Winter is coming: Brace your wood burning stoves!

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The thought of winter may bring to you the thought of gloomy days with not much to do. However, it doesn’t have to be all bad. As winter makes it way towards us, it paves way for lots of wonderful things. Lovely warm jackets and jumpers, snow, and that magical smell of the wood burning stove. As our beautiful summer is finally starting to make way for winter, we have organised a few pointers for all of those who have wood burning stoves.

Get your wood burning stove

Not everyone has a wood burning stove or an open fire. However, if you own your house and/or have permission to do so in your current accommodation, you can always get a wood burning stove installed in your own place. While the cost is a few grand, it depends purely on your house. If you already have a chimney or a fire place, half the work is already done and the installation is mostly the labour cost as well as that of the stove. If you don’t have that, it will involve installing a flue pipe outside your house. This is often big, prominent, and rather shiny, so you may want to consider which wall you want it poking out of (if you have a choice). The back is often a good choice.

Wood burning stoves are available both online and in store. Do some research. Get some people to come in and give you quotes. Get them to check if your location needs a DEFRA approved (clean air) stove or not. They should know. Also make sure the people who install this are safety approved by the laws of your locality.

It only took a day for us to install ours, and it was all done while we were at work, so it is not much of a hassle.

The cost may be high, but I can totally recommend it. Since it also adds an extra source of heating to your house, and fuel can be free depending on where you live, it definitely pays back.

Get your supplies

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By definition, a wood burning stove burns wood. You can easily get wood if you live near a park or woods, where you can collect logs and twigs that have fallen down. However, it isn’t very easy to burn ‘fresh’ wood, and you need to make sure your wood is seasoned (i.e. a couple of years old) and has the right moisture. If you are just starting out, you are probably better off buying wood. Once again, there are plenty of options. A bit of research would tell you that there are plenty of options around you. Some sell you woods and logs, other seasoned wood. You can even find sources that sell recycled wood from furniture and pallets.

You may have a stove that is dual fuel, and burns coal as well. Coal is a better fuel, gives out more heat, and lasts longer. As such, it is a good idea to try and stock up on that too.

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While you get your wood, remember that it is equally important to get kindling, firelighters and flamers. These help you get the fire going, and without them it can be a major hassle.

You can also go online to find various companies (such as CertainlyWood) will supply you with wood and such like.

Get your storage options

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Once you have your items, make sure you have places to store them.

Wood and coal can easily sit in your shed or garage, or you may want to add a wood/coal cabin to your outdoors.

On the inside, you probably want to add some areas to store wood and such like to avoid having to go outside. This could include boxes, buckets or baskets.

Of course, it helps if these items are fire proof as you most certainly want to avoid these catching fire. You will also place them near your wood burning stove, so this makes it doubly important for safety.

Various options exist, both in store and online, such as A Place for Everything.

Get your lighters

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Once you have everything ready, you need to be able to light a fire. Matches are great but are often fiddly. A lot of options exist for lighters, but we particularly like the flexible neck lighter from Zippo. It allows you to reach deep into your kindling and light a fire in the right area. The shape also allows you to reach that area without getting anywhere close to the heat. It retails for about £14 and can be bought via Amazon.

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If you seek something a bit more conventional, you can also go for the candle lighter, which works the same way. It retails for around £13.75 and can also be bought from Amazon.

Both come with a safety lock system, meaning it is difficult to accidentally turn this on, and both can be refilled.

Get your gadgets

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We can’t do an article without throwing some gadgets in! A lot of gadgets exist for wood burning stoves.

The three most important in our eyes are:

  • Heat powered fan
  • Thermometer
  • Moisture Sensor

A heat powered fan is easily one of the most exciting things ever. It runs purely on heat, and sits on top of your wood burning stove. This means that when your wood burning stove gets up to about 300 degrees, the fan starts to run and starts to spread the heat around the room. You can add as many as you like to your wood burning stove. These are great as they run silently and make sure the heat doesn’t just concentrate in one part of your room.

A thermometer is just a great tool. Most of the ones available in the market will stick magnetically to your flue pipe, telling you exactly how hot everything is.

A moisture sensor is great for people who want to burn their own wood. It tells you whether your wood is ready or not to be burnt.

All of these can easily be bought online, at various shops such as Amazon. 

Get the mince pies going

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Wood burning stoves are great places to put a kettle or even warm up your mince pies! This tiny little frying pan is the perfect accomplice.

One for those who have an open fire

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In case you have an open fire, some of the gadgets above may not work for you. However, there is one that will only work for you, and that is the draught excluder from Chimney Sheep. This blocks your chimney while the fire is not being used, making sure your house doesn’t leak any warmth.

Do you have any other gadgets or items to add? Do let us know!

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