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Confused between wood burning stoves & underfloor heating?

Feet in front of fire

Wood burning stoves or underfloor heating? To solve this mystery I waded through reams of information and spoke to tons of installers. But, does it need to be so confusing, and can it save you money?

The idea of having a wood burning stove is idyllic: the warmth from the stove, the glow of the flames, the crackling of the fire and the earthy smell.

Likewise with underfloor heating – just image getting out of bed or stepping from the shower to a toasty warm floor. Both sound almost impossible to live without.

Added to that, everyone talks about the savings you could make on your energy bills – 25% of the Which? members we surveyed last year bought a stove because they believed it would be cost effective. But is that true considering all the costs?

Is it really that easy?

The truth of the matter is that it’s complicated. Both are dependent on so many factors, which have a knock-on affect on the cost and how much you could save.

Let’s take underfloor heating as the first example. The type of underfloor heating you get – it can either be electric or water – and how much it will cost to install and run depends largely on where you are having it installed.

The size of the room, type of floor, whether it’ll be multi-zoned, how well the room is insulated and how far the room is from your main heating system are all factors.

As for wood burning stoves, the size of stove you get, and therefore how expensive it is, depends on your room size and current level of insulation.

With installation, factors such as whether you already have a chimney or whether your current one is in good condition, can bump up the cost. And the way you use it, including the type of fuel you use and the cost of it, will impact how much you might be able to save.

No one-size-fits-all

Sadly neither is a one-size-fits-all scenario. Which is why we recommend getting at least three installers to visit your home to give advice and a quote – and this should be free.

It’s also worth knowing the things to look out for, and having an idea of the costs and savings you could make with both wood burning stoves and underfloor heating, before you commit to one or the other.

So have you been tempted to go for a wood burning stove or underfloor heating? Did you find the process of choosing them confusing? And, most importantly, has it lowered your bills?

What type of heating do you have in addition to, or instead of, your boiler?

None of the above (64%, 384 Votes)

Wood burning stove (18%, 110 Votes)

Underfloor heating (10%, 60 Votes)

Solar panels (6%, 34 Votes)

Heating oil (3%, 16 Votes)

Total Voters: 604

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Comments

Why am I not able to upload comments, even tho’ I’m getting some odd messages telling me to ”Slow down” tho’ not ”Calm down, dear!”

A couple of contributions from the web. We need to consider pollution.

First from Environmental Protection UK (a national charity):
“Emissions of local air pollution from a modern wood fueled appliance are, however, usually higher than those of an equivalent gas fired appliance. The environmentally friendly choice therefore really depends upon where you live. If you live in a rural area where the air is relatively clean a wood fueled system may be the best option, whilst if you live in an urban area with poor air quality a gas-fired system may be the best choice environmentally.”

and from the USA familiesforcleanair.org

“While it is true that EPA certified wood stoves may produce less particulate air pollution than uncertified ones when new and operated according to manufacturer specifications, they produce orders of magnitude more particulate pollution than appliances that burn natural gas.

In addition, the stated performance of EPA certified wood stoves degrades with use to the point where the particulate emissions are comparable to non-certified wood stoves.

Another key issue: EPA certified wood stoves emit highly toxic dioxins at levels equal to, or even greater, than levels emitted by conventional wood burning devices.”

MOST interesting – anything to add from UK sources?
And
WHAT comment/s from the author/s of the latest Which? report I’ve posted above, please?

MOST interesting – anything to add from UK sources, please?
And
WHAT comment/s from the author/s of the latest Which? report I’ve posted above, please?

Wood burning stoves???
Great things if your in the house beside them and you dont mind carrying in an out and paying for a pretty low mass fuel
If your cutting your own timber it’s a lot of work and it is never free. I have large ash and sycamore and I am letting the neighbour cut them to get rid of them. As best I see between a little petrol for the saws and diesel for tractors and then I hear the saws go tow or three evenings per week plus the tractor is sitting idling to run the splitter I’m more than happy with gas and electric but will have to fire up the oil again as it was so cheap I could not ignore it so have filled every tank I can get my hands on
I should have enough oil for several years as fossil here is only back up to renewables anyhow.
I have one neighbour, two actually. One with a stove that they light every evening, the other has a boiler device that runs in his garage and supplies his heating circuit, both wood powered
If the wind is against me and often is we can smell the pungent fumes to the extent we switch off our ventilation system. We can smell the pitch and it is anything but nice. It’s terrible really.
I had one many years ago and apart from whether it is fumey or not I could not be bothered with all the carrying sticks in and ash out and although it was far from being as dirty as coal one could see the ash in the vacuum and we vacuumed every day
Pollution,,,,,,,They are no where near as clean as the salesman will lead yo to believe
Today if it doesnt run down a pipe of a wire I dont want it. The wood burner was my one and only time we tried solid fuel.
Expense. Especially at present why would you want all the hassle and be buying a not very efficient fuel at an uncompetitive price. I have bought oil in the low 20p’s and I intend to fill everything. Propane should be following but is always dearer and nat gas should be cheaper than was. All are cleaner and more reliable than a stove.
Underfloor heating. Nice idea. Works fine. I dont like the fact the mass below your feet cannot change temp quickly. A bit too luxurious for me I think.

MOST interesting – anything to add from UK sources, please?
And
WHAT comment/s from the author/s of the latest Which? report I’ve posted above, please?

Hello JosefKafka, I’ve flagged your question with the author of this post to see if we could have an update on this topic – either a new post or an update to this post. Thank you for sharing the URL.

The topic title has me a little bemused for some time
What has underfloor heating and wood burners got in common for a start????
They dont in my eyes compete or go hand in hand,,,,,usually
Underfloor heating is usually around here oil or gas powered wet system
Wood burning stove usually heats a room and a hot cylinder but to heat these modern houses totally from a wood burner you’d need a conveyor belt in and out

Anyhow Josef, What is your interest. Are you considering a wood burner or underfloor heating or both
Dee

1)….. The mix of a number of issues in the present title is the reason for my request to launch a [at least one] new more focussed Thread
2)….. Single room; radiators [actually convectors]; underfloor heating , running from an integrated multi-source, ALL !
3)….. In my case this will be an upgrading of existing systems.
4.0….. From my admittedly less than vigorous research, it is clear that the installation of solid fuel burners is expanding rapidly. Major supermarkets are placing high priced ”oven/kiln dried’ logs, and bags of coal along with wood kindling and petroleum based firelighters in prominent positions.
4.1….. Nowhere on packages have I been able to find data such as:
Expected energy output per Kg,
Particulates,
etc
Which would aid in the choice of product.

4.2….. Time for US to
Press Which? to
Press HMGov’t to
REQUIRE suppliers to provide such data ”On the Tin”

JosefKafka says:
23 December 2018

Is this Thread still live, please?

It seems to be , Josef – your comment has appeared. Clearly there has been a lack of interest in this topic for nearly two years.

I think we can be fairly sure that the topic is dead. It would be a great help if we knew which topics are likely to be pursued in the foreseeable future.

There is unfinished business in this one – see Lauren Deitz’s comment a little further up this page.

The controversy around wood-burners (Defra/SE) has started up again with all sorts of death & destruction being forecast if they are allowed to carry on being used in UK.

I used to follow this so I better post again so I can tick for up-dates. The question of unifying the EU and the UK pollution codes still remains an area where presumably Which? could ask if their is any intention, given the pan-european market to standardise the EU regulations.

MayBot & The BrExiteers say………. NO CHANCE!

Anyone got experience of:
** Burley stoves in general
** The Burley Brampton specifically?

Thanks in advance.

MORE data, please

1.0….. From my admittedly less than vigorous research, it is clear that the installation of solid fuel burners is expanding rapidly. Major supermarkets are placing high priced ”oven/kiln dried’ logs, and bags of Defra-coal along with wood kindling and petroleum-based firelighters in prominent positions.
1.1….. Nowhere on packages have I been able to find data such as:
* Expected energy output per Kg, – tho’ Co-Op does that on some of its Smokeless “coal”
* Particulates,
etc
Which would aid in the choice of product.

4.2….. Time for US to
Press Which? to
Press HMGov’t to
REQUIRE suppliers to provide such data ”On the Tin”