Open fire vs log burner

  • Beki's Avatar
    Hey, it's Beki here 👋

    Back in March I moved into my own home. We were adamant that we didn't want a new build and the historic features in his property stole our hearts. It was built in 1906 and has some amazing features; sash windows, wooden floor boards and fire places in nearly every room.

    I was really looking forward to having a beautiful open fire this winter but I'm also conscious of how much heat an open fire will provide and how much wood it would go through.

    Eventually, a log burner will be put in but probably not for about a year or so.

    This is the second fire place in the dining room that we've opened up. This one is blocked off (with ventilation holes) and will be used as a decorative wood store but I plan to open up the one in the living room like this too!

    So what are your thoughts, the pros and the cons; do I open it up and have an open fire for a year (please say yes! I want a cosy Christmas!) or do I hold out and wait until we can get a log burner fitted?

    Edit to add: I haven't plastered the wall yet, that's a weekend job!
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    Last edited by Beki; 09-10-23 at 11:15.
  • 47 Replies

  • WizzyWigg's Avatar
    Level 78
    @Beki_EONNext
    Open fire 🔥 20/30% efficient compared with log burner around 80%. 😉 Open fire aesthetically nicer for Christmas 🎄.

    This might be of interest
    https://www.idealhome.co.uk/news/ope...en%20fireplace. 🤔
    Last edited by WizzyWigg; 13-09-23 at 15:07. Reason: Extra information
  • geoffers's Avatar
    Level 28
    Hey, it's Beki here 👋

    Back in March I moved into my own home. We were adamant that we didn't want a new build and the historic features in his property stole our hearts. It was built in 1906 and has some amazing features; sash windows, wooden floor boards and fire places in nearly every room.

    I was really looking forward to having a beautiful open fire this winter but I'm also conscious of how much heat an open fire will provide and how much wood it would go through.

    Eventually, a log burner will be put in but probably not for about a year or so.

    This is the second fire place in the dining room that we've opened up. This one is blocked off (with ventilation holes) and will be used as a decorative wood store but I plan to open up the one in the living room like this too!

    So what are your thoughts, the pros and the cons; do I open it up and have an open fire for a year (please say yes! I want a cosy Christmas!) or do I hold out and wait until we can get a log burner fitted?

    Edit to add: I haven't plastered the wall yet, that's a weekend job!
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    Be aware there could be issues lighting an open fire with an old chimney - cracks in the mortar allowing fumes into the house; soot from old fires with potential for chimney fire risk etc, so proceed with caution.

    You will need building-regs approval to install a new stove. I put mine in 16yrs ago so don't know if the regs have been tightened since, but it's pretty easy to DIY (if you have a head for heights!)

    Looks like you may want to put a lintel in to raise the height of the brickwork opening, but other than that not much involved to install it. Sweep the existing chimney then install a stainless steel chimney liner; steel register plate to block the gap at the bottom; mortar to seal the gap between liner and pot at the top; cowl on the pot; connect stove-pipe between stove & liner - done!
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  • Beki's Avatar
    @geoffers I think the open fire would be much too risky with the kiddies too. Apparently, burning wood in an open fire produes too many particulates which is bad for your lungs and burning coal is a big no no!

    I think a log burner like yours would be amazing and well done for doing it yourself. I enjoy a bit of DIY but I'm not sure I'd feel confident when it came to a log burner.
  • meldrewreborn's Avatar
    Level 91
    @Beki_EONNext

    Log burners produce lots of particulate pollution too.

    Wood burning air pollution in UK has doubled in a decade | Air pollution | The Guardian

    Do you consider yourself "middle Class " then @Beki_EONNext? 🤣
    Current Eon Next and EDF customer, ex Zog and Symbio. Don't think dual fuel saves money and don't like smart meters. Chronologically Gifted. If I offend let me know by private message, but I’ll continue to express my opinions nonetheless.
  • geoffers's Avatar
    Level 28
    And your Green credentials would be gone forever!!
    I'll only support that argument when the nay-sayers stop driving their heavily polluting diesel cars (for 12 months of the year) 🤣
  • meldrewreborn's Avatar
    Level 91
    @geoffers

    I’m afraid log burners are in a league of their own in the pollution stakes, hundreds of times worse than any car.
  • retrotecchie's Avatar
    Level 92
    @meldrewreborn

    It's not the log burners that are the problem but the folk that have them as a fashion accessory rather than a necessity. My log burner only gets three-year seasoned wood with a moisture content less than 16%. And I live in a sparsely populated rural area on the Atlantic coast. I've known Muppets in Suburban Surrey have a new kitchen fitted and think it's OK to break up their old cabinets and worktops and burn the chipboard and plastic laminates in the log burner. Not only producing clouds of toxins and particulates but stinking like fish for hours on end.

    A correctly operated wood burning stove, with the correctly seasoned and moisture controlled firewood is not as bad as some folk make out, but still not as clean as a well maintained diesel. Perhaps Mayor Khan should have focussed on inappropriate wood burners inside the M25 rather than pushing the ULEZ.

    Don't shoot me, I'm only the piano player. I DON'T work for or on behalf of EON.Next, but am willing to try and help if I can. Not on mains gas, mobile network or mains drainage. House heated almost entirely by baby dragons.
  • geoffers's Avatar
    Level 28
    @meldrewreborn
    ...still not as clean as a well maintained diesel.
    Thereby lies the point - having commuted by bike in Bristol for more than 30 years some of the worst offenders are modern expensive (often German!) diesel cars which probably never travel further than the supermarket or school run, with consequently clogged particulate filters ☹️