Wood Heater - Repair or Replace?
Author: Dianna Smith Date Posted: 2 May 2019
Many wood heater owners over the years have been told their wood burning fire needs replacing and spare parts are not available, this is not always correct.
Yes, there are wood burners where parts just are not available anymore, this is usually for very, very old wood burners or those models which for one reason or another were not popular sellers therefore spare parts have not been good sellers and no one manufactures them any longer.
To replace your wood heater or repair it is a question we are often asked, either way there are pros and cons for both that you need to be aware of.
Reasons to replace your heater
- New technology
- Technology in every industry has leapt forward and wood burners are no different. With the technology comes different features and benefits that your old heater may not have. Some heaters these days have multi fuel capabilities, better warm air convection, are fitted with fans to help circulate warm air, self cleaning door glass, increased burn times and the list goes on.
- Improved efficiencies
- With the increase in efficiencies many wood heaters now have a higher kW output per hour/kilo of wood and increased burn times (some with overnight burn). Currently in Australia new wood heaters must have an efficiency requirement of at least 55%. The higher the wood burners efficiency the less wood you need to burn to keep your home warm.
- New warranty
- Most wood heaters these day come with a 10 year and longer firebox warranty but do realise this warranty does not cover parts like door knobs, glass, baffles and other replaceable spare parts
- Cannot get parts
- Are you sure? Have you checked with us? Many wood heater sellers cannot be bothered with spare parts, they are time consuming and confusing for a lot of people. We specialise in spare parts and enjoy the challenge of tracking down a part previously thought no longer available and we have a huge range in stock.
- The heater firebox is burnt out or has a crack
- Now this really does present a problem and we would always suggest your heater needs to be replaced. Cracks in fireboxes are usually caused by a few things - old age metal fatigue, not replacing burnt out or damaged fire liners or bricks in the heater or misuse.
- Less smoke emmissions
- Smoke emissions from wood burning heaters has become a major concern for many councils and environmentally concerned people and your neighbours. As our population and housing density continues to rise air quality becomes more important to us all. Currently all new wood heaters certified for Australian use must have an emissions of less than 2.5g of particulate emmission per kilogram of wood being burnt. When you compare this to an open fireplace with emissions of approx 17g/kg and an older heater with approx 12g/kg you can see this is a significant difference.
Reasons to repair your heater
- Cheaper to buy parts than a new heater
- Spare parts whilst they might sound expensive are much cheaper and more convenient than replacing the heater. Even if you cannot find the wood fire part on our website please ask us first to confirm it is indeed not available.
- Clearance distances
- Buying a new heater may mean the heater cannot legally remain in the existing heaters current position due to different wall/combustible clearance distances between heaters. Always check clearance distances as they differ largely between wood burner models.
- Hearth requirements
- As above the new heater may need a different hearth size or position than the existing heater
- You know what you have
- you have had this heater for many years and understand how it works, what wood size to use and how to get the best performance out of it.
If you do decide to replace your wood heater check out our pricing for the great range of products we have in store or have access too.
Keep warm everybody and we hoped this has helped you understand your wood fire heating options.