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Wood burning stoves – eco-friendly or not?

Wood burning stoves – eco-friendly or not?

September 24th at 12:00am

With gas prices on the rise, many people are looking towards wood burners this winter.

Wood burners are an old time favourite, as they help quickly create a truly relaxing atmosphere — with the process of tending to the flames enjoyed by many as part of the soothing ritual.

But there’s a portion of people who believe that wood burners haven’t changed much since their inception, harming the atmosphere and local environment — especially in smoke controlled zones, like cities such as London. This belief was then compounded by the Defra Clean Air Strategy, which helped spread multiple misconceptions about wood burning stoves.

Modern wood burning stoves however are continually being redeveloped and improved, and many products now provide a sustainable and low carbon way to heat your home.

In the blog below, we address some of the common misconceptions about wood burning stoves, and highlight the reality for buyers in 2021.

What does the Defra Clean Air Strategy say?

The Defra Clean Air Strategy states that domestic combustion (wood burning) is responsible for 38% of fine particulate matter in the UK.

However, the Stove Industry Alliance has pointed out ‘the research behind this statement is incorrect’ — as it cites a Government 2014 survey of only 1,200 people that wrongly estimated the amount of wood burnt on stoves and fireplaces in the UK.

Additionally, the domestic combustion figure from Defra includes outside sources, such as bonfires, incinerators, outdoor pizza ovens and wildfires.

A larger, independently verified survey from the SIA of over 10,000 people in 2019 showed the correct figure to be less than a third of the Government estimate — at 13%.

What’s more, much of the Defra data was based on old models. New Ecodesign stoves emit 66% less emissions than Defra’s estimation.

What is the reality for a buyer in 2021?

When selecting a model, keep in mind that not all wood burners are the same.

As the SIA points out, there are many certified appliances perfectly suitable for big cities, like London. But it’s best to select a modern, Ecodesign appliance that uses a sustainable source of fuel, as these are low in carbon use with low emissions. To help illustrate this, consider that Ecodesign stoves produce:

90% less emissions than an open fire

80% less emissions than a 10-year old stove

66% less than the estimates of emissions from wood burning stoves used in Defra’s Clean Air Strategy

These stats highlight how vital it is to do your research and select a modern, Ecodesign model — so you can rest assured that you’ve done your part in helping to reduce the impact on the environment, letting you enjoy the many relaxing benefits of your new wood burning stove proudly.

How to buy an eco-friendly woodburner

Unsure where to begin? Don’t worry, at Grate Expectations, we have you covered.

We have many Ecodesign stoves, which you can explore on our website. However, we’ve also highlighted a few of our favourites in the images below.

Get in touch

Once you’ve found a product you like, simply get in touch for further information or to arrange a purchase. You can contact us at 020 8540 8387 or sales@grateexpectations.com, or pop into our store at 1-3 Station Buildings, Kingston Road, Wimbledon Chase, London, SW20 8JT. We can also arrange a video call, so you can show us the space you’re working with, letting us give you the best product recommendation quickly and efficiently.

Just remember, once you’ve purchased your favourite new stove you’ll need plenty of sustainably sourced good quality wood.

For more information on the above topic, read the Stove Industry Alliance report or see this article from HETAS about domestic wood burning.

Our Favourite Woodburning Stoves

Our modern woodburning stoves and fireplaces provide low carbon and low emission heating using renewable and sustainable fuel. Here's a selection of our favourites.

Search our full range of wood burning stoves

Book a visit to our showroom

At our showrooms in Wimbledon Chase, London, you can view a wide range of fireplaces and working gas fires and stoves.

You can also browse the vast stock of cast-iron antique fireplaces that we store in our salvage yard.

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