Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


Wood burner

96 replies

Notmyyearthisyear · 10/04/2022 16:53

I know that they are not the best thing for the environment but I’m getting increasingly worried about keeping the house warm enough on a single income.
Has anyone had a wood burner recently installed? Can you share any thoughts/ recommendations?

OP posts:

Rosser · 10/04/2022 22:09

@Pizzadreams You obviously know your stuff so why do defra only say to think before you burn and to consider using your primary heat source, if you have one? This makes me presume that electric or gas central heating is always a better option than wood burner. Honestly, the environmental impact doesn’t worry me anything like the amount the idea of the particles and my kids lungs.

@bellac11 Yes, I hate everyone on social media. So I should like you then!


Ghislainedefeligonde · 10/04/2022 22:19

It’s got to be better than an open coal fire which is what we currently have to heat our living room. We are putting in 2 this summer, we have limitless supplies of our own wood and are otherwise reliant on oil central heating which is eye wateringly expensive.


PissedOffNeighbour22 · 10/04/2022 23:11

@MrsJamin We have this issue with our neighbour. He burns any wood rather than seasoned wood and our garden is always full of smoke and it comes in through the vents and keyholes/gaps in wooden door etc.
All our neighbours have wood burners as we don't have mains gas despite not being rural (we had the 2 in our house removed as soon as we moved in). It never occurred to me that I wouldn't be able to breathe properly in my own sodding house and can only use my garden when it's warm enough for neighbour not to have the fire going. I have 2 very young children and I hate that they're breathing so much crap in and can't see us staying in this house any longer than is necessary.


Ratatoo · 10/04/2022 23:13

I love the look of them but did a market research thing with a uk health organisation and they said that it's the same as having a car sitting idling in your front room, and that children have the same issues as if the lived with someone who smoked indoors.

Really put me off.


Threetulips · 10/04/2022 23:21

Have a look at the ones that need no installation and run on liquid something!

Look the same but no installation costs


flashbac · 11/04/2022 03:45


Have a look at the ones that need no installation and run on liquid something!

Look the same but no installation costs

The fuel is very expensive for these.

lljkk · 11/04/2022 04:04

hmmm... My mother smoked. Having a wood burner is not like having a smoker in the house or going to English pubs in the 1990s. Not even remotely teeny tiny bit.

As someone who cycles thru the city to get to work among the diesel-spewing buses -- it's not remotely like as lung-hammering as that, either.

it's not like the irritating diesel fumes that spewed off the (geological) drilling rig I worked on for a few weeks. Or being around any diesel vehicle, especially buses -- why do their engines run constantly when idling, anyway?

Or the kerosene fumes that come off our actual oil-fired boiler, right outside the kitchen door.

I've had a few tasks in life that involved A LOT of dust for long periods. Clearing ashes out can be like that but for 5-30 seconds not 30+ minutes. I suppose emptying the vacuum cleaner is most similar household task.

And then there's the irritating smell that gas cookers give off. Apparently quite bad for indoor air quality. We never get obsessives on MN telling all the people with gas hobs to change to electric.

I guess everything's relative.


Pizzadreams · 11/04/2022 07:56

Op, if it helps, to summarise

If you wish a wood burner, have a hetas engineer install an eco design stove, which has a defra exemption and exceeeds thr clean air strategy requirements
Use only seasoned wood or smokeless fuel, and you then mitigate any health risks
Cost to buy and install is very expensive, so pay back will take time
Do not diy install as a previous poster suggested, it needs to be notified to building regs when installed, and if not installed safely there is a chance house insurance will not pay out in the event of fire. Fire risk is mitigated if installed correctly Ie lined chimney etc and chimneys swept regularly,
Cleaning is not cumbersome or hard, it’s just a drawer you pull out and tip into a black sack or whatever, it takes thirty seconds, it can also be used in thr garden.
Seasoned wood is expensive, and you need signficant outside storage to keep the wood dry, as you need to bulk buy to keep costs down. Although even then it is still expensive, just not as expensive as buying small bags from the supermarket or service station
You should never burn wet scavenged wood, old pallets that have been treated, old furniture etc if you can avoid it, it does cause a health risk, plus outside pollution and it tars up the chimney giving risk to a chimney fire.

Woodburining stoves are a highly efficient and safe method of heating your home and they look lovely, but only if done correctly otherwise it’s a risk, and it is not cheap, unless self sufficient in wood.


notacooldad · 11/04/2022 08:03

I tolerated ours because it is what Dh and son's wanted and weve had two for years.
However I am appreciating it now.
We do have a constant supply of good dry wood and axes though!!


Threetulips · 11/04/2022 08:07

I buy wood by the ripper load - £200 in the summer and it lasts all winter.

Compared to gas prices it’s really cheap.


bellinisurge · 11/04/2022 10:25

We had a power cut in winter. It was a blessing


cushioncovers · 11/04/2022 10:39

Are they really that bad for your lungs? I grew up with an open fire in the front room, every adult smoking indoors snd lead paint on my cot, Surely it can't be worse than that. Hmm


hannahcolobus · 11/04/2022 17:39

Apologies if anyones mentioned this already, but the British Heart Foundation commission a study in to log burner use last year as part of their wider research in to the effects of air pollution in general on our health and the results are horrifying.

I think they look absolutely beautiful in some homes, but I really do worry for all those who are now having to rely on them as a form of heating. There’s a reason life expectancy is longer now than in the days when people lived in homes filled with particulates from burning wood etc. Obviously a number of things have contributed to us living longer but this does seem like a massive step backwards. As lovely as they are!


bellinisurge · 11/04/2022 18:20

I had a coal fire as a child in the 1970sand it was nothing like wood burners now. An open fire spits all kinds of crap into a room. A wood burning stove much less so.


Floralnomad · 11/04/2022 18:25

For those wondering how bad they are for lungs - I have small vessel lung disease and in the winter have to take double inhalers and ventolin to walk the dog when people have their burners alight and that is just walking in the vicinity of them . In the summer I barely use any ventolin and can reduce my steroid inhaler .


lljkk · 13/04/2022 05:53

whenever I look at studies at how 'bad' wood burners are, the studies seem to mix up coal burning & with wood burning, and mix up open fires with metal stoves.

does someone have link to (ideally separate indoor & outdoor) air-pol impacts of burning wood/paper products only in stoves only ? Excluding open fire, excluding coal ?


hannahcolobus · 13/04/2022 07:46


whenever I look at studies at how 'bad' wood burners are, the studies seem to mix up coal burning & with wood burning, and mix up open fires with metal stoves.

does someone have link to (ideally separate indoor & outdoor) air-pol impacts of burning wood/paper products only in stoves only ? Excluding open fire, excluding coal ?

Here you go:

The first article refers to a study that didn’t even use wet wood, and only focussed on the ‘safer’ models- so even they’re terrible for your health. The issue is when you open the door and the particulates flood the room. Of course then on top of that you have the damage to the environment, but these articles specifically talk about indoor pollution, and that’s what leads on to the British Heart Foundations study about how that links to all sorts of horrendous health conditions.

Libertybear80 · 13/04/2022 07:54

We had ours put in a few years ago. We have a free supply of wood. It's proving invaluable as I try to heat the home whilst saving on bills.


axolotlfloof · 13/04/2022 07:54


If you buy wood this is going to get more expensive as since this year's rules about wood being sold needing to be kiln dried or seasoned a lot of wood is now imported, Russia being one of the key countries.

We buy local. I think it was £70 a dumpy bag, and has lasted ages.
I think stove and installation cost £1500.

lljkk · 13/04/2022 08:29

That seems to be mostly anecdotes the specific study cited was led by Gary Fuller can anyone find his original research for me? (sorry, I failed) the quotes are all mixes of open fires & stoves. Not purely about stoves. I presume he did Stove-exclusive work.

thanks for Sheffield study which is what I wanted, it calls for more studies to clarify impacts of "relatively short-term peak PM exposure on human health.'


Pizzadreams · 13/04/2022 08:45

We buy local. I think it was £70 a dumpy bag, and has lasted ages

It’s clearly a very small stove, used to heat one room and evening only burning low.

We heat our whole downstairs, often all day and a dumpy bag would last a couple of weeks or so.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?