Do I need a Carbon Dioxide Alarm?

The answer to this is easy; NO. If there was such a thing it would be going off all the time! If you are referring to a Carbon Monoxide Alarm (CO) then YES burning fuel inside your home can give off this deadly gas and for a small squeeze on your wallet, you could save your life.

If you have a woodburner or multi-fuel stove it is a legal requirement and your chimney sweep may condemn your installation without one. Consequently all our quotes include a FireAngel CO9D. Visit our shop to purchase one.

If you have an open fire; it is not yet a legal requirement but is advisable.

Positioning is also important. Some customers ask for us to fix the alarm in a place out of site, but unfortunately for these people, there are strict guidelines as to where the equipment should be. Please see the diagram below if you are unsure if your alarm is installed properly.

What can I burn?

You’ve invested in a lovely new multi-fuel stove and you are wondering now what fuels to use. Multi-fuel stoves, unlike woodburners, have a grate that allows air to flow under the fuel allowing you to burn coal as well as wood.

Your flexible liner will have been designed to withstand the heat and to hold the soot caused by burning these fuels, providing you burn seasoned wood only, and get your chimney swept regularly. This may mean every 3 months if you use your appliance a lot! If you are wanting to burn smokeless coal you should check the thickness of the liner that you have had installed. You will find this information on your data plate and reciept form the installer. Smokeless fuel is more acidic and is quick to corrode the steel liner, so if you have a 316/316 liner installed, keep away from smokeless! Also keep an eye on your stove thermometer so that you keep out of the ‘soot zone’ by burning cleanly above 300 degrees.

Make sure that when you burn wood that you don’t burn items straight from the garden. It takes around 2 years for the water content to fall to levels that are acceptable for burning. This drying process is called ‘seasoning’.

Burning unseasoned wood is one of the reasons woodburners are getting bad press at the moment, because of the air pollution it causes. The Government has started up a certification scheme for wood and log suppliers so that the sale of unseasoned wood can be brought to an end. Look for the ‘WoodSure’ Logo when finding a supplier.

Burning unseasoned wood and / or household items that are no longer needed such as packaging, furniture, clothing is all damaging for both the environment and your appliance. It will cause creosote and sticky tar to form in the stove and also the liner. When it dries it is solid and incredibly difficult and costly to remove. In the image below it is so thick that it has blocked the flue and severely reduced the airflow, making the stove impossible to use.

It’s also very flammable, and can cause your chimney to set on fire. All in all, it’s best to keep rubbish in the bin and seasoned wood and coal in your beautiful woodburner.

Creosote blocking chimney flue
Creosote formed by burning ‘green’ wood

How to light a wood-burner

We are often asked how to light a fire in a wood-burning or multi-fuel stove and so decided to share with you how it is done in our house. If you think that your way is better, we would love to hear from you!

Old Bills burn great and personal details destroyed also

After cleaning out the grate and the ash pan, I screw up lots of pieces of paper from the recycling bin. Paper is great for warming the flue in Winter and helps to reduce any down-draft by warming the cold air trapped in flue in the chimney.

Fluff from the tumble dryer filter

Then I add some lint from the tumble dryer. It’s surprisingly flammable and free!

paper, lint and twigs are a good base for your fire

Next, lots of small twigs or chopped up wood as kindling, leaving the lint showing. Try to leave space so that there’s lots of air to help the fire ‘breathe’.

Light the paper in a few places and quickly close the door. Make sure that the air holes are fully open on the stove and wait. Find a light log from your seasoned wood pile ready to place on in a few minutes. Remember to use a heat resistant glove as it will be hot in there.

All done. Check that you have filled your log basket and relax. Keep your eye on your stove thermometer and make sure that you keep the fire burning at the optimum temperatures, to avoid sooting up the flue. Remember to check that your Carbon Monoxide Detector is working regularly and enjoy!

Stove pipe thermometers help you burn fuel safely

No smoke should come back into the room when the door is closed, if it does pay careful attention to how and where it is coming out of and then close down the air control to starve the fire of air to make it go out.

Do not open the door and do not throw water on it. Arrange for a chimney sweep to visit and check over the stove.

Our number is 01462 671555 or book a sweep online at our website

If you would like to purchase a stove pipe thermometer or carbon monoxide detector visit our online shop here:

Nice and toasty!

Will I need to get my chimney swept?

Unlike other companies we will sweep your chimney on installation day so you won’t need to ring around to find a chimney sweep with an available appointment at the last minute.

We will also quote you for geniune parts made from stainless steel and not mild steel that only lasts half as long. We will advise you as to the best fuels to use and how to get the most from your burner.

We also will book clear dates into our diary when we will arrive. Unlike other companies who will take your deposit and then tell you installation will take place in the next three weeks, and may not be able to arrive on a convenient day for you and make you wait longer.

It’s hard to tell how long an installation is going to take. It’s not always straight forward, especially when it’s raining, snowy or icy. Unlike some companies we won’t charge you extra labour if we have to return to complete the work quoted for.

Many people appreciate the way that we work, all of the testimonials on our website and all of our reviews on are genuine.

I don’t have a cowl

Cowls are very useful items that fix to the chimney pot and either stop rain or vermin or both from entering your chimney. If you have a wood burning or solid fuel stove installed and you don’t have a cowl protecting your flue from water damage and bird / squirrel nesting you could be putting your home at risk.

It is not actually a legal requirement yet, but it seems obvious that a barrier between the natural world and your expensive wood-burner installation is needed. The delay in making it part of building regulations seems to be because users of wood-burning stoves forget to get their chimneys cleaned regularly and in the past have burnt unseasoned wood and household rubbish. This causes tar and creosote to form in the chimney flue which just like the bird or squirrel nest can cause a chimney fire or block the chimney causing carbon monoxide to silently fill the house.

At GTD Installations Ltd we like to make sure that our customers have a cowl with mesh attached and remind them them yearly that they should arrange a chimney sweep and have the stove checked over.
To book your chimney sweep online visit:

chimney cowling with mesh to stop vermin and rain entering the chimney

Fire not burning hot enough [Twin- Wall System]

If you have a rigid pipe system connected to your stove and it was installed before 2010 there is a good chance that the pipe exiting the roof is not long enough. This stops your stove from receiving the optimum amount of air to make it burn efficiently. Before you blame the stove and waste money on a new one, you may want to try extending the length of pipe above the roof. In order to do this though we will need to know the exact make and model of the twin wall rigid pipe system as they are not interchangable.

Give us a call on 01462 431910 to arrange a free survey or send us a message from our website :

Stove Output Calculator

Woodburner or open fire?

Sometimes people think that a fire is a fire and that woodburners’ are an unnecessary expense. So if you have a fireplace that is bricked up and you are trying to decide between a wood-stove (the expensive option) or an open-fire here are a few things to think about.

Open fire

  • Cheaper to install
  • Not guaranteed that the fire will draw well when complete. May need a gathering hood fitting inside the chimney.
  • Soot attacks the brickwork, leading to repair work,
  • Very prone to differing weather conditions, often goes into reverse sending smoke inside the house.
  • Only 15% efficient so burns through fuel about 5 times as fast.
  • More storage space needed for fuel and more deliveries
  • High emissions causing pollution

Wood or multi-fuel stove

  • More expensive to install than an open fire.
  • Good draw produced by lining the chimney, which also protects the brickwork.
  • Designed to work with door closed so no smoke inside the house.
  • Around 70 – 90% efficient so burns through less fuel
  • Less storage space needed for fuel and fewer deliveries
  • Low emissions causing pollution

Open fires have been around since the dawn of time. Why would log-burners have needed inventing unless they improved the original invention?


Open fire in Molly Malones Pub in Hitchin

Do I need an Anti-Downdraft Cowl?

Does your open fire have a weak draw of air whilst burning? Even after its just been swept? Do you you find that the air in your room is smokey when the fire is on? Do you find you only have these symptoms on odd occasions such as windy days? Chances are you need an Anti-downdraft cowl. There are many available for purchase so check with your chimney sweep before buying one.

Please note that anti-downdraft cowls are not designed to stop drafts coming down the chimney when the fire is not in use.


How can I get a discount on my installation?

If you can wait until Summer then we can offer you a discount as this is traditionally our quiet period. This year however, we are already fully booked until the end of July and can only fit in 4 more full installs before the busy season starts again in September.

Thus if you are a bargain hunter, now is the time to book in your survey. Give us a call, or drop us an email on to arrange.

Answers to your woodburner and chimney sweeping questions. Contact us if you have a different question.