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ESSE’S Q & A on Wood burning Stoves


Q: Are wood burning stoves going to be banned?


A: No, but from January 2022, only the cleanest burning stoves which meet strict new emissions standards will be on sale in the UK.


Q: Is wood burning a major contributor to air pollution?


A: It’s important to remember that the pollution statistics include a large proportion of open fires. Which do not reach the temperature at which some pollutants are burnt off. Anyone currently using an open fire may want to consider installing an efficient inset stove. An inset stove burns cleaner with 80 per cent of the heat radiation into the room as opposed to an open fire where just 20 per cent of the heat radiates into the room.


Q: How much air pollution do wood burning stoves actually produce?


A: According to Defra’s new Clean Air Strategy, a Defra exempt CE 2022 wood burning stoves emits 335g of particulates per MWh. An open fire produces almost 10 times this amount of smoke but less heat.


Q: Can I use a wood burning stove in my area?


A: Use this handy postcode-tracker,, to find out if you live in a Smoke Control Zone.


Q: Can I still use my old wood burning stove?


A: Yes but in the future, existing owners will be encouraged to upgrade their old, less efficient stoves and will face restrictions on the fuel burnt in them. To minimize air pollution[, ensure your stove is serviced every year and the flue swept  annually a well.


Q: If I buy a new wood burning stove now, will I still be able to use it after 2022 ?


A: Yes the new standards only affect the sale of new stoves after 2022. If you purchase your stove before then, you are free to continue to use it after 2022.


Q: Can I burn logs I find in my local woods in my log burner?


A: Possibly, but strictly speaking, it should be sustainably sourced and properly dried and seasoned so that it’s moisture  content is lower than 20 per cent.


Q: When does the new Defra Approved Air Quality Standard for stoves come into force?


A: 2022


Q: Is there a scrappage scheme to trade in my old wood burning stove for money off a new stove?


A: Not yet, but the Government is looking at ways to incentivize stove owners to upgrade their older stoves to the latest model’s.


Q: Are wood burning stoves more efficient than an open fire?


A: Yes. A modern wood burning stove generates more heat and emits 90 per cent fewer emissions than an open fire.


Q: I live in the countryside does it really matter what sort of wood burning stove I use?


A:Yes, Although Smoke Control Zones are centered on towns and cities. The Governments new air Quality Strategy also covers rural areas.


Q: Can I read the Government’s Air Quality Strategy fro myself?


A: Yes. Follow this link to download a copy:

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