Wood burning Stove (Log burner)
Our house is expensive to heat. It is costly due to a combination of size, height of ceilings, draughts and lack of insulation (need to sort out the insulation in the attic). Wood burning stoves were high on our list of requirements, they can be cheap to run, look good and warm the whole of the house. We are surrounded by trees, which will give us a lot of kindling and wood. We also have space to create a decent size wood store. Buying logs in bulk means you get better quality logs at a good price.
Which wood burning stove to buy?
We live in a smoke controlled area so we needed a DEFRA approved fire to burn wood we also wanted the option to be able to use smokeless fuel (we can’t burn coal either) and not just wood.
At our previous house we had a wood burning stove it was a morso badger . Back in the day, when we bought the wood burning stove it was one of the most modern sleek looking wood burners you could get. The stove had large glass and an innovative air wash system. We only had a small garden at our last house so we never had a wood store we just bought it from the garage as we needed it, which is costly. When we sold our last house, the buyer wanted to buy the wood burning stove too so we were on the lookout for a new wood burning stove.
Things have moved on in the ten years since we fitted the Morso so we had a look at what was on the market. Mainly these things seem to have happened
- Quality steel as well as Cast iron
- Increase of glass size so you can watch the fire
- Wider range of models with air wash system (so the window doesn’t get sooty)
- Sleeker Scandinavian styles rather than the country cottage style
- Wider range of DEFRA approved fires
When choosing a wood burning stove you can feel overwhelmed. To quickly narrow down the choice ask yourself:
- What heat output do you require (depends on size and build of room)
- Do you live in a smoke free area – if yes you need a DEFRA approved fire
- Will you be burning wood only, solid fuel only, a mixture of both, or do you want the ease of gas
Then you can read the reviews of wood burning stoves on a review site such as what stove. After all this research we decided to go for a HETA stove. Heta are the largest manufacturer of Stoves in Denmark (I thought this was good as the Danes know how to survive a lot colder winters than we have and so will know how to build a stove!) . We chose an Inspire 45 as it was very sleek looking .
The fire was installed by a HETAS fitter he had not ever fitted a Heta fire before but he thought it was good!
The best way to run a wood burning stove is to keep it going all day. It takes about an hour for the chimney to warm up and the fire to run at its best efficiency. To run a fire all day is great at weekends but can be quite a challenge if you have to go out to work. Many people keep their fires burning all the time which is made a lot easier if you use solid fuel as it burns slower.
So how are the wood burning stoves?
The wood burning stoves are good. There is a bit of a secret art to getting to know the best way to light your fire – ours light really well but then I get too overenthusiastic and overload them and don’t give them enough air to help with combustion or forget them and don’t put the next load of wood on at the right point, and they almost burn to nothing and I have to start again. The first hour whilst waiting for the chimney to fully warm up is a tense time in our house!
.I have posted a video of our first fire – as you can see it has a lovely burn.
Logs and Kindling
I have begun collecting fir cones on my daily walks as these make good kindling, as well as gathering up all the blown down sticks in our garden. I now scavenge the joiners scraps for wood shavings and off cuts. We have built a log store and had or first delivery of logs. We chose kiln dried ash. Since I have discovered the Leeds Coppice workers who manage our local woods, so we will try them next