Woodburning stoves are increasingly taking pride of place in living rooms and areas across Britain. With many attractive styles available, they are an aesthetically pleasing addition besides proving to be a more environmentally friendly solution to heating the home.
The image of lazy afternoons spent with the family by the fire is already appealing enough and that’s before the additional cost and environmental benefits are put into focus.
A traditional open fire is likely to only utilise 25% of the heat is generates with the rest lost through a chimney whereas most wood burning stoves have been found to have a 70% efficiency rating.
This means you burn less wood, stay warm for longer and save money! Plus, if you buy your wood from a sustainable source, they will replace the trees they use and plant new ones.
Wood, coal and smokeless coal
Despite what the name might suggest, you don’t just have to burn wood. Versatile stoves can just as easily burn coal and smokeless coal to produce the same effect. When the multi-fuel grate is left in place and there is a flow of air from underneath, coal responds well and the fire can be controlled by air vents. For a slower burning fire, these should be closed or alternatively opened for faster burning as this accelerates the intake of air needed to produce heat.
Ultimately, no matter what fuel is used, the aim is for the stove to produce a glow and warmth, not a largely redundant high flame. This allows cheaper coal to be used as a big flame is not really required in a stove as opposed to the maximum flame produced by more expensive household coal for an open fire.
Most coals and smokeless coals available for wood burning stoves will burn for 40% longer than household coal while producing 80% less smoke and 25% CO2.
Therefore, stove owners can save money and still stay safe by using cheaper fuels. Indeed, it has been said that a multi-fuel solution of wood and coal is the most efficient way of heating a home.
The all-round heating and cooking solution
Wood burning stoves are acclaimed for their versatility besides their efficiency. Stoves that can be fitted with back boilers can also be used to heat radiators and domestic hot water. There are also models available that come complete with ranges for cooking. Most wood burning stoves will already include a flat surface on top to at least keep your soup warm or toast bread.
The versatile functionality of wood burning stoves alongside their capability to use a variety of cheap fuels makes them such an efficient and economic option for heating and cooking. Matching the timeless charm of a traditional open fire and looking great in any home is just an added bonus.