How efficient are wood burning stoves

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How efficient are wood burning stoves12th November 2019

According to reports from the BBC, approximately 1.5 million households use wood to produce heat in their home. Modern stoves are highly popular in terms of heating homes, whilst they offer the atmospheric benefit of a roaring fire, which is loved by many. Whilst traditional wood-burning stoves are associated with inefficiency and pollution, modern stoves provide a much more efficient way to heat your home, without the associated pollution and risk.


Modern ‘Certified’ Wood Burning Stoves

Through technological advances, modern stoves can offer greater efficiency and even use less wood than traditional stoves, thus producing less pollution. They rely on a secondary combustion process or a catalytic combustor to ensure maximum efficiency. Secondary combustion stoves make use of a second air intake that blows into the hottest area of the firebox. This allows the air to burn off gasses that would otherwise escape through the chimney, consequently resulting in higher levels of heat and less pollution. Catalytic wooden stoves make use of a catalytic device. When smoke leaves the box, it goes through the catalytic combustor, which makes the gas burn at a lower temperature than normal. Much like the secondary combustion stove, the gas produces extra heat, which allows for a far more efficient burning process.


Traditional Wood Stoves

Unlike modern wood stoves, some traditional wood burning stoves use an inefficient burning process to generate heat. This process begins by burning paper, kindling and wood to heat the stove. Fresh oxygen enters through intake vents, working as fuel for the fire. This uses a lot more energy than normal due to the moisture in the wood. As the wood burns, it produces volatile gasses including charcoal, carbon and tar, which leave through the chimney. At 300°c the stove begins to produce some heat, maximising at 1,000 degrees in which substantial heat is produced.


Wood Burning Stoves - the good and the bad

There are a wide number of pros and cons for using wood burning stoves in your home. It is important to remember that these benefits may be different depending on the kind of stove you own, including whether or not it is certified or traditional. Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks you might experience when using a wood burning stove. 



One of the greatest benefits of using a wood burning stove is price. Once the overhead costs have been paid, the price per mass of fuel is significantly lower than more common gas bills. This allows those with a wood burning stove to quickly break even on the initial overhead costs.

Another key benefit is atmosphere in the home. Unlike more modern methods of heat, a wood burning stove can create an amazing atmosphere within the home, perfect for watching movies and resting up on a cold winter’s evening.


The drawbacks 

One small drawback of using a wood burning stove is that it must be cleaned regularly depending on how frequently it is used. This can be a dirty process and one that takes significant time although there are many professionals who will alleviate this stress for you.

If you’re considering a wood burning stove for your home then we’d love to hear from you. Give us a call and our friendly team will be on hand to answer any questions you might have.




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