If your energy bills are set to rise in 2022, you aren’t alone.
In February, energy regulator Ofgem announced it would increase the UK’s energy price cap by 54%, or £693, from 1 April.
This change means that energy companies are now able to charge customers up to £1,971 a year, up from the previous figure of £1,277.
If you are concerned about these price rises, you could be searching for ways to decrease your energy bills, such as switching off your heating, or being stricter about your hot water consumption.
One suggestion from energy experts is that log-burning stoves could be the answer to slowing your heating bill increase. By using a log burner to heat your home, you could lower your measured energy consumption over time, and potentially decrease your bills in the process.
Indeed, according to research by log-burner supplier Chesneys, if your log burner is strategically placed and used correctly, it could heat your entire home, not just the room it is placed in.
Read on to find out the crucial factors to consider if you want to install a wood-burning stove in your home.
The initial cost of a log burner could raise affordability concerns
There are multiple costs to consider when it comes to installing a wood-burning stove.
According to Build It, a stove can cost upwards of £500 to buy, with custom-made stoves reaching up to £5,000 in price.
Installing a log burner won’t take long, provided you already have a functioning chimney, but the cost of professional installation can be up to £1,500, according to the site.
In addition, your chimney needs to be prepared for safe use, including having a lining installed if necessary. This can cost up to £2,000.
Of course, a log burner can be considered a long-term investment. A high-quality log burner could last decades, so while the initial purchase and installation costs seem high, you may still see positive returns on this investment in the years to come.
You need to factor in maintenance costs when installing a log burner
There are vital maintenance fees that should be factored in when considering how much your log burner will cost over time.
Some maintenance factors to consider are:
- Having your chimney swept annually. This is a safety measure that can prevent dangerous chimney fires. This service can cost around £100.
- The price of ready-to-burn wood. From January 2023, according to the Guardian, further restrictions are being placed on the moisture content in wood sold for burning indoors. This means you will need to buy ready-to-burn wood from a specialist supplier.
- Wood storage. In order for your wood to burn properly, and to meet the legal requirements in place from 2023, you will need a cool, dry place to store your wood. You may need to build a shed or outhouse in order to accommodate the fuel for your log burner.
In combination, these could add up to make buying a log burner less cost-efficient.
A log burner could have a negative environmental impact
If you are able to install a burner in your home, it may be wise to consider its environmental impact.
According to Save Money Cut Carbon, government research has revealed that burning solid fuels in our homes, like coal and wood, makes up approximately 38% of the UK’s harmful particulate matter (PM) emissions. In comparison, UK transport only makes up 12% of PM emissions.
So, while potentially mitigating your energy costs over the years to come, your wood-burning stove could increase your carbon footprint.
In fact, if you live in a smoke-controlled area, you could even be banned from installing a log burner altogether. You can find out about the smoke control regulations in your area by contacting your local council.
Although there are both cost and environmental factors to consider when installing a wood-burning stove, having your whole home effectively heated by a log burner could vastly reduce your energy bills, helping you to manage the rising cost of living within your household.