The latest ‘must have’ for your home

Post date: Dec 03, 2014 1:22:55 PM

Since the dawn of civilisation people have been lighting fires for both cooking and heating purposes. Now in the modern age of central heating, gas fires and electric heaters you would think that lighting fires would be something that was left behind with your ancestors, you would however be wrong!

Woodburners have become a ‘must have’ for many households across Norfolk, East Anglia and the rest of the United Kingdom. The market for wood burning stoves has grown 20% per annum since 21007 according to HETAS the industry regulatory body. This equates to 175,000 households per year with 200,000 in 2013.

This increase can be attributed to a few factors. The homeowner’s attemps to reduce their energy bills and become less dependent on one form of energy supplier, be it Oil, Gas or Electricity. With price rises for electricity, gas and oil reaching record highs, purchasing wood for a wood burning stove can really save a household many £££’s on their home heating bills. With a stove top kettle you can also use your woodburner to make a cup of tea!

On a greener front woodburning stoves could account for 10% of the UK govenrments carbon reduction targets by 2020 with a potential of 25% of the governments domestic renewable heat energy target gain by 2020 according to The Stove Industry Alliance (SIA). It’s a shame the UK government does not offer any incentive schemes for having a woodburner installed as do all other European countries!

In a survey run this year (Sept 2014) by the SIA 21% of people aspire to owning a wood burning stove. Many articles in newspapers and magazines state that woodburners are the latest trend to add value to your house

So what should you look out for when buying a wood burner?

1. Output. All stoves have a nominal heat output measured in Kw. A reputable installer will work out the output required in your room. This is dependent on size, insulation, numbers of windows etc. A newly built house which is energy efficient will require a lot less output. A typical rating for a standard room is between 4-5 Kw.

2. Efficiency of the stove. This is set by building Regulations which have set a minimum efficiency for all ne heating appliances. The minimum gross efficiency for a dry stove is 65%. However these days most stoves are 70% + with some such as the Aga Little Wenlock achieving over 80%

3. Wood or multi fuel stove? Wood is a carbon-neutral fuel, as the carbon it gives off is counteracted by the carbon it takes in while growing. A wood burning stove is designed to run only on firewood or other types of biomass fuel such as briquettes etc. For any stove to run efficiently requires well seasoned logs with at most 25% moisture content, ideally 20%. A moisture metre is an invaluable tool. You will need room to store the logs, ideally sheltered but with airflow.

A multi fuel stove will run on either solid fuel, anthracites, smokeless fuel nuggets etc or wood. Some multi-fuel stoves can be run on 'slumber' overnight, whereas wood burning stoves can't. It’s also worth remembering that you will need to have the chimney swept at least once a year.

4. Stove Installation. Having a stove installed is not something that you can do yourself - you will need a qualified installer and the installation will need to meet building regulations. You should only use an installer that is registered with a government-recognised Competent Person Scheme (CPS), such as Hetas.