There is something mesmerising about the flames of a fire, making them comforting as well as warming. A stove is an incredibly efficient way to have the benefits of a fire in your own home. In fact, the average stove is over 70% efficient compared with 30% for an open fire*. This clean, cosy heat source has become increasingly popular and many UK homeowners who have installed them report savings on their central heating bills.
Ways to get the most from your stove
However, there has been some confusing press recently, reporting that stoves are bad for the environment and face a potential ban. To clear up the confusion, DEFRA have clearly stated that stoves will not be banned. As a sustainable energy source, a modern stove offers high heat efficiency and low carbon output. There are a number of things you can consider to ensure you are getting the most from your stove, whilst minimising the environmental impact.
- Ensure you have the right size stove for your space. If it is too small, it will struggle to create the necessary levels of heat. It’s also a common problem that people overestimate the heat they need and buy a stove that is too big and overpowers a room.
- Consider your fuel source carefully. Use smokeless coal on a dual fuel stove, and always go for ‘ready-to-burn’ a government backed scheme), seasoned logs. These should have a maximum of 20% moisture. Wet or new wood will not give off the same heat when burnt, despite burning through the wood faster. It can also blacken your stove and chimney. Hardwoods such as oak or ash will give you a slower burn and longer heat output. Having the right fuel will not only give you greater heat for less cost but will make your carbon footprint smaller.
- Have your chimney swept annually or twice a year to be sure it is clean and in good working order.
You can even install a new chimney fairly simply in many houses that do not already have one. Where a chimney already exists it can easily be refined and adapted to allow the correct flue for a stove. So with all the factors considered, you can sit back and enjoy the glow of a fantastic stove and all the ambience it brings.