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The weather outside is frightful.....

... but the fire is so delightful.....

Ecofriendlier wood burners

The Government has introduced a certification for stoves that meet green standards, with an ‘ecodesign’ sticker, these stoves have improved air circulation and burn more cleanly. Here's a quick guide to owning a wood-burner under the new guidelines.

Buy an environmental stove

As well as looking for the ‘ecodesign’ sticker, check the efficiency rating and emissions levels. If you live in a smoke-controlled area, (like London), the only stoves you can legally buy are DEFRA-approved smoke exempt ones, which are tested for emission levels during all stages of normal operation. All of the main stove manufacturers now make all of their stoves green. Some brands to look out for are Stovax, Charlton & Jenrick, Charnwood, and Jøtul.

Upgrade to an eco-friendly model

And if your stove is over ten years old you should seriously think about upgrading to a more efficient, eco-friendlier one. Stoves available on the market now release 90% fewer emissions than open fires and 80% fewer emissions than the stoves of 10 years ago. Efficiency has also improved, meaning new owners get more heat for their money as new stoves are around 80% efficient.

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to make older stoves cleaner, you can retro fit filters, but this can be an expensive solution and not really proven technology.

Burn dry wood

If you already own a stove you can take steps to make wood-burning more environmentally friendly. Obvious but worth stating, make sure you burn dry wood, this cuts the emissions and gives you more heat. Garage forecourts, garden centres and DIY stores have started selling Government-approved "ready-to-burn" wood, which contains just 20% moisture.

For those who chop their own wood to burn, it’s recommended you let it dry for two years before putting it on the stove. If you cut a tree down today it will have around 60% moisture. Cover the wood and leave the sides open so the wind can circulate and dry it – then wait.

Regularly sweep your chimney

Have your chimney swept at least once, if not twice a year. Clearing chimneys of soot helps make the smoke leaving your house cleaner.

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