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5. SAVING MONEY ON GAS AND ELECTRIC BILLS - CAN A WOOD BURNING STOVE HELP?
This is a question we all face these days - and it is only going to get worse in years to come.
In June 2011, Scottish Power announced that their gas price was going up by a whopping 19% - more than five times the rate of inflation! Immediately, all the other major gas suppliers announced that they had similar increases in the pipeline (if you will pardon the pun).
The amount of gas (or electricity) you use can vary depending on several factors;
The type of home. Average gas usage for a flat will generally be very different from a semi-detached house or a detached house.
The number of people living in the home. A single person in a home would expect to use less than a couple with 3 children for example.
The region of the UK that you live in. The climate in the UK can vary by several degrees north to south so an average gas bill on the “English Rivera” of SW England may look very different from an average gas bill in a colder Highland Scotland.
Your home’s occupancy during the day. If your home is occupied during the day you are more likely to use more gas heating the home during the day than a home where the house is unoccupied every day during the working week.
What is certain is that the quantity of gas on the planet is shrinking and the cost of getting it out of the ground (or from under the sea bed) is getting more and more expensive, so the price to us as consumers is only going to keep heading north.
So what can we do? Well I suppose we could turn the heating down, or even turn it off, and put on a jumper. Or we could heat one room in the house and turn the heat off in all the others.
Or we could get creative......Many of our customers have installed a wood burning stove as an ADDITION to their central heating system, not as a replacement.
And it works like this;
You install a wood burning stove in your busiest communal room in the house - usually the lounge. You light a lovely roaring real fire and when the room is warm you open the door and let the heat seep out into the adjoining rooms.
This background warmth will raise the ambient temperature over a surprisingly large area, so if you have a bugalow or an open plan type house where the kitchen or dining room are adjoining the lounge, they will benefit from some of this warmth. As will the bedroom immediately above.
The effect it has is that, your central heating thermostat, and the thermostatic valves on your radiators in those room will switch themselves off more often as the wood burning stove provides background heat.
Therefore your central heating boiler is not burning gas as often and your usage and bills falls accordingly.
The main room where the wood burning stove is situated will be 100% heated and the central heating will never need to come on.
The next room will be 40-50% heated and the central heating off for 50% of the time and so on and so on....
Since most of us spend spend 80% of our waking time at home in the kitchen or lounge, it's easy to see how this method can have a dramatic effect on your bills.
What makes this even more appealing is the amount of free wood lying around just waiting to be picked up in parks and local forested areas.
It is also a very green thing to do; Reduce the burning of limited resources like gas and instead use a totally renewable fuel - wood. Which quite literally grows on trees!
Many of our customers made this move years ago and have already got back their initial investment many times over in reduced bills.
Most report that their fuel bills fall by 30-50% immediately they install a stove and that they can reduce that further still by fitting thermostatic radiator valves on every radiator and by turning the central heating thermostat down by two or three degrees.
So don't replace your central heating system, just make it work better for you! And when that winter gas bill drops on the door mat, you won't be terrified to open it.
Please note these articles are inended for GENERAL GUIDANCE ONLY. We do not provide advice over the phone or by email to customers looking for a free consultancy service to help them with a DIY install, and if you have bought your stove, chimney liner or other installation kit from another supplier, we will not answer any questions or otherwise get involved in disputes or queries. Please check with your local council building controls department before commencing any work if you are unsure of the regulaions.
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