The Energy And Efficiency Of A Wood Burning Stove
Why Wood Burning Stoves are the way to go.
An Energy-efficient solution
Modern heating methods seek to maximise energy efficiency whilst minimising carbon emissions, and contemporary wood-burning stoves are optimised to meet these aims. Fuelled by wood logs, a woodburner offers virtually carbon-neutral operation sustained by an eco-friendly source of renewable energy.
Growing and harvesting trees for fuel creates a carbon-neutral 'virtuous circle': During the growth phase, trees remove CO2 from the atmosphere, and a virtually identical amount of CO2 is returned when the harvested logs are subsequently burned for heating. This is confirmed by official SAP (Standard Assessment Procedure) statistics which govern, and measure, the overall energy efficiency and CO2 emissions of domestic properties. Wood logs are rated as a low-impact carbon-output choice with one kilowatt of heat generating just 0.008kg of carbon. Comparing the carbon produced by other fuels generating the same one kilowatt of heat: gas is responsible for 0.198kg, oil delivers 0.274kg, and electricity creates the most carbon residue at a costly 0.517kg.
Using a woodburner for secondary heating
One common application for a wood stove is to provide an additional heat source for those occasions when temperatures dip outside the normal 'heating season'. Not only can a stove produce a warming boost when called upon, modern woodburners can also be used to create a stylish centrepiece for any interior space.
The conventional choice for secondary room heating has tended to be open fires and open gas fires, but neither of these options approach modern efficiency standards. An open fire, for example, is rated 32% efficient, and an open gas fire not much higher at around 55%. Consequently, these are now rarely installed in modern energy-efficient homes where an 'average' wood stove now delivers energy efficiency above 70%, and high-performance models can return ultra-efficient ratings in excess of 80%. When their negligible CO2 emissions are also taken into consideration, there is a compelling argument in favour of installing an environmentally responsible woodburner.
Using a woodburner for primary heating
Under the new Building Regulations, any wood-burning stove capable of heating two or more rooms now qualifies as a primary heating source. Thus energy-efficient heating schemes may now include, for example, a dual-configuration option driven by, say, a condensing boiler, pellet boiler, heat pump or similar, combined with a woodburner system used to heat living spaces. In effect this means home owners can now opt to include an energy-efficient woodburner in their heating plans, not only to reap the benefit of its low-carbon, renewable-energy status, but also to enjoy the aesthetic enhancement such a purchase brings to any home.
A well-insulated chimney is essential to optimise the efficiency of a wood stove, and there are a range of options. Existing chimneys may require re-lining, and this is usually achieved by inserting a light-weight, flexible stainless-steel liner to fit the flue-dimensions of the stove. As for new chimneys, which are easy to install, those fashioned from concrete or clay will need insulating, and prefabricated chimneys u2013 available in stainless-steel, clay or pumice u2013 are also a practical option.
Talk to one of our experts at our wood burning stove showroom in Church Crookham Hampshire. We fit wood burners throughout Hampshire.