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With summer now fading into autumn, the temperature has started to drop and will continue to do so as we head towards winter.
Some people may have already had the heating on in recent weeks during a couple of chilly evenings, and many others won't be far behind. But as winter begins to loom, have you thought about trying a wood burning stove as an alternative heat source for your home?
Wood burners are an effective way to heat up a room (or rooms) in your house, and can be a great alternative to your usual central heating.
A wood burner can be a great addition to your home, providing a stylish and powerful heating option.
What is a wood burning stove?
A wood burning stove is simply a home appliance that is used to heat the home (or rooms in a home). It is usually made of a metal such as cast iron or steel, and generates heat by burning wood fuel in an enclosed fire chamber.
They can be placed in most rooms of a house, and need to allow fumes and gases to be drawn away from the room and out through a chimney or flue.
Wood burners have been around for many years, but have risen in popularity in recent times.
So, what are the benefits of wood burning stoves?
1) Effective Heat Output
One of the most desirable features and benefits of a wood burner is the heat output it provides. A wood burning stove provides a powerful heat source for your home, meaning that the room gets warm quickly and effectively.
There are wood burners available in a range of sizes and with varying energy output levels, so you can choose a model that is appropriate for the size of your home or the room that it will be used in.
2) Decorative And stylish
As well as giving you a wonderful source of heat which is ideal during those colder months, wood burning stoves also look great. When you add one to your room, you'll find that the wood burner becomes a new focal point, adding character and style to the living space.
Whether it's in use or not, the burner will look great in any room. With styles ranging from classic to contemporary, there are plenty of options available for you to buy a wood burning stove which matches the décor of your home.
3) Homely Ambience
When it's cold and miserable outside, many people love to get snug in the comfort of their own home. A wood burning stove is a great way to provide this homely ambience, with its combination of cosy heat and also the visual impact of roaring flames dancing in the room.
Whether it's to spend quality family time together, or even if you live alone, a wood burner can really make your house feel more homely.
4) Energy efficient
As a heat source, wood burning stoves are very energy efficient. While an open fireplace is around 20-25% efficient, a wood burner can be as much as 80% efficient.
The wood used to fuel the stove is also much cheaper compared to electricity, gas or oil. As a rough guide, a kilowatt of heat per hour can be provided by a wood burning stove for a fifth of the cost of a kWh of electricity and around a third of the cost of a kWh of oil and gas.
5) Money saving
With energy prices constantly on the rise, thousands of people are finding it more and more expensive to heat their homes through gas and electrical means. The energy efficient nature of wood burning stoves can mean that they are particularly helpful in saving you money. Many people have found a wood burning stove to be a very economical investment, because they can help to reduce their heating bills.
Whilst you might still need to use your central heating in rooms that don't have a wood burner, a stove can provide an alternative to your radiator in your main living rooms, allowing you to save on energy bills. Although there is an initial outlay when buying a wood burner, that cost can be made back on energy savings within a couple of years.
Advancements in technology have meant that we are rarely disrupted by power cuts these days. However, winter weather in particular has become more unpredictable over the last few years, with many people experiencing loss of power through flooding, freezing conditions and other bad weather. This can lead to essential winter heating not working during such a power outage.
But a wood burner is reliable in that it does not need electricity, oil or gas power to function. So even in a power cut when other heating sources may not work, a wood burning stove can at least ensure your home remains warm.
7) Environmentally friendly
In an age of eco awareness, many people are determined to be more friendly to the environment by reducing their carbon footprint. When it comes to home heating, a wood burning stove can help towards this environmental goal.
This is because wood is a carbon neutral fuel; although it does give off carbon dioxide when burned, the amount given off is equal to the amount consumed by replacement trees which absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. Wood burning stoves are therefore carbon neutral because they do not increase the level of carbon dioxide which is in the atmosphere.
Sourcing wood fuel from waste, such as offcuts or unused pieces from timber merchants, can also be a good way to help the environment, as it saves waste wood from being put into landfill sites.
8) Family fun
With a wood burner nicely flaming away and warming up your living space, it can make for a great time to spend with family, friends and loved ones. Whether it's relaxing and watching a film, or playing games and enjoying one another's company, a wood burner can add to the sense of homeliness on a cold wintry day.
Sourcing wood fuel for the stove can also be a fun activity and can become a regular adventure. Finding fallen dead trees or waste wood that's no longer needed by local businesses or timber merchants can be fun for children and adults alike; just remember to ask permission if you need to before you take anything!
If you are looking for a stylish, affordable and environmentally friendly way to heat your home this winter, look no further than a wood burning stove.