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Are wood-burning fireplaces bad for health and the environment?


Home Inspiration Are wood-burning fireplaces bad for health and the environment?

This question cannot be answered with a yes or no. To a large extent, it depends on the quality of your fireplace and how your wood burns. If you have a modern fireplace with ECODESIGN and you burn the wood according the Swiss method using good, dry wood, then this is better for health and the environment. And if you have your fireplace installed by an expert, you maintain it well and clean it regularly, then the wood-burning fireplaces of today do not or hardly harm the environment and your health.

Incomplete combustion is the culprit

One of the major causes of damage to the environment and harm to your health is incomplete combustion. In this case, the wood gets too little oxygen for combustion and this creates gasses and materials that are not fully oxidized (burnt). For example, carbon monoxide and particulates. Particulates are very small particles, not larger than one hundredth of a millimetre, consisting of a mixture of salts, minerals and tars. It is mostly the tars that are harmful to our health. But we have good news: creating tar hardly occurs in modern stoves. Particulates in modern stoves consist only of relatively non-harmful salts and minerals. Furthermore, the combustion chamber is so well developed that incomplete combustion no longer occurs. That is conditional to using good wood and that you burn the logs correctly.

Time for the real thing! We are pleased to teach you how use your wood-burning stove without harming your health and the environment.

  • Select the right fireplace

Everything starts with a good fireplace. New wood-burning fireplaces are cleaner than ever. There are strict environmental requirements, met by more and more manufacturers. One of these is the ECODESIGN. Officially, this regulation goes into effect only in 2022, but most manufacturers are already applying it. Barbas Bellfires as well. The emission of particulates in our fireplaces is at least 97% less than in open fireplaces. How do you choose the perfect fireplace? Have it built in and installed by a certified dealer/specialist.

  • Use good firewood

Good firewood is the basis for every good fire. The most popular wood type for wood-burning fireplaces is oak. It is easily available, burns long and gives off a warm flame. But there are other suitable wood types. We have made a list of the best firewood.

  • Burn the wood responsibly

As an owner of a wood-burning stove, you enjoy lighting a fire. Perhaps even the entire process that precedes it: chopping wood, cleaving and drying the wood. The way you burn the wood is very important for the environment and your health. You can read everything about burning wood in this page.

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