Wood Burning Stove - Running Costs
The more you use your wood burning stove, the more you will save. This statement makes the assumption you are replacing your normal heating source of gas (or oil, electric etc.).
So if you’re just using the stove as an occasional supplement for cosy nights in, the following won’t really apply.
I’ll use our situation as the example and point out possible variations, you can scale it up or down to suit your circumstances.
Our Circumstances –
- Victorian semi, 5 bedroom, 3 receptions – one used as office
- 1 bedroom is a well insulated Loft Conversion,
- Single glazed windows, no wall insulation
- Draft proofed mainly (note to self – must improve)
- I work from home all day and prefer to work at around 18 degrees minimum.
- Gas central heating (condensing) separate controlled circuits for upstairs and downstairs
- 1 Multi fuel stove in dining room with door off to Kitchen and another to the Hallway
- We are located in mid to north England
The Gas Central heating will come on for about an hour in morning September to April (ish). Most of the rest of the Heating is supplied by our wood burning stove. The central heating does cick in occassionally on really cold days.
We have the stove fired up for approximately –
- September, October and April – 6hrs
- November and March – 10hrs
- December, January and February – 12hrs
The rate of fuel logs consumed does vary, more about that in Learning to Live with a Log Burner. The logs next to fire in this picture will last three cold days.
We buy 8 builders bags of mixed (hard and soft wood) split logs to last us the season. Plus a few bits I gather myself.
To give you an idea of what this is like in stacked volume, here’s 2/3 of our annual logs.
The load this year cost me £280. This works out to £35 per bag.
Yes it’s a good price but –
- I haggled when the demand was low.
- I’m buying in bulk, from a local supplier so the transport cost is low.
- It’s a mixed load so not of the highest quality.
- It’s not fully seasoned, so we have to buy it in the spring and finish off the seasoning.
- I need a lot of storage space
You could pay more than £100 per one meter cubed builders bag of fully seasoned hardwood. This should be ready to burn straight away.
You will need a good supply of kindling as well. I’ve got a good supply from off cuts, pallets etc. If you have to buy it, you might need to spend another £50.
For the purpose of our “Is it worth it?” calculation I’ll use a mid price of £500 for the cost of fuel logs.
Adding the cost of an annual sweep at £40, kindling, fire lighters, gloves, matches, seal repairs etc. the total running cost could easily reach £600.