There is something so comforting about snuggling in front of an open fire, the intense heat adding a
glow to your cheeks. The sound of the spit and crackle of the wood and coal as the fire takes hold,
the dancing flame hypnotically capturing your thoughts and dreams.
As times changed, fires such as these started to disappear and be replaced with gas or electric
alternatives, but over the last 20 years their modern equivalent, the log burning stove, has gained a
cult following which last year saw the sales of such stoves increasing by 40%. But can we ask: is a log
burner your home’s solution to the energy crisis?
The Franklin Stove
Benjamin Franklin may have been one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, but he was also
the brains behind the wood burner. In 1741 he invented The Franklin Stove: he was wishing to
increase the fire’s heat whilst reducing the volume of smoke that circulated the room; he found a
metal box and chimney were the solution. Sadly, it didn’t sell particularly well, but it did influence
the design of future wood burners.
With gas prices soaring and the cost of living crisis making all our lives tougher, there has been an
incredible surge in demand for wood burning stoves, with some homeowners having at least one
fitted before the cold weather hits.
Many retailers are already struggling to meet demand because of a shortage of wood burning stoves which is partly due to the effect on supply chains of Russia's
invasion of Ukraine.
In the 12 months to September, the price of electricity and gas rose from 54pc to 99pc according to figures from the Office for National Statistics. Yet it seems that households are happy to pay a lump sum to have a log burner installed in the hope of saving money on their energy bills over time.
That being said, there has been an increase in the demand for wood for burners, thus having a knock-on effect, according to price tracker Skuuudle, with kiln-dried logs rising by 50 per cent in the 12 months to September.
Can they save you money?
After the log burner has been installed, it can cut a home’s heating bill by 10 per cent, states the
Energy Saving Trust. The running costs are 13 per cent less than gas central heating and a third of
electric heating bills, states the Stove Industry Alliance; as energy prices continue to rise these
savings will no doubt improve. Savings are also dependent on your stove and the type of logs you
burn; for example, an eco burner will require less fuel, which means a reduction in energy waste and
more money saved. Older models will be less efficient, as they require more wood to stay fired up.
Andy Hill of the Stove Industry Alliance, said: “With rising fuel costs, wood burning becomes ever
more cost effective, and our members are reporting increased demand for wood fuel supplies as
concern grows about the financial impact on families of the energy price rises. Using an eco-design
wood burning stove comfortably heats the room in which it is situated while also warming the whole
home, reducing our reliance on gas, electricity and oil for heating and offering an effective way of
reducing home energy bills this winter.”
Adding a wood burner to your property is an easier investment than installing a new kitchen or
bathroom, which can be exceptionally disruptive to your daily life not just for a few days but even
for weeks depending on the scale of the work.
That cosy feeling
The welcome that a potential buyer may feel when viewing your home and seeing a lit and roaring
log burner cannot be underestimated. Who wouldn’t want to take a moment to enjoy its warmth,
and it won’t be long before your buyers are imagining themselves spending their evenings snuggled
by the stove. Research by DirectStoves.com found that the value of your home could be increased
by up to 5 percent due to having a log burner installed.
We appreciate that installing a wood burner could be out of your reach right now, but it could be
something to look at down the line when things start to settle financially.