Case Study: 'It's easier than a fireplace'
When newly-married Alexa O'Byrne and her husband Shane Mitchell moved into their period, over-the-shop apartment in Booterstown, Dublin they knew keeping it warm would be a challenge.
"It's like a loft and we opened up the space entirely; with a high attic there were two storeys to heat; you could see your breath in the morning it was so cold," says Alexa, who works in retail. "I grew up with open fires and they're an attractive focal point."
They chose an 'Oisin' stove from Waterford Stanley (available in matt black at €499 or enamel finish at €899).
"It's simple to use and easier than a fireplace. Ash collects at the bottom and we just empty the tray. The wood actually burns to nothing. Sometimes we just sit in front of it with a glass of wine."
Shopping around was essential. "There was up to €200 in the price difference between different shops but we need no other heat on. Our winter bill went from €300 for two months to less than €170".