Central heating and double glazing may be ultra-efficient at heating your home, but there’s nothing like a real wood fire to transform it into a welcoming and cosy haven. But what’s better? A stove or an open fire? Or is it just a matter of personal taste? Here’s a look at some of the pros and cons of a stove versus an open fireplace.
As far as heating capabilities are concerned, a stove is far more efficient. An open fire will heat one room, whereas a stove disperses heat more widely, supplementing additional heating and helping to reduce fuel bills. A modern stove will also require less wood than an open fire, so it’s a more environmentally friendly heating source.
Many would argue that an open fireplace wins hand down. It creates a romantic and welcoming atmosphere that a stand-alone stove often lacks. The mantelpiece can be adorned to create a stunning focal point that is hard to beat. However, modern stoves come in all shapes and sizes, and there are truly stunning designs – from rustic to contemporary – that can totally transform a room. Depending on the age of the house and the condition of the chimney, a stove can be installed in an existing fireplace surround, especially large inglenooks, giving you the benefits of stove heating coupled with the aesthetics of a fireplace and chimney breast. If there’s no chimney breast, a rigid chimney system gives you the flexibility of choosing where you’d like the stove positioned.
As stoves burn more efficiently, they create less creosote build-up in the flues so there is less risk of a chimney fire. The fire is also more contained and controllable as the glass door prevents sparks and burning embers from escaping.