The Attraction of Wood Burning Stoves

Solid fuel installations such as wood burning stoves can be a very attractive option that clearly does not require an energy source such as gas or electricity for its operation.

We all love the idea of a real, open fire with its billowing flame, but it is worthwhile remembering that open fires are only 20% efficient and are often sooty and dirty, with the added problem of downdraught from the flue.  After all, it is an open pipe to the vagaries of the British weather!

Stoves and glass fronted insert convector fires offer the best of both ideas, in that you can enjoy the ‘real flame’ and romanticism of wood burning without the downdraught, although there are limits on heat output and you will need a Carbon Monoxide detector in the room.

Multi-Fuel Stoves

A multi-fuel stove is very similar to a wood-burning stove in appearance and design.  ‘Multi-fuel’ refers to the capability of the stove to burn wood and also coal, wood pellets, or peat. Stoves that have a grate for the fire to burn on and a removable ash pan are generally considered multi-fuel stoves.  If the fire simply burns on a bed of ash, it is a wood-only fuelled appliance, and cannot be used for coal or peat.

Multi-fuel stoves have been common since the 19th century. They are made either for cooking, heating, or both. They may double as a boiler, heating a tank of water for household use. With a boiler, the stove can also be connected to a radiator system to increase space heating in the home.  As people turn to alternative ways of heating, such stoves have become increasingly popular.

Types of Wood Burning Stoves

Type Advantages Disadvantages Image
Open Fire

Low efficiency (20%), often sooty and dirty

Flue downdraught

Hearths and back panels need to be slabbed and jointed for solid fuel use, ideally with additional heat plate

Need 8″ flue lining, sometimes more difficult in properties with tight bends in the Chimney

Need air vent and CO detector in the room

Wood Burning Stove

 75-80% efficiency. Generally require smaller flue lining

No added ventilation required (< 5kW heat output)

Glass Fronted Insert Convector

75-80% efficiency

Generally require smaller flue lining

No added ventilation required (< 5kW heat output)

Require CO detector in the room glass-fronted-insert-convector

Product Availability

There is a good selection of products available from a wide range of manufacturers.  Lead time is typically 3 to 7 days. Some popular designs may take longer to supply during peak winter months.

Price Ranges

For lower budgets, quality wood burning stoves can be found for £400 (including VAT), ranging up to £2,000 to £2,500 (including VAT).  Most 5kW stoves cost around £800 (including VAT), although some very contemporary designs can run to several thousands (yes, really!).

You should note that all price quotations will be subject to site survey, as in particular there may be variations arising as a result of flue condition or specific installation requirements.