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The Pros and Cons of Wood Burning, Multi Fuel, Gas and Electric Stoves and Fires

WOOD BURNING AND MULTI FUEL STOVES & FIRES

PROS:

  • They are the 'real thing'. Visually superior, crackling sounds and associated ambience
  • Can provide heating during power cuts
  • Low running costs for those with a free or cheap source of wood
  • Lower carbon emissions on balance

CONS:

  • Expensive to run, particularly if buying only kiln dried logs
  • Inconveniant next to gas or electric as you have to fetch fuel, light and clean the fire
  • Increased amount of dust in the house
  • Storage space is required for fuel
  • Stoves that only burn wood don't tend to stay alight long. This is negated with a multi fuel stove burning just solid fuel or a mixture of both solid fuel and wood. Read our article Choosing Between A Wood Burner or a Multi Fuel Stove for further information
  • Increased fire risk as although unlikely and virtually impossible with correct use, embers could potentially cause fire
  • High particle emissions

GAS STOVES & FIRES

PROS:

  • Conveniant instant heat
  • Great controllability
  • Can be installed virtually anywhere due to balanced flue options
  • Significantly less particle emissions
  • Efficient
  • Can be lit during a power cut in most cases

CONS:

  • Initial installation can be expensive especially if gas needs to be routed to the fireplace
  • Can be expensive to run if using bottled gas
  • A gas stove generally costs more to buy than a wood burning or multi fuel stove
  • Non renewable fuel source

ELECTRIC STOVES & FIRES

PROS:

  • Easy installation, in most cases it's as complicated as plugging it in!
  • 100% Efficiency, no chimney in which to lose heat
  • Can be installed virtually anywhere
  • No emissions
  • Easy to us, simply switch it on 
  • Can be taken with you if moving house
  • Cool to the tough whilst operating

CONS:

  • Poor heat output, most are no more than 2kw
  • Noisy in operation due to the fan
  • Can smell if dust gets into the heater, much like electric bathroom heaters of old
  • No real flame, although effects are getting better it doesn't compare to that of a gas or solid fuel fire
  • Unable to use during a pwer cut

 Article written by Ryan Brocklehurst

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