There are few pleasures in life more comforting than sitting by a roaring fire with a mug of hot chocolate on a cold winter’s eve. Whether you’re relaxing and reading a good book, sharing quality time with the family, or unwinding after a long day outdoors in the bitter cold, the warmth and hypnotic tranquillity of a wood burning stove is hard to beat.
We all want to keep warm over the winter months, and a classic wood-burning stove is an attractive option for doing so, but is it environmentally friendly? Well, in short, yes and here are some reasons why:
Trees can be cut down for their wood and provide fuel for many different fires. But the most important part is that new ones can be planted to replace the old, something that can’t be done with coal or gas which is very much a finite resource.
Dry wood is also the best burner, wood often found in dead or dying trees, so don’t feel guilty about trees being cut down! Even logs and sticks shed from decaying trees would be more than good enough to fuel a good fire.
Worried we may run out? Well, don’t worry. The UK alone has 30,000 football fields, or 16% of its surface area, covered in trees that are constantly being born, growing and dying. Even if that were to fail by some catastrophic miracle, there are a great many more worldwide. Wood will continue to be a cheap and renewable source of energy well in the future.
It has no carbon footprint
Now, even the cleanest stove will still cause some pollution, but any form of wood burning will produce no Carbon footprint. How? The reason for that is that trees take in CO2 from the Atmosphere and turn it into oxygen throughout their natural life cycle.
This means, any CO2 produced by burning wood can be neutralised by the trees and that are still alive. Resulting in no carbon footprint, something that can’t be said for the fossil fuel alternatives.
Modern stoves are cleaner than ever!
As I mentioned, even the cleanest will cause pollution, but modern wood burning stoves easily rank the lowest for pollutants produced. Oil and Coal producing up to four times more. Add onto that benefit the previous two factors and there really is no cleaner source of heating.
When choosing to install a wood burning stove, you need not be constrained by where your chimney is sited, as you can have a flue installed on to an outside wall. This flexibility makes a firewood fuelled stove a match for any other form of heating. Also, the cost of installation should not deter anyone as this will be more than recouped with the saving on conventional heating bills.
Heat Output Capacities
Stoves are available in a number of heat output capacities, so it is advisable to check the dimensions of the room in which it is to be sited. Firewood burning appliances are available in a range from outputs of around five Kw up to 20 Kw, so it is essential to have a stove that has enough potential to heat the room, but also doesn’t give out too much heat.
Another factor to consider is what type of property you live in. You have to consider whether the walls are insulated, with a double skin of bricks, uninsulated cavity walls, double glazing and roof insulation, as these will affect the amount of energy you need.
It is essential to decide what job you want your firewood stove to do – warming the kitchen or living room, cooking or both. Another thing to consider are the doors. Do you want solid cast iron doors, or glass doors that allow you to see the flames dancing inside?
If you are new to wood burners, it is unlikely that you will have a supply of properly seasoned wood, but it is available from garden centres as well as specialist suppliers who can deliver larger amounts. Once you have a good supply, it is time to start looking for more wood so it has time to season before your first load has finished. One of the great advantages of a wood burning stove is that fuel is often free, or at worst cheap, so to start and continue saving you should add to the woodpile regularly.
It may sound like the simplest thing in the world to light a fire, but starting a wood burning stove takes a little getting used to. Although hardwood is the best fuel to use for maximum heat output, it is difficult to ignite at first. You should have a supply of hardwood for the longer burn, but also seasoned softwood that will ignite more quickly and act as kindling for the main fuel. Using paper as kindling can often be quite messy, as the ashes can escape from the firebox.
The easiest and cleanest way to get the stove going is to use paraffin firelighters. These can be lit easily, igniting your softwood which in turn will ignite the hardwood. Leaving the stove door open slightly for a short while as the fire begins to burn will also prevent condensation, and anyone who has a firewood fuelled stove will tell you that any form of moisture should be avoided. The lighting procedure will take a little time to get used to, but it will be worth it in the end.
Wood Burner Trend. Are you looking to join ? Over the past few years, wood burning stoves have become one the most popular heating options for homes throughout the UK. Not only are they able to be located anywhere where you have the space to put it and route a chimney, but they can offer […]