As winter approaches, a key question many are asking is: which is the cheapest way to heat your home: a wood stove or central heating?
Skyrocketing home heating bills are expected in the coming months, with NBC News reporting an expected price increase of 28% for natural gas heating, 27% for oil, 10% for electricity and 5% for heating. propane. It has never been more important in these times of high inflation to keep the cost of energy as low as possible.
It was estimated that about 11.5 million households used wood as their primary or secondary source of heating, according to figures from the US Energy Information Administration in 2009. This figure is believed to have increased in the intervening period. , and with energy prices on the rise, more and more people are looking for smarter ways to save money on their heating bills.
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Before discussing the merits of a wood-burning stove over central heating, check out our other articles on home energy savings, including fan heaters vs oil heaters, dishwasher vs hand washing and our Audit on how to save on energy bills.
Sales of wood-burning stoves increase worldwide
Russia’s war with Ukraine has led to a sharp increase in the underlying cost of energy in many countries, which is unfortunately being passed on to consumers. Households are looking for alternatives to central heating and other traditional energy sources, with technologies such as solar panels becoming increasingly popular, backed in the US by new tax credits in the Energy Reduction Act. inflation.
In the UK, our sister brand The Money Edit reports that a number of businesses have seen a strong increase in demand for wood-burning stoves.
A company called Anevay Stoves has seen monthly growth of between 10% and 20% since the start of 2022. Others have also reported similar numbers. But are wood-burning stoves a cheaper way to heat your home?
Advantages and disadvantages of a wood stove
To help answer this important question, we enlisted the help of our expert friends at Money Edit to give you this very important information.
- The UK’s Energy Saving Trust says wood-burning stoves provide an experience as close to a traditional fire as possible, and they believe they can cut a home’s heating bill by 10%.
- Burning wood does not burden the energy infrastructure of the country, because you do not use energy in the same way.
- A quick look at Google shopping shows that the initial outlay for a wood stove plus installation can range from $649 to $1299.
- Unfortunately, not every newly built house can accommodate a wood stove, because there is nowhere for the smoke to go, unlike, for example, an older house with a chimney.
- The cost of the wood itself will soon add up. You can buy ready-made wood bundles online for prices ranging from $10 to $90.
- As you might expect, a wood-burning stove cannot reach every room in your home, especially if you have a large room with several floors because, unlike a radiator system, you are relying on the sole source of heat from the stove itself in any room. is housed. Waste heat can reach nearby rooms and hallways, but maybe not your entire home.
- Since we are talking about fire, combustion and heat, there are naturally fire risks with a wood-burning stove if you do not follow the safety instructions as much as possible.
- There is also the cost of a chimney sweep from time to time.
Advantages and disadvantages of central heating
Once again, we sought the expertise of our friends at Money Edit to help.
- It’s a comfortable way to heat your home because it’s the only type that can provide a consistent source and regulated temperatures throughout your home, assuming you have radiators in the most optimal locations.
- You can control when the heater comes on based on your preferences, sometimes via an app when you’re on your way home from work, out of school or just having a day out, and want to come home at home in a comfortable, warm place.
- It allows you to customize the heating of your home, such as the installation of underfloor heating in certain rooms.
- You can deactivate some rooms, some activate them, depending on your movements. For example, do you need to heat your home office on a weekend if you’re not working there?
- Energy experts tend to consider them among the safest forms of heating because there is no need to burn wood. However, it is important to keep your boiler maintained to a high standard.
Verdict: Which is cheaper – wood-burning stoves or central heating?
Our expert friends at The Money Edit say gas central heating is the cheaper of the two options because burning wood can be expensive, plus you have the upfront expense to factor in. This is even though underlying energy prices have risen around the world.
It may come as a shock if you thought wood was cheap.
There’s also the fact that a central heating system is more efficient at heating your entire home, while putting you in control with increasingly innovative technology.
In addition, central heating systems are safer if used correctly.
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