Government Schemes for Woodburners

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There’s nothing better on a cold winter’s evening than the warm glow of a wood burner in the corner of the room. Wood burners are very environmentally friendly, and a recent survey suggests that heating a home using a wood burner costs just 2.5p per megawatt hour, compared with 4p for the same quantity of gas, and 11p for electricity.

They’re also fashionable and practical, and there are several government initiatives which make the installation of wood burners in homes a more affordable option for consumers.

Renewable Heat Incentive

Although not aimed directly at wood burners, the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) covers other related products such as biomass stoves, or burners designed to run on both wood and other materials such as pellets. This government scheme is currently in the consultation stage, and will replace the current scheme called the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme.

Under the RHPP, homeowners or landlords who decide to switch their heating to a renewable source can claim vouchers from the government to help offset the cost. The scheme applies throughout the UK apart from Northern Ireland, and the vouchers on offer are substantial. Currently, homeowners can claim £2,000 towards the cost of installing a biomass boiler £600 towards solar hot water heating and there are also vouchers for air to water heat pumps and ground source heat pump technology.

There are various criteria to be met in terms of insulation and gaining any planning permissions first, but the voucher system is generous enough to pay the cost of the new boiler or pump, leaving homeowner to cover just the installation costs.

Green Deal

The Green Deal is also a more general scheme which is aimed at making British properties and businesses more energy efficient. Green Deal differs from other environmental programmes in that it is a loan rather than a grant. Cashback is paid to homeowners or businesses which undertake work such as insulating their loft space, switching to a more renewable form of heating, or getting windows double glazed.

There are a few rules for Green Deal, and homes and businesses have to have an assessment to quantify projected savings before the work starts. Work has to be carried out through a company which has been awarded Provider or Installer status by the Green Deal organisation, and the money for the improvements is paid off monthly or quarterly through electricity bills.

Community Sustainable Energy Programme (CSEP)

It’s not just homes and businesses which have been hit by rising fuel bills in a recession, as there are a huge number of charities who are finding it almost impossible to heat offices, community centres, youth clubs and other similar projects. The Community Sustainable Energy Programme was setup to try to address these issues and is run in conjunction with the National Lottery. Grants were available through the CSEP for the installation of wood burners and wood fuelled boilers, as well as other environmental measures such as cavity wall insulation or solar panels.

Unfortunately this has now closed, which leads me on to talking about defunct schemes.

Defunct Schemes

The problem with researching what grants may be available for installing wood burners is that schemes open and then close with amazing speed. Governments and priorities change, and the money available can be withdraw almost overnight.

Schemes such as the Low Carbon Building Programme, which gave grants to builders to provide efficient housing have come and gone, as has the Boiler Scrappage Scheme which allowed homeowners to claim against the cost of replacing a very old, inefficient boiler with a more modern one.

The situation also differs across the UK, with different schemes operating in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, and some which cover the whole country. Before committing to buying and installing a wood burner on the strength of receiving a government grant or rebate, check and double check the terms and conditions to ensure you or your business qualify for funding. Often the best people to speak to are the wood burning stove retailers, as it is their business to stay up to date with the current legislation and to know what grants are on offer to consumers.

What Flue for a Wood Burning Stove?

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If you are one of the thousands of British homeowners who is considering switching to a solid fuel or wood burning stove either to save money or save the planet, then chances are most of your thoughts so far have been about how nice it will look in the room and how warm and cosy everyone will be.

Practical considerations often come further down the line, but with any sort of wood burning stove how and where the flue or chimney is located is of critical safety importance.

Building Control

Every local council across the country has a Building Control department and it is their job to ensure that all work carried out in your home is up to the required standard in terms of both safety and building quality. If you have work done on your home and it is not approved or signed off by Building Control, it will be very difficult to sell it in the future.

Building Control are interested in wood burning stove installations as there are a lot of regulations and rules around how and where to fit the stoves and their chimneys. You can choose to fit your stove and chimney yourself, but if you choose this way, the installation has to be signed off by an approved HETAS engineer (find out how to become HETAS registered if you’re interested) who has undertaken extensive training on wood burning stoves.

Call the local Building Control office to speak to someone to get clearer guidance if you are unsure of procedures.

Where to Site Stove

Before rushing out and buying a stove, think about where in the house it is going to be. The ideal site may be where there is already an existing chimney, and if there is no chimney in the house, it is easiest to place your stove against an external wall to cut down on the length of flue required.

There are lots of different rules regarding ventilation in the room, the size of the flue required depending on the size of the stove and the installation of carbon monoxide detectors, so it is often better to get a professional in rather than try to pick your way through the rules and regulations alone.

Existing Chimney

Using an existing chimney may seem the most straightforward option when installing a wood burning stove but this is not always the case. Any existing chimney will have been designed for use with a coal fire, and the new building regulations require that older existing chimneys are lined with metal to make sure they are drawing the smoke away from the stove efficiently.

If you are putting your wood burning stove in an existing fireplace, it is also important to ensure that there is enough space all around it for air to circulate, and you it require having the system thoroughly tested to make sure the smoke is being pulled away from the room.

Because of all of the additional work in lining the chimney and carrying out the tests, it may be more economical to locate your wood burner elsewhere in the house and buy a purpose made flue which can be routed through a wall and straight outside.

Specialist Flue

All manufacturers of wood burning stoves make a range of flues and other accessories to make fitting the new flue as simple as possible. Staff in wood burning stove retail stores can be a very good source of advice and tips about which system would work the best in your type of home.

As fitting a flue will require the cutting of holes in ceilings, walls or both, it is probably better to get the professionals in to do the work unless you have good DIY skills. The flue has to extend 600mm up from the roof height, or higher on felt roofs. Seek professional advice on what applies in your circumstances.

Finally, whatever type of flue is used, a carbon monoxide detector has to be fitted in the room with the stove. This will ring an alarm if the levels of carbon monoxide start to rise above acceptable levels. As well as giving an indication that there is something wrong with your stove, chimney or flue, high levels of carbon monoxide in a home can be fatal, so check your detector regularly. To learn more about the dangers of carbon monoxide, read this article.

How Much Can Woodburners Save You On A Yearly Basis?

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Woodburners have been the “in” thing for quite some time now; not only for their ecologically friendly properties, but also for their purported money saving powers! There are a number of government incentives around at the moment to encourage households to switch over to wood fuelled heating appliances, which offer help with installation costs for some people. The figures relating to how much cash a typical household could save can however be somewhat confusing.

Most of this confusion arises from the fact that your savings will vary enormously according to what heating system you currently use and your access to fuel once you do install a woodburner in your home. Logs, especially seasoned logs, can cost a lot of money to buy and unless you have your own source (i.e. a forest!) then you’re going to be shelling out a substantial amount of money on a yearly basis for your fuel bills. That defeats one of the main reasons people buy woodburning stoves in the first place: to save money!

Woodpile

Seasoned logs take two years to mature, which also involves the cost of both storage and harvesting – both of which can rack up the price significantly. Unseasoned wood isn’t an option as it’s terrible for your appliance and you won’t be getting the most out of it. Pellets are much cheaper to purchase than seasoned wood, so if you’re looking to save money then they’re definitely worth looking into. Finally, some people use scavenged wood that they then put through the seasoning process. Again though, this requires a substantial storage area. Ultimately it’s best to put some research into your options before you delve into the wood burning stove buying process and figure out a round-about cost you’ll be paying once it’s installed.

For more ideas on where to get free or cheap wood for your woodburner, read our article.

How Much Can Woodburners Save You Annually?

Whatever you use, home-owners are set to save you quite a bit of money in the long-run. We can discover these potential savings when we take a look at homes that don’t have woodburner installed. Here are the figures we calculated.

  • Gas: If you currently have gas central heating with your gas coming from a mains supply then you could make a saving of around £90 per year if you install a woodburner in your home. This is set to increase should the rise in gas prices continue.
  • Electricity: If your home is heated with electricity then your savings could amount to £630 per year, which is a substantial amount of money!
  • Oil: Homes heated with oil can look forward to saving £270 per year if they make the switch.

These are all quite significant amounts of money, and not many people can honestly say that such an amount would not make a difference to their weekly budget. Even spread out over a year, the figures would make a huge difference to an average family on a basic wage.

The initial costs of installation will of course take up your “profit” for a couple of years, but on balance the overall savings are definitely worth the initial outlay. You should also find out if you qualify for any of the government schemes designed to help with the costs of installation, but be aware that in order to qualify you must use one of the woodburners which are listed as acceptable – not all are – as the government is strict about this.

Your family could be reaping the benefits in as few as three years after installation. As the figures above show, it’s definitely worth the upheaval!

Wood Burner Owners Warned To Stop Stealing Wood For Use As Firewood

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More and more people seem to be buying wood burning stoves these days, but their leap in popularity is also causing a leap of the criminal kind.

Managers of nature reserves have been complaining that people are coming on site and stealing wood for use as firewood for wood burning stoves. The rise of wood burning stoves coupled with the economic situation is being blamed, although obviously that’s no excuse to go around pinching wood.

The Daily Mail report on these incidents talks to Phil Dykes, East Lancashire reserves officer for the Wildlife Trust. The nature reserve at Colne, Lancashire (not far from me) has been particularly singled out, with a lot of wood having gone missing from the site. Thieves haven’t been deterred, despite signs being put up warning that the areas were being patrolled by police.

The problem stems from stacks of wood usually being left in the area for donation or to help with bio-diversity and encourage the arrival of insects, birds, fungi and eventually new trees. People are seeing these stacks and taking their pick. Worse, in one case a tree was even felled and a chainsaw used to cut it up.

The people picking up the wood may not be aware that what they’re doing is wrong, although Carol Riley, chairman of Alkincoats Woodland Nature Reserve Group in Colne, said that some of the warning signs had been ripped down. If you’re going to buy a wood burning stove then you should really read up on the rules regarding wood foraging to be absolutely sure what you’re doing is legal. You can’t just go on to private land and pick up wood, and even in public areas – such as places owned by the UK’s Forestry Commission – it’s most likely that you need a licence to pick up fallen wood.

By buying a wood burning stove you’ll cut your heating costs significantly, but you should be aware that it’s not always possible to get hold of free wood to burn as fuel. However, there are still a number of ways to get it for free or at least at a low price. We’ve put these methods together into a handy post.

How to Become HETAS registered

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To Install a Stove Your Need to be HETAS Registered

HETAS stands for the Heating Equipment Testing and Approval Scheme, and it was set up by the government as a body to regulate the wood burning and solid fuel stove industry here in the UK. From a consumer’s perspective, using an engineer who is HETAS registered to install a new wood burning stove or service an old one means that you are getting a guarantee of quality and should be safe in the knowledge that your wood burner is not going to poison the family with carbon dioxide. Wood burning stoves are hugely fashionable at the moment, partly because using one to heat your house often works out cheaper than heating it with gas or electricity, and partly because the warm glow from a stove gives a focal point to any living space. HETAS also regulates other forms of alternative energy such as biomass, and as the country becomes increasingly energy aware these sorts of heating systems will become more important in the future. Many heating engineers and builders feel that adding HETAS accreditation will enhance their business, and becoming registered is not as complex as you many think.

HETAS Courses

Through the year, HETAS runs a variety of different courses which are the best starting point for ticking all of the boxes required for accreditation. Some of the courses are aimed at builders or plumbers who have previous experience in installing and maintaining heating systems, others are more general courses which are aimed at beginners or people with no prior knowledge. Courses are outsourced to a variety of training companies which operate at training centres across the country from Glasgow to Exeter, including Wales and Northern Ireland too. A full listing of the approved training centres and the courses offered is available on the HETAS website in the section aimed at professionals rather than consumers.

Curriculum and Certification

The courses offered at HETAS approved centres vary in terms of length and what is covered. For example, the course covering the installation of chimneys in domestic properties only lasts one day, and all that is required is appropriate work experience. However, the in depth Biomass Installation course lasts five days, and one of the prerequisites is the successful completion of the more basic course. Once any of the HETAS courses at an approved centre is successfully completed, the candidate is awarded a certificate which they can then use to be listed on the website.

Listing

Once you have done the appropriate courses and have the certificates, you can then apply to HETAS for listing on their website under their approved installers section. This gives enormous benefits to any business in the heating business, as HETAS are rapidly becoming the only port of call for consumers who are looking for a competent, approved engineer to install their biomass or solid wood burner. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the problems surrounding a shoddy installation of a wood burner, and are advised to go to HETAS to find a qualified person. It may cost several hundred pounds to go through the HETAS training and gain the certificates, but this outlay is more than justified by the increased work which will be gained when listed on the website.

Building Control

Once you are HETAS registered you have the added advantage of being able to self-certify your own work. For example, if you are HETAS registered and are asked to install a wood burner in a client’s new extension, you simply issue them with a certificate saying that the work has been carried out to HETAS standards. If you are not registered, the homeowner then has to get someone else in to certify the work instead. This adds time and cost to the overall process, and it’s easy to see why customers and project managers prefer working with people who can provide an all in one service. Many people who have been installing wood burners for decades with no accreditation may feel that HETAS certification is an unnecessary hoop to jump through, but having the certificate opens so many more doors in terms of attracting and keeping customers.

UK Braces for Harshest Winter In 60 Years

The Harshest Winter In 60 Years – Are You Ready?

We’re all well aware of how the country operates when there’s a bit of snowfall – it doesn’t. Everything comes to a halt. Even with weeks of notice; our preparation for dealing with the harsh temperatures and weather associated with winter just isn’t up to scratch. Whilst the country on a whole might not be able to get it right, that doesn’t mean you, as an individual, have to be the same…

So, just how bad is it going to be you ask? To sum it up, pretty horrific. All major news sites and papers are predicting huge snowfall and record low temperatures; if it’s a scare tactic, it’s certainly working. The Express has detailed that there will be 3 months of unrelenting snow and terrible weather, Sky has suggested everywhere will start flooding due to a wet October and further rainfall, Brits will be exposed to a ‘super freeze’ where Scotland face temperatures as low as -6°C and England -3°C.

I’d love to say there’s some good news, but there isn’t. Everything that has been predicted and forecast so far makes it seem that this winter really is going to be ‘the daddy’ of all winters. For those who aren’t old enough to remember the winter of 1947 – which featured some of the coldest temperatures on record and unprecedented amounts of snowfall – this will likely be the worst winter you’ve encountered.

Expert forecasters who have been doing this for many years have predicted with confidence that the next 3 months will be treacherous. With unrelenting snowfall, freezing temperatures and ice-cold winds all battering the UK, there won’t be much we can do except sit back and take it. You can expect to see temperatures dip to these levels starting next week as arctic air whooshes in from the North Pole and kick starts the winter weather perils.

At first the temperature drops will only affect Scotland and the rest of the UK is only supposed to ‘slightly’ dip below the average for November. However, these lower than average temperature will soon start to manifest problems throughout the entire country with wintry showers of snow and rain. For those who haven’t already, it’s time to invest in a nice coat and pair of gloves (and maybe a sled for the kids)!

Harshest Winter In 60 Years

Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/avail/2354760888/ – Snowfolk by Andrea Vail on Flickr. Used under a Creative Commons Licence.

What does this mean for the country?

Well, let’s be honest. A few inches of snow usually render the entire country useless. Public transport is usually the first to take the hit with train services and flights being delayed, if not completely shut off, with the buses not too far behind. That often leaves people to make their own way to work or to the family house for Christmas which isn’t easy when roads are covered in half a foot of snow or closed due to crashes. And even when the snow gets cleared, the ice that remains is usually enough to keep people off the road.

So, in summary, it’s safe to say that the country will slowly grind to a halt as all transport links and methods of getting around become near impossible. Unless you live close enough to walk to work or have the ability to work from home, your winter may be considerably different to what you’re used to!

Obviously there are some people that will remain sceptical; after all, it’s in our nature to not believe people without strong evidence. Online forums, websites and general chat around the office gives off the impression that nobody really believes the so-called-experts and that “they’ll believe it when they see it”, which may well be too late…

How can you prepare?

Well, the government and local authorities have already stockpiled grit (much more than previous years, thankfully) in order to try and keep the roads open. But, who knows how long that will work for?  We don’t want to say go out and panic buy things, because it’s pointless. Remember the whole Francis Maude panic-buy-petrol kerfuffle? Yeah, that was ridiculous and we don’t want to turn this into anything like that. We just want people to be safe, warm and fed.

Bad weather usually leads to a loss of power; maybe for a couple of hours, maybe for a day or two, who knows what to expect. But make sure your source of heating doesn’t rely on power from someone else. We might be a bit biased, but a stove which is capable of burning wood or other fuels is a good investment to make, especially with this around the corner. Buy in a load of logs that will last you until spring and you’re sorted – no worries!

Following that, you want to make sure you’ve’ve got essential foods and staples in your diet. Don’t go out and buy half a year’s worth of food, but it might be wise to do a ‘monthly shop’ rather than a ‘weekly shop’ towards the start of December. As well as that, if you’re planning on doing some travelling, make sure you have some emergency equipment on hand. Things such as torches, foldable snow shovels, warm clothes and car-care kits are strongly recommended.

Personally, we’re hoping this turns out to be a bit of an exaggerated winter, but at the same time we’d rather be on the safe side if it does turn out as predicted. We wish you all the best over the winter period and hope everyone stays warm and safe.

Hiring a Professional to Install Your Wood burning Stove

Install Your Wood burning Stove

Getting a Professional to Install Your Wood burning Stove

Deciding to invest in a wood burning stove is a big step and one which makes some people a little nervous. There is so much choice out there and how do you know where to find a reputable installation expert? One thing is for certain and that’s the fact that you should never attempt to install your own wood burning stove unless you are appropriately qualified. Wood burning stoves are quite complex to install properly and every case is different…no two homes will have the same requirements with regards to installation.

One way to ensure that you find a properly qualified person for the job is to visit the HETAS website; HETAS are the official body of solid fuel domestic heating appliances and fuels. HETAS is recognised by the government in terms of recommending qualified installers and services related to solid fuel appliances such as wood burning stoves. HETAS are a good source of advice when it comes to looking for chimney sweeps and flue specialists too…so once your wood burning stove is up and running, you know where to go for maintenance.

HETAS also offer an excellent downloadable guide to approved products and services related to wood burning stoves and other solid fuel appliances.  Although this guide is aimed particularly at retailers and professionals, it would also be useful reading for home owners who like to be well informed and contains useful figures regarding the efficiency of various appliances and whether the appliance is DEFRA exempt or MCS certified.

Understanding the rules and regulations regarding wood burning stoves is an important factor when it comes to choosing a professional to install your stove. Once you can speak with confidence on the subject, then you will be more confident in choosing who to employ for the job!

A good professional will come to look at the room in which you want your wood burning stove to be fitted before they make another appointment to carry out the actual installation. Call a few different professionals to compare prices and to get a feel for what the job involves; details such as cost and timescale can be very helpful or busy households!

If you know anyone who has recently had a wood burning stove fitted, then speak to them about their experience and about which professional they used…personal recommendation is always a good thing!

Using a professional to install your wood burning stove will provide peace of mind and you can be safe in the knowledge that your installer has been properly trained and assessed before beginning any work. You will also receive a certificate of compliance for the installation which can be very useful if at a later date, you wish to sell your home.

A competent amateur is no competition for an experienced professional and no matter how busy you are there is no reason not to seek out a properly qualified fitter for your wood burning stove…especially as wood burning stoves can cost a significant amount of money! Don’t save on fitting…get the job done properly.

Image courtesy of the www.grateexpectations.com

Blocking a Chimney When You’re Not Using It

 

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When we first moved into our new home at the beginning of 2013 we’d done so during one of the coldest winters I could remember. Soon enough we had the central heating on for most of the day, but we were still finding that the living room was way too cold for our liking. Given how much time we spend in there, watching TV or tapping away at the computer, it was a major problem and one that was beginning to affect our health.

At first I suspected that a cold draft was coming from the front door area. As you walk through the front door into our house you’re confronted with an inner door. This small cubby space is where we dump our shoes and coats before going into the living room, and given its position it can get mightily cold in there. It was definitely colder than it should be though, and the culprit was a break in the brickwork above the door frame. However, even after I blocked it up we still managed to get cold draughts in the living room.

It was then I realised that the fireplace was probably to blame. The problem had been staring me in the face all along!

The gas fireplace had been disconnected from the gas supply, but we’d left it in just for the aesthetic benefit. However, the chimney was still pulling warm air from our living room up through its shaft and out into the night. Similarly, when it was cold outside the chimney was drawing in cold air from outside and depositing it straight into what was supposed to be our comfy new home. Something needed to be done – otherwise we’d be turning blue before long! – so I started to research about blocking a chimney.

Blocking a Chimney Shaft

The answer was obviously to block the chimney shaft, but it’s not as simple as it sounds. Capping the chimney at the top still won’t solve the problem of warm air being sucked into the shaft, and you’ll be getting rid of any ability to have a fire in the future (plus, it’s not cheap). While we didn’t want to get a new fireplace at that moment we didn’t want to never have that opportunity either. Another concern is that blocking up the shaft fully will give you further problems. The shaft needs some ventilation to allow the bricks to breathe; otherwise you risk getting damp and having an even more expensive problem on your hands.

A temporary solution was to fill up a black bin bag with scrunched up newspaper and put that up the chimney. You need to ensure there is a big enough gap for air to still travel up the chimney, although not too big that you’re still suffering from draughts. I wouldn’t recommend this in the long run though. Instead we got a chimney balloon, which is a specially made balloon that can stay inflated for years. It will help block the cold draughts coming down, but it will also leave enough room to ensure that you don’t start suffering from damp.

You can also get transparent guards that you can fit around a chimney hole much like a fireplace (although they should never be used as a fireplace). These guards also have a vent slot in them to allow the minimal amount of air to travel back and forth.

Blocking Up The Chimney For Good?

If you’re not bothered about having a fire and want to block the fireplace up for good you can simply fill it in with bricks. However, you can’t just brick it up and be done with it as you’ll end up causing damp. Instead incorporate plans to fit a vent into the new wall while you’re bricking it up. That way the air has somewhere to pass through but it won’t be enough to start cooling down the room.

Being warmer in our harm isn’t the only good thing to come from this. We also save money on heating bills by not having half the heat escaping from the room all the time and having to turn the central heating up to compensate. Somewhere down the line we may end up getting a wood burning stove to replace the old fireplace in our living room, but until then we’re happy to enjoy watching Coronation Street without shivering!

Image credit (from Flickr, used under a Creative Commons Licence)

Which Woodburning Stove Accessories Do You Need?

So you’ve made the decision to invest in a beautiful Woodburning stove; you’re looking forward to long, cosy nights enjoying the comfort of real flames and hopefully saving some money on your fuel bills too! The question is, which accessories do you really need to invest in to help you to maximise your pleasure and keep maintenance simple?

Which Stove Accessories Are Crucial?

The best way to begin looking at the must-haves and the would-likes in terms of woodburning stove accessories is to separate them into two sub-groups. These are the accessories which set the scene and improve the aesthetics of your woodburning stove and the items which are important for both safety and for maintenance.

Stove Accessories

Must-have accessories for woodburning stoves

    • A fire guard sometimes called a “child guard” is a definite must have; not only do these fold-out screens keep small fingers away from dangerously hot surfaces but they can also help to keep errant sparks from landing where they shouldn’t! There is a huge range of styles available to suit all tastes, from ornate and classic through to functional and contemporary.
    • Companion sets are another must-have; these are small tools designed to assist you in the management of both your fire as well as your actual stove. They usually include a small brush on a long handle to assist with cleaning in addition to a shovel and a poker. Again these come in a wide range of designs and materials and all tastes are catered for.
    • Storage for logs is another must. Some people opt for the economy of an old box or similar whilst others enjoy the rustic look of a large basket or a sleek, lidded metal container which will hide your fuel away. You will need to have some kind of receptacle handy for your fuel as it’s not always practical to go to outside storage areas to refuel!

With these basics, it is possible to keep your woodburning stove in good condition and running well but there are other items which you may like to add to your shopping list which could not only prolong the life of your stove but also make your life a little easier!

Which Stove Accessories are Useful?

Useful accessories for woodburning stoves

    • A moisture metre is a very useful tool to add to your list because it’s a foolproof way of knowing if your timber is well-seasoned before you burn it! Comprising of a hand-held unit with digital display these units also include two strong spikes of metal which you simply insert into the timber you would like to burn. The moisture content is then revealed to you and you will save yourself the trouble of burning green wood which can cause damage to flues.
    • Leather glove or gloves; extremely useful for dealing with your stove when it’s hot!
    • Glass cleaner is another very useful accessory which can make your stove look better and last longer. Although you don’t need to purchase specialist brands, there are many on the market which are excellent at removing tough marks from glass doors.

Looking after your woodburning stove is an important part of protecting it and ensuring that you have it for as long as possible. Regular cleaning and a once yearly flue check by a professional will help to keep things running smoothly for as long as possible!

Why a Wood Burning Stove Will Save Money on Energy Bills

Wood burning stoves are extremely popular right now; partly due to the fact that they’re very attractive, partly due to the fact that they’re eco friendly and partly due to the fact that they torpico13jpgsave money on fuel bills! It’s a fact that wood burning stoves will allow users to save money on energy bills on a yearly basis. So, while they may be expensive to buy and install, you will get your investment back over the years that follow.

As gas heating costs rise on a yearly basis, many homeowners are beginning to look for alternatives; a wood burning stove can stop those high cost bills altogether and although you will need to pay for fuel, the costs of this are negligent when compared to the costs of a heating bill for an average sized house.

The figures on the actual savings to be made through installing a wood burning stove are always variable because of the differences in the type of wood burning stove in question and also the differences in various houses and their fabric. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that a large stove with a back boiler for heating water up will save around 20% of an average household’s bills whilst a house which was previously using electricity can expect to save up to £400 a year in heating costs which is a very significant amount.

Another fact to take into consideration is that you won’t typically notice the savings until the initial outlay has been paid for by the savings which you will make. This can take around five years but many people are pleasantly surprised immediately as they notice the savings straight away.

There are grants available for some households when it comes to installing wood burning stoves; the government offers incentives to those who qualify and this financial help could see you feeling the benefit of the savings much faster than other people would expect to.

To see if you qualify for a grant, check the Energy Savings Trust website which has information relating to the Renewable Heat Incentive which is a government run scheme for Firebelly FB1 Double Sided SS Legs Pewterencouraging the uptake of renewable heating sources among householders, organisations and businesses alike.

Considering that there is financial help available for some people, it would seem foolish not to assume that a wood burning stove can’t save you money as well as reduce your carbon footprint significantly. Wood burning stoves are the future for many households and not only do they save money but they look fabulous too!

Before you get a wood burning stove fitted you should also do your utmost to ensure that you are conserving all the heat possible within your house. Leaking door frames and windows will cause loss of heat and should be repaired before your new wood burning stove is installed. The same goes for insulation; make sure your loft insulation is in tip top condition so that your wood burning stove can do its job properly. Wood burning stoves are a great investment for the long term and there is plenty of advice out there for those who are interested; especially in these cashstrapped times when we could do with attempting to save money on energy bills in any way we can.