5 things you need to know about wood burning stoves
by Freddie Armstrong
Over the last decade or so, wood burning stoves have seen a surge in popularity. Whether you’re investing in a wood burner to save money on heating bills, replace your less-efficient open fire or simply so you can sit in front of a roaring fire on a cold winter’s evening, here are 5 things you need to know before you hit the shops.
1. Do you want a wood burning stove or a multi-fuel stove?
Wood burning stoves just burn wood. Multi-fuel stoves can also burn coal. What you go for is down to preference and which type of fuel is available (ideally for delivery unless you have a big trailer!) in your local area.
Buying a multi-fuel stove admittedly gives you more flexibility, so even if you burn wood now, you could change to coal in the future, if needs be.
However, wood burners do tend to be more efficient than multi-fuel stoves.
Plus, coal is less environmentally friendly than wood.
2. Make sure you burn seasoned wood
Cutting down a tree and putting the logs straight into your wood burner, without waiting for them to dry out, is not a good idea.
Not only will they burn less efficiently (meaning that you will need to use a lot more to get the same heat), they could also cause build-ups in your chimney.
They will also create a lot more smoke when they burn.
Make sure that the wood you buy has been properly seasoned. Or if it hasn’t, you will need somewhere to season it before you use it.
3. You can estimate how much wood you will need to buy per year
According to , those who burn wood only at evenings and weekends and live in an average-sized house, should need around 3 to 4 cubic metres of wood each year.
If you want your wood burner to heat your whole house and intend to have it on during the day in place of central heating, you are obviously going to need a lot more than this.
4. Calculating the size of the wood burning stove you will need
Stoves come with different ‘rated outputs’ measured in kW.
What output you will need mainly depends on the size of your room. You can make a rough estimate by multiplying your room’s height, width and length together and then dividing this figure by 14. The number you get is the size stove that you will need for that room.
However, this is only a rough estimate, as factors such as how old your home is and if you have double glazing, could ultimately influence the stove output that you need.
5. Chimney sweeping is a must
If you have a wood burning stove, most home insurance policies will insist that you have your chimney swept at least once a year. It is vital that you sweep your chimney as often as your home insurer specifies, as if there were to be a chimney fire and you had not done so, you may not be insured.
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