I love the look of the woodburning stove but do you get that cosy feeling like you do with a fireplace, not sure I can imagine snuggling up in front of it on Christmas eve to read that last story to dc before Christmas <provides bucket to vomit in> Can you leave the front open so you can see the flames?
I am very lucky and we have both. The woodburner is much more efficient in terms of heat, but I have to admit I love the open fire. If you need it for heat go for a woodburner with a glass door. If it is for ambience have a lovely open fire.
Wood-burner, no question. We have one which burns constantly from late September to May (v cold sitting room).
It is v fuel efficient, can be run with doors open or closed (and has a spark guard as an optional extra). The best bit for me is that we don't have to worry about sparks, cleaning up is quite straightforward and it very rarely needs lighting.
Def the best of both worlds - mesmerising flames and a door to close them in when you leave the room/house.
I love her so much, I'm thinking of giving her a name !
The self cleaning glass is a technology beyond my comprehension. They say it involves some sort of airflow. It does seem to work quite well even though I don't understand it!
The spark guard clips on to the hole in the front of the stove when the doors are open and forms a sort of mesh screen to keep the sparks in. We don't often use it when the doors are open tbh, only when we've got some especially sappy wood.
Also, in a vaguely slutty way I often use the overnight heat to dry laundry. It gets draped over a clothes horse last thing at night and is always dry by morning.
ha ha i loved your post. MIL last christmas gave me the most horrible blanket with which, in her own words, to wrap my daughter in and read Christmas stories to on Christmas" well to be honest its so horrible it should be vomitted on...and i mean where on earth am i supposed to store said blanket in the meantime and remember to get it out intime for bloody bedtime stories... rant over.
anyway.. i digress. woodburning stoves are really not as atmospheric but they are much easier and efficient and you might find yourself using it more than a fireplace, so in the long run... more bucket moments!!
Go for a wood burner if you can they are far more efficient. If you are replacing a gas fire with an open fire you will find that the regulations won't let you as you are not allowed to replace a heat source with anything that is less efficient.
An open fire is about the least efficient form of heating you can get as it draws air from the rest of the house to burn. But they are lovely to sit in front of.
An open fire is essentially a large hole in your nice centrally heated house. Is that really what you want? I don't even find them pleasant to sit in front of, because of the drafts they create as the air is sucked through the house and chucked out of the chimney.
We have an open fire and a woodburning stove, and the open fire is for the chop a.s.a.p.
Having lived in houses which have at times been heated by wood alone, I can tell you that woodburners can actually heat a room to modern standards - a fire can make a room not actually freezing cold in patches.
There's no comparison - it has to be a woodburner!
BUT, before you buy one, you need to consider whether you have enough room to store the wood. They go through a lot of wood, and if you're going for a cleanburn stove, you should really be burning properly aged wood - which means that either you make sure you only buy dried seasoned wood (and send it back if it isn't), or you get your wood a year in advance and store it for a year to season it, which is cheaper / totally free but you then are effectively storing two years worth of wood in your garden at once.
You should also check how much heat output you need.
We currently have a Euroheat Stanford 80. We're thinking of buying something a bit different for the new stove, though, just because of the shape of the fireplace.