Review of Town and Country Runswick stove

Town & Country Runswick review

Christine Rigden 10 years ago

We chose a Runswick for our home in 2008, in order to minimise the building work needed for the installation. It set very neatly into the existing fireplace/chimneybreast of our modern (1985) home.

Lovely large, clear glass area. The door handle is very easy and positive, and though it does get hot it is easy to use with gloves on. The top of the stove (about 5" deep) did not tend to get very hot - not suitable for heating a kettle for example.

The firebox is tapered a little towards the back (normal for inset stoves) so we tended to use shorter pieces of wood than the theoretical max.

Air flow is incredibly controllable, top and bottom. The lower vents are easy to operate even with the toe of a shoe, and the upper vents with the back of a thumbnail which means not needing to bother with gloves much.

When we used it 12+ hours a day, we didn't need to clear out the ash more than a couple times a week. Normally only about once per week.

We have not tried to keep the fire in overnight, because it is not fuel efficient, but a few times I restarted the fire in the morning from what was left in the grate, still glowing under a layer of ash.

The first winter (2008-09) our wood was not very well seasoned, so sometimes if we burned it slowly then the glass would get a brown haze in parts. Easily fixed by using seasoned wood, and everything burned efficiently and cleanly the next (2009-10) winter. (Also glass cleans up a treat with a wood-ash paste.) An inexpensive moisture meter was a useful investment while we got used to what seasoned wood feels like.

We stayed with our existing precast concrete liner rather than having an insulated stainless steel one. In retrospect, I think this was our mistake - we were heating up the chimney breast instead! (The advantage of this, in that long, cold winter just gone, that the chimney breast acted like a storage heater.)

We have moved house this year, and had another Town & country stove installed, but free standing this time.

Overall rating:

4.5 flames

Build Quality 5 flames (avg 4.7)
Quality of finish 5 flames (avg 4.8)
Value for money 4 flames (avg 4.3)
Ease of use 5 flames (avg 4.7)
Ease of lighting 5 flames (avg 4.8)
Firebox size 3 flames (avg 3.9)
How well does the airwash work 4 flames (avg 4.2)
Controllability 5 flames (avg 4.9)
Handle operation 5 flames (avg 4.4)
How likely are you to buy it again? 5 flames (avg 4.9)
What is your overall satisfaction? 5 flames (avg 4.7)