Energy efficient and stylish – The latest must-have feature for homeowners

Hector Page of Arada discovers why stoves are more popular than ever.

In the long British winters everyone relishes the cosy feeling of a crackling wood fire to sit by while the weather outside is cold and wet, which makes them a top feature developers should consider including in any new build. However, in these days of high fuel bills energy conservation is paramount and any feature that can save potential house buyers’ money as well as looking attractive will be greatly appreciated. A wood burning stove, rather than a traditional open fire, can do just that.

In stark comparison to an open fire the great range of efficient and attractive wood burning stoves not only warm a home but can save considerable sums of money. Developers should be aware that the cost per kilowatt of useful energy from burning wood is currently around 4p, compared with 7.5p for oil and as high as 12p for electricity. Installing a wood burning stove in any new build makes sense financially and also aesthetically as the market has a great range of styles and sizes to suit traditional and modern flats or houses.

Most modern wood burning stoves can run at 80 per cent efficiency. This means, for example, that the same log burnt in a stove will produce at least three times the amount of heat as in an open fire. And with today’s tastefully designed stoves, with large glass viewing windows, none of the enjoyment of watching the leaping flames and glowing embers is lost. In fact, it’s enhanced and safer and this makes a great selling feature for any new property.

Another selling feature is that wood is a renewable resource with most firewood in the UK coming from sustainable sources. For every tree that is cut down large scale log producers will plant another one. Without doubt, burning wood is better in environmental terms, as the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere is the same as that absorbed by a tree while it’s growing. This is a feature potential purchasers will appreciate as we all become more and more concerned about the planet and doing all we can to conserve it for future generations.

Installing the right stove in a new property is critical: the size of the room and the proposed fireplace need to be considered carefully when choosing the output of a stove in any property. Stove size and room size go hand in hand, meaning a stove that is too large may overheat the room. One that is too small will not provide enough heat, so the natural reaction will be to keep loading on more and more fuel, and constantly firing the stove, possibly to the detriment of the stove’s long term performance and reliability. The developer needs to be sure the right size stove is chosen.

The chimney is also crucial as all stove installations require a sound chimney, which invariably means that all chimneys should be fitted with a liner to make them safe and functional.

Also worth consideration is fitting a wood burning stove that can be converted to a multi fuel stove. This will give the house buyer greater options on what fuel to burn. These multi fuel stoves are capable of burning both wood and solid fuel without compromising on heat outputs or efficiencies. This, again, is another attractive selling feature in a new build. Additionally, the great variety of stoves available for new build properties means the bigger stoves on the market give greater heat output so stoves with back boilers can heat hot water, and in some cases, stoves with integral boilers provide primary heating to whole houses, further increasing home heating savings.

Today’s wood burning and multi fuel stoves are stylish, clean, efficient and easy to install. They are cheap to run using local, renewable fuel and they produce far less pollution than an open fire. Importantly, with no sign of the increases in gas, oil and electricity prices slowing down house buyers want features that will be cost efficient. Installing a wood burning stove in any new build is a great selling feature as well as being a most attractive addition to any style of property.