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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wood Burning Stoves - Not Just a Heat Source

There are many things to love about autumn. It could be the leaves, turning into glorious shades of red and gold or the fresh mushrooms picked from a field and eaten for breakfast still damp from the morning dew. It could be the horse chestnuts and the memories of conker battles in the playground. Or it could be the reassuring smell of burnt wood as the stove crackles in the corner.

A wood burning stove gives off a friendly orange glow which lights up the entire room. It feels warm and personal which is why animals love sitting in front of them, basking in the warmth. There are many different stoves available in the marketplace. From the traditional cast-iron wood burner to stylish contemporary designs there is an option for everyone. And where would we be without roasted chestnuts at Christmas? Roasting them over a fire gives them a delightfully piquant flavor, something you cannot replicate in the oven. Even roasting hazelnuts is much easier with a wood burning stove as long as you are careful and wrap them in foil first. Jacket potatoes in October with lashings of butter is another favorite, especially when straight from the fire.

Often the choice to get a wood burning stove lies in the availability of the fuel, the chimney arrangements of the house and the space to store the wood. It's worth noting that even if you live in an area where the smoke from fires is controlled by your local council or authority, there are certain types of wood burners that are exempt from the usual restrictions because they burn fuel very efficiently. So enquire at your local stove dealer who is best placed to advise you.

Sometimes wood can be sourced from local joiners or factories who would otherwise send it to landfill. Alternatively, you may ask a local landowner if there is any excess wood that you can cart away. Prices of wood may vary depending on where you live but managed carefully it can be a cheaper option than gas or oil. Most importantly, wood is an environmentally friendly fuel unlike coal or oil and can be sourced locally.

Whilst it is easy to buy split logs, there is a lot of fun to be had splitting your own logs. The exercise is great and it's a simple but surprisingly satisfying way to spend an hour - especially when something is on your mind.

A wood burning stove is so much more than a heat source. It's a memory, a style and, for so many, something they wouldn't change for the world.

Notes for editors: Claire recommends Wood Burn Stoves who offer
Wood Stoves

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