We use cookies to allow us and selected partners to improve your experience and our advertising. By continuing to browse you consent to our use of cookies as per our policy which also explains how to change your preferences.

Buying a log burner or multi-fuel stove

How much do log burners and multi-fuel stoves cost?

By Liz Ransome-Croker

Article 4 of 7

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

Use our stove costs guide and tool to work out whether the savings you could make on your heating balance out the cost of buying and installing a log burner or multi-fuel stove.

If you're thinking about buying a stove, you're probably wondering whether it's a good way to cut your heating bills. But with wood-burning and multi-fuel stoves costing anywhere between £400 and more than £2,000 – not even accounting for the cost of installation – could you really save money?

When we asked 237 stove owners*, who also have central heating, whether their stove has saved them money on their energy bills, 43% believe it has. However, 47% didn't think it had made any difference. 

When it comes to the initial outlay, on average the stove owners we spoke to spent £1,897 on their stove and installation:

  • 29% spent between £1,000 and £1,999
  • 13% spent much more - between £2,000 and £2,999
  • 13% got a stove cheaply, spending between just £500 to £999.

But there are a lot of factors that can influence how much a stove will cost you to buy and install, and whether you can really save money. Below, we talk you through the costs of buying a stove, getting a stove installed and running a stove.

We've also worked with our scientists to put together a stove costs tool to help you work out what savings you could make. 

To view all of our research, Which? members should log in now. If you're not yet a member, you can unlock our research plus all of our expert advice and online reviews by joining Which?.

This will also give you access to our stoves installation and buying pages, where we've collected together advice from experts and stove owners to help you buy the best. 

How much do log burners and multi-fuel stoves cost to buy?

The cost of a stove is partly dependent on whether you want a log burner or multi-fuel stove, as well as the size and wattage you need. 

Wattages range from 3kW to more than 15kW, and will be determined by the type of room you want to install it in. The Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) says that 5kW is the average size of stove.

Below, we give you a rough idea of the cost of a basic stove for a few different types, and what can affect the cost - log in or join Which? now to reveal the information.

How much are boiler and pellet stoves?

If you want to get a boiler stove - a stove with a boiler included or attached - you're looking at paying around £1,000 to £2,000. 

Pellet stoves can cost between £1,000 and £4,000, depending on the size. The cost is mostly down to the fact that they are powered by electricity and have an automatic system that feeds the pellets into the stove.

If you're thinking of getting a whole wood-heating system instead of just a stove, your costs will be a lot higher. To learn more about the pros and cons, click wood heating systems

 How much does it cost to install a multi-fuel or wood-burning stove?

According to the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA), installation costs could vary between £750 and £2,000. But the average installation costs £1,500.

There are a number of factors that affect installation costs, and these all depends on your home. Installation may cost more if:

  • you need to have your chimney relined because otherwise gases would escape
  • your chimney needs work on it and is particularly tall, so may need scaffolding
  • you need a flue created as you don’t have a chimney
  • a vent needs to be fitted in the room - this is a building regulation requirement.

If you are quoted much over £2,000 for the installation of a stove alone, be wary. We recommend getting three quotes after a survey. Some installers charge for this, others don't – so shop around. Get written confirmation of what the quote includes, so you can easily compare costs.

£1,500The average cost of a stove installation.

To make sure you get a safe installation and to find out what to expect from your installer, see our guide to the stove installation process.

You can also visit Which? Trusted Traders to find a trustworthy stove installer in your area. All traders who bare our logo have passed our extensive checks, so you can be assured they're reputable. 

How much does it cost to run a stove? 

Before deciding whether or not to get a stove, it’s worth thinking about how much it will cost to run. This varies greatly depending on the type of fuel you choose to burn. 

This may be determined by what you have access to, how easily you can store it and whether you live in a smoke-controlled area. Take a look at our guide to buying a stove to help you decide.

Cost of wood for a log burner

It's estimated that stove owners use around three to four cubic metres of wood a year, but this could vary greatly depending on what wood you use. It also varies according to the wattage and efficiency of your stove (this can range from 60% to more than 80%), the hours you run the stove, and the energy efficiency of your home. 

Prices also vary by supplier and region, so it's worth taking a look at how much it costs in your area before making a decision.

But to give you a rough idea of the cost of wood, we've looked at prices across five online suppliers. All sites deliver across the UK, and the prices for seasoned and kiln-dried logs don't include delivery, but the price for the wood pellets and briquettes do.

  • Seasoned logs - around £125 per cubic metre
  • Kiln-dried logs - around £140 per cubic metre
  • Wood pellets are usually sold by the kg and cost around £242 per 1,000kg (500kg is roughly equivalent to one cubic metre)
  • Briquettes (made of crushed paper or wood) are also usually sold by the kg and cost around £290 per 1,000kg .

The prices for the logs are for hardwoods, such as ash, birch, oak and beech. These types of wood burn slower and have a higher heat output than softwood (pine and fir, for example), but are slightly more expensive.

£140The approximate cost of seasoned logs per cubic metre.

Keep in mind that although some types are cheaper to buy, they may be less efficient to burn. For example, seasoned logs (ones that have been partially dried out) have around 25% to 40% moisture and so a 3kWh output per kg. 

Kiln-dried logs have around 20% moisture and so a 4.5kWh output. Pellets and briquettes have the moisture content of around just 10%, and heat output of around 5kWh.  

We would suggest only burning logs with a moisture content of less than 20%. With anything other than kiln-dried logs, briquettes and pellets, it's best to dry them out yourself. 

You can also buy, or even find, freshly-cut logs. These are cheaper, but have a high moisture content of between 60% and 90%. They will therefore have a very low heat output of around 1kWh per kg.

20%Only burn logs with 20% or less moisture content.

Because of their inefficiency, and because burning moist logs will create more build up in your chimney and potentially harmful air pollution, we wouldn't recommend burning them as they are, but instead drying them out yourself. This is called seasoning, and will take one to two years.

However, this does mean you'll need the space and time to do so. For advice on the best fuel to use, go to using your wood-burning stove, and for more information on pollution from stoves, visit our dedicated page.

Cost of coal for a multi-fuel stove

Coal is usually sold in 10kg  bags, but you can buy in bulk to reduce the price. It has the heat output of around 8kWh per kg.

Roughly speaking, house coal can cost between £5 and £10 for a 10kg bag. Smokeless coal, which produces less smoke, costs around £10 to £15.

Smokeless coal releases fewer emissions compared to house coal, and so is seen as more environmentally friendly. If you live in a smoke-controlled area, you'll only be able to use smokeless coal. 

You can find out more information on the different types of coal on our page about using your stove.

Cost of maintaining your stove

For all types of stove and fuel, you will also need to pay for maintenance. It’s recommended that you have your chimney swept twice yearly to keep your stove in good working order, and so that it doesn't produce potentially harmful pollutants or become a fire risk. This should cost between £60-£120 a year. 

If you have a pellet stove, this will need to be serviced as well at around £200 a year.

Make sure you use a qualified stove installer or chimney sweep to service your stove. You can visit Which? Trusted Traders or the National Association of Chimney Sweeps to find one in your area.

Can a multi-fuel or wood-burning stoves save me money?

There are rough calculations on how much a stove will cost you to buy and run, and whether it could save you money on your heating bills. But every home and stove is very different, including the wattage you'll need, the amount and type of fuel you'll use, and the hours you will be using it. 

To give you a rough idea for yourself before speaking to an installer, you can use our stove costs tool to estimate how much you could save, balanced against how much as stove could cost you.

Which? members can log in now to use our tool. If you're not yet a member, joining Which? today to unlock our calculator to work out whether you could really save money.

Before you start, you'll need to do the following first.

Decide what type of stove you would like

Choose between a log burner or multi-fuel stove. Once you know this, you can assume the rough cost of the stove itself.

Decide what fuel you are likely to use

We suggest looking at what supply is near you and how much it could cost. As well as whether you live in a smoke controlled area.

Work out what wattage of stove you will need for your room

The average is 5kW - but the bigger the room, the bigger the wattage will be. This figure will also be affected by what energy-saving features you have in your home, such as insulation. So it’s best to speak to an installer to get a definitive answer on this. 

But, as a rough guide, multiply the height, width and length in meters together and divide this by 14 - this calculation is also within the tool.

Think about how many hours a week you plan on using the stove

For example, three hours each evening in the week and 12 hours at the weekend would add up to 27 hours per week. 

Find out how much you spend on gas

Your energy bill should show you how much the cost for gas is per kWh. If it's not on your bill, you can contact your energy supplier.

Use our stove costs tool 

Log in now to access our tool, or join Which? to get instant access. You’ll also get access to our downloadable stove-buying checklist and more on how to buy a safe, efficient stove.

You can also use Which? Trusted Traders to find an installer near you for advice. Every trader on our books has been through our rigorous background checks and has been verified as having the relevant experience and qualifications.

*(August 2017 survey of 237 stove owners and Which? members who have a stove as well as central heating)

SHARE THIS PAGE