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How the Chancellor can keep you warm and cosy Posted On 19 August 2020

Woodburning stoves can slash your fuel bills… and they look good

Thanks to Rishi Sunak, now is the time to put a warm glow in your new house. The Chancellor’s decision to relax Stamp Duty until next year has given homebuyers an unexpected windfall and offers the chance to enhance your new home with some of the items on your wishlist.

And if you haven’t got a woodburning stove somewhere near the top of your agenda, think again.

Because winter is coming. And if you want to have one installed before temperatures really plummet you may need to move a bit sharp – don’t forget registered fitters have also been in lockdown and are having to work through their own backlog.

Of course, you may be moving into a home where a stove has already been installed. In which case, you’re quids in.

Because not only do they look good – and, let’s be honest, there’s nothing like a living flame to create a cosy atmosphere on the coldest of winter nights – they can lower your energy bills.

And you’re doing your bit for the environment.

Wood, or multifuel, stoves are highly efficient and much cheaper to run than a conventional gas or electric heating system. A modern efficient burner can reduce your bills by a third, largely because wood is relatively cheap, whereas gas and electricity come to you via a third party that marks up the price dependent on market conditions.

Ideally, stoves should sit in the room most used by the family, a central location from where the heat can spread. And given strict insulation guidelines, there is no reason why that warmth cannot permeate throughout the whole home and be retained.

The green advantages are compelling too. The need for renewable energy continues to grow and most of the wood on the market has been responsibly dried from forestry management programmes. As for the science,  wood releases carbon dioxide as it is burned, but this is part of a balanced carbon cycle because that same wood took carbon from the air to grow. There is no balance with man-made machines.

So, those are the pros, are there any cons?

Where to keep your wood could be a headache. Wood needs to be as dry as possible for effective use, and that means it must be kept in a cool, covered place. A wood box next to the fire might look nice but it is only going to keep you supplied for a week or so.

And then there is the question of how to accommodate a stove. If your main room has a chimney breast, no problem – the flue can go straight up and out. However, all is not lost if you haven’t: an artificial breast could be built around the stove to hide the flue; or you could leave it freestanding.

For advice and to find a registered installer go to hetas.co.uk/find-installer/

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