In recent years, the wood burning stove has definitely seen a rise in popularity. A possible reason for this being the appeal to control your home heating spend, in times when money has been tight; but since we have been making it out of the blow of the recession, wood burners have remained popular – in fact they have fast become a fashionable and desirable item for the home. And so, we have come to the conclusion that there is a lot to be said for the simplicity and primal nature of lighting a fire, which definitely lends some nostalgia of simpler times.
but where do you start when looking to buy your wood burning stove? we have some top tips to help guide you.
Is it environmentally friendly?
Relax, well seasoned timber is a carbon neutral fuel and much kinder to the environment than other conventional ways of heating. Wood logs are a renewable fuel provided that you purchase from a trustworthy supplier. Burning wood is also mostly carbon neutral as the carbon dioxide given off during burning is roughly equivalent to that absorbed by a single tree during its growth.
J. Rotherham Burland fireplace with Firestorm stove
Is it efficient?
A wood burner has usually have high efficiency ratings. Reason being, the heat output is released slowly thanks to leading manufacture techniques of higher quality products. The use of cast iron as a traditional material for stoves allows heat to be released to give an even output.
I don’t want a black stove. What are the other options?
Of course the black stove is perhaps the most traditional, but other options are available. Many manufacturers now offer the enamel in different colours, designed to match your interior or indeed to ensure muted colour schemes “pop”. Additionally, many stoves now offer a dual aspect allowing you to share the heat between two partitioned rooms. Or why not shake things up completely by installing a suspended burner?
J. Rotherham New York Fireplace with Firestorm stove
What other benefits are there?
Once you have accounted for the initial outlay, wood burners can offer you a saving on your overall heating system. Opt for an appliance which can be hooked up to your radiator system and you could save as much as £100 when compared to conventional gas heating.
Do I need a registered fitter?
Yes, absolutely! Look for a HETAS registered engineer who is qualified to carry out the installation of your wood burning stove to ensure your safety.
Will I need a wood store?
You need to ensure your wood is kept in a dry space, off the ground. An outdoor shed will suffice. It is recommended that the wood should be kept indoors for two weeks prior to burning. This will ensure a better burn and if you stack them well, can also be aesthetically pleasing.
Once you have selected your perfect wood stove, you need to ensure you are using it correctly. Of course reading the handbook is a great start, but what about the wood you intend to burn?
Is wood not just….well, wood? No! Take some time to look at the wood you are about to burn. If the wood is green in colour, this indicates that it is not thoroughly dried out and wet wood will effect the efficiency of your fire. For optimal results, only use wood which has been thoroughly dried out. You can do this by sourcing your wood from a reputable supplier or drying the wood out yourself. Please note, some woods need up to two summers to be fit for use.
Caring for your wood burning stove is also very important and you should have the right equipment to maintain your stove to a good standard. Yor stove should also undergo regular services; Stovax recommend that your wood burning or multi-fuel stove or fire undergoes a standard annual service.