With new Clean Air legislation due in 2022 it's hard to know what stoves are allowed - or what's worth investing in. But fear not, the best manufacturers are on to it and many models are already compliant.
In a nutshell, if you live in a Smoke-Control Area (opens in new tab) and you'd like the comfort of a wood burning stove, you must currently ensure that your stove is DEFRA exempt. However, to reduce air pollution - and the nasty particulates that affect our health - new and stricter rules were announced earlier this year and only the cleanest stoves will be available by 2022.
Of course, burning the right wood is essential for lowering emissions too.Research shows that firewood that is dried to between 15-20% moisture content will not only provide the most efficient burn but also provides the most heat output, ensuring your stove and chimney or flue have minimal soot.
Poor quality logs have often been recently felled. Although they might appear dry, they are usually wet on the inside with each log containing up to a pint of water. They are highly polluting when burnt, releasing dark, black smoke and only yielding about a quarter of the heat you get from dry logs, meaning far more are required to heat your home.
Pallet, painted wood or timber that has been in any way chemically treated (such as decking, fences etc.) must never be burnt on a wood burning stove or fire. Not only can the chemicals damage the appliance and chimney, harmful fumes will be emitted that can dramatically reduce air quality in the local area (not to mention in your own home).
Thankfully, many companies are ahead of the game with a selection of stylish and energy-efficient models that already meet these new Clean Air regulations.
To save your energy, we've rounded up the best of the bunch...
TALL, DARK AND HANDSOME
The Lotus Prestige (opens in new tab) makes a striking centrepiece. It's fitted with Cleanburn technology and comes in a choice of stone coloured finishes.
cosy and compact
Heat your hallway, snug or conservatory with this neat little number from Nordpeis. At 625mm tall the Orion (opens in new tab) has a hotplate that can be used to boil a kettle, heat soup or cook a stew. How's that for cosy?
Standing on a tall log store base, the Vogue Midi T Highfire (opens in new tab) from Stovax has a slimline profile and a convector heat flow system for higher heat performance.
cool and curvy
Perched on its elegant plinth, the Aura 11 (opens in new tab) has a clean, contemporary aesthetic that would suit most modern homes - and its curved window allows better views of the burning logs.
STRONG AND STEADY
In the style of a traditional wood-burner, the Salisbury 8 series (opens in new tab) at Chesneys has a solid cast iron door and glazed window, with a robust yet uncluttered appearance.
It has the option of a log store and is available in six muted shades including black.
The Farringdon range (opens in new tab) at Arada combines the cosiness of a wood-burner with cool contemporary looks.
Choose from small, medium or large, with a pedestal base, a log store, or stand alone in a palette of seven colours.
For a statement stove the Slimfocus (opens in new tab) from architect's favourite, and multi award-winning Focus Fireplaces is hard to beat.
The striking piece, which is available in black or grey, can be floor-standing or suspended and pivoting.
The largest in ACR's cast iron collection, the Larchdale (opens in new tab) can burn 50cm logs, so suits a generous sized room.
Smaller in stature and made from steel, the Wychwood (opens in new tab) has a modern aesthetic and is energy-efficient.
IN THE ROUND
From Danish stove design heavy-weights, Morsø, the 6643 wood-burning stove (opens in new tab) has a sleek silhouette that can either sit neatly in a corner or take centre stage, and you can store logs below to soften the style.
The 6612 wood-burning stove (opens in new tab) also from Morsø is similar in appearance but sits on four tapered wooden legs for minimal style with a mid-century feel.
Check with the manufacturers about the type of wood you can burn and how to keep your stove spick and span for the best results in heat efficiency and air quality.
Look for Woodsure Ready to Burn labels, so you can be sure you are burning the right wood on your stove or try wood supplier: https://www.certainlywood.co.uk/
Jacky Parker is a London-based freelance journalist and content creator, specialising in interiors, travel and food. From buying guides and real home case studies to shopping and news pages, she produces a wide range of features for national magazines and SEO content for websites
A long-time contributor to Livingetc, as a member of the team, she regularly reports on the latest trends, speaking to experts and discovering the latest tips. Jacky has also written for other publications such as Homes and Gardens, Ideal Home, Red, Grand Designs, Sunday Times Style and AD, Country Homes and Interiors and ELLE Decoration.
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