With natural gas prices hitting historic highs recently, people are looking for cost-effective alternatives to heat their homes during the colder months. As a result, you may have wondered about the pros and cons of burning wood instead of using gas-fired central heating. With that in mind, here is a brief guide to what you should consider…

Can I burn wood?

You will need a fully serviced stove (and chimney) at home if you wish to burn wood efficiently. However, if you live in a smokeless zone, which are usually located in cities and large towns, you could be in for a hefty fine, making the wood-burning option untenable. Rural property owners in the UK have much greater freedom to emit smoke at present. But that could change depending on the will of local authorities and central government.

Why do people burn wood at home?

Users report that the heat from a fire feels more pleasant than radiator heat. At the same time, a fire creates a cosy atmosphere, with many users reporting ‘it is like having someone in the room with you’. Plus, if you choose to allow your stove to burn furiously for short bursts, you can achieve a far greater output of heat in a brief period than a radiator ever could. Furthermore, a fire will suck all moisture out of the air, leaving areas within its vicinity bone-dry.

Will burning wood save money?

Arguably, yes. But only if it is done right. And the savings may only be small. Importantly, you will need a stove that has been installed by a registered technician. You will also need wood that is well-seasoned and untouched by recent rainfall. One way to boost efficiency is to buy a special fan that sits on top of your stove and directs heat into the room. Upstairs rooms will also benefit because heat rises. Meanwhile, you can easily dry washing with a wood fire, removing the need for an energy-hungry tumble dryer during wet winter months.

Current energy price cap

Energy prices in the UK are currently capped at £2,500 for the average home. In addition, all homes will benefit from a £400 energy grant this winter. But if the energy price cap rises yet again in April 2023, and the government grant falls away before next winter, then firewood may become a much more cost-effective heating solution. Having said that, you should expect a rise in firewood costs as well. This is because market forces will inevitably cause firewood prices to track gas prices to some extent.

At Westbeams, all our firewood is legally compliant in terms of moisture content, guaranteeing optimum efficiency. The timber is sourced from our tree care operations in and around the New Forest National Park. Simply contact us now to order firewood – local delivery is absolutely FREE.