Sustainable Heating and Burning Wood



It is more important than ever to understand the environmental impacts of heating a home. We simply can’t continue to consume energy at the same rate as before. To safeguard the future, we need to better understand the environmental impact of what we are doing.

 In the United Kingdom, they have recently launched an initiative called Ecodesign. This is a directive, which is set to come into force in 2022. This means all wood burning stoves from 2022 need to be Ecodesign compliant.

Ecodesign is a way of reducing the pollution a stove produces. In comparison to an open fire, the differences are huge. An open fire will have an efficiency of around 25%. This means 75% of heat produced is wasted. An eco-design stove has an efficiency of 90%. This means only 10% of the heat a fire produced is wasted.

Ecodesign means a cleaner, greener environment – it also means lower heating costs for the owner of the stove, as they need to burn less heat when compared to a less efficient stove, or open fire.

Having a high efficiency stove, whether it be an ecodesign or just a standard high efficiency stove is one thing. However, it is vital you burn the right sort of wood. Below is a list of wood people burn on stoves.

Best Types of Wood:

 Ash – Ash is thought to be one of the best woods for a fire. This wood makes a steady flame and a good heat. Unusually – ash can be burnt when green, but like with most wood burns at it’s very best when it is dry.

Oak – It is a popular wood for furniture but also it makes great firewood. It burns slowly and makes a smaller flame. It burns best when seasoned for over two years or more.

Beech – Similar to ash, this wood burns well. Although it does not burn that well when green due to it’s higher water content.

Yew – Slow burn and produces an impressive, intense heat. Burning yew also makes a pleasant scent.

Hawthorn – This type of wood has a slower rate of burn, and a has a good output of heat.

Mountain Ash– Mountain Ash has a very good heat output and does burn slowly. Mountain Ash is also known as Rowan.

Thorn – Thorn produces little smoke – ideal wood where excessive smoke could be a problem. It also is considered an excellent wood as it has a slow burn and produces a good level of overall heat.

But what about the less desirable wood?

The less desirable wood should be avoided – it can produce a low heat output, cause excessive smoke and potentially congest a flue or chimney, which in turn can increase the chances of a chimney fire and/or carbon monoxide poisoning.

Alder – Chestnut – Firs – Eucalyptus – Holly – Laburnum – Spruce.