Woodburner or open fire?

Sometimes people think that a fire is a fire and that woodburners’ are an unnecessary expense. So if you have a fireplace that is bricked up and you are trying to decide between a wood-stove (the expensive option) or an open-fire here are a few things to think about.

Open fire

  • Cheaper to install
  • Not guaranteed that the fire will draw well when complete. May need a gathering hood fitting inside the chimney.
  • Soot attacks the brickwork, leading to repair work,
  • Very prone to differing weather conditions, often goes into reverse sending smoke inside the house.
  • Only 15% efficient so burns through fuel about 5 times as fast.
  • More storage space needed for fuel and more deliveries
  • High emissions causing pollution

Wood or multi-fuel stove

  • More expensive to install than an open fire.
  • Good draw produced by lining the chimney, which also protects the brickwork.
  • Designed to work with door closed so no smoke inside the house.
  • Around 70 – 90% efficient so burns through less fuel
  • Less storage space needed for fuel and fewer deliveries
  • Low emissions causing pollution

Open fires have been around since the dawn of time. Why would log-burners have needed inventing unless they improved the original invention?


Open fire in Molly Malones Pub in Hitchin