In 2015 the government found that around 7.5% of people in the UK burned wood to keep warm, and a tiny 2.3% of people used wood as their sole heating source. Fast forward eight years and a cost of living crisis, this figure has significantly increased. Some people worried about the rising cost of gas and electricity have started to burn wood to keep warm.
Despite the misinformation being thrown around in the media about stoves, they are incredibly environmentally friendly, provided you’re using an Ecodesign stove and burn correctly seasoned wood. Statements such as “Stoves are 750 times more polluting than an HGV” mislead people and prevent them from making a fair and informed choice around their primary or supplementary heating source. You can read more about the confused thinking around this HGV comparison here.
Is burning wood cheaper than using central heating?
It really depends and several things – has an Ecodesign stove already been fitted? Does the operator of the stove use seasoned wood? What about the size of the stove vs the house size? The main difference between a stove vs central heating is that a stove will only usually heat one room. So you won’t be heating rooms you’re not in. It’s perhaps a little misleading to give a direct yes or no to this answer.
If you have a large stove and a small home, you could, possibly, use it to heat air space that could pass around other rooms. However, this is unlikely as you would usually only have a stove designed to heat the room it’s located in. Some people use wood-burning stoves to heat water to warm an entire house, like a gas boiler – although this is not very common. Consider this though, logs are one of the cheapest heating sources after heating oil, costing homeowners 10.37p per kWh, which is 19% cheaper than gas which stands at 12.81p per kWh and a huge 73.5% decrease in cost compared to electricity, which currently stands at 39.21p per kWh.
Helping your central heating
As logs are a cheaper energy source, a stove can certainly supplement your central heating – it’s a safer assumption than giving a direct yes or no answer to the question posed above. According to the Energy Saving Trust, you can save £80 a year for every 1C reduction in thermostat temperature. With the low cost of burning wood, you could turn your thermostat right down and use a wood-burning stove to help maintain a comfortable room temperature. The rest of the house you’re not in will still have some degree of warmth, perhaps not enough to relax in during the evening, but warm enough when you go up to bed.
Burning wood is not created equal. Making sure you burn wood on an Ecodesign stove will reduce emissions, as the diagram below shows.
Furthermore, burning wood on an Ecodesign stove requires fewer logs than an open fire or old non-Ecodesign stove.
By being open to ideas around heating your home, you can save money and be more environmentally focused. The sale of wood-burning stoves have increased significantly since the huge spike in gas and electricity prices in the early months of 2022. People want to regain control and enjoy being, to some degree, self-sufficient.
View our range of stoves here.