Choosing the right wood heater requires careful consideration to ensure safety, efficiency, and optimal heating performance. In this guide, we will walk you through the essential steps to select the perfect wood heater for your Melbourne home.A wood heater installation can be a valuable addition to your home, providing warmth and ambiance during the chilly Melbourne winters.
Step 1: Assess Your Heating Needs
Before you start shopping for a wood heater, assess your heating requirements based on the size and layout of your home. Follow these steps:
- Measure Your Room: Calculate the square footage of the room you want to heat. This will help you determine the heating capacity required for the wood heater.
- Consider Open Plan Spaces: If you have open plan living areas, consider a wood heater with a higher heat output to efficiently warm larger spaces.
Step 2: Choose the Right Type of Wood Heater
There are different types of wood heaters available, each with its advantages and installation requirements. Consider the following options:
- Freestanding Wood Heaters: Ideal for large rooms or open-plan areas, freestanding wood heaters can be positioned away from walls, allowing heat to circulate effectively.
- Inbuilt Wood Heaters: Inbuilt wood heaters are designed to be installed into existing fireplaces or framed cavities, offering a seamless and integrated look.
- Zero Clearance Wood Heaters: If you have limited space or wish to install the wood heater against combustible materials, zero clearance heaters are a suitable choice.
Step 3: Check Compliance with Australian Standards
Ensure the wood heater you choose complies with Australian Standards for emissions and efficiency. Look for models that are certified with the following standards:
- AS/NZS 4012:2014: Domestic solid fuel burning appliances – Method for determination of power output and efficiency.
- AS/NZS 4013:2014: Domestic solid fuel burning appliances – Method for determination of flue gas emission.
- AS/NZS 2918:2001: Domestic solid fuel burning appliances – Installation.
Step 4: Consider Emissions and Efficiency
Opt for a wood heater with low emissions and high efficiency to minimize environmental impact and maximize heating performance. Look for models that are:
- Emissions-Compliant: Choose wood heaters that meet or exceed emission standards to reduce smoke and particulate matter released into the atmosphere.
- Efficient Design: Look for heaters with a secondary combustion system, which can enhance efficiency and reduce fuel consumption.
Step 5: Evaluate Safety Features
Prioritize safety when selecting a wood heater for your home. Consider the following safety features:
- Ember Protection: Choose a wood heater with an ember guard or mesh to prevent embers from escaping the firebox.
- Heat Shielding: Opt for heaters with proper heat shielding to reduce the risk of the unit becoming too hot to touch.
- Childproof Door Lock: If you have young children or pets, consider a wood heater with a childproof door lock to prevent accidental access.
Step 6: Seek Professional Installation
Wood heater installation should be performed by a licensed professional to ensure proper venting and compliance with local building codes. Follow these steps:
- Hire a Licensed Installer: Look for a licensed and experienced wood heater installer to ensure the installation is done correctly and safely.
- Check Insurance and References: Verify the installer’s insurance coverage and ask for references from previous customers.
Selecting the right wood heater installation for your Melbourne home involves assessing your heating needs, choosing the appropriate type, ensuring compliance with Australian Standards, evaluating emissions and efficiency, prioritizing safety features, and seeking professional installation. By following these steps, you can enjoy a warm and cozy winter with your new wood heater, knowing that it’s both efficient and safe for your home.