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Wood Burning Stoves

There has been a lot of interest recently in Hungarian wood burning stoves due partly to the most recent rise in fuel prices but partly due to the push to become more Earth friendly. By burning wood that can be picked up as rubbish or is available as a renewable resource we are conserving the fossil fuels that are running out. Also, and without going into a full blown scientific explanation, burning fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide that had been 'fixed' in prehistoric times thus releasing greenhouse gases that would otherwise have remained 'fixed' in the Earth.

You might think that burning wood can't be very sociable because of the amount of smoke that is given off, but burning it properly in a wood burning stove at the very high temperatures that are achieved in these types of stove gives far less smoke and fumes than is normally associated with burning wood in an open fire.

This is the back of a wood burning stove, located in the adjoining wall of the kitchen/living area and a bedroom, generally in the centre of the house.
Hungarian wood burning tile stove.

These types of stove sometimes known as tile stoves are becoming more popular, 80 year old Peter Breuer a retired Customs and Excise lawyer living in a 3 bedroomed detached house in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, recently had one installed into his house in the UK. Mr Breuer has visited Hungary on many occasions owning a property there and has family from Hungary, in a recent interview about the stoves he said "It might be an old technology but it works, they are still used in Hungary by a lot of people. ............. I decided I wanted to have one in this country about five years ago but it's taken some time to realise it. No one knows what a tile stove is here." He went on to say that he has been able to switch off his central heating and now needs only the hot water supplied by his solar panels. This has now cut his gas bill from £20 to £5 a month.

Hungarian Wood Burning Stove (Front)

As well as the heating aspect of course it is a stove so there is a door on the front so that food can be cooked. Although the stove can dominate a room it is usually made into a feature, behind the tiles is a huge mass of masonry which retains the heat and radiates it throughout the day so acting as a storage heater. The wood burning tile stoves have been popular since the 14th century in a lot of European countries including Switzerland, Scandinavia, Northern Italy, Germany, as well as Hungary. Maybe they will catch on in the UK.