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Stove testing: why you need to talk to an expert as well as looking at the spec.

Stove Help & Advice Home

The way in which a stove's heat output and efficiency is tested does not necessarily allow comparison of different stoves because the test conditions are not comparable. In an ideal world a maximum output would be arrived at by the test lab, and you would then test the stove at that heat output, and then at a lower output which the manufacturer considers to be more normal or usual for that model. Now usually the nominal heat output which is a stove is tested at is around 25% below a reasonable maximum output. But sometimes this veers off. In essence the heat output and efficiency given for a stove is really accurate at that output, but it does not tell you the maximum output that it can produce, which is useful to know.

For more information about the stove heat output test see our stove heat output page.

For more information about the stove efficiency test see our stove efficiency page.

Example: The Morso Panther and Morso 3610 stove

The Morso Panther is a nice medium sized stove whilst the 3610 stove is much bigger - it is about 200mm higher, 150mm wider, 100mm deeper. Let's look at the efficiency and heat outputs of these two models:

 EfficiencyNominal heat outputPrevious heat output given
Morso Panther72%9 kW8.0 kW
Morso 361073%9.8 kW16 kW

Going by these figures there is not much to choose from between these two models other than looks. However a collegue has a Morso Panther in a medium sized room (about 5m x 5m x 2.3m - an old cottage with uninsulated walls) and this is the perfect size of stove for the room. Now I know if we installed the 3610 in the same room and tried to use it properly it would be like a sauna in there! The 3610 used to be rated at 16kW - much higher than the output of the Panther (of course the 3610 could happily run slowly so that would not necessarily be a problem but I'm sure you can see the point).

Our conclusion

We would like the test standard to include determining what the maximum output of each stove is and then testing it at that output, as well as at the expected or "nominal" output.

Our advice? Simply ask us and we will give you a good idea of what the maximum output of your chosen stove is likely to be. We have a great knowledge of stoves, we don't just sell boxes.


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