by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
Since the start of 2012 the sales of wood burning stoves have been steadily increasing month by month and so far show no signs of any decline. From initial research, there appears to be several main reasons behind the surge of stove sales; these are both environmental and personal.
The first reason will be very clear to those who are homebuyers or estate agents. The woodburner is currently the fashion trend in houses; so whether a person is looking to sell or just make their home a bit more trendy, installing a stove is one of the most popular options at present.
Continuing along the same theme, the wood burning stove seems to be iconic to the newer generation of homeowners and this has also helped increased sales.
However, the reason accountable for the biggest increase in sales is in fact to do with efficiency. As gas and electricity prices continue to rise, people are looking to other sources of heat and naturally, a multifuel stove or woodburner fits this niche perfectly.
The average woodburning stove costs significantly less to run a year, however, at the same time, there is arguably more maintenance to undertake. But it appears people are willing to put up with the maintenance if it benefits the environment and makes their house appear more ‘homely’.
There is another hidden benefit in the increased sales of stoves which not many people have taken notice of. As most businesses are taking a hit in these hard economic times, the old fashioned chimney sweep trade is doing the exact opposite, thanks partially to the increase of woodburners in households.
The National Association of Chimney Sweeps (NACS) recently held an open day and had sweeps from all over the country attend. There are currently more than 450 sweeps officially registered with NACS and as the number of stoves increases, sweeps will be more in demand.
A woodburning stove, for heating and cooking, properly installed and maintained, and that means having the chimney swept properly at least once a year, will operate far more efficiently than the average household heating system which in these tough financial times will prove extremely beneficial.
Burning wood is also better for the environment but the wood must come from sustainably manage sources and ideally form more or less local woods.
Burning wood, as far as CO2 emissions are concerned, is neutral and the wood being burned only releases the amount of CO2 the tree absorbed through its life. It is true, however, that there are some particle emissions and especially soot but a good chimney and a stove that burns as efficient as possible will negate that to a great extent.
It would appear that this is not just a fashion trend but there is much more behind it as, it would appear, people come to realize that woodburning stoves and heating systems are much cheaper to run and much better for the environment than are other methods of heating, all things considered.
However, we must, in order to do this properly, revitalize the growing of wood and the management of our woodlands for firewood and not just that. Woods and here properly managed woods are a great asset for all of us.