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Wood Burning Stoves – save money heating your home

Worried about gas and oil prices? Did you know that you can heat your home and run your central heating by wood?

Heating your home with wood is possible when you use a wood burning stove which has a boiler incorporated in it. By using one of these you can have both a wood burning stove which will heat up the room it is placed in, and a boiler which can run central heating radiators in other rooms of the house.

Boiler stoves come in a variety of sizes giving a wide range of heating capacity to supply anything from 2 to 19 normal sized radiators.

In these energy conscious times it is obvious that wood can play an important part in heating a house not least from the cost point of view.

There are a number of advantages of wood burning stoves over open fires and other forms of heating:

  • Wood burning stoves provide a constant heat which will go into the fabric of the building which will then act as a storage heater. This is especially effective in the thick walled houses found in many parts of France.

  • The continual heat and circulation of hot air reduces condensation within the house, resulting in a number of benefits to the fabric/furniture of the building and to your own health!

  • Using a wood burning stove can significantly reduce the need for other forms of heating which has a direct effect on costs.

  • In addition to the above when one compares a wood burning stove to an open fire the advantages are more apparent. Although open fires can offer romantic, cosy charm they are extremely inefficient and labour intensive. An open fire needs more fuel to heat a room and therefore needs more effort to cut, store and carry the wood. It also increases the need to clean and dust the room.

  • About 80% of the heat from an open fire goes up the chimney as well as the residue of tar/soot which again increases the need for maintenance. In comparison a wood burning stove can be 80% efficient resulting in less wood being burnt and less cleaning needed.

  • How does all this work?

    With wood burners wood is placed in the stove and lit. Controlled air then enters the fire chamber and the stove gets hot. The radiated heat warms the air around the stove which then begins to circulate around the room by simple convection.

    With a boiler integrated in the wood burning stove the water contained in the stove will be heated and can then be pumped around a system of pipes to radiators eventually returning to the stove to be reheated. The stove itself will also give off some heat to the room where it is placed.

    When considering a stove for a house the first thing to be aware of is the size or capacity needed to heat the space. A very simple calculation giving a rough guide can be made by finding the total volume in metres cubed and dividing it by 14. This will give the heating requirement in Kilowatts of heat. Thus 3 rooms of a total volume of say 276 metres cubed will need a stove of approximately 20Kws.

    Another consideration is the material used in manufacture

    Cast iron, steel plate and boiler steel are all used in the fabrication of a stove. There are a number of points to bear in mind when looking at this aspect. It is important to have the fire chamber completely sealed. For this reason many good stoves use boiler steel which can be form- pressed and have no joins or seals at all. Cast tends to be very brittle and therefore moving parts such as hinges and flaps should not be made of this metal.

    A well made stove using good quality materials will last many years—probably a lifetime, therefore it is important to take very seriously the question of quality of build into consideration. The old adage “you get what you pay for” is very true in this situation.

    If you already have a heating system a wood burning boiler stove can be incorporated into the system to enable you to switch from one to the other. A good use of this can be in the winter, when you arrive home you could fire the gas or oil boiler up instantly. The stove could then be lit and once at the right temperature you would be able to switch off the costly gas or oil boiler. Both systems could be made to run in tandem with one another making the best possible heat/cost scenario.

    In addition to the points above, the question of warranty is increasingly important too. Many internet sellers will offer a stove at substantial saving, however, that is often all they will do. Many manufacturers will not offer any warranty on stoves bought via this method as they cannot ensure the status of the seller and will only offer their warranty through their approved agents.

    We at Pepleisure Ltd are the official French agents for Aarrow (part of the Arada Group) and Yeoman (part of Stovax) stoves including boiler stoves. These British made stoves we feel offer exceptional reliability and quality. We have had both the Yeoman Wood burning stove and the Aarrow Boiler stove in our property for many years and can vouch for their quality.

    You can get further information from our website at: or by telephone at either 0044 (0)871 717 4097, or 0033 (0)553 732521.

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