Which is best – a stove or an open fire?
We have a cold house – although the attic insulation is good, the house has huge windows which are draughty and I suspect the wall insulation could be improved too. I pull the curtains in the winter to keep out the draughts, not for privacy. ?We were determined to do something to add warmth to the kitchen this winter as it’s been on the long finger now for a couple of years and it makes it more comfortable for Brian when he is sitting up most of the night watching and waiting for cows to calve. ?I had toyed with the idea of an Aga but gave it up for a couple of reasons – one was cost and the other was the increasing cost of oil and electricity, I wanted to heat the room with a sustainable method and as we’ve been planting trees and there is usually one on the farm that falls per year, we have a reasonable supply to sticks and logs.
Even though we love the open fire in the living room, all the reports of 70% of its heat going up the chimney meant we debated putting a stove into the living room too – decisions decisions!
We eventually decided to put an Oscar woodburning stove in the kitchen. I like the traditional look of the Waterford Stanley stoves, especially in matt black. It’s been installed about 2 weeks now and the kitchen is transformed! ?A bit of coal and a few sticks on it and it gives constant heat. Brian is up quite a bit at night at the moment so he keeps sticks on it so it’s going 24 hours a day at the moment. ?The heat is constant around the whole room, no cold spots and the heat infiltrates into the neighbouring rooms and the room above the kitchen too. The pipe leading up and out of the stove is like a radiator and just radiates heat into the room. No more do we have to yell ‘shut the door’ when someone leaves the door open from the living room to the kitchen. ?It makes staying up all night that bit easier for Brian too! ?I’ll take a photo soon – a job over Easter is to repaint the kitchen now, it’s a bit cluttered down the end now with a dresser, a tall cupboard, a sideboard and 2 armchairs along with the stove but heyho.
The only negative I have is that sitting near the stove doesn’t mean that you are any warmer as it does spread the heat so well around the whole room. ?Neither is it particularly inviting to pull an armchair up to it as it just flickers behind the glass and seems removed. ?I’m glad I didn’t put a stove in the living room, I’ve always loved open fires – the way they flicker and change, the colours of the flames, the way they are always different, the way they are more tactile (in that they can be poked with a poker!!) Much of their heat may go up the chimney but you can’t beat an open fire – in my humble opinion. ?One of my favourite rituals is sitting down with a cup of tea in the armchair by the fire when I have come downstairs from putting the kids to bed.
Stove or open fire – which is your preference?