Burn Wood, Not Cash! 

Wood Burning Stove Advice & Guidance 

Trying to save money in these difficult economic times has led many people to go back to cost effective basics when it comes to heating homes. More and more folk have found switching from oil or gas to buying a wood burning fire set-up to be an efficient choice. Customers of mine in Cornwall have found it more cost effective. People make these changes for numerous reasons, such as:- Wood burning fires can be cheaper to use in the long run. Heat from a well maintained wood stove quickly warms a room. Wood burning fireplaces create a classic look and give rooms a ‘snug’ feel. They do less damage to the environment than some other fuel sources. Does the idea of warming your toes by a cozy fireplace appeal to you? Or are you still unsure about it? Please read on!   Buying your first wood burning stove can be daunting if you don’t know what you’re looking for. There are lots of factors which can be confusing if you aren’t armed with the right information. 

The more expensive stoves cost more due to the style rather than substance. This might be an important factor for you.   I don’t recommend buying stoves below £600. If you want something cost effective long-term and that gives a decent amount of heat, look at the range between £600 and £1,500. Stoves in that price barrier look good and are easy to run if well maintained.   I would urge anyone wanting a wood burning stove to explore

all opt ions, from local suppliers to large chain stores. The variety of stoves is endless but watch out! A customer in Cornwall bought the first stove which caught his fancy at a local popular hardware chain. The stove has given him endless trouble –never giving the right temperature, no matter how much wood was burnt. He has now replaced it with a cheaper but efficient stove. The lesson to learn here: if he had shopped around in the first place, he would have saved hundreds of pounds.   2. What kind of stove should I buy?   There are two main questions: (i) What features should it have? And (ii) How should it look? Let’s start with the practicalities.   Wood burning only or multi fuel?

I f you want to burn wood only and no other material such as coal, then a dedicated wood burning stove is the best option. It will give off more heat compared to a multi fuel stove of the same value and be more environmentally friendly. If you want to burn anything else, opt for a multi fuel stove. Just make sure you maintain it properly and it is of good quality.   Now you have chosen the basic structure, let’s look at the optional features:-   Clean burning   A clean burning system is a supercharger for your fireplace.


Your stove is built to take in more air and substances that would just drift up your chimney get burnt. That means you can expect to get more heat out of your fuel and less waste products.   Airwash The spectacle of flames roaring heartily from a fireplace is a comforting sight. People find it therapeutic. However glass at the front of the stove can get gummed up with fire waste. That’s why a stove purchase should include an airwash feature. This feature pulls in air along the glass, making it less likely for soot, tar and other by-products to stick and block the view of the flames.   Exempt appliances   Emissions from household fireplaces can be limited in ‘smoke control areas’. So it is vital to make sure your stove is an approved appliance. It is against the law to burn smoking fuels in an unapproved appliance. If your stove is not approved, you can only burn a few smokeless fuels. Check this out before you buy a stove. The costs of spending more on a stove you can legally use regularly are less than hefty fines!   Let’s look at style!

This is a very individual choice – each to his own! We all have different tastes. How there are some pointers you might want to consider:- Cast iron stoves are more likely to crack than steel stoves. It could be worth investing in better quality material. What you see online might not match your expectations. Try and see stoves before you purchase. Quality varies massively from supplier to supplier.  Curved glass can be attractive but any replacement needed can be very costly.  Storage areas for wood underneath some stoves seem practical but most are much too small.  Contemporary-looking stoves tend to be more expensive. Take a tape measure with you when shopping for stoves so you can see if a stove will fit the dimensions of your room before you purchase. 3. What size should I buy?   Buying a wood burning stove isn’t just about deciding you have enough space in your living room or other area. Remember the primary reason for a stove is to give off heat. So there are factors to consider when deciding how much energy you need from a stove. Insulation already in the home and the number of rooms needing heat are just two examples.

Heat from a fire is measured in kilowatts (KW). I suggest that a small house (bungalow or two-bed) needs a small fire giving between 4KW and 7KW. Larger homes need a 7KW to 12KW heat output from a bigger stove.   Tip: Keeping the door of your fireplace room shut will retain heat and be more cost effective!   4. How much does installing a wood stove cost?   Before buying a wood burning stove, get advice from Jay Davies to see if your home is suitable for the appliance. For example, you might be unaware of a disused chimney breast which could fit a flue for your fire.   Stove installations can cost between £200 and a few thousand pounds – with results varying widely between fitters. I can point you in the right direction of a reputable fitter if you live in Cornwall. Contact me for more information.   5. How much does it cost to run?   If you want to save money on overall heating costs, then a near-replacement of your fuel source such as gas may help. The more wood you use, the more money you spend. Nevertheless it will still be up to a few hundred pounds less than gas or oil. is is a headline This is a paragraph. You can use this to communicate content within your page.

Maximising wood burning efficiency

Read through these tips on how to maximize wood burning efficiency:- Seasoned wood burns hotter and more efficiently. It also helps prevent creosote building up in your stove-pipe - saving you money. Make your fires both small and hot. This burns volatile gases quicker with less safety hazards and air quality problems than an over-damped fire. Small-and-hot fires need more frequent fuel loading and tending the stove. Put up a stove thermometer on the stove flue to monitor gas temperatures when they leave. The best range to be efficient (and for least pollution) is 300°F to 400°F. Remove excess ashes. Too much ash clogs your stove’s air intake vents and cuts down oxygen which is vital for efficient wood-burning. Check your chimney stack. Burn your stove at different rates then go outside and check the emissions. The absence of smoke indicates that your stove is burning cleanly and effectively. Inspect your stove. Your entire stove and chimney should be swept and inspected once or twice per year, depending on its use. Look for warping, check the baffle to make sure there are no gaps and check for creosote. When buying a stove, make sure it is properly sized. A properly sized stove will do its job efficiently even on the coldest days. Wood stoves that are too big need to be damped down, which increases creosote production. Buy the most efficient design you can afford. It will pay for itself in the long run. Burn only the fuel your stove was designed for. For example, do not burn coal in a wood stove unless your stove was made to handle both wood and coal. Rubbish should not be burnt in your stove either. As well as increasing the chance of starting a chimney fire, some plastics an d other rubbish emit harmful gases.

Choosing the right wood to burn

Anything that burns is suitable for a fireplace, right? Wrong! Knowing which kind of wood you need for your stove or open fire could save you heaps of money and give you a crackling fire!  

Alder - Gives a poor heat output and does not last very long.

Apple - Has a steady slow burn when the wood is dry and a good heat output with a small visible flame and pleasant odour.

Ash - Excellent burning wood. It gives a great heat and flame output and also burns when green. Best heat output gained when wood is dry.

Beech - Good heat output but only fair when wood is green. This wood is prone to shoot embers whilst burning.

Birch - The heat is good but the wood burns quickly, however a pleasant odour is produced.

Cedar - Produces little flames but great heat and a wonderful odour. Provides a splendid noise when burned.

Cherry - A slow burning wood that produces good heat and a pleasant odour.

Chestnut - Produces small flames and normal heat, prone to shooting embers.

Douglas Fir - Poor. Little flame or heat.

We look forward to working with you.  Call : 07486585703

Copyright Jay Davies