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Why Buy a Wood Burning Stove?

Updated on November 28, 2013
Rik Ravado profile image

Rik is a passionate wood stove owner and loves collecting and preparing his own fuel from the woodland behind his house.

5 reasons to be Passionate about Wood Burning Stoves

We have had our wood stove now for nearly three years and I am still madly in love. My choice of language may seem strange but wood burning stoves are not so much about free fuel and carbon neutral heating but more about a love affair.

The arguments in favour of buying wood burning stoves are much more than just balance sheets and budgets although the economic case for wood burning stoves is irrefutable.

Choosing and purchasing a wood stove is more an affair of the heart; like choosing a life partner or a mate rather than an appliance. A wood burning stove is great to come home to, to have around at breakfast or raise the spirits on a miserably cold day. OK, so a wood stove can't do quite everything a loving wife can do but you get the idea!

In this article I'll give you some solid reasons to buy and own a Wood Burning Stove. We can start with the numbers and the economic arguments then look at the environmental data and finally explore the ascetics of the wood stove and the feel good factors of that warm glow deep inside.

Lets kick off with the numbers:

Reason to Buy One: Wood Burning Stoves are Economic

Ready cut wood costs around a third the cost of natural gas, electricity or oil.

The easiest way to get wood, if you can afford it, is to have it delivered ready cut. The price obviously varies according to where you live and local market conditions.

A typical UK price for wood cut and split ready to burn is around £50 ($75) for a small truckload or £150 ($220) a ton.

In the US and Canada wood is often measured in 'Cords'. One cord is a pile of wood 4 ft by 4 ft by 8 ft (128 cu feet) which typically costs around $300.

Passionate About Wood Burning Stoves!
Passionate About Wood Burning Stoves!

Free Wood

In practice you can collect Free Wood either from the ground in woodland or in the form of scrap timber. Wood is therefore very cost-effective and saves money.

Wood Burners have a number of advantages when compared to an open fire. The fire is enclosed so you can leave them without worrying about embers on the carpet. They are much more efficient in terms of converting fuel to heat energy.

An open fire is typically 20% energy efficient whereas a modern wood burner is 70-80% efficient. In other words, with a wood burning stove you can get up to 80% of the energy in the wood released as heat in your home. In an open fire, however, the majority of the energy literally goes up in smoke (via your chimney).

Burning Wood is Environmentally Friendly
Burning Wood is Environmentally Friendly

Reason to Buy Two: Wood Burning Stoves are Environmentally Friendly

Many people think that because a wood burning stove gives off Carbon Dioxide (CO2) it must be adding to global warming. Not so! Because if you go back to when the tree was alive it gradually captured CO2 from the atmosphere as it grew.

When the tree dies then then the same amount of CO2 is released whether it rots or is burned. In other words burning wood as fuel is not increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. This carbon cycle is repeated as new trees grow and then die but the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere remains the same. It is only fossil fuels like coal or oil that increase the CO2 level when they are burned or used as fuel.

Modern Wood Burning Stoves are Smart and Stylish
Modern Wood Burning Stoves are Smart and Stylish

Reason to Buy Three: Wood Burning Stoves are Safe, Convenient and Clean

We had an open fire for years and we loved it but it had a number of disadvantages. It created a draft when lit and you still got a certain amount of draft down the chimney when not lit.

Muck and soot and even a bird or two also came down the chimney. It was sometimes very smoky and made the house smell of smoke. The ash, now and then ended up on the carpet as well as an occasional hot coal or cinder.

As well as a scorched carpet, there was a real fear that if we didn't keep a close eye on the fire, it might burn down the rest of our house.

All that changed with the introduction of a wood burning stove. The fire is now totally enclosed so you can happily leave it burning while nipping off to the shops or going to bed at night. The smell of smoke has gone together with a drafty room on windy days.

No more ash or burning cinders on the carpet. And best of all the fire is far hotter with most of the heat ending up in the room and not the sky!

You Can Boil a Kettle on your Wood Burning Stove
You Can Boil a Kettle on your Wood Burning Stove

Reason to Buy Four: Wood Burning Stoves offer Energy Backup

We live in uncertain times and many of us are dependant only on a single or duel energy resource. Most people rely only electricity, gas or oil for heating. The wood burning stove provides an all important energy backup.

Should you loose your central heating then the wood stove can provide a practical backup. Better still if you put a kettle on it you can boil water and open the door and you can make good toast.

Remember that global energy supplies are increasingly fragile. Much of our gas in the UK is piped in from Russia and even if the fuel is available an industrial dispute could stop it being delivered.

Gathering and Cutting your own Wood Makes you Feel Great!
Gathering and Cutting your own Wood Makes you Feel Great!

Reason to Buy Five: Wood Burning Stoves Add the Feel Good Factor!

Wood Burning Stoves look great. There are loads of styles, ancient and ultra modern, to suit any home. Wood is great fun to collect, cut and stack.

The exercise in finding wood, dragging it home and cutting it up for storage is fantastic and far cheaper than a local gym

Wood smells wonderful whether it is being stored or burned. However, that lovely aroma of wood smoke is outside your the house rather than in when burnt on your wood stove.

Wood burning stoves are romantic and cosy. They make you feel good whether it is raining, snowing or there is a gale outside. Animals love them and so do lovers! There is nothing more seductive than a warm wood stove.

I need to shut up now as you have probably already decided that you want to own a wood stove. You need to get Online and choose something. Buying a wood burning stove is one of the best decisions you'll ever make. It's a purchase you will never regret. I promise!

The Romance of a Wood burning Stove
The Romance of a Wood burning Stove


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    • barranca profile image


      9 years ago

      nice set of arguments. I have one on my wish list.

    • Vivenda profile image


      9 years ago from UK (South Coast)

      Now, if we're talking about nutty - whoever heard of a squirrel eating caviar??? Some walnuts and pine nuts to complement the peanuts are all I require. Oh, and perhaps some new clothes - white fur is so passé, and anyway it's nearly spring...

    • Rik Ravado profile imageAUTHOR

      Rik Ravado 

      9 years ago from England

      Jazztizz - nice to see you here again! The squirrel is a real challenge - I feed her nuts but she expects caviar!

    • Jazztizz profile image


      9 years ago from NJ, USA

      Great hub Rik, as usual. I'll be sending this to himself since I am totally for getting one and he is skeptical. Thanks. Watch out for that squirrel. =)

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 

      10 years ago from Sunny Florida

      When we were living in upstate New York a few years ago we were caught in an ice storm. We had no electricity for just over a week. We were eternally grateful that we had a woodburing stove. They're great.

    • Rik Ravado profile imageAUTHOR

      Rik Ravado 

      10 years ago from England

      Thanks for stopping by KuleKat - Here's hoping you have a wood stove and plenty of wood to keep you warm this winter. Incidentally, I note I've had comments so far from one human, a squirrel and two cats. Wood stoves are obviously popular with four legged folk!

    • KuleKat profile image


      10 years ago

      Nice work Rik - seems we share common interests (aside from the babes and squirrels throwing themselves at you of course). Heck, I'm not even a phenomenon in my own office and it's just me and the cat here.

    • Rik Ravado profile imageAUTHOR

      Rik Ravado 

      10 years ago from England

      Dahoglund - thanks for reading - Yes traditional fires tend to make us nostalgic.

      Vivenda - Please don't eat too much - we humans need the fuel - why not stick to eating nuts?

      myawn - Yes. they are very economic but has the feel good factor a radiator will never have!

    • myawn profile image


      10 years ago from Florida

      I had a wood burning stove once it was very nice and I could leave it burning at night. It was in a small 2 bedroom cabin. It brought down the heating bill a lot.

    • Vivenda profile image


      10 years ago from UK (South Coast)

      Squirrels consume wood, too - we're very good at it!

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      10 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Very informative hub. I remember my grandparents having a wood burning stove--I think it could use either wood or gas but I'm not sure.However it was used to heat the kitchen mostly because country people lived in the kitchen. they also cooked on it.


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