ClickCease Wood burning stoves in the news 2019: the truth - The Stove Fitter's Warehouse

Wood burning stoves in the news 2019: the truth

January 2019

Hi all,

Six years ago, Igunn Riddervold of the department of Public Health in Denmark conducted a study - exposing 20 volunteers with asthma, to concentrates of wood smoke 10 times higher than generated by a wood stove. The results? As reported by Dr James Le Fanu (Daily Telegraph 4 Feb 2019):

"No significant measurable effects were observed," apparently,  "in concordance with the findings of similar studies."

As Dr James says: "Throw another log on the fire".

Putting things into perspective (Harry Wallop Daily Telegraph Feb 2016:

Travelling by tube: I travelled six stops on the Victoria line and at no stage did the monitor fall below 125ug/m³
Woodburner (not EcoDesign Model): After an hour of mine burning brightly, the dial settled between 41ug/m³ and 43ug/m³ in my sitting room. 

A lot of what is in the media really is fake news. The government are not striving to ban stoves that use renewable resources (wood burning stoves) and have never said anything even remotely close. As usual the media "enjoy the story" and create headlines that shock.

The stove above is the Woodford 5 Widescreen, a next generation SIA Ecodesign Approved 5kW model. EcoDesign arrives in 2022 and is promoted by the government as the next generation of clean wood stoves. This is a GOOD NEWS story.

As 2022 approaches more and more press releases shall be released by the government (and presumably more rubbish from the media will be spouted).

The government, very reasonably, want to reduce the following:

1. Old, inefficient open-fireplaces and old, inefficient wood burning stoves.
2. The selling of damp wood.

They want customers to purchase the latest DEFRA (strict on emissions) and Ecodesign-Ready (even stricter on emissions) stoves and want users to burn dry wood only.

Do not forget that consuming gas and oil only ADDS to the greenhouse gas problem. Wood as a fuel is NEUTRAL: a tree, over its lifetime, absorbs as much carbon (or carbon dioxide) as it releases when burnt. There are pluses and minuses to many choices.

Look out for these icons:


Whatever you purchase the government will not backdate rules. They are only interested in making sure the better stoves are the ones sold in the future. 

I spoke to Ben Webster, Environment Editor, The Times at length regarding Ecodesign (he quotes me in this article). I feel the title is emotive. The 100,000 "have not been tested" under the new Ecodesign scheme so how could one designate them as "dirty"? Also what is the definition of dirty in this context? A whole range of excellent models of stoves went through the tests last year and all passed first time with no design changes. Were they dirty before they went through the tests and clean afterwards? Prior to the tests nobody would have know their level on the dirty scale. "Dirty" or "Clean" is not a definitive line. Passed Ecodesign or not passed is a definitive line but there might be one percent difference in emissions between the two. "Thousands might still be buying dirty wood burners" I would say is more accurate.

Also - when discussing awareness of Ecodesign stoves with Ben my comment was in response to the past, in particularly 2017 and the first half of 2018. I did say that this awareness was changing fast and consumers have been much more aware this last winter.

40% of the stoves we sold last year were Ecodesign models.

Julian Patrick


Kind regards,

Julian Patrick

Managing Director, Stovefitter's

01492 535 852

Verified Reviews