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Top 5 Benefits of Installing Wood Burning Stoves

Top 5 Benefits of Installing Wood Burning Stoves

Ask most anyone what they think about woodburning stoves and the first words out of their mouth are likely to include something about looking and feeling good. We're drawn by some basic instinct to the warmth and comfort of a real fire, and if it's a fireplace set behind safe glass doors that keep out the smoke and mean an end to cleaning out the grate, so much the better.


In fact, it's not unusual to find people installing a wood burning stove that they don't actually need as such (for heating), but that they want as a centrepiece in their lounge or kitchen. How many times have you seen an Aga decoratively dissipating heat right next to a regular oven and hob? People naturally gather round woodburning stoves and kitchen range cookers - the same cannot be said for gas boilers and electric cookers.


Not Just A Pretty Face.


So, we like our homes to feel warm and inviting, and woodburning stoves tick the box. But woodburner offer more than eye-candy and feel-good factor. Modern wood burning stoves are able to accommodate a boiler, provide full cooking capabilities and be fully automated.


Many woodburning stoves can be fitted with a back boiler supplying hot water to radiators and the main hot water cylinder. Some, such as the Rayburn, are designed as a kitchen range with a full sized oven and double hob plus an integral boiler where a second oven would normally go. Systems intended primarily as woodburning boilers typically incorporate an automatic wood pellet fuel hopper and comprehensive timing controls, requiring virtually no intervention. Highly versatile? Tick.


It's The Utility Bill, Stupid.


In recent years, as gas and electricity prices have relentlessly soared, word has gotten out that those strange woodburning stove things are not only capable of providing a complete hot water and domestic heating system, but they're a heck of a lot cheaper to run than conventional heating systems. Modern woodburners are highly efficient thanks to improvements in manufacturing processes, quality materials and better understanding of airflow and combustion. Also, wood logs and manufactured wood pellets are essentially waste material, and therefore plentiful and cheap. That'll be a tick for economy then.


Follow The Carbon Footprints.


Everyone is now aware that fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) are a one way street where Carbon Dioxide is concerned. Fill your car with petrol and go for a spin - after a while the petrol will be gone and there will be more CO2 heading for the ionosphere. Do this enough and eventually there won't be any petrocarbons left to turn into petrol; meanwhile the atmosphere will be saturated with CO2 from all that was burned before.


Compare this with burning wood. Yep, it too releases CO2, but unlike oil we can grow more wood by simply planting new trees. The beauty of this is that each new tree we plant will re-absorb exactly as much CO2 as is released by burning the wood from a dead tree. In fact, a dead tree will give its CO2 back to the air whether it's burned or left to rot, so using it as biofuel is no more harmful than doing nothing at all.


But it gets better still. Trees take a long time to grow, so you can't cut down one this year and expect its replacement to be ready next year. The timescale is more like a decade or more, which means you need to have a whole lot more trees constantly maturing and absorbing CO2 than are ever being burned.


Also, commercially manufactured wood pellets and wood chips are made from recycled waste. Wood pellets are in fact compressed waste sawdust. So, we can tick renewable and recyclable - it's getting hard to see what's not to like where contemporary wood burning technology is concerned.


Future Proof


We already know that oil depletion is a fact, and that the world supply of fossil fuels is dwindling, which can only increase the price long term unless we move to other forms of energy. The regulations regarding CO2 output for new buildings have also become noticeably tougher in recent times, with "zero-carbon" dwellings being a serious target over the next few years.


In response to this tightening regulatory environment, many builders and architects now recommend installing wood burning stoves almost by default (check out in order to make it considerably easier to comply with new building regulations on carbon footprints. Coupled with the fact that combining solar thermal heating with a woodburning boiler by way of an accumulator tank makes for a natural fit, it's interesting to see this technology that is in many respects little changed from its invention some 250 years ago, quietly establishing its place in our future. So that's one last tick in the boxes.



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