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From reducing energy bills to efficiently heating your home – why log burners are worth the investment

Gosforth Fire Station shares everything we need to know about wood burning stoves.

Written by Rachael Nichol
Published 15.02.2023

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Did you know that a log burner can cost around 33% less than the price of electric central heating to run and is around 13% cheaper than gas central heating?

Not sure about you, but we’re doing all we can to avoid putting the heating on. From hot water bottles, hooded blankets and layering on those woolly jumpers, the cost-of-living crisis has hit us all hard.

But imagine being able to relax with a glass of wine in hand while feeling the warmth from a cosy fire and listening to the crackling of wood burning – that’s what dreams are made of, right?

If you’ve never owned a wood burning stove before when it comes to buying one, it can seem quite daunting.

From cutting energy bills to making your home feel and look cosy and more aesthetically pleasing, getting a log burner seems like a really worthwhile investment. That’s why we caught up with the Gosforth Fire Station to find out everything we need to know about log burners.

The dedicated installation team, with 15 years of collective experience, offers a bespoke service and will be there to guide you from start to finish. Home on Gosforth High Street, Gosforth Fire Station’s state-of-the-art showroom has a wide range of carefully curated wood-burning, stoves for every style, budget and home.

We ask the Founder of Gosforth Fire Station, Marcus, all of our questions about log burners and find out if they really are worth the investment.

 

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT A LOG BURNER

How do you work with customers to find the perfect stove for them?

We offer free, no-obligation home surveys. This can take place either before coming into the store or after you’ve visited and have an idea of what stove you might like. During the survey, we will discuss the installation process and check the feasibility of having a wood burner fitted. We will measure the room and advise on the appropriate output of the stove and can then look at various manufacturers and their stoves to find the right style of stove for you.

 

How to light a log burner?

  1. Place two small logs across the fire bed.
  2. Place five pieces of kindling across the two logs, then four pieces laid at a 90-degree angle across the bottom layer and place two firelighters in between the gaps.
  3. Add another five pieces of kindling laid in the same direction as the bottom layer.
  4. Set the controls of the appliance to the lighting position.
  5. Light the firelighters and close the door of the appliance. The fire will slowly increase, warming the flue gradually without producing copious amounts of smoke and pollutants into the atmosphere.
  6. Set the air controls to the manufacturer’s settings.
  7. Leave the kindling well alone until the top of the appliance is warm and then close the primary air control, the kindling will fall between the logs.
  8. Once these are burning well the burn rate of the appliance can be adjusted and more logs applied to the fire as required.

How to use a log burner?

Prepare your stove – ensure that the fire has had a previous air supply. Some models may have an indicator to let you know.

Make a fire bed  You should place your firelighters or paper and dry kindling wood on your fire bed. You will need to have plenty of kindling to create a successful fire – don’t assume you can do without it.

Lighting your fire – You should wait for the kindling to catch fire and then allow it to begin to burn. It’s important to have a log guard, as this will keep all the burning fuel inside and away from the glass

Leave the door slightly open – This helps the flue pull and actually helps you to light the fire. It also avoids the build up of condensation on the front of the glass. In some cases, however, it is better to shut the door as this reduces the amount of airflow and speeds up the air that does come through which can help get the fire going.

Add larger pieces gradually – As soon as the kindling is burning well, you should add larger pieces of split wood. However, do not add full logs immediately – you need to build up the fire gradually and ensure that you do not smother it.

Monitor airflow – Most wood burners have multiple ways to adjust the airflow. Once the fire is burning well, you can reduce the amount of airflow to prevent the wood from burning too fast; it’s important to only slow the airflow once the fire is burning well. As the fire gets hotter and more established, you can slow the air right down to ensure the wood burns slowly and efficiently. Slowing the air too soon could kill the fire, so monitor it carefully.

How to clean log burner glass?

Cleaning dirty stove glass will take elbow grease and your Approved Chimney Sweep will be able to offer further guidance.

3 ways to clean

  1. Use cleaning pads that are specifically made for stove glass.
  2. Scrunched-up newspaper is an old technique that has been used for many years. Dip the paper in water and cool stove ash, then scrub gently. Wipe away any residue with a clean damp cloth. Be careful to not scratch your stove glass with any large remnants from the ash.
  3. Use a ceramic cooker cleaner with a non-scratch sponge to remove blackened soot, then wipe clean with a damp cloth.

Can you put a tv above a log burner?

Installing a TV directly above a wood stove isn’t typically recommended, but if a TV will be sufficiently protected from the heat of a log burner it may be suitable. TVs should be placed outside of clearance distances to combustibles, and a mantel can help protect a TV from the heat.

Can I have a log burner in my area?

DEFRA is the UK Government Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which regulates smoke emissions under the Clean Air Act (CAA) 1993. The CAA prohibits emissions of smoke within smoke control areas unless using an exempted appliance or using an authorised smokeless fuel (i.e. fuels that have passed tests to confirm that they are capable of burning in an open fireplace without producing smoke) The CAA prohibits emissions of dark smoke from any chimney.

DEFRA-approved or “exempted” log burners and stoves have passed tests to confirm that they are capable of burning an unauthorised or inherently smoky solid fuel without emitting smoke.

HLN TOP TIP: Follow the links for a list of Smoke Control Areas and a list of Exempt Appliances(approved for use within a Smoke Control Area)

Are log burners bad for the environment?

Log burners produce fewer emissions than previously thought but do still contribute to particle pollution. New data from the DEFRA has cut the estimated proportion of small particle pollution produced by wood burning stoves from 38% to 17%.

Manufacturers and associations do agree that burning fuel in a wood burning stove will contribute to emissions. They maintain, however, that, in the grand scheme of things, it’s a relatively small percentage

 

What size log burner do I need?

To discover what size wood burning stove you need, measure your room and divide by 14 (so length x width x height in metres, divided by 14). Divide by 10 if your room is particularly poorly insulated. Divide by 25 if your room is new-build super-insulated.

Can you have a log burner without a chimney?

Luckily for those living in modern homes, you do not need a chimney to install a wood-burning stove. However, it may require more work to fit one than in an existing chimney. This is because you will need to fit a twin wall flue system through the roof or wall of your building.

 

Will a log burner heat the full house?

With the right information and approach, a wood burning stove can heat an entire home. Each fine detail, from the way you stack the logs to the placement of your stove, can change the efficiency with which your fire burns.

Are log burners safe?

According to The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, the safest appliances with the lowest PM emissions are recognised as Ecodesign Ready Stoves, which also support the government’s Clean Air Strategy.

These advanced stoves burn so cleanly that they meet, and in many cases even exceed, 2022 air quality and efficiency targets. They produce 90% fewer emissions than an open fire and 80% less than a stovemanufactured 10 years ago.

 

Is a log burner cheaper than gas?

Although there is an initial outlay on the cost of the stove and fitting, yes, a log burner does save on spending. Wood burning is cheaper than gas, electric or oil. With lots of people working from home now, we find a lot of customers using a log burner as a primary heat source in the room they are working in or relaxing in with no need to heat the rest of the house via the main boiler.

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If you want to browse the full range of fireplaces and stoves or want to know more about log burners, visit Gosforth Fire Station’s website, Facebook page and Instagram.  

THE OLD FIRE STATION, 234-236 GOSFORTH HIGH STREET, NEWCASTLE NE3 1HH

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