Let there Be Light – Sorry, I mean Heat

The present fireplace is not something to be admired and I shall be delighted to see the back of it.

Heating from the outset has been a tormentative subject in determining what form to settle on. Having been accustomed to mains gas in the UK, and wet central heating systems, perhaps makes it all the more difficult to come to a decision and especially so, not knowing the workings of other heating methods.

Prior to my property purchase, I spent a great deal of time contemplating the various methods of home heating. I considered electric in its many forms, gas, diesel central and both pellet and wood burning stoves of various kinds. All had plus or minus points.

Having read extensively many expat forums and the like, I whittled the heating form down to some extent based on what I had read. However, upon finding what I consider my ideal home, the choice was made for me to a fair degree, as it came with an expanse of land, capable of providing lumber for many a long year.

Last winter, I was dependent of both an open fire and gas heaters. In the case of the open fire, it is said that they are only about 10% efficient. As such, even with an in-house wood supply, it needs to be burnt efficiently. Further, I don’t think the output was, or is, anywhere near adequate for the space in question. In the case of the gas heaters I relied upon, to my mind, they are a somewhat expensive way of heating single areas. Their biggest negative however, is the moisture they expel, resulting often in dreadful condensation problems should the space not have circulating air and or good insulation.


Due to what I finally purchased, my overall choice was lessened as the property has an inset fireplace. This, I’m not sure was a good or bad thing. Perhaps without, I would have been able to site the wood burner in other locations. That said, the positioning as is, is fine and practical, and at least, there is a chimney breast and flue in situ, though not absolutely ideal for the now purchased recuperador’s requirements.

Recuperadors can either be relatively cheap or mighty expensive, but all said and done, generally you get what you pay for. The current fireplace opening has dimensions for no other reason than to burn wood upon a grate. In the case of a recuperador, set and standard dimensions exist.

A recuperador’s output will depend to some extent on its size, materials used and general build quality. I thought long and hard on these issues, and felt that because inset units can involve far greater expense in fitting, and are more difficult to change at will, the correct selection was vital. I considering long term. As such, I decided to go with something that was wider than the opening would permit, enabling longer log lengths and greater heat output due to greater burner size. Also, I bought a unit that will provide heating to, two upper floor bedrooms.

The story and possible battle shall be continued, but it can be said now, that some of the building materials required for fitment are on-site, and the builders are due soon, or so I believe.

Sand, Cement and Bricks

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