Snuggling up in a thick pile of blankets while the fire’s on really is the dream for many British homeowners. But what kinds of fires and stoves can you buy? What are the pros and cons? And which one will suit your home best? Let’s take a look.
First, we’ll focus on the wood-burning stove. Also known as a log burner, these are appliances built of cast iron or steel, with a closed firebox. They feature air controls and vents – either manual or electronic – and a long stove pipe that connects to a chimney flue on your roof.
Despite the name, a wood-burning stove doesn’t have to be used for cooking. There are lots of different types on the market, from the traditional and ornate black style to slick, modern alternatives. They can add cosy character to any room, but do require cleaning and maintenance – and might not be allowed in places with smokeless zones.
Whether it’s coal, logs or another type of fuel, many people choose to have an open fireplace in their home. Again, you’ll have plenty of choice for the style of fireplace, but whatever the design, the flames won’t be behind glass or boxed in.
You must have a spark guard to prevent spitting embers getting on your floor, and a damper can help keep the heat in the room. Open fires can burn for hours and be difficult to put out, so keep this in mind when you light one. And be prepared for plenty of clean-up!
A renewable fuel made from crops like sugarcane, corn and hemp, bioethanol is relatively new in the home, but becoming increasingly popular. These types of fires are incredibly efficient, but won’t necessarily produce as much heat as a gas or wood-burning fire.
You won’t need a chimney, won’t have any mess or fumes, and can fit one quite easily in your home. There are also lots of designs available – and you’ll benefit from a real, live flame. And, just like lots of other types of fireplace, you can control the temperature.
Some gas fires are installed into regular fireplaces, while others are boxed or framed for a more modern look. They offer the same comforting feeling as a wood-burning stove – having real flames that flicker and move – but you won’t need to do any clean-up, and there’s no wood-burning smell.
However, gas fires do need servicing each year and will have to be installed by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Finally, many gas fires can be controlled through a remote or built-in dial, so you can moderate the temperature.
Electric fires and heaters can be a great option for people who want a plug-in, portable option – or you can get one connected to your mains electricity. You won’t get a realistic flame, crackle or smell with one of these, and they don’t always put out the highest level of heat.
But on the plus side, there’s no smoke or mess to deal with and they can be relatively easy to set up and install. Just like a gas fire, you’ll have controls for these to adjust the temperature.
Not necessarily a fire in the way we’d traditionally think of one, but still a great way to heat your home by having one lit in your kitchen. A statement piece with lots of design styles, they’re really flexible for chefs, bakers and family cooks alike.
You can choose different fuels for range cookers – including gas, electric and dual fuel – but bear in mind many designs are ‘always on’ (you can, of course, turn them off but they can be difficult to light). One of the most useful things about a range cooker is that it’s both a way to keep warm and it comes with multiple compartments and hobs for cooking on.
Be cautioned, though, that range cookers are incredibly difficult to clean, and of course you won’t see that lovely naked flame.
Talk to our expert team today
Whatever your home, budget and likes, there’s a fireplace that’s perfect for your home. As log-burner specialists, we can advise on many aspects of owning a wood-burning stove, and advise on the right fuel to keep it roaring.