Home used to be where the hearth was, but it’s an inefficient way to keep warm, as up to 80 per cent of the heat goes up in smoke
New building regulations introduced in 2014 have effectively banned the open fire from newly built homes in an attempt to comply with European Union energy performance and building directives, which aim to have zero-energy buildings by 2020.
While these efforts are for the purpose of climatic obligations, the open fire has a long history of taxes. A hearth tax can be traced all the way back to the Byzantine era. Smoke Money continued in Ireland until the early 19th century and was calculated on the number of fireplaces within a property.
Charles Darwin considered fire and language the two most significant achievements of humanity, as they were essential to survival, but today an open fire is a comfort rather than a necessity.
That's where Stoves come in!
Wood-burning stoves and boilers have joined Apple Mac computers, Smeg fridges, Nespresso coffee machines and Dyson vacuum cleaners as a badge of honour among the successful and the environmentally conscious.
Wood burning stoves have many benefits – they are cheap to run, provide an efficient source of heat and offer a beautiful focal point for a room. However, perhaps the main advantage of modern woodburners that has been put forward in recent years is how good they are for the environment.
The “green” benefits of burning wood are gaining wider and wider support. Burning the fuel cleanly only releases the same amount of CO2 into the atmosphere from a tree as when it is left to rot naturally as it would do at the end of its lifecycle. What is more, harvested trees are replaced with new trees, which in turn absorb CO2 in the process of photosynthesis as they grow.
The important aspect of this argument is that the wood is burnt correctly, using a modern, efficient stove that employs secondary and even tertiary burning. As a result of these extra burning systems, as much of the combustible material as possible is used to generate heat.