Installing a Wood Burner in a Conservatory

Conservatories are a fantastic addition to any home but they tend to be seasonal. Unless you have underfloor heating or have a radiator plumbed in, they can be cold during winter. That is unless you add a wood burner to your conservatory.

So, can you have a wood burner in a conservatory? How does it work? Where does the chimney go?

Let’s find out!

Wood burning stoves are not only lovely to behold, they are also straightforward to use and install. They don’t need electricity, they don’t need pipes and they don’t need intrusive installation.

While they will need a chimney or flue, that’s the only intrusive work that needs to happen.

If you want to use your conservatory all year round, you don’t need expensive underfloor heating or an electric heater, you can use a log burner instead!

Can you use a log burner in a conservatory?

Yes, you can!

There are a few considerations you need to make when planning the installation though.

Stove placement

You can theoretically place your wood burner wherever in your conservatory you like but it would be best against the wall of your house. The wall can support the flue and makes it a much more stable installation.

Building regulations state that the log burner’s flue has to extend a minimum of 1m above the height of the roof of your house.

If you place the log burner elsewhere, building regulations states you need 2.3m distance between your house and the flue to allow smoke to dissipate. It will also need to extend above the conservatory roof.

While it is possible to place the wood burner wherever you like, it is much easier to place it against the wall of the house.

The base

A wood burning stove requires an inflammable base on which to stand. That can be brick, stone, concrete, tile or whatever you like. You will need to remove any carpet, wood flooring, linoleum or other floor covering around that base to comply with building regulations.

That base must extend at least 225mm in front and 150mm out from the stove at the sides and be at least 250mm thick if on a combustible floor. As long as the material is inflammable, it will be acceptable for building regulations.

The flue

As there is no functioning chimney in most conservatories, you will need to use a twin flue. This is a double lined flue with insulation between the layers to help keep the exterior cool even when the interior heats up.

It can be supported by the conservatory roof and by your house wall if you build against that. Building regulations state it must project 1m above the guttering of your house.

Installing the flue through the conservatory roof

You might think the trickiest part of installing a wood burner in a conservatory is going through the roof, and you would be right. But it isn’t impossible.

If you have a glass conservatory roof, you can either have your installer cut through it or get a non-glass panel from the conservatory manufacturer. The flue will then pass through the roof, be protected by a flange and be sealed against the weather.

If you have a tiled or corrugated conservatory roof, the installer can cut a hole, use a flange or flashing and seal. Either way, while it requires skill to get right, it isn’t that difficult.

This is where a twin flue comes into its own. As the exterior remains cool, it can be placed directly against other materials without damaging them.

Do you need planning permission to install log burners in a conservatory?

You do not need planning permission to install log burners in a conservatory. That is unless you live in a conservation area. Then it would be a good idea to contact planning beforehand to check any specific restrictions for that zone.

Otherwise, as long as the log burner is properly installed by a HETAS-qualified installer, or signed off by one, you do not need planning.

Can I use a conservatory log burner in a smoke control area?

Yes, you can! You will need to fit a DEFRA log burner and burn DEFRA-approved fuels but you can still heat your conservatory with a log burner.

There are specific DEFRA log burners available. DEFRA-approved fuels tend to be classed as smokeless fuels. That does not include wood. Fuels include briquettes, firelogs, coalite and other fuels.

The DEFRA website has a list of compliant fuels you can use in smoke control areas.

Is there a limit to the size of woodburners in conservatories?

There are no hard limits on how large or small your wood burner has to be. It comes more down to available space and how much heat you want.

Wood burners are measured in kW for heat output. There are calculators online that can tell you what size stove is appropriate for what type and size of space. They can help you make a decision.

How much does it cost to install a conservatory log burner?

The installation cost depends on the type of stove, the size, whether you have a glass or composite roof and how you’re having it installed.

It isn’t possible to give you an idea of how much it costs so we would recommend contacting us for a quote.

What we will say is that it will very likely be cheaper than having underfloor heating installed or a new radiator plumbed and fitted!

Can I fit my own log burner in my conservatory?

You can fit your own log burner in your own conservatory. You will need it signed off by a HETAS engineer for it to be compliant with building regulations though.

The job isn’t that difficult but requires skill with power tools and accuracy with measurement to get right. While we always encourage people to learn new skills, there are some jobs best left to the experts. This could be one of them.

What else do I need to know about log burners in conservatories?

I think we have just about covered everything. Professional installation should only take a few hours, the roof can be made fully weathertight, the twin flue keeps everything safe and as long as you use a HETAS installer or have your DIY installation signed off by someone from HETAS, you should be compliant with building regulations.

We would recommend having a carbon monoxide alarm installed along with the stove though. As we’re dealing with smoke, it’s a sensible precaution with minimal cost. It’s also a requirement to have the installation signed off.

As you can see, a log burner in a conservatory is not only possible, it’s a great way to heat up the room and keep it available all year round.

It’s cheaper than underfloor heating, nicer to look at than a radiator and much, much more efficient than electric heaters.

No wonder they are so popular!

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  • Avatar David Young ★★★★★ 2 years ago
    I can't thank and recommend the staff at Sussex Eco Solutions highly enough. From the very first day, to actually having the gas fire installed, the care, assistance, patience and professionalism of the staff has been excellent. Even after having the fire installed there was absolutely no problem at all the fitter revisiting in order to make minor adjustments with respect to the placements of one or two logs in order to further enhance the realistic flame effect from the gas fire.
    We will certainly have no hesitation in using Sussex Eco Solutions again in the future.
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    Absolutely fantastic! From start to finish Nick and his team have been amazing. Nothing is too much trouble and aftercare with any questions has continued with the same top quality service. This is a company that truly cares about its customers and makes the whole experience enjoyable. Thank you
  • Avatar Bri F ★★★★★ 2 years ago
    If you want a wood burning stove this is the place to go. A very customer & ethically focused local firm who invest time explaining all of their products and even where to buy the best quality sustainable wood/fuel. Also, environmentally-conscious and their team of fitters were courteous, clean, efficient and knowledgeable, explaining how everything worked. Would recommend.

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