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Clean Air

Clean Air Day Response

25th Jan 2024

There has been some bad press in the last week by the Clean Air campaign who are leading people to believe that wood burners may soon be banned. This is not the case, especially if you are thinking of purchasing a new ECO-compliant stove.

Clean Air day is about reducing the use of vehicles to reduce emissions; switching over to greener sources of energy; planting trees and creating green spaces in order to improve air quality and through this the health of the nation.

Claims made by the London Wood Burning Project and this week, that domestic burning makes up 27% of PM2.5 emissions relies on the grouping of all methods of burning wood (thus including garden and allotment bonfires , chimineas, barbecues, pizza ovens & firepits) inside and outside the home, campsites and holiday venues.

However, the actual PM (particulate matter) contribution into the air of modern wood-burning stoves is estimated by the UK government's official figures at just 1-2%. Modern Ecodesign compliant stoves produce 90% less particulate emissions than a traditional old-fashioned open fire which burn very inefficiently. Data from the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory shows that burning seasoned (dry) wood on an EcoDesign compliant stove accounted for less than 0.1% of total UK PM2.5 emissions in 2021.

However 70% of wood burned in London is done so on open fires, which is an offence in smoke control areas due to the dirty air created by the inefficient burning of fuels. All new Eco stoves meet the standards set for Smoke Control Areas so all new stoves are cleaner burning than ever and suitable for any area. Thus if any ban was to be brought in, it would need to start with bonfires, then tackle open fires in houses and on to older models of log burners before a blanket ban could be applied to the sale of new stoves. 


Poor Indoor Air Quality


A Manchester University study also conducted inn2021 found that candles, incense, and hairspray all gave higher PM readings than the use of a modern Eco-compliant log burner.

The worst offender when considering indoor air quality is the cooking of a fried breakfast, which gave PM readings over 20 times higher than the World Health Organisation's recommended limit.

Poor Outdoor Air Quality- Worst Offenders



Bonfire night alone in the UK generates 18 times the amount of PM2.5 emissions as all the Ecodesign stoves burning dry wood do all year round.

Cigarette smokers create 12 times as much PM2.5 annually as Ecodesign stoves burning dry wood

Thus you can use your wood burner and still support Clean Air Day but do make sure that;
    a) your fuel is from a quality supplier and wood is seasoned and low in moisture (use a moisture meter if you are unsure)


    b) you burn the stove in the optimum range (not too high/ not to low), a stove pipe thermometer can help you with this.


    c) you leave the air open overnight so that the stove does not slumber (burn at a very low temperature creating lots of soot and particulate matter)


    d) avoid burning outside, unless really necessary and if so, make sure you burn it hot and definitely do not burn household rubbish or wet leaves, branches etc, that's what the brown bin is for. Ask your neighbour if you don't have one.

    e) swap your charcoal barbeque for a wood burning stove with grill suitable for cooking in the garden