How To Buy A Wood-Burning Stove

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The Prince of Wales, Lily Allen and Daniel Day-Lewis have all got one – a  wood-burning stove, that is. Sales have boomed in recent years and with good reason. 

Not only do modern wood-burning stoves give your home a welcoming feel, they’re also extremely efficient. Wood-burners give out five times as much heat as the average open fire and will heat a bigger part of your house. And, because wood is a carbon-neutral fuel, they’re eco-friendly, too.
 
And if you need another reason to go for one, check out the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). It’s a scheme that allows you to make money by installing green heating options like a wood-burning stove. 

Here’s what to think about when choosing your wood-burner.

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Get the right-sized stove

Buy one that’s too big and you’ll end up burning your fires at low smoulders so you don’t end up sweating. But this wastes fuel and causes air pollution.

A stove that’s too small, meanwhile, won’t give off enough heat. So think carefully about what sized space you have and buy the right-sized stove to heat it. Any professional installer will be happy to guide you through the process. 
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What kind of fuel are you going to burn?

Most wood-burners use logs, which you can pick up from a local garage or hardware store, or have delivered in large batches. Store them somewhere dry outside, or better still, keep them indoors and make a design feature of them. They look extremely stylish piled high in an alcove, or in a wicker log basket.  
 
You can also buy multi-fuel stove designs. These burn a range of solid fuels, including wood pellets, peat and coal, although coal is unsustainable and causes pollution. Depending on where you live, there may be restrictions on the type of fuel you can burn. In cities, for instance, you’ll need a clean burn stove.
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Is my house right for a log burner?

Your log burner will need a flue vent, which means you’ll have to either build or convert a chimney.

The flue vent needs to be specially designed for woodburners so must have enough air circulating.

Before installing one, have a professional come and inspect your chimney or flue to make sure it’s all in good working order. The flue might need sweeping, and you may need to do a smoke test. If in doubt, talk to your council’s building control department. 
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Insulate your home

This will cut your energy bills, as well as making your wood burner even more efficient. If you live in an average-sized, insulated home, a contemporary wood-burning stove will keep it toasty even during a cold snap.  
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Think about upgrading

If you have an old stove, it could be worth upgrading to a newer one. These generate more heat and give off fewer emissions. They’re safer, too. 

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Consider where you’re going to put it

Where you put your wood-burning stove will affect how efficient it is. Ideally you want it in the room where you spend the most time. You can then use a fan or blower assembly to heat the rest of the house. 

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Installing wood-burning stoves

It’s perfectly possible to install your own wood-burning stove, but it’s a good idea to have a professional do it. If it isn’t done properly, there’s a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
 
And have a registered engineer check your appliance and flues at the beginning of each winter – that way you can buy yourself peace of mind. 
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