10 Reasons Why You Should Use a Wood-Burning Stove
Ten Good Reasons to Burn Wood in a Wood-Burning Stove
- Wood burning is free, or if you pay for it, much cheaper and more cost-effective than other fuels.
- Wood is a renewable energy resource.
- Burning wood doesn’t contribute to global warming.
- Gives independence from big-energy suppliers and the impact of industrial and labor disputes.
- Wood burning is fun.
- Collecting and cutting timber is good exercise.
- Wood burning is romantic. Why not make love in front of a woodburning stove? But if you choose to go naked in front of an open fire then beware of stray sparks or flying coals!
- Space heating saves money. Heat the space you are in and leave the rest of the house relatively cool. You can always use your central heating to provide background heat elsewhere.
- Wood burning makes a great energy backup in troubled times. If your electricity and gas supplies are cut then you still have a way of heating your home and even heating a kettle or making toast.
- There is nothing like a real fire in the middle of winter. Nothing can beat real flames and losing yourself staring into the blazing heart of a wood fire.
Why Does Wood-Burning not Contribute to Global Warming?
If you go back further to when the tree was a seed, the resulting sapling gradually captured CO2 from the atmosphere as it grew into a tree. In other words, when a tree grows, CO2 is drawn from the atmosphere and when it rots or is burned then the same amount of CO2 is released. This carbon cycle is repeated as new trees grow and then die.
The important thing to remember is that if you grow trees to make fuel, then new trees should be planted as you burn the older ones so that the whole cycle continues and the net amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere remains fixed.
If you grow more trees than you burn then this reduces the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This is why the energy from burning wood is known as renewable energy.
Unfortunately, planting lots of trees is not a complete solution to global warming. On its own, planting new trees won’t capture enough carbon to solve the whole global warming problem.
So Where Does the Heat Energy Come From in Wood?
It comes from sunlight. Light from the sun enables photosynthesis to take place. This process absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and the carbon becomes part of the tree (wood). The sun’s energy is trapped in the wood until it is burnt when the energy is released.
Why Not Burn Wood on an Open Fire?
An open fire is OK if you just want an occasional cosy blaze but there are a number of disadvantages:
- Open fires are very inefficient and most of the heat goes up the chimney. Open fires are typically only around 20% efficient.
- A woodburning stove recirculates combustion products and is designed to burn at a much higher temperature. This means gases present in the smoke are fully burned. This results in a thermal efficiency of around 80%. In other words you can get around 4 times as much heat from a log burnt on a modern wood stove than from an open fire.
- Wood stoves don’t need to be relit like an open fire. You can close them up when you don’t need them and as soon as you open the air vents and let the oxygen in the fire comes to life again.
- Wood burning stoves are less smoky than an ordinary open fire and produce less ash.
- Wood burners are safer because the fire is enclosed so you don't get the danger of stray sparks or hot coals on the carpet.
Finally, Why Not Switch to Wood Heating?
Treat yourself to a wood-burning stove. Then, get yourself a chain saw and start cutting wood.
Don't rely on natural gas, scarce oil supplies or electricity but guarantee you and your loved ones a cosy home with a newly installed wood burner. And if you have cats and dogs, they'll love you and your fire forever!