Put another log on for a cosy autumn

A wood burning stove brings many benefits.
A wood burning stove brings many benefits.

SOUTHSEA GREENHOUSE: Enjoying an early harvest

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An autumn chill is around the corner, so it could be the perfect time to invest in a natural fire.

The problem with open fires is that they’re not very energy efficient, at only around 20 per cent .

The majority of wood-burning stoves, on the other hand, are 70 to 90 per cent efficient, so you get all the benefits of a real fire without most of your money going up in smoke.

Prices for wood burners start at less than £200 and, while you can pay a lot more for one that has more features, cheap and cheerful models make wood burners an option if you’re on a budget.

That said, remember to add on the cost of the accessories, installation and any associated building work.

The good news is that your stove should start saving you money straight away.

The more powerful it is, and the smaller and better insulated your home, the more money you’re likely to save, especially if your house has an open-plan layout or you keep internal doors open, so the stove does more than heat the room it’s in.

Wood (as long as it’s sustainably sourced) is, of course, a more environmentally friendly fuel than oil or gas .

Freshly-cut wood contains up to 90 per cent water, so you have to dry it out (season it) before you can burn it. This can take three years.

You can buy wood that’s already seasoned, or you can season it yourself, using a log store.