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Central heating is wonderful for keeping our homes snug during the cold months but nothing can replace the cosy glow of a wood fire. Fortunately, with a wood burning stove you can have the best of both worlds and save money in the bargain. You can heat your living room with a stufe a legna running economically on wood pellets and just turn on your central heating to warm up the rest of the house when needed.

Stoves were once at the heart of every home but were replaced as gas and electricity powered devices were developed for cooking and heating. In recent years, people have begun to rediscover the charm and efficiency of the wood stove and installed one or more in their homes as supplementary heating system. If you're interested in doing the same, here are some things you need to know.

A wood burning stove, also known as a wood stove is a stove that burns wood to for heating and cooking. A woodstove comes in many types ranging from smaller stoves running on wood pellets to large wood burning cookstoves. Wood pellets are generally produced from sawdust or wood shavings.

The ease of use of the stove depends on the type of fuel it uses. Pellet-burning stoves are fully automatic - you just need to load up the wood pellets and clean up after each use. A wood-burning stove on the other hand needs manual supervision but cleaning is only necessary on a weekly basis.

As for installation, wood stoves are freestanding and can be added to any room. However, they are heavy items and most homes are not designed to take that kind of weight so you’ll need to install some kind of support. Another factor is that you need some provision for fire resistance to protect your floors. One option is to buy wood stove pads which will give your rooms the protection they need.

So what are the advantages of installing a wood burning stove in your home?

For one thing, they are very efficient, especially when compared to open fires. Wood stoves generally operate with and efficiency of 75% compared to 15-20% for open fires. What's more the timber used as fuel is around 30% cheaper that gas and oil. And as a carbon neutral fuel, wood stoves are eco friendly. Another great benefit of the wood burning stove is that it reduces your dependency on gas and electricity as energy sources to heat your home.

If you're thinking of installing a wood stove in your home, here are some things you need to bear in mind.

Firstly, wood stoves don't offer quite the same push button ease of operation that gas and oil powered systems do. You may have to spend time on loading, lighting and tending your stove, not to mention cleaning.

In addition, wood fired stoves don't burn as cleanly as those using fossil fuels though this depends to some extent on the grade of wood pellets you choose. There are two basic types - standard and premium and the latter while costing more do tend to burner more cleanly. You need to check what grade of pellet your stove can handle. Multifuel inserts and stoves can handle both types of pellets along with those made from wheat, corn and other organic sources.

When looking for a woodburning stove or stoves to buy, you have to consider the matter of style. Stoves take up space so you'll want them to fit in with your existing decor and colour scheme. You have a wide range of styles to choose from including reproductions of the classic cast iron stoves of yesteryear and sleek modern designs using other metals and coated with veneers in a broad range of colours.

The best way to find your ideal wood burning stove is to visit the web sites of online dealers and manufacturers where you can browse the illustrated details of stoves. You can email or phone for more information and after placing your order, you stove will be delivered to your door.