What is a contemporary wood burner?

 

A contemporary wood burner is a modern take on a traditional wood burning stove used to heat your home. The modern types of wood burner are extremely efficient at burning wood fuel and bio fuel derived from wood. Usually a contemporary wood burner is constructed from a solid metal fire chamber, metal grate with a variable air flow control. These burners are then in turn connected to a chimney or flue that pulls the combustions air into the firebox

Contemporary Wood Burner Image

Generally the appliance consists of a solid metal (usually cast iron or steel) closed fire chamber, a grate and an adjustable air control. The appliance will be connected to a suitable chimney or flue which will fill with hot combustion gases once the fuel is ignited. It is critical that the chimney or flue gases be hotter than the outside temperature as this will result in combustion gases being drawn out of the fire chamber and up the chimney.

How does a contemporary wood burner work?

 

A contemporary wood burner works by burning the wood fuel (or bio mass fuel) within the solid metal fire chamber - drawing air from outside of the burner (controlled by the air flow). Once the sealed fire chamber is hot enough the combustion gases rise into the chimney or flue to warm the room where the burner has been installed.

It is essential that the temperature of the gas in the chimney is higher than the outside temperature. Otherwise combustion gases from the metal fire chamber are driven up the chimney (dropping the overall temperature).

Can I save money running a contemporary wood burner?

 

Yes, to be honest though a contemporary wood burner isn't the type of product that prints money. Think of a contemporary wood burner as an energy investment for the home. If you can find a reliable wood or bio fuel supply that's cheap you should be able to get a return on investment within 3 to 4 years. How many boilers could you say that with?

The trap a lot of people fall into is that they convince themselves that because they are using renewable fuel that burns efficiently that what they have is automatically 'better'. This is not necessarily the case. A contemporary wood burner is not a replacement for draught-proofing or cavity wall insulation. If you want to save money long-term in your home then you need to consider these possibilities alongside.

If you are looking for a solution that doesn't impact on the environment then a contemporary wood burner is a fantastic start. Burning wood is virtually carbon neutral - the CO2 that is released into the atmosphere is absorbed by new saplings growing. Making sure you choose the correct burner for your size of home is important though.

How do I work out what kind of contemporary wood burner I need for my house, flat or barn?

 

There are many websites that offer calculators to work out the approximate room size to kilowatt output (a contemporary wood burner energy output is measured in kW.)

Under the assumption that you are looking to heat your home or barn whilst saving money; then it's important to consider the type of wood or bio fuel you want to burn, home insulation (if any) and the construction of the stove.

With a contemporary wood burner a stove that outputs around 5kW to 7kW of energy would be ideal for a small house. For a large house or barn you should consider a contemporary wood burner that has an energy output between 7kW and 12kW.

What are contemporary wood burners made of?

 

Contemporary wood burners are usually constructed from high quality steel with a vermiculite lining. Vermiculite is a natural mineral that actually expands when heat is applied to it (this process is called exfoliation).

This means that contemporary wood burners are built to last. A good contemporary wood burner manufacturer recognises that the product is an investment long-term, not something that will fall apart within a year.