WhatStove?

Review of Charnwood Country 16 b stove

Charnwood 16B

Marion Chapman this week

I have had this stove for about 6 years and have just moved house and left it behind. We heated a 4 bedroom cottage with it, replacing electric storage heaters and a multi-fuel room heater. We had a bit of bother with the installation but once it was resolved the system worked well. That said I sometimes felt it was hard to get the fire as hot as I would like to make the radiators as hot as I wanted them. As an experienced stove user I know what I am doing and someone new to stoves might take a bit of time to get the best from this one. (I also have a Hunter Herald boiler stove in another house and have had a stove in my homes for over 20 years).

It eats fuel at a great rate. Being used to a multi fuel stove that heated only the room and belted out a good heat it was a bit of a disappointment that this huge stove powered through a huge amount of fuel but the room was never as warm as it previously had been. But we got used to it and we loved it in the end.

It would stay in overnight, but only with anthracite, not wood. It wasn't really worth the bother as it was almost easier to get it going from start as it was to reawaken it from its anthracite slumbers and the heating did not stay on all night anyway.

We had a huge water tank and installed an awesome bath to go with it a real plus. Loads of hot water. Even in summer I could put the stove on for an hour or two every three days and heat enough water to last a while. I did not need to use the electric immersion and that cut the electric bills down really well.

A couple of things to note that I only found out through encountering issues:

1. There is an alternative half throat plate available for situations where there is poor draw. We got one early on but it wasn't required as it was an installation issue nothing, to do with the draw.

2. There are clips available to help hold the throat plate in place. It can dislodge itself due to heat and draw and drop down into the fire (a damned nuisance on a cold night I can tell you). An enquiry to Charnwood and a couple of free clips later stopped the issue (after I had bought a new throat plate too as I thought that it was an age/use issue at first).

3. Having windows open upstairs can create another chimney effect in your house and draw air away from the stove.

I found Charnwood technical support to be quite helpful. The supplier on the other hand, was not, he came up with all sorts of drivel when we were having the installation issues. We bought our Hunter Herald from a different supplier and I found him to be pretty useless too (that's being kind). They are only interested in selling you a stove, make sure you do your own research and homework.

Now I have moved and I am renovating my next house and about to put a boiler stove into it, this time to supplement oil heating. Which one to choose is the problem? Would I have the Charnwood again, it does not suit the shape of the inglenook fireplace I now have so I won't be getting it. If it did suit, well I don't know. Its OK, but frankly could be better if it used less fuel, gave out more heat and stayed in overnight with a heat that kept radiators on when its really cold. I think there are bonnier ones out there, and I fancy a change. That's why I came across this website.

Stove expert replied: The critical thing with any stove is the installation, making sure there is adequate free air in the room and a flue draw that is within the tolerances stipulated by the manufacturer. Then a good quality fuel and providing the stove matches the heating requirements all should be well.

Overall rating:

3.5 flames

Build Quality 4 flames (avg 3.8)
Quality of finish 4 flames (avg 3.9)
Value for money 4 flames (avg 3.4)
Ease of use 3 flames (avg 3.8)
Ease of lighting 3 flames (avg 4.3)
Firebox size 3 flames (avg 4.3)
How well does the airwash work 2 flames (avg 3.4)
Controllability 4 flames (avg 3.9)
Handle operation 5 flames (avg 3.7)
How likely are you to buy it again? 4 flames (avg 3.2)
What is your overall satisfaction? 4 flames (avg 3.4)