Will a woodburner save me money on my central heating bills?

Some people buy woodburners for the cosy atmosphere they create and to find the joy of having a real fire in their home. Others see it as a way to be more frugal with their heating costs and also want to make sure they see a return on their investment when installing a stove. So, will getting a woodburner save money on your central heating bills?

If you’re a pragmatic type or you feel you can’t justify installing a woodburner unless it’s going to pay its way, this article is for you.

The ideal scenario is that you install a woodburner, which pumps out so much heat that you reduce your reliance on the central heating, your bills tumble and the cost of buying and installing your stove is repaid within a few years. But is that grounded in reality?

Yes, according to the Energy Saving Trust. The social enterprise organisation has previously claimed that installing a wood-burning stove reduces a household’s reliance on other forms of heating by 10 per cent. This figure rises to 20% for larger appliances.

That’s a good start, but we wanted to dig a little deeper to get some real-life examples from people who have installed woodburners. We asked on our Facebook page to find out what installing a stove has done to people’s central heating bills. Here is a sample of the anecdotal evidence we got back.

“I hardly ever paid for logs and wood to burn, so it halved my heating bills easily. They are also fantastic to sit and relax in front of. I recommend everyone to get at least one.”

Dave Horton

“Saved loads. Yes, we buy kiln dried wood but I would rather our lovely wood supplier have my money than the energy company. We are always in credit with our bills and [have the] heating on a lot less. Had over £300 back this year already and monthly payment reduced by a third! Plus the burner is great to look at unlike a radiator.”

Tricia Wade

“Hardly use my central heating since I got my woodburner installed. If you deduct the cost of wood and the annual chimney sweep, I reckon I pay around 25% – 30% less in energy costs. I live in an old Victorian house and it always felt cold, even with the heating on. The woodburner is more efficient at creating and maintaining the heat. My house never feels as cold as it used to.”

Linda Archibald

“I find my woodburner complements my central heating. I mix and match. It definitely keeps the gas bill down but the saving goes on logs… Ah but nothing more homely than a real fire.”

Sue Maggs

“[You can save] quite a lot if you can obtain firewood at a reasonable price or even free! But paying £75 for a bag of seasoned wood is really counterproductive if you also have central heating!”

Colin Aitken

“We have ours in the conservatory, which we could not use in the winter. Now we live in it all year round and leave the doors open to the rest of the house. Which means we hardly use the central heating.”

Ian Callear

“If you’ve central heating and get a woodburner you find the central heating will be turned down a lot and will depend on what you pay for logs. Just saying.”

Ian Jessup

“Halved completely, maybe more.”

Rosa Laing

So, the general consensus is that installing a woodburner does reduce central heating bills. As well as saving money, this also gives you some independence from the energy companies and their regular price hikes.

Something that comes through loud and clear from the Facebook feedback is that being able to source free or very cheap logs is the way to maximise your savings. One way to do this, if space allows, is to buy or obtain unseasoned logs, then allow them to season for a year or more. This will bring down the cost of logs significantly.

If that’s convinced you that a woodburner could be a good idea for your home, click here for more information on the costs of installing a stove.

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