Scottish Field

The wonder of wood burners

If wood burners didn’t exist, Scotland would have had to invent them


Is there anything more glorious than a log burner going full pelt indoors while the Scottish weather hurls the worst it can offer at us outdoors. Yes your radiators are controlled by an app on your iPhone; the under floor heating is a model of efficiency and the air source heating a wonder of science, but none of them appeal straight to heart and the senses as much as a real fire can.

Some may argue that the kitchen is the heart of the home, others the fireplace. If your log burner is in your open plan kitchen-living space then you have won, hands down.

Get this right and a well-installed log burner will give years of low cost and trouble free heating.

A wood burning stove sounds far cosier than biomass heating but that is what it is.

Biomass is any biological fuel from plant or animal matter – wood whether it is in logs, wood chips or pellet – the latter being used mainly for heating systems.

You can also use chicken litter, straw and waste – but these, mercifully, end up in larger heating plants, but from the smallest wood burner in a bothy through to a power station feeding in to the nation’s grid, it is all biomass.

They all form part of the nation’s low carbon emissions strategy for buildings

Is it the flu or the flue?

Think you have flu? Suffering from tiredness, drowsiness, headaches, nausea and chest pains?

Carbon monoxide poisoning mimics these symptoms. Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors are compulsory; to not install them is unthinkabl­e. They come as standard in new builds and renovating a property gives the opportunit­y to wire them in as well.

Even if you are currently relying on battery systems getting these wired in as soon as possible is always a good idea.

Building regulation­s cover adequate ventilatio­n, correct installati­on of flue liner and chimney and that the draught in the flue meets manufactur­ers’ recommenda­tions, regular maintenanc­e, including sweeping chimney and the all-important carbon monoxide detector.

Keeping store

You have calculated the perfect size of log burner for the space it needs to heat, the fire place has been designed and built to meet all the regulation­s and the design and colour of your stove looks stunning but have you missed one important piece to design and build?

The log store; it is recommende­d that logs are seasoned for at least two years. Where possible, buy the wood by volume rather than weight, as this removes the influence of moisture content; you are buying wood, not water.

You might want to buy wood ready to use or some to season or a mixture of both but a good log store should be factored into the design of your garden. Calculatin­g the storage volume for logs is slightly problemati­c as the sizes are not always consistent so work on the theory that you are going to build more space than you think is needed.

When it comes to a biomass central heating system it makes even more sense to make sure you have enough storage space. Due to the cost of delivery, Government advice says it is prudent to order a minimum of three tonnes of wood chips at a time.

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 ??  ?? Opposite: Stoves come in a range of colours and sizes to suit your home. Left: Choose from traditiona­l or modern styling.
Opposite: Stoves come in a range of colours and sizes to suit your home. Left: Choose from traditiona­l or modern styling.

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