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Wood burners

What is a wood burner?

Wood burners are appliances such as wood burning stoves, fireplaces, and firepits that are used to burn wood in our homes or gardens, usually for heating or cooking.

Burning solid fuels like wood is the most polluting way to generate heat. Wood burners have become increasingly popular in recent years, as a way of creating a cosy atmosphere as well as perceptions that they are greener or cheaper sources of heat. In the UK, most people use a wood burner for decorative purposes, but some people burn wood as a primary source of heat.

Burning wood creates pollution inside and outside the home, which is dangerous for our health and the environment. Many people are unaware of the negative impacts of wood burning, even when using the most “eco-friendly” stoves or “ready to burn” wood. Evidence shows that it tends to be the wealthiest who use wood burners in cities – yet everyone, including the most vulnerable, experiences the consequences in neighbouring homes and communities.

Wood burning is one type of domestic burning. Other ways of burning solid fuels at home include wood-based and coal-based briquettes, smokeless fuels, manufactured solid fuels and coal. These can be burnt in open fireplaces, closed stoves, boilers, or in outdoor chimeneas, firepits, barbecues, pizza ovens, bonfires, and incinerators. All these forms of burning produce toxic pollution which is harmful for people's health and for the environment.