We are sometimes asked difficult questions such as how long a wood fire will burn, how much fuel is needed to heat rooms and which fuels are the cheapest. Well it’s no excuse to say that no one really knows the answer to these questions. That’s because every house and every lifestyle is different. Your preferred rate of burn, the size of your house, whether you have ready access to dry wood, or an existing gas supply; all these affect the choice of heating that suits your lifestyle.


So let’s look at some important factors that will help you choose the right heater for your room. Whatever heating system you have the size of your rooms is important in determining the heat output needed to keep them warm. Don’t forget that you need the  area multiplied by the height of the ceiling. You can check this with the Leeds Stove Centre Calculator – see below.


Remember also that same sized rooms will attain different temperatures depending on home insulation, draft proofing and ventilation, including any open windows. Even the number of people in your room will make a difference!


The effect of a winter warm cosy fire is of course hugely multiplied by thick window curtains, nice thick carpets and an extra porch door. Moreover, while ventilation is essential for larger fires, too much ventilation can lead to excessive burning and heat blowing out of the window. That’s why on wood burning stoves and pellet stoves a fire door and damper can increase efficiency.


Now I thought I would quickly check the room size in my sister’s house. They are 10 by 10 by 10 feet, in a house with double brick walls but no cavities. Using the Leeds Stove Centre online calculator I’ve discovered that she can heat one room with just 2.02 KW output. Clearly a small 5 KW stove at maximum output will not only heat this room but provide enough warmth to spill into her other rooms. The calculation indicates that a 5KW wood stove would be more than adequate when dampered and burning low.


You also need to consider how your heating system fits your lifestyle. Do you want heat all day, or just in the evenings?  Do you like a roaring fire or smouldering embers?  Do you want heat on demand?


Do you simply want an alternative to back up an existing gas or electric supply in case of emergencies? In answer to the latter you might opt for one of many multi-fuel stoves at Leeds Stove Centre that allow you to choose from different fuels depending on their price and availability.


Certainly, flickering flames, radiant heat and a snug cosy feel are especially enjoyed during dark winter evenings. Yet, if making your fire is going to be too much trouble at the end of your day then you probably won’t get around to enjoying this flickering pleasure after all. You need not be disappointed, as there are many gas or electric fireplace alternatives that provide a similarly attractive display.


Yet again, when you have a supply of fire wood you will at least want to light your wood stove at the weekend. The crackle and smell of a real burn is something to marvel. For many home owners the small effort of making a fire at weekends is actually part of the pleasure of a well earned rest. So dear sister, bring out your Yule log, take off your shoes, sit back, relax and enjoy the glow.

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