Search Icon
HomeClean Air informationClean Air NightForecastsClean Air calculatorClean Air Planner

Wednesday 24 January 2024

Shining a light on the uncomfortable
truth about wood burning

Up to now, it’s been easy to associate the glow of a fire or wood burner with comfort, but new evidence has discovered that wood burning hurts your health, wallet and the planet.

Clean Air Night is a chance for you to learn more and to hear expert voices who will be shining a light on the myths of wood burning in videos that will be shared from sundown (4:35pm).

This Clean Air Night, learn the truth about wood burning and help protect yourself, your family and your community by sharing what you’ve learned.

The evidence: harm to your wallet

Wood burners are more expensive to heat your home than gas boilers or heat pumps, unless you collect your own wood. 1

The evidence: harm to your health

Domestic burning, which includes wood and a small proportion of coal and 'smokeless fuels', is the single biggest source of harmful small particle air pollution in the UK, making up 27% of PM2.5 emissions. Even homes with the newest "ecodesign" wood burners are three times more polluted than homes without.

The more harmful small particle air pollution you are exposed to, the more likely you are to die from heart or lung disease or lung cancer. It can also cause diabetes, damage your brain health and lead to dementia, and affect unborn children. Being exposed to indoor burning can increase your risk of developing lung cancer or lung disease.

The evidence: harm to the planet

For the same amount of heat or energy, burning wood releases more carbon dioxide (CO2) than oil or gas and it can take decades for trees to regrow and reabsorb the carbon emitted by burning wood.

Cutting down trees destroys forests, damages ecosystems and leads to biodiversity loss.