I for one love the cosy look of a log burning stove and hope that one day we might be able to consider installing a wood burner in our living room. But, as nice as they look, it occurred to me that I know very little about them and how they operate, how efficient they are, whether they cost a lot of money to run, or any specific rules or requirements there are about fitting them in a home.
So I thought it would be worthwhile doing some research and today’s post covers everything I have discovered so far regarding log burners.
Are they expensive to run?
I was pleased to discover that wood burning stove are pretty cost effective! They are cheaper to install than some other heating methods, whilst logs and wood pellets are inexpensive to purchase, so running costs compare well against gas and electric. (Wood as a heat source costs2.5p per kw/hr, while gas is 4p per kw/hr and electric 11p per kw/hr.) It’s a reliable form of heat too – no need to worry about power cuts affecting the performance of a log burner!
Are they environmentally friendly?
For the most part, log burners can be environmentally friendly. By ensuring you use the right type of wood, you can reduce emissions and the use of unsustainable fuels. So gathering wood from natural sources, using recycled wood pellets or checking that your wood supplier is committed to replanting the wood they harvest are some sustainable options.
Do I need a fireplace?
Not necessarily. You can choose a traditional log burning stove that inserts into your existing fireplace, or opt for a modern freestanding model that doesn’t require a fireplace or chimney. But for those going into a pre-existing fireplace you will usually need your chimney to be professionally lined and it is definitely a job for a professional.
Am I in a smoke control zone?
There are areas in the UK where only smokeless fuels are allowed. So you would need to check if log burners and fireplaces with chimneys are permitted in your area by checking with your local council, which you can find via the gov.uk website.
Can a wood burning stove heat my whole house?
There are certain stove models with a back boiler that can form part of your central heating, if that’s what you are interested in having. Such a wood-burning or multi-fuel stove can power several radiators and provide hot water, too.