According to research released by the SIA (Stove Industry Alliance), seasoned woods are now considered the cheapest domestic heating fuel. Wood costs households 74% less per kWh than electric-powered heating and 21% lower than gas-fired heating.
What are seasoned logs?
When wood is freshly cut down it has a moisture content of 50% or more. This means 50% of the weight of the wood is water. If you place wet (unseasoned wood) in a fire it essentially boils the excess water, which produces lots of smoke and pollution. This gives a poor heat output and will cause serious congestion in the flue, which increases the chances of chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s really important that you only burn seasoned wood, which has a moisture content of no more than 20%.
In addition to these cost savings, burning wood has the lowest carbon intensity of any domestic heating fuel. Seasoned logs are 87% less carbon intensive than gas, 88% less than electricity and 74% less than an air source heat pump.
A recent questionnaire completed by retailers and installers of wood-burning stoves reveals that in the last 12 months, over 80% of stove sales were replacements as opposed to new installations. This shows people are keen to replace their old stoves with more efficient Ecodesign models. An Ecodesign stove emits up to 90% fewer particles than an open fire and 80% less compared to older outdated stoves. Upgrading to an Ecodesign stove will ultimately save money and reduce pollution. One reason why the current demand for wood-burning stoves is so high is that many want to enjoy independence from the energy grid and the soaring costs of gas and electricity. People want to take back control.
* Take advice from your local showroom – they will be able to advise what stove is best for your needs, your room size etc.
* If you live in a Smoke Control Area your stove will need to be Defra exempt. All clearSkies Level 3 and above models are certified as Defra exempt. All Charlton & Jenrick stoves are either clearSkies level 4 or 5. Below is what each level means:
* Make sure your stove is installed and maintained by a suitably qualified professional.
* Make sure you only use high-quality logs. Look for the Ready to Burn logo. This means the logs are at or below 20% moisture content. Here is the Ready to Burn logo:
* Never burn rubbish or wood that has been chemically treated.
* Have your chimney swept regularly when in use and have it serviced. A local chimney sweep will be able to help you.