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NO Hetas certificate for wood burner – is that a problem when selling a house?

If you’re considering selling your house and you’ve got a wood burner installed, you might be wondering, “Do I need a HETAS certificate?” Well, let’s break it down in simple terms.

First off, what’s a HETAS certificate? HETAS stands for Heating Equipment Testing and Approval Scheme. Basically, it’s a certification that ensures your solid fuel heating appliances, like wood-burning stoves or multi-fuel stoves, are installed correctly and comply with building regulations. Think of it as a safety stamp of approval.

Do I need HETAS when selling a house?

Now, here’s the short answer: No, you don’t necessarily need a HETAS certificate to sell your house with a wood burner. However, there are some important things to consider.

In the UK, any installation of an appliance such as a wood-burning stove or open fire, needs to comply with building regulations. These regulations are in place to ensure the safety of the property and its occupants.

While having a HETAS certificate isn’t always a legal requirement, it shows that your installation complies with these regulations.

What are solid fuel appliances?

A solid fuel appliance is any heating device that uses solid materials such as wood, coal, or peat as fuel. Examples include wood-burning stoves, multi-fuel stoves, open fires, and log burners. These appliances are designed to burn solid fuels efficiently to produce heat for residential or commercial spaces. Unlike gas or electric heaters, solid fuel appliances rely on the combustion of solid materials, which often requires proper installation and regular maintenance to ensure safe and efficient operation. Compliance with building regulations and proper certification, such as a HETAS certificate, is essential to ensure these appliances are installed correctly and operate safely.

solid fuel fire

What are the risks of having a solid fuel appliance installed?


Having a solid fuel burner installed comes with several risks that need to be managed to ensure safety. One of the primary concerns is the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, which can occur if the heating appliance itself is not properly vented or maintained. This odorless, colorless gas is potentially fatal and underscores the importance of having a carbon monoxide alarm installed. Additionally, solid fuel appliances require regular chimney sweeping to prevent the buildup of soot and creosote, which can lead to chimney fires. Improper installation or using the wrong type of fuel can also increase the risk of fire hazards. Ensuring compliance with building regulations and obtaining a HETAS certificate of compliance can mitigate these risks by confirming that the installation is safe and meets all relevant standards.

What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can vary in severity and may initially resemble those of the flu but without the associated fever. Early signs include headache, dizziness, and nausea. As exposure continues, symptoms can escalate to confusion, vomiting, chest pain, and shortness of breath. In severe cases, carbon monoxide poisoning can lead to loss of consciousness, seizures, and even death. It’s crucial to recognize these symptoms early, especially if multiple members of a household are affected simultaneously, and seek immediate medical attention. Installing a carbon monoxide alarm near solid fuel appliances can help detect this dangerous gas early and prevent poisoning.

carbon monoxide

When HETAS may be necessary?

A HETAS certificate is necessary in several key situations to ensure safety and compliance with building regulations. Here are the primary instances when you need one:

  1. New Installations: When a new appliance such as a wood-burning stove, multi-fuel stove, or open fire, is installed. This certificate confirms that the installation complies with current building regulations and safety standards.
  2. Major Modifications: If significant modifications are made to an existing appliance or its installation, a new HETAS certificate is required to ensure that the changes meet the necessary standards.
  3. Selling Your Property: While not always a legal requirement, having a HETAS certificate when selling a property with a wood burner can be highly beneficial. It provides potential buyers with assurance that the installation is safe and compliant, which can speed up the sale process.
  4. Home Insurance: Some home insurance companies may require proof of compliance with building regulations for solid fuel appliances. A HETAS certificate serves as this proof, helping you to secure or maintain your home insurance coverage.
  5. Legal Compliance: In some jurisdictions or specific situations, local authorities might require a HETAS certificate to ensure that the installation adheres to environmental and safety regulations, especially in smoke control areas.

What if you don’t have a HETAS certificate?

Well, you might still be able to sell your house, but you could run into some issues. For one, potential buyers might be hesitant if they’re unsure about the safety of the solid fuel installation. Plus, some mortgage lenders or home insurance companies may require proof of compliance with building regulations before approving a loan or providing insurance coverage.

If a HETAS registered installer installed your solid fuel appliance, you should have a certificate of compliance.

This document confirms that the installation meets the relevant building regulations. However, if the installation of solid fuel installations wasn’t carried out by a HETAS registered installer, you may need to arrange for a competent person to inspect the installation and provide certification.

It’s also worth noting that in some areas, there are smoke control areas where only certain types of solid fuels can be burned. If your property is located in one of these areas, you’ll need to ensure that your wood burner stove or solid fuel appliance complies with local regulations.

Pile of documents

What if I lost the certificate?

  • Contact the Installer:
    If a HETAS-registered installer installed your burner, the first step is to contact them directly. They should have a record of the installation and may be able to provide you with a duplicate certificate.
  • Reach Out to HETAS: If you cannot reach the installer, or if they are no longer in business, you can contact HETAS directly. HETAS maintains records of all registered installations and may be able to issue a replacement certificate. You can reach them via their website or customer service hotline.

And let’s not forget about safety. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious risk associated with solid fuel appliances. That’s why it’s essential to have a carbon monoxide alarm installed and regularly maintain your fireplace and chimney, ensuring it’s swept by a qualified fireplace and chimney sweep.

In summary, while a HETAS certificate might not be a legal requirement for selling your house with a wood burner, it can provide peace of mind for both you and potential buyers. Ensuring that your solid-burning stove or fuel installation complies with building regulations and safety standards is crucial for a smooth property sale process and the safety of future occupants. If you’re unsure about the status of your solid woodburning stove or fuel appliance installation, it’s always best to seek advice from a qualified professional.

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About the author

Starting his career in Estate Agency, Jeff quickly moved up the ranks to manage his own office for Halifax Property Services. Co-founding Speed Property Buyers in 2008, he has applied this knowledge and overseen rapid expansion of the business.