Natural fires are not only relaxing and luxurious, but they can also be a sustainable, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly choice for heating your home during the colder months of the year.
With the cost of living crisis sweeping across the UK, millions of people are considering turning back to old-fashioned firewood log warmth. To put it simply, heating your home with kiln-dried logs can be much more affordable than gas or electric heating. It’s an absolute no-brainer for anyone who can chop and season their own trees, but even city dwellers can save hundreds of pounds on their winter heating if they play their cards right (see Top 5 UK Wood Burning Mistakes).
The second biggest reason people are interested in wood fuels is the environment and sustainability. As most of you know, natural gas is a highly polluting fossil fuel. Electrical heating is even worse as the vast majority of the UK’s electricity comes from even more environmentally damaging oil and coal. In contrast, when sourced from sustainably managed forests and dried to appropriate levels, wood fuel is a carbon-neutral source of heating (see more info here).
In this article, Lekto’s wood fuel experts will disclose the top ways most people in the UK can benefit from heating their homes with log burners (here's how to choose the right one). So, without further ado, here are the top reasons to consider using firewood for heating your home.
Reason #1: Firewood Is the Cheapest Way to Heat Your Home
With gas and electric heating prices rising every year, more and more people are switching to logs and briquettes to save money on heating. It can take a while to understand how to use a wood-burning stove properly, but the vast majority of our new clients say it’s more than worth it. Many people are scared by the upfront investment that is necessary to buy and install a log burner. This being said, depending on where you live and how large your home is, your log burner may pay for itself in a surprisingly small amount of time.
How Long Does It Take For a Log Burner to Pay For Itself?
Based on survey results, you can recoup the investment you make in purchasing and installing a log burner in as little as 12 months, with 2-3 years being the average. Virtually all log burner users fully recoup their costs within 5 years.
Here’s a breakdown of the survey results:
- 16% of all respondents reported that they recouped the costs of purchasing and installing their log burner in under 12 months. These were primarily small-town clients with large wood sheds. Some of them partially relied on wood that they seasoned themselves (see Reason #5 for more info).
- 56% of all respondents recouped their costs within 2 years. Many of these people purchased their wood fuels in bulk in the summer to increase their savings.
- 87% of all respondents recouped their costs within 3 years. Most people living in large cities can expect to fully recoup their costs within this timeframe.
- >99% of all respondents recouped their heating costs within the first 5 years of operation.
- <1% of all respondents did not recoup their investment within 5 years. Reasons include moving to a new property, damage to the burner due to improper use, and users choosing to upgrade to a more premium burner for the sake of aesthetics.
On average, buying and installing a wood stove will pay for itself in 2-3 years.
Reason #2: Firewood Logs Are Eco-Friendly
One of the most compelling reasons to use firewood is its sustainability. At its core, wood fuel is a renewable, carbon-neutral heating source that is much better for the environment than heating directly (mains gas) or indirectly (electricity) with oil, gas, or coal.
The key is to choose the right kind of wood. For example, Lekto’s kiln-dried logs come from sustainably-managed forests in which more trees are planted than are cut down every year. Furthermore, a substantial amount of the trees that go on to make Lekto’s wood fuels come from an essential forestry practice called thinning (read more about thinning), which helps improve the overall health of the forest by removing trees strategically. Most of the trees removed in this way cannot be used for making furniture, but they make excellent firewood logs.
Another important factor is how dry your logs are. Burning wet logs is horrible for the environment as it releases a lot of harmful smoke (this is where wood heating gets its bad reputation). However, if you dry those same logs to a low enough moisture level (Defra recommends under 20%), you will get a clean and efficient source of heat. Lekto’s kiln-dried oak logs and kiln-dried birch logs are dried to extra low moisture levels, with readings under 10% being typical.
Read also: What Is Wet Wood & Why Should You Avoid It?
Lekto's firewood comes from sustainably-managed forests.
Reason #3: Modern Firewood and Log Burners Are Extremely Efficient
Modern wood-burning stoves and boilers are designed to be highly energy-efficient, offering more heat output with less wood consumed. Thanks to the UK government’s recent Ecodesign regulation, all wood-burning stoves that are legally sold in Britain today are very energy efficient (read more about the Ecodesign standard). So even the cheapest burner you buy today will be substantially better at extracting usable heat from your fire logs than the appliances your grandparents used.
Those who want to do even further in their quest for maximum efficiency, can take a look at clearSkies certified stoves. These are even more efficient than regular Ecodesign stoves, with clearSkies Level 5 being the gold standard in efficiency (read more about the clearSkies standard).
Reason #4: Firewood Is Reliable
Firewood provides a reliable source of heat that is not dependent on external power sources, supply chains, and politicians’ ideas about how much heating should cost. Once you buy a winter’s worth of firewood, you can rest assured that your home will be warm, regardless of what happens to the infrastructure or the economy. This independence from the grid makes wood-burning stoves and fireplaces a dependable heating solution, especially in areas prone to power outages or in remote locations.
Reason #5: Firewood Gives You Back Control
When you use firewood heating, you are in full control. You can choose to save a bit of money by choosing seasoned logs, pay a bit more for much more efficient kiln-dried logs, or even season your own logs. You can also choose the kind of firewood you burn, whether you prefer ultra-cheap pine, great-value birch, or premium-quality oak. You can choose to buy them when you need them or buy them in bulk in the summer to save up to 40% (learn how). Later on, you can even decide to heat your home with ultra-efficient wood briquettes instead.
If you're interested in firewood and briquettes, check out Lekto's award-winning selection of wood heating fuels!