From Smog to Sustainability

Supporting National Clean Air Day

Clean air is crucial for our health and the well-being of our planet. The issue of air pollution has become a global concern due to industrialization and modernization. National Clean Air Day is an initiative that raises awareness and takes steps towards a cleaner and more sustainable future. In this blog post, we will explore the history of woodburners in home heating and provide tips on how to burn wood cleanly.
Today serves as a reminder to reflect on our environmental impact and take action to improve air quality. This annual event raises awareness about air pollution and encourages individuals, communities, and organizations to adopt cleaner practices. By participating in this event, you become part of a collective effort to combat pollution and protect our health and the environment.
clean air day

The Clean Air Act

Following the devastating smog of 1952, which caused numerous casualties due to unchecked air pollution, the UK has made significant progress. The Clean Air Acts of 1956 and 1958 marked a turning point in our history. In 2001, the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) was established to protect the environment from the harmful effects of air pollution. Smoke control zones were created, limiting the use of “unclean” coal-burning heating appliances. In response, the woodburner industry developed DEFRA exempt appliances that burn wood with low particulate emissions, making them suitable for use in these smoke control zones.
london 1950s smog

The Legacy of Woodburners

Woodburners have a long history as a reliable source of heat in homes. While they were once common, their prevalence contributed significantly to air pollution. Burning wood releases harmful pollutants such as particulate matter (PM), carbon monoxide (CO), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), leading to persistent smog in many areas. However, the woodburner industry has been dedicated to developing cleaner and lower-emission appliances. As a nation, we have phased out traditional coal-burning appliances and open fires, transitioning towards highly efficient, clean-burning stoves.

Burning Wood Cleanly:

While woodburners have improved in terms of efficiency and reduced emissions, there are still steps you can take to ensure cleaner burning:

1. Use dry and seasoned wood: Burning wet or unseasoned wood produces more smoke and pollutants. Choose properly seasoned wood with a moisture content of around 20% or less.

2. Proper stove maintenance: Regularly clean your woodburner and chimney to remove soot and creosote build-up, which can hinder efficient burning and increase emissions.

3. Optimize airflow: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for adjusting the air vents in your woodburner. Sufficient airflow helps achieve complete combustion and reduces emissions.

4. Size matters: Use appropriately sized logs that fit your stove. Large logs can smolder, leading to incomplete combustion, while small logs burn too quickly. Find the right balance for efficient burning.

5. Avoid burning treated or painted wood: These materials release toxic chemicals when burned, posing health risks and contributing to pollution. Stick to clean, untreated wood from sustainable sources.

6. Consider alternative fuels: Explore eco-friendly alternatives to wood, such as wood pellets or briquettes made from recycled materials. These options often have lower emissions and higher efficiency.

The Most Efficient Woodburner:

If you are looking to purchase a new woodburner, consider the Xeoos Twinfire which is the worlds most efficient wood burning stove with an outstanding 93% efficiency rating. This stove quite literally turns woodburning on its head, with its downward burning inverse combustion system that burns 50% hotter than regular woodburning stoves, resulting in significantly lower emissions and particulates.
Xeoos Twinfire EcoGreen Plus LR
Xeoos Twinfire ECO-Green Woodburner


As we strive for sustainability and cleaner air, woodburners can still be a part of our heating solutions if we adopt responsible practices. National Clean Air Day reminds us of the importance of collective action in combating air pollution. By following the tips mentioned above, you can enjoy the warmth of a woodburner while minimizing its impact on the environment. Let us all contribute to a greener and healthier future where smog becomes a thing of the past.

At Redefining Woodburners, we proudly support initiatives like National Clean Air Day. We are committed to promoting cleaner burning appliances and embracing a cleaner tomorrow.

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