Published November 14th, 2013 | Features
Bring on the cold!
With winter approaching fast, cosying up on the sofa seems even more appealing than normal. A cup of hot chocolate, thick woolly socks and something cheesy on the TV… Sounds fantastic! Imagine how much better it could be with a glowing multifuel stove filling your house with warmth and aromas. We’ve checked out the essentials for you.
Your wood burner could save you money from the very first time you light it
Not just a centrepiece for any room, it could be a sound investment for many years to come. With the majority of wood burning stoves being 70 to 90% efficient you get all the benefits of a real fire without most of your money going up in smoke.
Your wood burner could save you money from the very first time you light it, with prices from around £300 and choosing the right sized burner for your home is crucial. Even a small one can heat a whole house if it is open plan, or by leaving your internal doors open, there would be no need for the central heating to be on in other rooms, potentially reducing your gas bill quite drastically during the winter months.
Top tip! Logs generally burn very hot but don’t last more than a few hours. Specialist fuels can take a while to light fully but can burn much longer.
From modern and sleek to chunky and traditional, there’s a wood burner out there for everyone. Remember to factor in the extras though! Installation, lining your chimney and any necessary building works can tot up quickly so always bear that in mind when choosing your burner, especially if you are on a budget. Importantly all wood burning stove installations must comply with building regulations and you should consult your local authority or use a qualified fitter to install the stove to make sure it’s safe.
Top tip! Use a moisture metre to check your wood is seasoned – 20% moisture or less is what you are after
If you’re lucky enough to have a large of supply of logs available, make sure they are dried out or seasoned first. As freshly cut wood stores up to 90% of water, it’s essential to prepare and store logs correctly and this process can take as long as three years, depending on the weather as well. You can buy logs which have already been seasoned but you may pay a premium for this, as much as £5 per bag. Shop around though – you can find some great bargains on fuel.
Top tip! Check for smoke restrictions in your area as you may only be allowed to burn smokeless fuel. Visit www.waitingmagazine.co.uk/smoke for details of smoke-control areas.
Keep it legal and safe! HETAS-registered installers deal with wood, solid-fuel and biomass domestic heating appliances and must self-certify that their work complies with building regulations, so it’s safe and legal.
Whatever appliance and fuel you choose, you’re sure to reap the benefits from a wood burning stove for many years to come.
How to light a wood burning stove