Concerns about soaring gas and electricity bills are creating something of a boom in sales of wood burning stoves.

In many ways a wood burner provides the perfect solution to the affordability problem – especially in rural areas such as the Isle of Wight, where quality timber is in plentiful supply.

But while a log burner can be cheaper to run than traditional gas or electric heating, there are a few factors to bear in mind before making the investment.

It’s always worth doing some homework and talking to a professional supplier because there’s more to consider than just how attractive the stove will look in your living room. Would you want a freestanding stove for instance, an inset one or a ‘cassette’ stove – installed flush to the wall within a closed hearth, which means it can be placed at different levels on the wall.

Some models are less environmentally friendly than others, and recent legislation imposed some strict standards on the type of fuel that can be burnt.

Before going ahead, find out about installation costs, which – depending on the stove and the type of property you live in – can cost anything from £500 to over £5,000. Factors influencing the install cost will include whether or not you have an existing chimney (if not, it means installing a flue).

As for the all-important matter of running costs, once installed, a stove will certainly be cheaper to run than gas or electric heaters.  According to the Stove Industry Alliance, running costs for an average household are a third of electric heating bills and 13pc less than gas central heating.

A spokesman for the Alliance said: “With rising fuel costs, wood burning becomes ever more cost effective and our members are reporting increased demand for wood fuel supplies as concern grows about the financial impact on families of the energy price rises”.