Sunday, 14 October 2012

Ode to a woodburning stove.

Apologies to Susan who envies the wood burning stove.

And welcome to Linda who is in a quandary as to whether to get one.


Our last home - we moved in here last April - had an open fire.  Here we had a fireplace removed and a ghastly electric fire hung on the wall with white coals (?) that broke the sound barrier when it was switched on.

Cats love open fires.  What a pretty picture.  But - the heat is going up the chimney.  If you are as near to the fire as this cat, yes, you are roasting, but no-one else is.

Should you be sitting four foot away then there will be a draft howling round your ankles as the air is drawn up the chimney from under the door into the room, and your back and nether regions, feet, ankles, will be freezing.

Not only that you will be throwing coal, wood, peat whatever just to get that golden glow.     And watch as it roars up the chimney and heats - the outside.

Our stove is actually a multi fuel stove so we can use coal.  But nothing beats the smell of wood smoke, even if you have to go outside to smell it.  No mucky ash, no sooty smells or soot for that matter if you use wood.  The ash from wood can go out and benefit the garden.  And wood is cheap, in fact you can get it free.  Beaches daily have wood thrown up on them.  Walk round the woods and there may well be a fallen tree you can drag bits of home.  Pallets are often free, I often give my fence a squinty eye.  Friends often chop down trees, you may curse them for so doing, but hey, there is a tree t0 chop up. And if you have to buy the wood, it is a hell of a lot cheaper than a tank of oil.  We paid £85 for enough wood to last us the winter.  £600 + for half a tank of oil.  And boy oh boy does a lump of wood last and simmer away, unlike a shovel full of coal.

Now the Autumnal winds and nippy mornings and evenings are with us.  We light the stove around 3p.m. as here in North East Scotland as the sun goes down so does the temperature.  A log every now and then feeds the stove which then radiates the heat.  Into  the house.  Not up the chimney.  Into the house.  Kitchen, Dining Room, Sitting Room and our bedroom on the ground floor, all comfortably warm.  (We do have an upstairs, but thats when we have guests, so the central heating does then go on.)

If it is very cold the following morning we find it fairly easy to re-ignite the stove and off we go again. 

No there isnt a cat in front of the fire, they can sit anywhere, and be quite comfortably warm, as are we.

We have no choice regarding our central heating and hot water.  There is no gas piped in here in rural Aberdeenshire.  Only Oil.  Liquid gold.  Normally by now I would be on my second oil tank refill, now I have the wood burning stove the oil tank is showing it has gone down just a fraction.  We have it on for an hour in the morning which gives us sufficient hot water for showers and cleaning.  We do have a dishwasher and a washing machine but they do their own thing and yes we do have electric!

You do not have to have a chimney for a wood burning stove, they can be piped through an outside wall.  Check with your planning/building regulations officer on the council website.

Here endeth my ode to a wood burning stove.


Anonymous said...

Yes indeedy, it was the best investment we ever made too! LOVE our stove. One thing I would mention though, is for folks to make sure they have their chimney checked and the stove fitted properly. Woodburners can have build ups of carbon monoxide, so the chimney/flue needs to be right to avoid blow back or fume build-up. We have carbon monoxide alarm in our living room too, which is the norm for anyone with a woodburner.

BadPenny said...

wonderful post...we want one !!!

justjill said...

Thanks for that Tina. We too have a carbon momoxide alarm in the living room. Scared me to death one night on trip to loo as the light flashes (I found out) to show its working, which you only see when its dark!

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Gasshoppe said...

There is nothing better than a wood burning fireplace!
Thank you for this great article!