Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Light up a damp grey day with a woodburning stove...

Well, a week on and it's STILL raining... There's nothing we like better than warming up around our stove on days like today when the skies are grey and the rain just keeps pouring down.

One of the things we like best about our stove is that we can burn logs even in London, as it has been approved by DEFRA for use in smoke-free zones.  Many of our customers assume that they'll have to have a gas or electric stove if they live in London - or that they'll need to burn smokeless coal - but in fact the latest DEFRA-approved wood burning stoves have been specially designed to produce very low emissions and are ideal for use in smoke-free zones.

If you're interested in a stove, come and see us at Westcombes. We have the largest selection you'll find in South-East London with more than sixty different models in our dedicated stove showroom - along with our huge range of antique, reproduction and contemporary fires!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

April showers

It may be good for the garden and after so many dry months, we do need some rain but the grey skies and drizzle outside feel rather gloomy after the sunny weather we've enjoyed in recent months.  There's no better way to cheer up a chilly spring evening than to light a fire or stove for some instant warmth and cosiness.  We're well stocked up with kiln-dried logs and kindling here at Westcombes if you need supplies - and if you don't have a fire or stove,  come and choose from our huge selection!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Fires without chimneys

Customers often assume that if they don't have a chimney, they can't have a fire or stove but in fact that isn't the case any more.  You can have a flueless fire or a stove which doesn't need a chimney or any flue pipes - they're easy to install and look fabulous. What's more, they're very efficient as you aren't loosing heat up the chimney.

The one thing you will need if you want a flueless fire or stove is an air vent in your room.  This is essential to ensure there is sufficient oxygen in the room to keep the fire burning properly.

You can have a flueless fire inserted into an existing fireplace, or you can have a wall mounted fire and you can select from a wide variety of both traditional and modern styles.

Other options include a balanced flue fire or stove, which will need a flue pipe fitted to an outside wall so any emissions go straight outside, or an electric fire or stove.  People are often put off the idea of an electric fire having seen old-fashioned models which can look pretty awful, but customers are often surprised by how authentic the latest electric fires and stoves we sell at Westcombes can look.

If you're interested in a fire or stove and don't have a chimney, you may want to pay us a visit at Westcombes to have a look at some of the options available. 

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

The perfect time to get your chimneys swept

We've had our chimneys swept this week, and if you use your fires it's an ideal time to book an appointment with a sweep. It's easy to forget about the chimney once you stop using your fire or stove in the warmer weather, and then once you start using it again in the autumn there is likely to be a build up of soot and debris which can lead to a chimney fire.  People often assume that chimney fires are quite innocuous and limited to the inside of the chimney, but they can damage your entire home and put lives in danger so it isn't a risk you want to take.  If you're using your fire or stove regularly, it should be swept at least once a year.

There's a myth that chimney sweeping is a terribly dirty, dusty business and in the past people would cover all their furniture in sheets to prevent it getting sooty. Nowadays, it's a remarkably clean process, effectively just like hoovering out the chimney, and the sweep should bring sufficient covers for the area close to the fire which could get a bit dusty. If you use your fire regularly, you'll probably notice a real difference after you've had the chimney swept as it may burn better and with real log fires you'll know that there's less smoke in the room.

At Westcombes, we can recommend reliable and efficient sweeps who are properly qualified and who we trust to do a good job - and we'd suggest thinking about it now rather than waiting until the autumn when good sweeps are busier and you may face a wait.