As gas and electricity prices surge, more and more people are exploring alternative ways to heat their home. Log burners and pellet stoves are among the most popular alternatives. But, they’re quite different appliances. If you’re trying to decide which one is right for your home, then keep reading…
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a log burner?
- 2 What is a pellet stove?
- 3 Log burners vs pellet stoves: which one is right for you?
- 4 A selection of our most popular log burners
- 5 A selection of our most popular pellet stoves
- 6 The number one place to buy stoves online
- 7 Shop log burners and pellet stoves at Direct Stoves now
What is a log burner?
First off – log burners. What exactly are they?
Log burners, also known as wood-burning stoves, are heating appliances that burn seasoned wood (or solid fuels such as anthracite, if you purchase a multifuel stove), to provide heat to the room in which they are situated.
They are relatively simple appliances, consisting of a firebox – the area where the fire is located – a stove door, stove-pipe and a series of air vents that help you to control the fire.
That’s it. They don’t need electricity, they’re easy to use, and they’ve been around for hundreds of years.
Like any heating appliance though, you can select from literally hundreds of different models, from wallet-friendly budget models, through to all-singing, all-dancing models that are packed with features at a much higher price tag.
Guide – find out more about log burners with our guide to wood-burning stoves.
What is a pellet stove?
Think of a pellet stove as being a modern take on the traditional log burner.
A pellet stove, as the name suggests, burns wood pellets and brings modern technology to bear upon traditional wood burning. As such, pellet stoves are highly-automated, very clean burning and are exceptionally efficient.
They do, however, require an electricity connection and are generally a bit more expensive than traditional log burners. But, as we’ll see, it’s very much a case of ‘you get what you pay for’.
Guide – discover more about pellet stoves in our pellet stove buying guide.
Log burners vs pellet stoves: which one is right for you?
So, which appliance is best for you and your home? A log burner or a pellet stove? Below, we’ve set out the important things you need to think about to help you choose between these two different types of wood-burning heating appliances.
How much of a budget are you working with? Your answer to this question may determine whether a log burner or a pellet stove is the more appropriate option.
Because log burners are relatively simple appliances, their up front purchase costs are relatively low, too. Here at Direct Stoves, it’s possible to pick up a wood-burning stove for just under £600 (correct at the time of writing – October 2022).
Pellet stoves on the other hand are more complex appliances featuring mechanised screw augers, extractors, and a series of pressure and temperature sensors. As such, they have a higher upfront cost.
Here at Direct Stoves you can pick up a pellet stove starting from £1,345 (correct at the time of writing – October 2022).
So, as you can see, your budget may determine which type of stove is right for you.
When it comes to installation costs, the converse can be true.
Pellet stoves have relatively low installation costs, as they can be simply placed against an exterior wall of your home. You’ll need to factor in the cost of creating a flue through the wall, but that’s about it.
Wood-burning stoves on the other hand can involve slightly higher costs. This is particularly true if you need to install a new hearth and create a new chimney/flue.
If you’re installing your wood-burning stove in an existing fireplace with a hearth and chimney, then this can reduce the associated installation costs.
If firewood is readily available in your area, and you don’t mind the splitting, stacking and storing that it requires, then a log-burner can be the more economical option.
Log burners can be even cheaper if you’re happy to salvage and collect firewood. But, be aware, it’s not always legal to collect firewood in woods and forests.
Wood pellets on the other hand tend to be more expensive by volume.
When it comes to fuel costs, the key point is how frequently you’ll be using your stove. Log burners are generally more economical if you’re going to be using them throughout the entirety of the day. Pellet stoves are more economical if you’re just going to be using them to heat a room for a few hours each day.
How concerned are you about cleaning your stove? If you don’t want to have to do much cleaning, then a pellet stove is the right choice.
Because of the way they operate, pellet stoves generate very little ash. In fact, some models of pellet stove feature self-cleaning combustion chambers. This means they require practically zero cleaning.
Log burners on the other hand require periodic cleaning. It’s necessary to remove the ash and other detritus from the bottom of the firebox. Whilst this isn’t a huge job, it can be a little messy. Likewise, if you’re using your log burner regularly, you’ll have to do this job more often.
Operating a pellet stove is straightforward. Once it has been installed, operation usually consists of little more than plugging it in, adding wood pellets to the fuel hopper and hitting the ignition button.
Once it’s running, a pellet stove doesn’t require tending to and will continue to run until it runs out of wood pellets. Some pellet stoves even feature timers and app control features, meaning they can be turned on and off based on pre-programmed settings.
Log burners on the other hand require a bit more skill and work to operate. Firstly, you need to learn how to light a fire. You also need to learn to control the fire once it’s burning, using the stove’s air vents.
Finally, you will need to keep your stove topped up with firewood in order to sustain the fire.
In short, if you want an appliance that requires minimal operation, choose a pellet stove. If you don’t mind being a bit more involved, then select a log burner – after all, for many people, that’s part of the fun!
Do you yearn for the ambience and feel that comes with a real fire? Then a log burner is the perfect choice.
Many log burners are available in ‘widescreen’ versions with large viewing windows set into the stove door, providing an unhindered view of the fire within.
Many pellet stoves also feature viewing windows, however, wood pellets don’t give the same pops and cracks that you get with logs and seasoned firewood.
On this point, we’d consider both pellet stoves and log burners fairly equal. They both offer a great aesthetic experience, bringing a real fire into the heart of your home. The choice is down to personal preference.
Both log burners and pellet stoves are well-built appliances that are designed to last.
You’ll tend to find that log burners have longer life spans because they are such simple appliances. There’s very little that can actually go wrong or wear out on a wood-burning stove. You can expect the very best log burners to easily last 25 years or more.
Whilst pellet stoves may not last as long as log burners (as they have electrical components and moving parts), you can still expect a quality pellet stove to last anywhere between 15 and 20 years – particularly if it’s well maintained and used as per the manufacturer’s directions.
Today, more than ever, people are conscious of how efficient their heating appliances are.
Luckily, both pellet stoves and log burners are highly efficient and will make your fuel last much longer.
Pellet stoves can have an efficiency rating in the mid 90s (many of the models we stock here at Direct Stoves are around 93% efficient). This means that almost all the energy from the wood pellets is converted into heat for your living room.
Whilst log burners don’t quite match pellet stoves in this regard, they’re still highly efficient, with many of the newest EcoDesign stoves having an efficiency rating in the mid 80s.
Whichever option you choose, your wallet will be pleased!
A selection of our most popular log burners
If you’ve read the points above and decided that a log burner is the best option for you, then explore some of our most popular models at Direct Stoves below.
Axon Chadwick Wood Burning/Multifuel EcoDesign Stove
The Axon Chadwick is a budget-friendly, high-quality wood-burning stove that has a sleek, simple design.
With a large viewing window, the Axon Chadwick will create a wonderful ambience in your home, allowing the glow and flickers from the fire to illuminate your living space.
The Axon Chadwick features three controls for fuel burn, air wash and air supply, meaning it burns wood extremely cleanly, producing very few particulates or other combustibles. With an efficiency rating of 75%, the Axon Chadwick will make your firewood last longer.
This stove can also burn solid fuels such as anthracite, providing flexibility should you need to burn an alternative to firewood. Finally, it also comes equipped with an ash grate and pan – making cleaning a breeze!
Charnwood Cove Two BLU Wood Burning/Multifuel EcoDesign Stove
Do you want a log burner with a difference? Then choose the Charnwood Cove Two.
Designed and manufactured in Britain by Charnwood, the Cove Two is the most popular of Charnwood’s Cove range.
Featuring a large viewing window, and a choice of eight colours, the Cove Two is suitable for all types of homes, from traditional to modern.
Thanks to its hearty heat output of 8kW, the Cove Two provides enough heat to keep even large rooms toasty warm on chilly days.
The Cove Two features Charnwood’s Quattroflow air management system, which makes it exceptionally clean burning. As a result, this stove is not only compliant with the new EcoDesign regulations, but is DEFRA-approved, meaning it can be used in smoke control areas (such as towns and cities).
You can also pick from five different stand options and colour-matched flue pipes.
To top it all off, the Charnwood Cove Two comes with a 10-year guarantee, so you can be assured of its quality.
A selection of our most popular pellet stoves
Is a pellet stove more your thing? Then take a look at a selection of our most popular pellet stoves below.
Duroflame Rinus Plus Pellet Stove
Designed and manufactured in Holland, the Duroflame Rinus Plus exudes quality and craftsmanship.
Being more compact than many pellet stoves, the Rinus Plus is ideal for rooms where space is limited, or where you want to place the stove in a corner or other spot where space is at a premium.
With an output of 7.3kW, this is a really powerful pellet stove and will comfortably heat large open-plan rooms, too.
All of this heat doesn’t come at the expense of efficiency either, as the Rinus Plus has an efficiency rating of 85.7%, making it highly economical to run.
Duroflame Batavia Pellet Stove
The Batavia is a pellet stove with a unique stance and design. With a large glass front, two side windows and angled styling, this is a stove that’ll turn heads.
Aside from its good looks, the Duroflame Batavia sports exceptional performance, with an efficiency rating of 94.8% and an output of 7.9kW. This is a significant amount of heat output, which’ll be enough to heat large open living rooms.
The Batavia also comes as standard fitted with a direct air spigot, making it ideal for more modern homes that may have low levels of air permeability.
The number one place to buy stoves online
Whether you want a log burner or a pellet stove, buy it from Direct Stoves.
Not only do we have one of the largest selections of stoves you’ll find on the internet, but we make buying one super simple.
We offer FREE mainland UK delivery, 14-day no hassle returns, a range of finance options (including 0% over 12 months), and even a video survey service where one of our stove experts can advise you on the best stove for your home.
Shop log burners and pellet stoves at Direct Stoves now
For more stove buying guides, information and advice, read the Direct Stoves blog…