Preparing your home for winter - wood burning stoves and fire places…

October 3rd 2013
By: Melanie Hollidge

Energy consumption is a big concern for many families in the UK, and with winter well on its way, saving money on gas and electricity is probably high on the list of priorities.

Wood in England is still a relatively cheap resource, so it might be time to reinstall your wood burner or fireplace, as they can still offer an affordable alternative to gas and electric heating. So if you have either an open fire or wood burning stove, here are a few ways in which you can maximise the heat emitted into your home:

• Check the seals around the flue damper in your fireplace – if these are not tight you could lose heat through the chimney.

• If possible try and insulate your chimney with a liner as these help prevent the build up of creosote that decreases the efficiency of your fireplace.

• If you have an open fireplace, consider changing this to a wood burning stove, as 80% of the heat from the fire goes up the chimney, as opposed to a wood burning stove which only loses about 20% of its heat.

• Try to buy dry wood as it will burn cleaner and more efficiently.

• Get your chimney inspected by a certified chimney sweep before you use it, such as the National Association of Chimney sweeps.

• If you are thinking about replacing your current fire, then consider buying one with a hot plate as you could also use it to cook food and heat water.

• Many homeowners are opting for traditional multi-range wood burners, which have an oven, can power several radiators and can even provide hot water.  So if you are thinking about replacing your heating system, this could offer a cheaper alternative to gas central heating.

• If you are not using your fireplace, keep the vent closed when it has burnt out.  If you leave it open, it could cause the hot air to be sucked out of your room.