Open fires and wood burning stoves
Open fires and wood burning stoves have risen in popularity, however smoke, and the particulates it contains, cause air pollution which can harm your health and those around you.
Watch the video from the Surrey Air Alliance or follow the tips below on how you can improve air quality.
Tips for using wood burning stoves:
- choose the right appliance: wood-burning stoves create less pollution than open fires, but you should choose a stove that is ‘ecodesign ready’ and future-proof yourself. In January 2022, it became illegal to manufacture and sell new stoves that do not comply with ecodesign regulations – we encourage anyone who is considering upgrading their stove to please do so, as these products are substantially more efficient and less polluting
- buy ‘Ready to Burn’ fuel: wet or unseasoned wood holds moisture which contains harmful particulates when burned - dry wood should have 20% moisture or less – ensure to look for the ‘Ready to Burn’ logo as a guarantee of high-quality dry wood
- use approved solid fuels: these products generate less smoke compared to house-coal when burned - they can also be more efficient, and therefore more economical
- consider burning less: think about how much fuel you are using and why you are lighting your fire. If it is a secondary heating source, ask yourself if it is necessary
- don’t burn treated wood or household rubbish: treated waste wood and household rubbish can emit harmful fumes and toxic pollutants into your home when burnt
- complete regular maintenance: you should maintain your stove annually to maximise efficiency, as well as regularly having your chimney swept, as this reduces the risk of chimney fires
More practical guidance is available in: Guide on open fires and wood burning stoves (Defra) (PDF, 268KB)