Can You Put a Wood Burner In a Conservatory?

Installing a wood burning stove can be an attractive option for heating a conservatory during the colder months. With rising energy costs, a log burner in a conservatory provides an efficient and cost-effective way to warm this usually uninsulated extension to your home. However, there are some important factors to consider before installing a wood burner in a conservatory.

Building Regulations

The first thing to check is whether you need planning permission or need to comply with any building regulations. You generally do not need planning permission to install a stove in an existing conservatory. However, building regulations may apply regarding the structural integrity of the floor and ventilation requirements. Your local authority building control department can advise if you need to apply for approval.

Location and Clearances

When siting your stove, it’s crucial to ensure it has adequate clearances from any combustible materials. Most stoves require at least 300mm clearance at the sides and 300-500mm at the rear. There should also be at least 1200mm clearance above the stove to combustible materials like the conservatory roof. The stove needs an adequately sized non-combustible hearth beneath it too.

A key factor is that the conservatory walls and roof are normally made of plastic, glass or wood, so will not meet the necessary clearance requirements. Therefore, the stove may need to sit independently within the conservatory rather than be installed against a wall, with a flue through a conservatory roof.

Insulation and Ventilation

Conservatories generally have poor insulation compared to the main house. Installing a stove will generate a lot of heat. So, you need to ensure the room can cope with the temperatures and has ventilation to prevent it overheating when the stove is alight. 

It’s advisable to upgrade the insulation and install some form of temperature-controlled ventilation system. Some conservatories have roof vents which open automatically at a certain temperature using thermostatic controls. This allows hot air to escape and prevents excessive heat build-up.

Chimney Flue Requirements

Wood burning stoves require a suitable chimney or flue system. There are a few options for installing a flue in a conservatory. If you have a masonry wall adjoining the conservatory, the flue can pass through this before extending above roof height. 

Alternatively, some stoves can be fitted with an insulated twin-walled flue pipe. This can rise vertically to exit through the conservatory roof. The flue terminal needs to extend at least 1.2m above the roof apex to ensure adequate draw and smoke dispersal, depending on the make of the stove.

Balanced flues, however, can work at reduced heights as they are no sensitive to local variations in wind pressure.

A qualified HETAS approved installer will be able to advise you on the best flue options.

Other Factors

There are a few other considerations when installing a stove in a conservatory:

  • Choose an efficient and controllable model, like one of our pellet stoves – this will prevent the space overheating.
  • Opt for a stove with a wide glass window to enjoy the flickering flames.
  • Ensure you have adequate home insurance cover for installing a stove.

With careful planning and preparation, installing a wood burner in your conservatory can provide an effective way to enjoy cosy warmth in this once unheatable space. Talk to us to ensure it is done safely and legally.