61% of people say their wood-burning stove has saved them money

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Does a wood-burning stove really save you money? Perhaps the best way of judging is by drawing upon an independent piece of research by a trusted organisation.

Consumer advice organisation Which? carried out a survey in which it asked its members who own wood-burning stoves whether their appliance had helped their finances.

Of those surveyed by Which? in December 2014, 61% of wood-burning stove owners said getting their stove had helped them to save money.

It is worth considering that respondents were only asked whether they thought their stove had saved money, so the results are only based on their perception and not necessarily any factual basis. However, given that all those surveyed are members of Which?, it is safe to assume that they paid closer attention to the success of their purchase than a random cross-section of society would have.

By the same taken, some of those respondents might have factored in the cost of buying and installing their stove and therefore deemed that it had not yet delivered a net saving in comparison to avoiding that outlay and continuing to pay their old heating bills. So, perhaps over time the figure would prove to be even higher than 61%.

Key factors

It is worth bearing in mind that the savings made to heating bills have a lot to do with the way in which the stove is operated. The more efficiently it is used, the greater the savings that can be made.

The type of wood your choose to burn, the degree to which the logs are seasoned, the frequency with which you refuel the appliance, the quality of insulation in your home, the way you operate the air vents and how clear your chimney are among the key factors in this regard.

Click here to learn more about efficient use of a wood-burning stove.

Choosing the right woodburner to survive a zombie apocalypse

Survive Zombie Apocalypse

As we all know, zombie apocalypse is one of the major threats facing the world right now, so it is important to be prepared for such an eventuality.

One item that is going to come in very handy in the event of a zombie takeover sweeping the country is a wood-burning stove. Two of the key things that you will need that might not be available to you via your current methods: light and heat. Helpfully, the heat and light provided by a woodburner is not dependent on any external infrastructure. So, if you can access fuel, you will be able to keep yourself warm and formulate your cunning survival plan outside of daylight hours.

Let’s look at some of the factors that might influence your decision when choosing the right wood-burning stove to help you survive a zombie apocalypse.

Hotplates

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Without people to staff power stations and networks, it will not be long before you have no electricity or gas to rely upon. A trip to the supermarket is probably too risky, so one-pot meals at home will be order of the day. Choosing a stove with hotplates will make it easier to cook your squirrel stew or one of your MRE stash. Something like the Evergreen Ashley 5kW (see above), which has two hotplate, is ideally suited the job. You could even make yourself a cuppa at the same time.

And with water supplies likely to be cut off and/or contaminated as treatment plants grind to a halt, your hotplate will give you an easy way to keep a steady supply of sterile water.

Emissions

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The last thing you want to be doing in the case of a zombie apocalypse is drawing undue attention to yourself, so you will want your woodburner to be emitting the minimum amount of smoke. The best way of doing that is by burning dried, seasoned wood. You can ensure you’re doing that by having a moisture meter to hand to check on the water content of your logs. The lower the moisture content, the more efficient the burn and the less smoke created. To further reduce the risk of emissions that might reveal your location, you might also opt for an appliance that is DEFRA exempt for use in smoke control areas, which will have passed tests to prove the cleanliness of its burn. Something like the Mazona Crete 5kW (see above) would do the trick.

Output

Zombie apocalypse can strike at any time, even in the depths of winter. Make sure your woodburner has a decent enough heat output to comfortable warm your hideout space (a remote place in the countryside is best, if you can manage that). Use our stove size calculator to ensure your stove is big enough.

Heat and comfort

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Perhaps getting a decent bath and warmth throughout the house will drop down your list of priorities in the event that zombies are on the rampage… but they don’t have to. If you’ve opted for a boiler stove, your woodburner will provide hot water and heat to radiators in the property. This will make for a more comfortable existence as you’re hunkered down trying to avoid the living dead. An appliance like the Arizona Nevada 20kW boiler stove would be ideal.

Things all woodburner owners learn the hard way

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Ashes stay hot for a really long time
All wood-burning stove rookies quickly find out why old style dustbins used to say ‘No Hot Ashes’ on the lid. Hours and hours after you thought the fire had gone out, they will still burn through anything they get a chance to.

Your woodburner is also really hot
The very purpose of a wood-burning stove is to provide heat to our home. At its most basic level, it is a metal box with a fire inside – and we all know that metal conducts heat. Yet human curiosity demands we – at least for the briefest of milliseconds – touch our stove to find out: “Can it really be that hot?” The answer is always yes – and you never touch the stove again without the aid of a stove glove.

Birds are clumsy
If you don’t have the foresight to install a chimney cowl at the same time as your woodburner, you will quickly discover that, despite having the power of flight at their disposal, birds have a habit of finding their way into stoves.

Smoke is indiscriminate
If you’re not operating your stove correctly and ensuring there is a good draw up the chimney, the smoke generated by your appliance does not really mind whether it goes upwards or outwards. This lesson is usually learnt when inhaling a couple of lungs’ worth of the byproduct of a slumbering stove.

Logs are irresistible
Spot a log – wherever you happen to be – and you will immediately start plotting the logistics of how you might be able to get it home to your stove. You woodburner will bring out a forager’s instinct.

Did you learn something the hard way when you first got your woodburner? Leave a comment below to let us know.

Gr8Fires Summer Holiday

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The Gr8Fires office will be closed from Monday, July 11, until Sunday, July 17, for a summer holiday.

If you need an item urgently, please place your order before 11am this Friday, July 8, for same-day dispatch.

Any orders placed after this date will be dispatched on Monday, July 18. Of course, you can continue to shop on Gr8Fires.co.uk while the office is closed, but orders will not be processed until the office reopens on July 18.

Our phone lines will also be closed throughout the period the office is closed, so please give us a call before 3.45pm tomorrow, Friday, July 8, if you need to talk to us.

If you’re in a hurry for your order, click here to shop now.