Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Top Tips For Saving Money On Wood

The money-saving aspect of owning a woodburning stove is undoubtedly a major factor in your decision to invest. Wood tends to be quite a lot cheaper than other fuels, and when combined with the energy efficiency of modern stoves, the savings soon add up – and without any detrimental effects on the warmth of your home. Plus, you get to enjoy a wonderful focal point to your living room or kitchen, with the range of designs and sizes available nowadays able to meet the decor requirements of almost every household.
However, there are steps you can take to keep your heating costs to a minimum. By reducing the amount you spend on wood for your stove, you’ll save even more when it comes to maintaining a comfortable temperature and benefiting from a roaring fire too.
To maximise the savings of wood, you should try to buy logs for your wood burner in bulk. It’s no good buying bags of logs from the garage, for example, as the price will be higher than the average local supplier would charge because of the added convenience. Instead, source wood locally and if you have the space, order a year’s worth or more of logs and season the wood yourself.

This option comes with added benefits too. By buying from a local, sustainable source you’re being kind to the environment – wood is a virtually carbon-neutral fuel when a chopped tree is replaced. Wood removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it grows, and puts it back when it is burned, so replacing a felled tree with a new plant makes the fuel sustainable. And by using a local supplier, you’ll keep transportation emissions down. Another advantage is you can decide when to burn the logs, and ensure the wood is fully seasoned before you place it in your woodburning stove – this in turn will save you money as seasoned logs burn better, generating a lot more heat than logs with a high moisture content.
Of course, the greatest way to save money on wood for your stove is to get it for free. This can be easier than it sounds, and with a bit of planning and effort you should be able to find some free wood. Always remember, though, not to burn wood that has been chemically treated or painted.
You should contact local tree surgeons, builders’ yards, timber merchants and wood-based manufacturers to see if they have any spare wood you could take off their hands. While tree surgeons often sell hardwoods, you may be able to get free softwoods as this will save them having to get rid of it – similarly with builders and businesses, if you collect the unwanted wood they’ll likely be happy to give it to you for free as it saves them having to remove it as trade waste.
Also, look out for any unwanted wood that is burnable when visiting the tip or recycling centre. Other possible sources include when your neighbours have building work done, and perhaps they have wood they no longer want. Ask around and see if friends and family have spare wood – many people might be glad to be rid of it and if it can be used, it’s a waste to see it end up at a landfill site. In addition, you can check your own home and garden for spare wood, and next time you prune your trees, be sure to keep the fallen branches.
With free wood, you will need to chop and season and store the logs, but if this is possible it does provide an excellent way to save money on wood and heating costs.

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