"The heat was just going out of the chimney", recalls Mark Crowley, a farm manager from Waterford. "With a bag of coal costing us around €17, we needed to replace the open fire".
He was right. According to heating and energy expert Seamus Brennan, "open fires are wasteful of energy, with more than 70pc of the heat going up the chimney."
So Mark opted for a Stanley stove, produced near to him in Waterford and a brand that saw an increase of 40pc in sales last year as people look for energy efficient alternatives.
Mark purchased the stove for "around €1,200, plus we got €200 off as part of a promotion". It's a big outlay, but Mark says his family "hasn't looked back".
They used to have one radiator in the sitting room and two in the hall on, but these are now turned off, with the stove heating both areas.
A stove retains as much as 76pc of heat in the room, according to Brennan, and can reduce energy consumption by 8 to 10pc.
Mark says: ''We're saving on home heating oil from not using the radiators, and bags of sticks for the stove totalling €120 to €200 would do us for the whole winter. We're now saving for a second stove to put in another part of the house.''