Wood-burning stoves have never been more popular. They radiate both light and warmth, creating a cosy environment and a focal point for the entire room. They can also help to save money on your energy bills. With more choice than ever before, there’s a wood-burning stove to suit every home. But, it’s a real minefield out there, and it can be difficult to find what you want.
Don’t worry, help is at hand. In this guide, we cover everything you need to know about choosing a wood burning stove, in a few easy steps.
Styles and features
You should first think about the style of stove you are looking for. As this will help you to narrow down your options. Have a think about whether you want a traditional or modern looking log burner. You’ll want to choose an appliance that fits in with your existing décor.
You should also think about some of the features you want on a wood-burning stove. For example, do you want a single door or a double door on the stove? Do you want a large viewing window? Would you like storage underneath your stove for your firewood?
Wood or multi fuel
When firewood is readily available, a wood-burning stove is a good option. Wood is now more cost effective than ever, and is friendlier on the environment. But, if you prefer to burn other fuels, such as, coal or peat, a multi fuel stove will let you burn wood, smokeless fuel and coal.
Smoke control areas
Some towns and cities are in smoke control areas, where you can only burn authorised fuels on exempt appliances. You should contact your local council to check if you live in a smoke control area. If this is the case, then you will need a DEFRA approved appliance.
After you have thought about the style, it’s then time to think about what heat output you need on the stove. This will depend on the size of the room that the wood-burning stove is for.
A common mistake is that consumers end up choosing a stove where the heat output is too excessive for the room. This results in a stove that is too warm and difficult to control.
Each size stove can be roughly matched to the size of the room. For example, a small stove will heat a small size room. A medium stove will heat an average size room. And a large stove will heat a large open space or open plan property.
As a guide, our heat output calculator will help you determine what size stove you will need.
At this stage, you may have a pretty good idea of what you’re looking for, having done some initial research. But, before you go out and buy a wood-burning stove, we recommend that you have a survey done on your property.
The initial site survey is an important step in choosing a wood-burning stove. This will help you find the best type of stove for your property. The surveyor will identify any potential issues, and provide an estimated cost for installation.
Most site surveys are free, and it helps to get a couple of quotes so that you can compare prices. A HETAS approved installer can carry out the survey for you. And, if you’re happy with the quote they can carry out the installation of the stove for you. HETAS are the official body that provide training and accreditation. They determine whether an installer is qualified and safe to carry out work. You can find a list of HETAS approved installers in your area on the HETAS website.
When buying, and installing a stove, you need to consider the following:
- The cost of the wood-burning stove
- The cost of the flue, parts and kit to install the stove
- Annual servicing
The cost of the wood-burning stove
The cost to buy a wood-burning stove will approximately range between £400 to £2000.
Unless you are on a small budget, try and avoid the cheaper stoves. They are not as efficient and do not perform as well. A less efficient stove will need more firewood, more storing space and more of your time moving wood.
Investing in a good quality stove will provide better performance, longevity and better value for money.
The cost of the flue, parts and kit to install the stove
Don’t forget you will need to include the cost of the flue, parts and kit to install the stove in your budget. The installer will be able to supply these for you. But, to save money you may want to shop around for the parts yourself. It is a good idea to check with the installer first before doing this. You don’t want to order the wrong parts.
The cost of installation all depends on the type of property and the work involved. Bear in mind you will receive a quote for the work after the initial survey takes place.
Like any heating appliance, wood-burning stoves can be extremely dangerous if not fitted properly. Please do not install the appliance yourself, as this can put your family at risk. There are lots of cases, where customers try to fit the stove themselves and get into all kinds of trouble doing so.
Your wood burning stove should have a service at least once a year. This involves stripping and cleaning the appliance. Contact your local HETAS approved fitter for this.
Set aside enough time when choosing a wood burning stove. Don’t shop if you are in a rush, as you could make a mistake. Also, check your measurements to ensure that the stove will fit into the space it is for.
Do you have any helpful advice or tips to share? Please let us know in the comments below.