Posted by Charlie O'Donnell on

Fuel for your fire

Each year, an estimated 200,000 UK homes install a wood stove. Recently the government, under huge pressure to improve air pollution, has recently brought the burning of wood into focus. The result has been a flurry of negative press articles that call into question the health and safety of burning wood at all. On closer inspection, the government scrutiny is part of a huge air quality challenge, of which wood burning makes up just a tiny part.

“an estimated 200,000 UK homes install a wood stove”

The extent of their guidance is likely to be to choose the cleanest possible domestic fuel. Gillibrands is in full support of improving air quality. As ever, our advice is to choose the right stove and burn the right fuel.


Wood burning stoves are most popular in south-east England, where some 16% of homes have one. The national average is around 5%. The negative press stems from a detailed report by The Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health. The report details huge air quality challenges (much of which is caused by transport) what causes them and how best to solve them. The report includes wood burning stoves and how they contribute to air quality issues. Two key points need to be considered in light of this report:


  • Wood burning stoves are more efficient than ever. Each year brings new developments in efficiency and where new stoves replace old stoves.
  • The Stove Industry Alliance works closely with government to make certain that any problems relating to the Clean Air Act are solved by the stove industry.

“Each year brings new developments in efficiency“

A statement by Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said: “Many of us enjoy a cosy fire in our homes, but burning dirtier fuel has a real impact on the quality of air for our family and friends around us. We must be mindful that pollution is about more than just transport. Poor air quality affects public health, the economy, and the environment, which is why we are determined to do more. However, if we make the switch to burning cleaner domestic fuel, we can continue to enjoy burning wood and smokeless coal in stoves and fires in our homes.”

“The core of the issue comes down to fuel quality”

With regards to choosing the right wood burning stove, there are a number of factors to bear in mind. Give us a call, we’d be happy to talk you through them. But any stove you buy, bearing in mind the need to drive down air pollution, should be modern, efficient, approved and fitted by a HETAS approved fitter. The core of the issue comes down to fuel quality, as the Environment Minister stated above. The type of fuel used in a wood burning stove makes a massive difference to the type and quantity of pollutants produced. The key is to burn only the driest wood possible.

Kiln dried wood dried below the 20% moisture content or smokeless eco-friendly solid fuels create clean burns. Not only that, they keep you warmer for longer.

So choose the right fuel for your fire.

Posted in: General,Woodburners