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How much does a wood burning stove cost?

Posted by Helena Ripley on 24 August 2015 at 1:50 pm

A wood burning stove is a big investment: they can cost over £2000 to buy, plus a potential £1500 to install, and there is the on-going cost of fuel to consider as well. On the other hand, switching to a stove should decrease your current heating bills, so how do these costs and savings add up? In this blog we will look at the costs of a wood burning stove, in the next one we will weigh up the possible savings.

Upfront costs          

The price that you can pay for a stove varies from £200 for a basic option up to more than £2000 for something more luxurious, while the cost of installation can be from £300 (if you do it yourself) to £2000 (if you need more serious work done, like the fitting of an external wall flue). The average cost of the stove and the installation together is £2000. The costs vary considerably, so if you are planning to buy and install a stove make sure you get several quotes and advice you can trust. You want a stove that will work well and be safe but that doesn’t cost too much. So let’s have a look at why these costs vary so much, starting with the price of the actual stove.

Why do stoves cost different amounts?

Stoves come in all shapes and sizes and burn different fuels in different ways. They can also have fancy decorations and ornate windows. So there are all sorts of factors which can make a stove cost more.

The key reason for cost variation appears to be the brand of stove and the retailer that is selling it. Stûv brand stoves can cost over £4000. These are very efficient, contemporary stoves, with artistic designs. They might be necessary if you have demanding aesthetic standards and a very large room to heat. Most stoves that would work well in an average living room cost between £500 and £1500. It is possible to get a (small!) new stove for about £200, but most stoves for this price will be second hand. Larger stoves generally do cost more plus they are more awkward to manoeuvre. DEFRA exempt stoves have slightly higher prices but they are worth it if you live in a smoke-free area and they are very efficient.

On certain stove retail websites you may find that some of the more expensive stoves function as boilers too, though it’s often not very obvious without looking at the specifications. This increases the cost of both the stove and the installation, so when looking at stove prices bear in mind that some boilers might be creeping in too.  

The main types of stove available are wood burning stoves and multi-fuel stoves. The key difference between them is that a multi-fuel stove has a grate which allows the ash to fall through to an ash pan, and there are two air flows - from above and below the fuel. A wood burning stove has a flat area to burn the fuel on as wood burns most efficiently on a pile of ash, with air flow only from above.

Most stoves are multi-fuel. These are highly efficient, so if you are planning to burn only wood in a multi-fuel stove there should not be much difference in efficiency. Only if you want to squeeze the maximum amount of heat from your stove, perhaps if you are using it to heat water too, should using a multi-fuel stove concern you. Both multi-fuel and wood burning stoves vary in price, but the range of prices is about the same for both.

…And why does installation cost different amounts?

Installation costs vary due to the suitability of your house for a stove and the alterations that may be needed. If you have an older house, with a chimney and hearth, you probably won’t need to do much to make your house stove-ready, although you may need to have a flue liner installed to ensure that your stove draws properly. However, if you have a newer house without a chimney, the cost of installation could start from as much as £1500. Given the high costs you may want to think carefully about the benefits that you would gain before installing a stove.

Running costs

For the general upkeep and running of your stove there are a couple of other costs to consider. To prevent the build-up of deposits in the chimney you will need to have it swept once a year. This should cost between £40 and £95. And then, of course, there’s also the cost of the fuel to consider, which is covered in detail in another blog in this series.

If you are interested in visiting homes with wood burning stoves you might find one to visit during SuperHomes Open Day in September.

Photo: SuperHomes

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If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

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1 comments - read them below or add one

Rob F

Rob FComment left on: 24 August 2015 at 4:29 pm

Brilliant article YouGen.

I had a biomass boiler installed recently and can't rate them enough.

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