Using a wood burner can lower the heating costs of the average family household by at least £400 per year. So what do you need to know when looking for a new wood burning stove?
Heating a room or supplying hot water have always been options but more and more people see wood burning stoves as a lifestyle choice too. Picking a stylish stove can transform your living space. Whether you live in a compact urban bolthole or a cosy country cottage, both traditional and contemporary stoves work equally well in either.
There’s no shortage of styles for modern wood burners which include freestanding pedestal versions, three-legged models, cylindrical designs, and some that swivel so you can direct the heat just where you want it. If you’ve a hankering for tradition, old-style stoves in black or colourful paint or enamel are easy to find, and in contrast to their period looks, they’re stuffed with modern technology. Made from cast iron or steel, stoves are super-efficient heaters; look out for eco-friendly versions that burn eco-friendly pellets, or practical boiler stoves that will heat water as well as the room.
Check out stoves shopping guide for inspiration.
Look for a ‘clean glass’ burning system offering an unrestricted view of the flames. After all, as well as providing you with a practical heating option, a wood burning stove creates a cosy ambience too. Without this system, the glass may blacken easily and it’s a messy job to keep clean.
Wood-burning stoves are highly efficient, running at up to 87% efficiency compared with up to 25% for a traditional open coal fire. The most efficient ones use ‘cleanburn’ technology, introducing pre-heated air into the smoke at the top of the firebox to combust the hydrocarbons in the smoke, resulting in less pollution.
Well-designed wood burning stoves lined with vermiculite help to increase the stove temperature - improving efficiency. This saves money on fuel as less wood is burnt. It also helps to reduce carbon emissions.
Wood as a fuel is green, sustainable, renewable, and if burnt cleanly can be 100% carbon neutral, as it gives off as much carbon dioxide when burnt as it absorbed during the lifetime of the tree. Wood pellet stoves burn pellets made from recycled wood waste or sawdust; find out more at Wood Pellet Stoves. However, the flame effect of a pellet stove is not as good as a log-burning stove.