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Should I switch to a wood burning stove?


Wood buring stove, Fireplace

If ever there was a right time to install a wood burning stove, it surely must be now!

For a few years now, largely down to some bad press, the installation of wood burning stoves slowed in some areas. Several potential wood burning stove candidates switched, instead, to Gas or Electric appliances. This was noticed by some of our customers, bringing changes in their business models.

With the energy prices being quoted as rising by up to 50% in Spring 2022 an alternative heat source, such as a wood burning stove, is being sourced by many.

If you fall into this category, here is more information to help you decide on the route to take.

Benefits of having a wood burning stove

Wood is a sustainable renewable energy source. It is environmentally friendly and virtually carbon neutral.

Total cost of wood, even for the winter months, works out less than it’s electric and gas counter parts.

It’s aesthetically pleasing and is often the focal piece of the room. Nothing better than sitting by a stove with a drink and a book in those winter months.

Can I have a wood burning stove?

The first thing to find out is if you can have a wood burning stove. There are some areas known as smoke control zones. These are areas where emitting smoke from your chimney is prohibited unless using an authorised appliance.

To find out if you are in a smoke-controlled area the best thing to do is contact your local council as there are many areas where you cannot emit smoke from a chimney.

The good news is that even if you are in a smoke-controlled area it does not mean that you cannot get a wood burning stove. Simply ask the company you intend to purchase from about their DEFRA exempt appliances.

Warm Fireplace with a wood burning stove

How much will it cost?

This is a question which will be on everyone’s lips, but it all depends on what you are looking for. There are ample designs to choose from when it comes to a wood burning stove. As such, a variety of prices that you could spend on just the stove alone.

Installation costs generally depend on what your home has in place. If you have an existing chimney at your property, it is likely to cost a lot less than installing a flue system. A twin wall flue system would have to be erected along the outer wall of your property if no chimney is in place.

In recent visits up and down the country, our National Account Manager, Karl has found the average cost of a decent wood burning stove to be in the region of £800. Installation costs can be between £500-£1000 depending on the work required to complete the install, as mentioned above.

The running costs.

As mentioned earlier, the cost of burning wood far outweighs using gas or electricity.

Chair of The Stove Industry Alliance, Andy Hill says;

“Fears about fuel costs will affect every household this winter, and will hit those already in fuel poverty with a further crushing blow. A wood burning stove costs about a third of the price of electric heating and approximately 13% less than gas central heating for the average household under the current price cap. This saving will further increase as fuel prices continue to rise.”

The fuel press release can be found here

The SIA have also calculated a cubic meter of kiln dried wood costs between £120-£140 therefore putting the average winter bill at around £420-£490.

Why Dry Wood?

What can I burn?

The age-old question. Contrary to old tales, you can’t simply chuck anything onto the fire. This will cause no end of problems for the flue system you have in place and the environment.

Burnright are the industry superstars when it comes to knowing what wood to burn and how to store your fuel. Follow the link below and you’ll be transported to their do’s and don’ts page, a must read just to be safe!


Protecting your stove

Having paid out for a new stove and the installation there is one really important factor to think about. How exactly do you protect the stove from the elements?

It’s an odd situation, it must be said, that many liner packs or twin wall flue systems come with a flimsy cowl which offers very little in terms of protection. The rain has ample opportunity to get into the expensive new system just installed, never mind birds and debris.

In our opinion chimney cowl is quite literally the first line of defence. Important when it comes to protecting that wonderful new stove you have just had fitted. It sits proudly on top of the chimney fighting off the elements.

You can find out more here.