How a sheet of A4 paper could cut your heating costs

Yes, that’s right: if you own a wood-burning stove, a single sheet of A4 paper could help to cut your heating costs.

You’re probably wondering how. The answer is that the piece of paper can help you to find out if your door seals need to be replaced.

A simple test to see if you need new rope

To see if you need to buy new stove rope you simply need to trap a sheet of A4 paper in the door. If you can easily remove the paper without opening the door then there is a problem with the seal.

You can also do a quick visual check to see if you can see the rope is broken, squashed or frayed.

If it is, then the extra air that is currently getting in will cause your fuel to burn faster and cost you money unnecessarily.

A less efficient burn means you will have to use more fuel and, potentially, spend more on your central heating bills.

You can stop that happening by buying some replacement rope.

Once you’ve replaced the rope you should find that the door now seals so tightly that you cannot easily remove a piece of paper that has been closed in the door.

Buy replacement stove rope now.

12 thoughts on “How a sheet of A4 paper could cut your heating costs

  1. I know I’m a nuisance, but what sort of percentage decrease in efficiency are we talking if your stove doors are in effect slightly open all the time?
    I guess more air gets dragged from the room up the chimney unnecessarily?

    • Hi Jordan,

      It would be difficult to give a percentage, but it’s probably equivalent to having the vents open slightly more than they need to be all the time.

      It just means that more oxygen will get into the stove and your fuel is going to burn more quickly as a result.



  2. We have spotted a hole about the size of a pound coin at the back of our wood burner. Inside, the hole is less than the size of a 5p coin. Obviously we are not going to use it, but can anyone tell me if it’s possible to fix it. Our installer has never seen this before. We bought it second hand for our holiday home.

  3. Hi, I am about to have a coseyfire petit multi fuel burner installed next month by a hetas engineer.
    I am having a new hearth etc and I would like to know; What paint can I use on the new plaster that will be behind and to the side of the stove please?
    Thanks, Helen

    • Hi Helen

      You can get specialist fire paint, but a regular emulsion should be OK. Your installer will be able to advise based on the materials he is using within the fireplace recess.



    • Hi Kevin

      If it’s definitely the door that’s warped (and not any problems with the seal), a replacement door is the only thing you can do really.



  4. I’ve never quite worked out what is the optimum setting for the vents on any woodburner. By opening them too far more oxygen gets in and the fuel burns more quickly – but does that mean proportionately more of the heat escapes up the chimney? Conversely open them too little and the fuel burns incompletely – presumably meaning less heat is extracted from the fuel which goes up the chimney as smoke particles and Carbon Monoxide – how do you know you’ve got the best balance between these two? Best thing seems to me if you can get plenty of free wood (as we do – joinery waste) in which case the eficiency doesn’t matter as much and you can afford to open the vents wide unless you are trying to keep the fire alight so as not to have to refuel too often!

    John Rowe

    • Hi John

      You’re right: it’s all about finding that balance through trial and error. Just enough oxygen to keep the fire burning well is the ideal scenario.



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