even if you don’t have an existing fireplace, you can still create space for an in-built fireplace by installing one into a timber-stud wall. This is a great way to save space at home by avoiding a freestanding unit.

Freestanding wood fire heaters stand on their own, away from a wall. They will need a metal flue installed through the ceiling and roof so this will also need to be considered. With a wide variety of freestanding heaters to choose from, it’s easy to find the heater to suit your style and interior.

The location of the heater

Choosing the location of your wood fire heater is important. If the heater is too large for the area it is heating, it could create a build-up of creosote, which is hard to clean off, and cause too much smoke when burning. A fireplace that is too small may not heat up the area required, which will result in over firing the unit and this will affect the lifespan of the product.

It’s also important to note how close surrounding combustibles are to the fire heater. The type of floor, furniture, window dressings and plaster walls are all things to consider when choosing the location of your wood fire.

Installation and maintenance of wood fire heaters

Whatever type of wood fire heater you choose, make sure you have both it and the flue installed correctly by a quality, licensed installer whose work conforms to local council and safety regulations. 

Maintaining a wood fire heater is easier than you may think. Other things to consider are ensuring that the wood you burn is dry, that you regularly clean out the ash when it is cold and keeping the glass door clean.

View the full Scandia range

Check out Scandia’s full range of wood fire heaters and accessories.

save energy

How To Save Energy & Electricity How to save energy around the home We lift the lid on where you can save the most energy in your home, no matter who you are or where you live. These simple changes will help to reduce energy costs and keep your home comfortable all year.

Material for insulating your ceiling 01:31

Heating & Cooling How to insulate a ceiling Keep your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer by insulating your ceilings. We’ll show you all you need to know about installing ceiling insulation.

Woman filling small gaps with insulation 01:18

Heating & Cooling How to insulate walls Installing insulation in your walls is a great way to increase energy efficiency and reduce noise. Learn how easy it is to do yourself.

Person holding an utility knife 03:24

Heating & Cooling How to insulate your home for extreme weather Find out how easy it is to keep your home warm in summer and cool in winter with insulation.

Pet doors 02:54

Heating & Cooling How to create an airtight home To have an airtight home, you’ll need to prevent airflow leaving your home. We’ll show you some places which may leak air and what you’ll need to do to reduce it.

Man installing glass wool insulation batts underfloor into joists 02:55

Heating & Cooling How to install underfloor insulation batts Insulating your home can save you money and energy. Find out how easy it is to fit glass wool insulation batts under your floor.

Man installing pleated foil insulation 05:48

Heating & Cooling How to install underfloor foil insulation Insulating your home is a great way to save money on heating and cooling costs. Learn how easy it is to install foil insulation in your subfloor.

Trim Special Shapes 03:58

Heating & Cooling How to install polystyrene insulation Save money on your energy bills by insulating your home. See how simple it is to do the job yourself.

D.I.Y. slatted shelf unit 03:23

Living Room How to build a D.I.Y. slatted shelving unit This slatted shelving unit is easy to make, can be painted to match your décor and is a handy place to put items on display.

Finished bedhead attached to bed 03:09

Bedroom How to make a modern timber bedhead How to make a modern timber bedhead.

DIY firewood rack 02:30

Living Room How to make a D.I.Y. copper firewood rack Keep your firewood handy with this stylish copper storage rack. It’s easy to build and portable, making it easier to take outside and re-stack with wood.

modern living room makeover 01:29

Living Room How to give your living room a modern D.I.Y. makeover There are a few simple ways to freshen up a tired living room and make it a real feature in your home. You can create more space by knocking out a wall and updating the furnishings to fit. By adding floating cabinetry and open shelves, you’ll have m...

How to make a play table for kids 02:32

Bedroom How to make a play table for kids This toy table gives kids a place to play with their toys and it includes a handy space for storage tubs underneath.

wooden puzzle stool 03:23

Bedroom D.I.Y. kids wooden puzzle stool Create a fun play area for your kids with these wooden puzzle stools. All you need is some basic materials and a bit of know-how. Discover how with Bunnings.

modern laundry makeover 01:04

Laundry How to give your laundry a modern D.I.Y. makeover By giving your tired, old laundry a modern makeover you can make it a place you enjoy using. In this D.I.Y. renovation, we’ve created extra storage space with new cabinets, the tapware adds a stylish touch, while the external door will make this a m...

bookshelf storage 02:32

Shelving & Storage How to make a D.I.Y. kids wooden bookshelf This kids wooden bookshelf and storage unit lets you put your child’s favourite books or toys on display.

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint Test.
Top of the content