Faqs

We answer your questions

Faq: Wood fires

Absolutely! They are designed to be both beautiful and functional. The firebox and lower flue are made from steel which is an excellent heat conductor. This produces both direct heat from the fire itself and radiant heat from the steel (and of course the perceived heat from the dancing flame and crackling logs).

 

Our fireplaces have are approved for CE certification and have been rated as having the following heating capacities:

  • The Aether: 8.2kW
  • The Hearth: 7.2kW
 

Both of these ratings are very powerful for open fireplaces and they are certainly powerful sources of heat. The exact heating capacity depends on many variables: the ambient temperature outside, the height of the ceilings in the room the fire is located, if the room has insulation in the ceiling and walls, how many and the size of the windows in the room and perhaps the biggest factor of all is the quality and amount of fuel you are using.

As an example; we have an Aether in our living room which is 120m2. It is an open plan room with high raked ceilings and sliding doors across the length of the main wall. It is a new home with good insulation.

The Aether does a cracking job of heating this space for us!

Heating Area Volume & Climate Zone

The required kW output required is primarily dependent upon the area to be heater and the climate zone in which you live.

The following rough guide assumes your ceilings are no higher than 2.4M:

  • Very Cold Zone: 1kW output required for each 8.5m²
  • Cold Zone: 1 kW output required for each 10m²
  • Cool Zone: 1kW output required for each 13 m²
  • Mild Zone: 1kW output required for each 16m²
 

Adjustment Factors

The indicated heating areas would be adjusted down by 5% for each of the following conditions: house built on pillars (non-slab), no carpets on floors, no drapes on windows or a ceiling height exceeding 2.4m.

Deduct an additional 10% if the area does not have ceiling insulation.

Please note that this is only a guide and individual home designs and situations may vary.

Cleaning Inside The Firebox:

 

Our fires are designed to achieve an efficient and complete burn.  This means that after your fire has burned down you won’t be left with lumps of debris and coal, just a clean bed of ash.

All fires burn best with a bed of ash in the bottom for insulation so we usually only clean our fire once a month. When it’s time for the task we’ve made it simple for you.

There is an ash removal tray in the bottom of the firebox which you simply push to one side and let the ash fall out (into a container of some description, not on the floor).

The grate is removable so if you wish you can take this out for cleaning too but it’s not necessary.

Cleaning The Exterior Of the Firebox & Lower Flue:

The best way to clean the firebox exterior is with water and a scratch free glass polishing cloth. Just a light spray and gentle wipe down  (don’t scrub the fire) will keep your firebox free of fingerprints and dust. For extra greasy marks WINDEX works very well, use the method above.

Never use harsh products containing any kind of paint stripper and never scrub the exterior paint.

It is very important that the firebox is completely dry before lighting a fire as water on the paint surface will leave water marks if burnt while the firebox is wet. These can only be removed by touching up the paint so care must always be taken to ensure the firebox is 100% dry prior to operation.

If you have an outdoor fireplace please see ‘cleaning an outdoor fireplace’ below.

 

Our outdoor fireplaces are coated with a zinc primer to prevent rust. Extra care will ensure the longevity of your fireplace.

 

If you live near a beach or if your fireplace is installed near your swimming pool, your fireplace will be more prone to minerals settling on the surface of the fireplace which can damage the paint over time if care is not taken to prevent this.

Follow these guidelines for cleaning & maintaining your outdoor fireplace:

  • Your outside fireplace must be installed in an area that is covered to prevent excessive exposure to rain
  • Keep it Clean – Accumulated dirt and debris can hold moisture and allow corrosion to occur even on a dry day. Periodically wiping down the firebox and lower flue following the steps outlined on the next page can help avoid paint damage in the long run.
  • Keep it dry – never light your fireplace when the surface is wet as the minerals in the water will stain the paint. If your fireplace has been exposed to rain always wipe down your fireplace prior to use, following the steps below to remove mineral deposits from the surface of the steel. Any minerals from the rain left on the steel when it is burnt will damage the paint.
 

CLEANING METHOD

All cleaning and maintenance must be done when the appliance is cool.

Do NOT use oven cleaners or abrasive products as they will damage the paint.

  1. Wipe all surfaces with a mild soap with a scratch free glass polishing cloth.
  2. For stubborn marks or grease use WINDEX and a scratch free glass polishing cloth. Don’t scrub the paint. Gentle pressure only.
  3. Wipe dry with scratch free glass polishing cloth.
  4. Ensure surface is completely dry before lighting the fire.

Maximum load capacity:

 

  • No more than four large logs (not exceeding 110mm in diameter) at a time.
  • Untreated, air dried hardwood
  • Split logs with a humidity content of less than 20%
 

You can pick up great wood from Bunnings or most service stations. Just check the humidity content which is printed on the bag.

We recommend split wood rather than round logs as they burn better and are much easier to stack.

For more tips on wood and building the perfect fire head over to our blog.

For further information on sourcing appropriate wood for your fireplace check out the firewood association page for your country:

Firewood Association Australia

Wood Heat Association UK

What To Burn

 

Use dry split wood for best results. Using wet wood will result in a smoky fire that is hard to get started and gives off low heat. If you are drying your own wood keep in mind that wood only begins to dry seriously once it is split to correct size. Allow around six months for proper drying to take place. We recommend split wood rather than round logs as they burn better and are less prone to rolling away from the ember bed.

Before Lighting Your Fire

  • Check that the damper is fully open. The handle should be pointing down. The fire must be operated with the damper fully opened at all times.
 

Starting a Fire

You will need the following materials to build and maintain a good wood fire

  • a fire lighter or newspaper (do not use coloured or coated paper)
  • a handful of finely split, dry kindling in a variety of sizes
  • seasoned firewood split into a range of sizes.
 

The Most Reliable Method For Lighting Our Open Fireplaces

It is important to keep in mind that Aurora Fireplaces are open fireplaces and cannot be loaded or operated in the same way as a combustion (closed) fireplace. If you’re used to a combustion fireplace this method may take a little getting used to, however it is absolutely reliable, and when it is done properly there is almost no smoke right from the start.

The most important part of this whole process is to use dry, seasoned firewood. The fire works by having the coals and embers from the top layer fall into the layer of wood below it. If the wood is wet it won’t catch on fire and you’ll become frustrated.

  1. Place two split pieces of timber approximately 40mm thick x 300mm long on the firebox floor with the ends facing front and back. Placement with the ends facing front and back allows the air to mix well with the fuel, rather than just hitting the sides of the wood.
  2. Place a fire-lighter or one piece of scrunched up newspaper in-between them.
  3. Stack two pieces of kindling approximately 30mm thick x 300mm long on top of the bottom pieces criss crossing in the other direction.
  4. Follow this by stacking a third row of fine kindling 20mm thick x 300mm long on top, criss crossing in the other direction.
  5. Repeat step four.
  6. Light the fire lighter or paper and watch as the fire burns down through the fine kindling and the kindling into the bottom pieces of split timber.
  7. Once the timber is well alight start adding more 40mm thick pieces of timber 1 or 2 at a time, slowly increasing the timber size as the fire burns hotter.
 

Faq: Bioethanol fireplace

Bio Ethanol is denatured ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol, denatured alcohol or grain alcohol. It is a biofuel which can be derived from plants including corn, wheat, barley and sugarcane.

Denatured Ethanol is a renewable resource, when it’s burning there are no harmful emissions, so it’s very safe for the environment and the people who are using it.

The result of combustion of Bio Ethanol is water, steam and carbon dioxide. The ratio of CO/CO2 passes standards for flue less gas fireplaces and the amount of Carbon Monoxide is negligible.

Yes, our firebox’s & lower flues are made from steel which is a brilliant heat conductor.

 

Our Bio Ethanol fires are efficient because they are flue-less which means all the heat stays in the room rather than most of it being flued outside as residual emissions.

If you have chosen a fully flued Wood/Bio Ethanol fireplace we recommend burning your Bio Ethanol fire with the damper closed which enables your fire to deliver beautiful ambient heat – that doesn’t escape up the chimney.

Yes, you can turn your fire off at any given time even before the fuel has run out. It is recommended however, that you leave it to burn until it runs out. The shut off mechanism is there for security and safety for those times when you need to leave the house as it’s not safe to leave a fire unattended.

All of the stainless steel can be cleaned using a soft cloth and some liquid stainless steel cleaner. Once all of the fuel has been burnt and the Burner is cool, you can run hot tap water through it for a few minutes to remove any traces of the Bio Ethanol.

No. It won’t taste very nice and we don’t want you to get your burner all gunked up with pizza and marshmallows.

 

If you love the idea of cooking in your fireplace from time to time but like the idea of Bio Ethanol too you should consider our Wood/Bio Ethanol Hybrid fireplace.

Learn more about this versatile fireplace on our Bio Ethanol Options page.

Bio Ethanol is classed as being easily biodegradable; miscible in water and when it burns the residual emission is carbon dioxide and water steam. It is completely composed of biological products resulting in a neutral ecological balance. Some fuels are better than others, it’s important to source information on the best fuel in your area you’re your local retailer/distributor.

Bio ethanol has substances added to it in order for it to be labelled de-natured. The burning of these substances may cause a slight smell upon initial lighting and will dissipate with time. There is also a slight smell once the flame is extinguished – similar to when you blow out a candle. The smell will soon dissipate into the air.

Our Instruction Manual that accompanies the fire outlines everything you need to know to operate the Bio Ethanol burner safely and efficiently. Lighting the Bio Ethanol burner is as simple as dip, ignite, dip – just follow the instructions and seconds later you can enjoy a healthy, warm flame.

You can purchase Bio Ethanol in standard packaging of 1, 2, 4 and 20 litres from Supermarkets, Hardware Stores, Petrol Stations, and Corner Shops. Contact The Fire Company for more information and ask about our fuel supply service in your area. //www.thefirecompany.com.au.

Some fuels are better than others, it’s important to source information on the best fuel in your area from your local retailer/distributor. Where available we recommend e-NRG USA  AUS.

The cost of 1 litre of Bio Ethanol varies depending on place and quantity of purchase. On average you look at AU $3.85* per litre so if you are running your fire on medium and on 2 litres, this is a cost equivalent to having a couple of cappuccinos each evening! (*Price subject to change).

Faq: Ordering & Delivery

We are working on our online order page but for the time being you can download the order form below and email it to us. We will be in touch with a shipping date and will send you an invoice.You can pay via EFT or give us a call and we’ll take payment over the phone.

If you can’t download the form no problem, just get in touch by phone or email and we’ll email you the form straight away.

All goods should be checked and signed for upon delivery. Notification of any damage or defects must be made at this time and replacements will be supplied at the earliest opportunity.

Where goods are being collected from our warehouses, these must be checked and signed for at the time of collection. Any notification of damage thereafter will not be accepted as evidence of damage at the time of collection.

Faq: Certification & Legal

Yes. All our fires are covered by a five-year warranty that you can download here.
Our fires are built to last and you can have faith in the long term durability of your fireplace well beyond the five-year warranty period.

Aurora Suspended Fires will of course honour any warranty claims for a product that left our workshop faulty. (This is very unlikely). However, sometimes issues you experience with the fire are due to a faulty install. That is why is is very important that your installer follows the steps outlined in the manual in the correct order.

To support you in ensuring your installer follows these steps we have included an installation checklist at the back of the installation manual. This document MUST be signed off by the installer and returned to Aurora Suspended Fires at the time of install for any warranty claims that can be linked to installation to be honoured.

Please see the FAQ below to find out more about the installation checklist.

Faq: Troubleshooting

Each State/Country has different guidelines about the qualifications needed to install a fireplace.

 

Essentially there are two groups of professionals that can install a fireplace:

  • Qualified Solid Fuel Installers
  • Certain Trades (plumbers, builders etc.)
 
 

As the compliance & performance of your fireplace depends on correct installation we recommend using a qualified installer who will know the regulations and be able to position your fireplace for maximum performance.

Of course your builder is also more than qualified to install the fire too. If your builder is installing your fire, please give them a copy of the install manual ahead of time and have them call us to talk through any questions.

Our fires are actually surprisingly simple to install, the step by step process is outlined in the Installation Manuals below. You can also find a list of qualified installers that have experience with our fires on our Find an Installer Page.

Find an Installer

If you choose to have an installer put the fire in for you they will come to your home for a site inspection free of charge. They will work with you to ensure that your chosen position is compliant and also positioned for optimum performance.

 

Download a copy of our install manual & clearance distance worksheet. If your good with things like this all you should need is a tape measure & your imagination.

If you’re like me and struggle with spatial challenges, you may like the way one customer told me worked well for her.

  • Cut out a circle of cardboard 900mm in diameter. This is your new fire!
  • Cut a piece of string the length of your required clearance (see the install manual for distances to combustibles vs non combustibles).
  • Position your ‘fire’ and use the string to check your clearance distances.
 

If you’re not sure you’ve got it right dig out a copy of your plans & email us a copy showing where you intend to put the fire and we will be very happy to help you out.

So you want the firebox to be 100mm from the wall but it’s made of gyprock, timber etc.?

 

Don’t fret. You have a few options.

Of course you should always consult with a qualified builder about the best solution for your home but we have outlined the way that the majority of our customers tell us is the simplest and most cost effective.

Visit our Reducing Minimum Clearances Safely page for a step by step guide.

Absolutely, we use a zinc based paint for outdoor installations and they are very popular outdoors. They make a great pizza oven too!

The Aether Opening Is As Follows:

 

W: 842 x H: 172

The Hearth Opening Is As Follows:

W: 600 x H: 230

Both models function in the same way and the diameter for both is 900mm. The differences are as follows:

 

Hearth:

  • 7.2kW rating
  • Has a rounder shape
  • The opening is deeper allowing more of the flame to be visible from directly in front of the fire
  • The larger opening of the Hearth makes it a popular choice for outdoor installations where customers wish to cook in it

Aether:

  • 8.2kW rating
  • Has a more angular clam shell shape and has a more ‘modern’ look
  • The opening is narrower and wider making it a popular choice for corner installations as more flame is visible from the side
  • That’s about it in terms of difference so it really comes down to your personal aesthetic.

The installer, who signs off on your install will make this decision as every installation is different.

 

The Australia/New Zealand standards require the following:

Brackets shall be spaced along the length of the flue system at intervals not greater than the following:

  •  For a flue with NO offsets (vertical) bracing must be placed every three metres.
  •  For a flue system with offsets bracing must be placed every two meters.

No not yet. This is under development but we cannot provide an estimated delivery time for combustion fires at this point.

Not yet but we are expanding our range every year.

 

We encourage you to signup for our newsletter (the orange box at the bottom of the home page) to keep up to date with our latest products.

Or check out our upcoming products here: New Products – Coming Soon

You will need to negotiate the cost of your installation with your installer. Each installation is different and costs will vary depending on the complexity of the installation. For example; if your installation will require the flue to go through a second level above or the use of offsets to run the flue outside and up to the roof your installation is likely to be more expensive than average.

 

As a rough guideline; installations can range from $700 for a very basic install to $2,000 for a complex install.

If an installer is putting the fire in they will take your measurements for you. Give them the measurement form to fill in while they are there.

 

Your builder can also do this for you.

If you don’t have a builder or an installer it’s time to get out the plans. If you’re not sure you’ve got it right email us a copy of your plans showing where you intend to put the fire and we will be very happy to help you out.

Do I need approval for a solid fuel heater?

 

Yes. Before you install a solid fuel home heater you will need council approval. In Australia this falls under section 68 of the Local Government Act 1993. The application form can be found on your local council’s website  or at the front counter at your local council’s Administration Building.

To gain approval from Council you will need to:

Complete the application form (in Australia this is a section 68 Activity Application form).

Heating Appliance Details to be submitted with the application:

  1. Make and model for appliance –  two copies.
  2. Manufacturer’s details for appliance – two copies.
  3. Details of installer.
  4. Position of heater (including diagram)
  5. Location of flue penetration in the roof

Council will use the information you provide to confirm that you are installing your fire as per the relevant standards. If you follow the guidelines laid down in our installation manual you’re fire will be compliant.

Both our current models fire boxes are 900mm in diameter

 

The flue is 165mm diameter

For more specifications see our user & installation manual below.

Weight of Individual Components:

 

Firebox: 55kg

Ceiling Bracket: 27kg

Lower Flue: 13kg per meter

You need a floor protector if you are installing over a combustible floor, i.e. timber.

 

For more information see our floor protector ideas page. This will give you more information on the requirements and some great ideas.

No, not usually.

 

The ceiling bracket base plate is bolted onto timber, spanning your trusses, to allow the drop box to hang down through your ceiling.

The ceiling bracket must span across at least two ceiling trusses.

Where possible you can span the load over four trusses. This is not essential as most ceiling trusses have plenty of tolerance to support the combined weight of the fire when the load is shared across two trusses.

The combined weight of the firebox, ceiling bracket and lower flue is between 110 – 160kg (depending on the length of your lower flue).

In some circumstances additional bracing may be required.  This information is provided as a guideline only, it is essential that you seek advice from your installer or builder who will be able to inspect your property and advise you of the bracing requirements for your installation.

Jump over to this page for a list of venues you can visit to get a closer look at our range.

 

Display Venues

Faq: New Zealand

Yes!

 

The National environmental standards in New Zealand for Air Quality prescribe a design standard for wood burners in urban areas. These standards outline emission and thermal limits that woodburners must meet in order to be approved for installation in urban areas.

However our fires do not fall under this standard as they are open fireplaces and are therefore exempt from this legislation.

Our fires have been tested in accordance with and meet the requirements of ASNZS2918 & ASNZS4013 section 1.2.3 (f) and are classified as exempt appliances.

Our certification states:

Both appliances are exempt from the relevant emission legislation since the maximum carbon dioxide output from the combustion chamber is less than 5% by volume when tested in the manner prescribed in the appropriate standard.

Some regional councils in New Zealand do have bylaws that prohibit open fireplaces, however, a large percentage of our customers are in New Zealand and so far we are not aware of any customers that have been unsuccessful in passing their fires through council.

Below are some of the ways an open fire can be approved if you live in an area with regional bylaws banning open fireplaces.

  • If the fire is going in an outside area (deck, patio, verandah & some open sunrooms) it is permitted to be installed without building consent, although you may still need a resource consent.
  • Cooking appliances are exempt from this legislation, our fires make a great pizza oven so if you intend to use our for cooking you should state this on your application to council. Check out our ‘Cooking In Your Fire’ page for more info on cooking in your fire.
  • Our fires can also be classed as a decorative fire – ie, not intended to be used as the primary heat source. They do have an
    8.2kW rating which is very powerful for an open fire so they certainly can be used as the primary heat source. But if
    you have alternative heating in your home you could apply to council for permission to install it as a decorative fire.

Familiarise yourself with the information below before you speak to council. You can access the below information here:

What is a wood burner standard?

All wood burners installed after 1 September 2005 must have:

  • an emission of less than 1.5 grams of particles per kilogram of dry wood burnt as measured in accordance with AS/NZS 4013:2014
  • a thermal efficiency of not less than 65% as measured in accordance with AS/NZS 4012:2014.

What do I need to know?

  • From 1 September 2005 the New Zealand design standard for wood burners applies to all units installed on properties less than 2 hectares in lot size.
  • The standard applies only to wood burners. It does not apply to:
    • open fires
    • multi fuel burners (eg, coal)
    • cooking stoves
    • pellet burners.
  • New Zealand also has to honour the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement (TTMRA) with Australia which says they can sell their products here and vice versa. The Australian wood burners are made to an emission limit of 4.0 g/kg with no efficiency requirement, so they do not always meet our standard. The 2 Ha rule means that Australian burners may still be legally sold in New Zealand.

Can I install an open fire?

Where do I get a building consent?

Download this step by step guide for applying to council for consent to install a solid fuel heating appliance.

APPLYING FOR BUILDING CONSENT. SOLID FUEL APPLIANCE (NZ)

LIST OF APPROVED INSTALLERS NEW ZEALAND
Find out more

If you have any queries regarding any of the above please email woodburners@mfe.govt.nz.