Turning gas fire into wood burner?

(20 Posts)
Skyisbluetoday Mon 14-Sep-20 11:06:11

We recently moved into a small terrace that has a gas fire place in the living room. We don't like the gas fire but love the idea of a wood burner. Has anyone got experience of this sort of conversion and some advice? If it should be possible in principle, would you think this is a good idea considering the government changes on wet wood sales? Anyone now thinking that woodburners will no longer be an attractive feature when selling houses in future?

OP’s posts: |
Fyzz Mon 14-Sep-20 11:51:46

Get a nicer gas fire.
I have no gas and have oil central heating and a wood / multifuel burner. It's a pretty good one that heats hot water as well. I've lived here 30 years.
Never in a million years would I have the stove if I could have gas. They are a fashionable novelty.
You can't get instant heat if you come into a cold house.
You have to clean them out and relay every day unless you plan on keeping them burning 24/7.
Chimney needs sweeping every year.
Wood is expensive unless you have land and access to free wood.
It has to be stored in a dry place and must be seasoned (kept for at least a year after the tree is chopped down).

Last year we decided to manage without the stove and bought electric heaters, it was bliss. My electric bill went up but not by the amount I spent on wood/ coal.

Beebumble2 Mon 14-Sep-20 11:55:42

A wood burning stove has to be fitted by a HETAS certified installer.
The gas fire will have to be removed by a GAS Safe engineer. This could be the same quailed person.
The gas fire will have a flue lining that is for a gas appliance the wood burner will have to have a new regulation flue liner and chimney cap.

Beebumble2 Mon 14-Sep-20 11:56:03


Salome61 Mon 14-Sep-20 12:18:20

I second Fyzz's comment. I had twenty years of a woodburner and they are hard work, I won't miss it.

Nowisthemonthofmaying Mon 14-Sep-20 12:25:56

Modern eco wood burners heat up very fast and don't need cleaning daily - we do ours once a year. They burn so hot that there's not really any ash left after a fire. We have a fire every night once it's cold which means we don't need to have the heating on in the evenings (v small house though!)

I love ours but I'm not sure how much of a selling point they'll be in the future so I'd only get one if you really want one for yourself.

ApolloandDaphne Mon 14-Sep-20 12:28:29

We had a gas fire and changed to a woodburner. The same company organised the fire removal and the fitting of the log burner. The log burner is more work but much nicer I think.


rwalker Mon 14-Sep-20 12:32:54

You need a steel flue liner min cost £400 plus cost of woodburner you can't just burn anything price of wood can vary .
you need to have it swept every year cost about £60 and you need somewhere to store your wood .

if you deffo want that style you can get gas fired ones that look exaclty the same without the hassle.

Aurea Mon 14-Sep-20 12:41:02

We have a lovely gas 'lookalike' wood burner.


Burplecutter Mon 14-Sep-20 12:54:33

I replaced a gas fire with wood burner about 6 years ago. The gas fire was a nice one but the wood burner is a lot nicer. It's nicer ambience especially on cold rainy wintery days/evenings. And Xmas feels much nicer too. I don't agree that it's a lot of work. Yes you have to clean it out but that's just emptying the ash pan into a binliner and taking outside, quick wipe of the door. Takes minutes not hours, and doesn't need doing every day either.

20mum Mon 14-Sep-20 13:07:29

Future buyers won't think it's cute to wreck the planet.

MrsJamin Mon 14-Sep-20 15:47:36

I don't think it's cute to wreck the planet now tbh. They are smelly, expensive, take up room and a faff to get going. Love our underfloor heating, controlled by tech, very cost efficient and retains so much heat we only need heating on in the morning for an hour and a few hours in the evening, so we work from home in the daytime without it on at all.

GolightlyMrsGolightly Mon 14-Sep-20 17:04:01

I love ours, it’s a multi fuel. It’s a very new one, generates great heat, hardly any ash. I love it. We only burn kiln dried wood and, occasionally, smokeless fuel.

Cons. Kiln dried wood is expensive unless bought In bulk in which case you need somewhere to store it. It takes about 30 minutes to heat up, getting a fan on top of it helps. We didn’t need a flue liner but you might.

It’s not a cheap option. Probably won’t add value, a nice looking gas fire won’t either though.

PigletJohn Mon 14-Sep-20 17:24:05

How old is your house?

Are you fond of spiders and earwigs?

Skyisbluetoday Mon 14-Sep-20 22:48:55

Thanks all. There are some interesting views and helpful comments. The environmental point is something we are also thinking about. It's interesting to hear from so many people who use their wood burner as a main source of heat in winter. To be honest, this never occured to me. We have a family room with underfloor heating where we spend most of our time. The little living room is currently not used at all and just doesn't feel cosy. It does have a radiator in it though, so I assume the gas fire was not enough. The current fire place is huge, far too big for the size of the room and I just think a little wood burner would add the feeling of cosyness I am after. There is something very satisfying about burning wood that gas simply does not offer. I just don't know if we would use it enough to justify the expense. I have never had a wood burner - will I be disappointed because I really just want an open fire to stare into once in a while?

OP’s posts: |
JetBlackSteed Mon 14-Sep-20 23:32:44

I retained a wood burning stove after knocking through / doing up a snug / dining room. Thought long about it, as the chimney needed lined. I thought it would be nice on a cold winter evening to read a book by.
Reality: it's not been lit in over two years.
House gets too warm. We have a load of wood stored outside that is dry but just don't use it.
And I love an open fire.

VanillaSpiceCandle Tue 15-Sep-20 10:32:02

I’d definitely go for it. I grew up with open fires which I love but my house has a multifuel stove/wood burner in one living room. It is so much easier than an open fire to light and clean. We did buy a fan for the top and that massively improved the heat.

I think a fire or stove really makes the room especially if you’re putting back where one would have been. I think it’s a big selling point but it’s a very individual choice - if you’ll enjoy it, you’re staying in the house long enough and not renovating to make money then definitely put one in.

poshme Tue 15-Sep-20 10:57:13

To those people talking about wrecking the planet- what do you suggest instead?

Where I live there's no mains gas. We can have oil (delivered by diesel powered lorry) or LPG (delivered by diesel powered lorry). Both fossil fuels. House/garden not appropriate for heat pumps.
Or electricity fired heating. V expensive & only environmentally friendly if all green electricity. ££££

We cut wood from garden or buy local wood. Not kiln dried. We dry it & season it & burn in a very efficient wood burner. Releases the same amount of carbon as if the tree had fallen down & rotted.

How do you heat your houses? My house is ultra insulated & double glazed & temp inside usually 18-20 degrees other than in woodburner room where it gets very hot.

OP it's hard work, and you'll get far more dust.

GolightlyMrsGolightly Tue 15-Sep-20 11:02:55

Ours is lit most nights in the winter we are in - it's cosy, it makes the room feel lived in.

I sometimes light it when it's not quite cold enough to justify it just because I like having it on.

I'm having another one put into the room we are going to use as a home office as it'll mean we can just heat that room during the day when working from home.

That one is a bit of an indulgence - but it's a big old house and we won't want the heating on for one room and the radiator in there doesn't quite cut it. Could just use an electric fire or have installed a gas fire. But I'm not sure that using kiln dried wood in an efficient woodburner isn't that much worse for the planet.

VanillaSpiceCandle Tue 15-Sep-20 11:21:57

I agree @GolightlyMrsGolightly my parents (open fire) and I (stove) have never bought wood. Though we’re a bit lazy and sometimes buy kindling. My dad collects scrap wood at work, they use old newspapers to make theirs and we use kindling and sometimes a firefighter. This wood is literally going to landfill otherwise - which is shocking but it is really just scraps. They’re dry already.

We often don’t have the heating on and just the stove, closing the living room door in the evening and that’s it. If we didn’t have it, we’d heat the whole house through the central heating. We are with Bulb which is green but I still think this is better for the environment.

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