It’s been a year since I had my Piazzetta e905 stove installed so I’ve had time to give it a thorough test and here’s my review.
The Shape: one of the criteria for my stove was that I needed a ‘landscape’ shape, rather than ‘portrait’ – due to a low ceiling. In the UK, the landscape are the norm, but here on the European mainland, it’s the vertical, upright shape which dominate the market. This meant my choice of wood stoves was vastly reduced. However – I was really pleased with the shape and look of the Piazzetta e905 – it fitted the space perfectly.
The Look: The Piazzetta e905 comes in a few colours but I choose the postbox red which I love. The stove is a metal box encased in a one-piece ‘majolica’ ceramic outer with a large glass door – and the whole thing really suits the room.
The Efficiency – the Piazzetta e905 claims to be 84.5% efficient, which would make it one of the most efficient wood stoves out there. When it’s going well – it really throws out the heat, and the airflows create the perfect turbulence, meaning that with dry wood – you get a really lovely flame – and due to those tight air vents, it pumps out a lot of heat for the wood that you burn. The ceramic cladding also acts as a heat store and regulator, evening out the heat output so you get a more steady stream of heating.
The Tiny Ash Pan, which is also hard to reach. Emptying it is a pain as you need to clear the ashes from the grate, then lift up the grate, then hook out the ash pan. There is no easy draw to slide out like many other stoves. And to really get all the ash out, you need to lift out the two heavy pieces of cast iron that support the grate.
The ash pan seems very small for a stove of this size. I can get away with two evening fires in a row but after that I must empty it. If I don’t my next fire won’t get enough oxygen, and I end up with a charcoal kiln rather than a wood burning stove.
Charcoal Build Up – I suspect this is related to the stove’s efficiency, which has a very controlled air vent, letting in very little air. (There are two vents, which can be moved just 5mm each.).
Sometimes when I’m burning larger pieces of hardwood, I find that a bed of charcoal can build up and up, eventually preventing the fire from burning well. It seems that the Piazzetta is so tight with its oxygen flows, that sometimes not enough can reach the coal bed, and this leads to the build up. This is probably because I haven’t given it a thorough de-ashing – and this stove needs regular cleaning to perform at its best.
Summary: did I fall in love with the firey Italian?
Overall, I love the look, the efficiency and the flame of this stove. When it’s going well – it belts out the heat, and has a beautiful flame pattern that looks fantastic. The small and not very accessible ash pan is a gripe and I wish the designers had given it a convenient draw at the front. But when the Piazzetta e905 is firing well it is one of the best stoves I’ve ever experienced.
You need to treat it well; like an Italian Ferrari, it’s high performance, but high maintenance; skimp on clearing out the ashes and it will punish you with a frustrating fire experience. Ensure it’s kept ash-free and it’s an excellent stove that will not only heat your space, but looks pretty hot too.