Frequently Asked Questions.

On this page we have tried to answer some of our frequently asked questions. We have covered a wide range of topics, so please scroll down the whole page to view all of the questions. Should you find that your question is not answered please call or email us and we’ll be happy to help!

Stoves, Flues, and Maintenance

What size stove do I need? (click to reveal)

As a rough guide, 1kW of heat will be sufficient for 14 cubic metres.

For example:
A room size of 5.4 m x 5.4m x 2.4 m = 70 cubic metres
Divide 70 cubic metres by 14 = 5kW

Therefore for this example room, assuming that there is no other form of heating and it is relatively draught free, with insulation, you would require a 5kW stove.
However this is rough guide and will be affected by factors such as the number of outside walls, the amount of glazing and the level of insulation.
We recommend that you get the advice of your chilli penguin stockist.

My house does not have a chimney, can I have stove? (click to reveal)

In many cases, yes, you can. You will require a flue for the removal of smoke and combustion gases. It will need to be twin walled insulated steel flue which will need to be swept regularly just as a chimney would. There will be number of considerations such as; recommended distances from combustibles and non combustibles, for both the stove and flue, the exit through the wall/ceiling, the distances from ceiling joists, the exit through the roof and length of external flue. We always recommend a survey from HETAS qualified engineer. This type of installation is covered by building regulations.

Should I line my chimney? (click to reveal)

If your property was constructed before 1966 it is strongly recommended that your chimney is lined with a liner suitable for a solid fuel appliance. After this date chimneys were typically constructed using clay or concrete liners. Depending on the condition of the liner and the ability to make a gas tight connection between the stove and the liner it may be advisable to put a new flexible stainless liner in. Another consideration is that the diameter of the clay liner may be too great for closed a solid fuel appliance like a stove. We recommend that you seek advice from a HETAS qualified engineer. This type of installation is covered by building regulations.

What about chimney sweeping? (click to reveal)

Your chimney must be swept at least once a year by a qualified chimney sweep. The approved list is available from HETAS or NACS. IDEALLY provision for sweeping should be made either with an access panel in your register plate or an access door in the connecting stove pipe. This provision is ALWAYS necessary if the flue diameter is greater than 6″ (150mm). Inform your sweep about what sort of liner you have so he can use the appropriate brushes. Some flue liner guarantees will be invalidated if not swept with care.

However if the flue diameter is 6 inches or less it is possible to sweep through all our stoves (with the exception of the chilli billie) if the correct sweeping rods are used. Normal rods can be used the Short Penguin, Woody, Penguin 8, Chubby and Chubes. The oven models; the Hungry, the Fat, the High and Mighty and 88 require super flexible rods such as the viper. Great care must always be taken when sweeping a flexible liner to avoid damage to the liner. To sweep the Chilli Billie you will either need an access panel or sweep from the top.

Why do I need a sweeping access panel with a flue diameter of over 6 inches (150mm)? (click to reveal)

If your flue has a substantially greater diameter than your stove pipe the diameter of brushes that will fit through your stove pipe will not be sufficient to reach the sides of your flue and clear it of deposits.

What size is the flue collar on Chilli Penguin Stoves? (click to reveal)

he flue collar diameter is 5 inches(125mm). The flue size required is 6 inches (150mm). An adaptor piece is required to take the system from 5 to 6 inches. The 6 inch flue is ideal for closed appliances, however it is possible to use a 5 inch flue if you fit the smoke control kit (DEFRA).

Can any of the Chilli Penguin stoves be rear flued? (click to reveal)

With the exception of the chilli billie they can all be rear flued. There are two types of rear flue adaptor available, vertical and horizontal, your HETAS installer will be able to advise you. The cooker models do not need an adaptor for rear fluing, they have a removable blanking plate. The Chilli Billie flue is in a single fixed position.

Are there any regular maintenance jobs? (click to reveal)

Check rope seals are not frayed or coming away, door glass is not cracked or loose, check fire bricks are not cracked or deteriorated, throat plate does not have a build up of ash on top of it and (for the oven models) remove ash from the top of the oven box.
More more information please see the Looking After Your Penguin page.

How can I clean the surface of the stove? (click to reveal)

To clean the painted surface, when cool use a soft brush or lint free cloth. Do not use wet methods. You can overpaint most marks and long term wear. More more information please see the Painted Stove Surface section on the Looking After Your Penguin page.

The glass in my stove door is going black, what's happening? (click to reveal)

During the burn cycle you will be aware of areas of discolouration, this will usually burn off with heat. This is usually observable when the stove is being lit from cold and usually in the corners or edges. If fuel is touching the glass you will get localised discolouring, this will burn off as the stove get hotter. If it doesn’t burn off, please see the Door and Over Glass section on the Looking After Your Penguin page.

If you find you are getting constant blackening,  you may not be using the air controls correctly or your fuel may have too much moisture in. 



What is a Direct Air kit & can it be retrofitted? (click to reveal)

A direct air kit is an option that is available when you order your stove. It is fitted in the workshop, when the stove is made. It is available for all models except the Chilli Billie.

What is it? It is a chamber fitted to the underneath of the stove to which a flexible tubing is attached that can be fed through the wall of the property to the outside. It allows a stove to fed by external air. It is sometime specified by architects for modern airtight houses to provide additional oxygen to feed the fire. This is not approved for a true passive house.

What are the measurements? It has a 68 mm spigot on the rear of the stove, leading from the direct air chamber. It is supplied with a 1 metre length  of tubing with an external diameter of 75mm.

Can it be retro fitted? This should be ordered at the point of the stove order. It is extremely difficult to retro fit to any of the multi fuel stoves or the Woody (cat). We would need to have the stove back and fit it here in our workshop. It is possible to retrofit to the Stock Cube series (the Stock cube, the Stock cube convector, the Fubsy), the Penguin 7 series (Penguin 7, Penguin 7 convector, Penguin Idris) and the Seventy Ates. However we recommend that they are factory fitted.

Fuels and Clean Burning

Which fuels can I burn? (click to reveal)

Most Chilli Penguin Stoves are approved for burning seasoned wood and smokeless fuels for closed appliances (from the HETAS approved list).

However the Woody Eco (catalytic convertor version), the Stock cube and the Chilli Billie are wood only.

For advice about smokeless fuel suitable for a closed appliance like a stove, ask your local coal merchant and consult the HETAS approved list.  Avoid solid fuel with a high sulphur content.

For local suppliers of seasoned wood contact WoodSure or ask around locally for recommendations. There are a number of companies offering kiln dried wood such as Certainly Wood. Seasoned wood must have been cut and stored for at least one year and be dry.

Three ways to tell that wood is dry is:

1. Use a moisture meter, moisture of less than 25%

2. Should sound hollow when logs are banged together

3. Visible cracks in end of log

Can I burn house coal? (click to reveal)

No, under no circumstances burn house coal on a closed appliance such as a stove. It is not possible in a closed appliance to get enough oxygen for complete combustion. This can result in a build up of volatile gases in the stove and chimney. These are potentially explosive.

What is 'seasoned wood'? (click to reveal)

Seasoned wood refers to wood with a maximum moisture content of 25%. This is achieved by storing it for between 12 – 18 months once cut, prior to burning. This will vary from species to species. If the wood is not seasoned you will be creating a lot of smoke and steam with very inefficient combustion. The following are useful tips to help you identify if your wood is dry enough to burn:

  • look for visible cracks at end of the logs
  • bang two logs together, you want a hollow sound
  • use a wood moisture measuring device

If you are looking for a local wood supplier, has a list of certified fuel suppliers

What does "Clean Burn" mean? (click to reveal)

This is the ability of a stove to burn off volatile gases given off by the fuel which would otherwise go up the flue and into the atmosphere. This is usually achieved by introducing additional pre-heated air at the top of the combustion chamber. This function gives maximum efficiency and heat output from the fuel, together with having less detrimental impact on the environment.

What is the environmental impact of burning wood? (click to reveal)

There are a number of environment issues with wood burning, they usually fall into these three categories; the carbon footprint, the emissions and forest land clearing

Carbon Footprint
A carbon footprint simply means how much carbon a given activity adds to or subtracts from the atmosphere. The effect of burning wood is close to neutral with regards to carbon.

As they grow, trees remove carbon from the atmosphere. That carbon is released into the atmosphere when the wood is burnt as fuel.
The tree grown to replace that tree will reclaim the carbon from the air. Therefore supporting wood growers who practise good forestry management and re plant what they cut down makes sense
It is worth remembering that we can’t avoid the carbon being released into the atmosphere. Even if a tree is left to grow old, die and rot in the forest, the carbon in it will be released as it decomposes. Burning in a fireplace is a rapid form of oxidation. Rotting on a forest floor is also oxidation, just slower. Wood burning needs to be viewed as part of an ongoing system or cycle, not as a snapshot.
(There will be fuel used to used to harvest the wood, usually non bio-fuels so the carbon footprint isn’t entirely neutral, but this is relatively small. In addition there is the transport from the forest to your home, so the more locally wood is purchased the better).

Emissions from burning wood
This is the issue that has been in the news since the Clean Air strategy 2019 was launched. Among other things this strategy looks at the emissions produced by different industries including wood and solid fuel burning stoves industry. Emissions had to be reduced in a number of categories including particulates, (or dust particles). All stoves had to meet  Ecodesign criteria by 2022.

Particulate matter is everything in the air that isn’t a gas, a suspension of particles which are solid, liquid or somewhere in between. It can come from natural sources such as pollen, sea spray and desert dust, and human made sources such as smoke from fires, soot from vehicle exhausts, dust from tyres and brakes, as well as emissions from industry. The following article by Hetas has further  information.

All of our 5kW – 7 kW stoves are Ecodesign stoves. The Chilli Billie will be the last stove to undergo the re design process.

Forest clearing
Good forestry management means investing in renewal, re growth and offering diverse eco-habitats. Source wood from well managed forests.

Are Chilli Penguin Stoves Ecodesign/2022 ready? (click to reveal)

All of the Chilli Penguin stove range were re-designed and independently tested to meet the Ecodesign criteria.  There is one exception to this, the little Chilli Billie. The Chilli Billie will go through the re-design process last, it may be early 2023 when there is an Ecodesign version of this available.

What are catalytic converter stoves? (click to reveal)

We manufacture a catalytic converter stove. This is called the Woody Eco (Cat). This is a wood only stove. A catalytic converter is a honeycomb structure that has a special coating which chemically converts harmful gases and super heats to burn off smoke particulates. The result is a marked reduction in the smoke particulates.

The requirement of the Eco design standard it for the particulate figure to be below 40 mg/m3.
The figure for the Woody Eco (Cat) is 11 mg/m3.
This is the cleanest burning stove that we produce.

What is an Ecodesign stove? (click to reveal)

The Ecodesign regulations effect most domestic energy related products, including solid fuel stoves. As far as stoves, they specify new seasonal energy efficiency levels and maximum emission requirements. It will be illegal to manufacture and sell new stoves after 1st January 2022 that do not comply with the Ecodesign requirements, unless they are already in the supply chain. Although an EU generated piece of legislation it will be adopted into UK law.

The measures covered by the Ecodesign regulations are particulate matter (PM), organic gaseous compounds (OGC), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and seasonal efficiency.

In order to be an Ecodesign stove, a stove must be independently verified as meeting these stringent emission requirements. Particulate matter or PMs are the most commonly recognised of these measures. The maximum limit for these is 40 mg/m3. All these measures are listed in our technical details tables at the foot of each of the stove product pages.

Will wood burning stoves be banned? (click to reveal)

There is no indication that legislative changes to ban domestic wood burning are likely. The wood-burning industry is represented at a government level by  HETAS. The following article by HETAS has some useful information

Installation and Guarantees

Who can install my stove? (click to reveal)

In order to certify your stove installation you must use either a HETAS approved installation engineer or you will need to contact your local Building Control department. They will come out and inspect the installation. There will be a charge for this service.The installation must conform to the ‘Building Regulations’ 2000 approved Document J.

Is my Chilli Penguin stove under warranty? (click to reveal)

We  offer a FREE 7 year extended warranty for all of our stoves (with the exception of the Chilli Billie which is for 5 years), if you purchase your stove from your local approved Chilli Penguin Stockist.

This is available online, see the  warranty section in the menu for further information. When you register your warranty, you will get a “Penguin Owners Account” which will remember your stove model.  This is really helpful when you are ordering spares and maintenance items.

Has the Chilli Penguin stove been independently tested? (click to reveal)

Yes. All the Chilli Penguin stove series: the Short Penguin Eco series (Short (Eco) & Chubby 5 (Eco)), the Woody Eco series, (Woody (Eco) cat & Woody (Eco) multi fuel), the Stock Cube (Eco),  the Hungry Penguin Eco series (Hungry (Eco), Fat (Eco), High & Mighty (Eco)) and the Penguin 8 series (Penguin 8, Eighty Ate, Chubby 8) are independently tested to the standard EN13240:2001 and EN13240A2:2004.

The Chilli Billie is tested against EN13240.

The 5kW stoves have also been tested to the more recent 2022 Eco Design standard. All Eco design tested stoves have the Eco tag and/or Ecodesign logo, clearly shown on the product pages, The 8 kW stoves are currently in the Eco design development and testing process. The Chilli Billie will follow.

Spare Parts, Ordering and Delivery

Where is my order? (click to reveal)

Once you’ve have ordered your stove through your local Chilli Penguin stockist, they will place the order with us and we will put it into our production planning. We will usually send your stockist an expected delivery date within three days of receiving your order. Please note that all our stoves are made to order and the lead time can vary between 2 – 7 weeks depending on the time of year. Please look at our ordering and delivery page for more information.

How can I place an order for a stove? (click to reveal)

We have a network of stockists across the UK. We don’t sell directly ourselves. To find your nearest stockist use our postcode Shop Finder. Alternatively, if you have already fallen for a penguin, you don’t need to leave your chair! We have a service called armchair shopping, where we can put your local stockist in touch with you. They will contact you to discuss your stove and offer a survey, without you leaving home. Find more details on our Order and Delivery page, under Buying a Penguin. If you find that you do not have a nearby stockist, please do not hesitate to contact us.

The firebricks/glass/throat plate/rope seal on my stove has broken. How do I order a spare part? (click to reveal)

We recommend obtaining new parts for your stove, as soon as they break, to save further damage to your stove. The only exception to this would be, if you see a hairline crack in the side or back fire bricks.

If it is a hairline crack only and the firebrick stays in place, the stove will come to no harm. If you notice a crack in the throat plate brick, we recommend ordering a new one, as this will tend to fall into the firebox when it breaks and not remain in place. If you use the stove with no throat plate brick, the metal throat plate which it sits in, might warp. Once the metal throat plate has warped it is often not possible to slide in a replacement brick. Alternatively because of the warped surface, it can make the fit too tight, so the brick will crack again soon after replacement.

Contact your stockist or you can order spares through our online spares shop, (top right hand corner of the website). The spares are listed by stove model, (you will also need to select whether you have an eco or non eco model). There are some variations in the spares for some of the stoves models, depending on the age of the stove. Where there are variations, there are diagrams with measurements, to help you identify the correct spares.

My firebricks are cracking/crumbling/discoloured. Is this normal? (click to reveal)

Firebricks are a service item and it is normal for them to be replaced several times during a stove’s lifetime. To find out more information about firebricks and tips on how to make your firebricks last longer please see the Vermiculite Fire Bricks section on the Looking After Your Penguin page