It’s wonderful the weather has turned towards spring and summer, but for wood-burning stove users there can be mixed emotions about saying goodbye to the regular warmth and light of their stove. A helpful ritual this time of year is giving your stove a well-deserved Spring clean, so you know that it is ready and in perfect condition for next winter!

Read on to learn how to keep your wood-burning stove in tip-top condition.

Wood burning stove spring cleaning tips and guidance

Cleaning your chimney

Chimneys need regular cleaning to prevent creosote buildup and to reduce the possibility of a chimney fire. How often you clean the chimney depends on the amount you use your stove, the type of wood you burn, the type of wood-burning unit you have and the way you operate the unit. We recommend cleaning your chimney on a yearly basis as a minimum, with springtime being the perfect opportunity after a long winter.

We recommend hiring a professional chimney sweeper for the first chimney cleaning and ‘health check’. Use this as an opportunity to learn and see if this is something you would be willing to do yourself moving forward. A Charnwood stove is fitted with a drop-down throat plate allowing you to sweep through the appliance with minimum mess.

Please note if a chimney fire does occur, follow these steps to reduce your losses:

Call your local fire department immediately and give them your name and address.

If there is a fire in the stove or fireplace box, extinguish it with a multipurpose dry-chemical extinguisher. As some of the chemical travels up the chimney, it may extinguish the chimney fire.

Cleaning your stove’s surface

A wood-burning stove is a great aesthetic complement to your home even when not in use. To clean the exterior of your stove, all you need is a soft brush and a vacuum cleaner to wipe away and remove any soot or dust.

If you use a cooking plate and have made a little more mess, then a stove cleaning product and a lint-free cloth works well. All cleaning is best undertaken when your stove is unlit and cool.

Maintaining your stove’s glass

Burning well-seasoned, dry logs on your stove will help reduce the amount of soot build up that occurs on your stove’s glass. However, occasionally soot will accumulate, especially if you have been using firewood with a moisture content over 20%.

There are a few methods that can be used to wipe away soot listed below:

· Charnwood Schott dry wiper

· Fine wood ash and damp newspaper

· WD40 and a lint-free cloth

For more details read our in depth article on how to clean wood-burning stove glass

It’s important to clean your stove’s glass frequently to reduce the amount of dirt that builds up. If you do this regularly, you won’t have to attempt scrapping stubborn dirt and risk scratching and weakening the glass surface.

Empty your ash pan

When leaving your stove unused for extended periods it is worth emptying out the ash pan as well as the firebox completely. Removing the throat plate and opening the air inlets allows a flow of air through the stove that helps prevent any rust forming.

With some care, any dust escape into the air can be minimised during ash removal. We recommended opening your windows for a short period afterwards to allow the air in the room to circulate.

Inspect the door and flue seals

Take the opportunity when cleaning your wood burning stove to inspect the rope seals on the doors and flue. The seals can succumb to everyday wear and tear, so it’s important that these are checked frequently and changed if necessary.

If these or any other parts of your stove need replacing, Charnwood offers a range of spares for all current Charnwood stoves, as well as most legacy models, in our spares shop.

A fresh coat of stove paint

If after inspecting your stove closely you notice some scratches or general marks of wear and tear, it is worth considering some Charnwood stove paint. Whether it’s a quick touch up or a complete colour change, we offer cans of our heat resistant stove paint in the 8 Charnwood colour options. This is a simple yet brilliant way to give your stove a new lease of life.

Before painting your stove, you should make sure that the surface is dry, clean and free from any grease. Before spraying your stove we recommend masking off the glass and handles and gently rubbing down any areas to be retouched with a Scotchbrite pad.

You can purchase Charnwood heat resistant stove paint from your local Charnwood stockist.

Take care of your stove so it takes care of you

Regular maintenance in conjunction with a yearly deep spring clean is the best way to extend the life of your stove and make sure that performance remains at an optimum level. When you consider all the benefits a wood-burning stove brings to our lives, it’s a no-brainer to give it the TLC it deserves so that it’s ready to keep you warm through next winter and beyond.


The research and analysis show that there are higher levels of PM created inside the home from cooking than from modern wood burning stoves!

Read on to learn more about the report on indoor air quality associated with wood burning and get a new perspective on PM 2.5 in the home.

There has been much debate on the topic of indoor air quality and PM 2.5 emissions in relation to wood-burning stoves over the last few years. To get an accurate picture, the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) commissioned a literature review looking at studies into the contribution from wood burning stoves to indoor particulate matter (PM). This looked at evidence from over 35 different studies into the impact on indoor air quality in the developed world from solid fuel combustion, including the 2020 study by Chakraborty et al, Indoor Air Pollution from Residential Stoves: Examining the Flooding of Particulate Matter into Homes during Real-World Use.

The report was undertaken by Dr Amanda Lea-Langton, senior lecturer in Bioenergy Engineering at the University of Manchester. We have listed some of the key findings below:

• No scientific evidence found for adverse health impacts from exposure to the indoor air

typically associated with modern, enclosed wood burning stoves

• No association shown between exposure to indoor wood burning and risk of asthma in

developed countries

• Use of modern wood burning stoves may help to improve air quality inside the home due to

the natural draught created during wood stove operation that pulls air from the room into the

appliance and from outside

• Other sources of particulate matter in the home, such as cooking, can release much higher

levels of PM compared to modern, enclosed wood burning stoves, and could therefore have

greater health risk potential

• In one study, oil-based cooking, such as frying food or grilling meat, had peak value PM

concentrations significantly higher than the WHO recommended average 24hr exposure limit

• In the same study the Ecodesign wood burning stove indoor air quality averages during

operation were below the WHO recommended limits

Not all stoves and wood-burning are equal!

A common misconception is that the use of wood-burning stoves is detrimental to our health due to their contribution to indoor air quality. This assertion often comes from conflating the performance of modern Ecodesign stoves with less sophisticated solid fuel combustion practices common in the developing world.

The findings in this report do not support this assertion and one broad literature review by a public body indicated that there was no association shown between exposure to indoor woodburning and the risk of asthma in developed countries. Additionally, a Manchester University study conducted in 2021 found that cooking, candles, incense, and hairspray all gave higher PM10 and PM2.5 readings than the use of a modern Ecodesign stove.

Wood-burning stove PM 2.5 best practices

The report recognises that indoor PM exposure for wood burning stove users peaks when refuelling and during ash removal. Andy Hill, chair of the SIA, advises ways that this can be easily mitigated:

“When refuelling a wood burning stove it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Refuel when the fire-bed has become glowing embers. Never simply swing the door open as this will lead to a rapid change in pressure within the appliance and may trigger some small escape of fumes (what was described as “flooding” in the 2021 Chakraborty study). Instead, by releasing the door catch and opening the door very slightly the air pressure will settle within a few seconds, then the door can be opened fully and more logs added. Similarly, with a little care any dust escape can be minimised during ash removal.”

The report gives information about reducing emissions even further:

“…those using wood burners could reduce their emissions by following improved firing and fuel practices. Recommendations for firing included the use of kindling or natural cubes rather than paper, cardboard or newspapers; stacking according to the Swiss method with largest logs at the bottom; wood moisture to be between 10-20% and use of a hard wood fuel (e.g. beech, oak) rather than softwoods or prunings. This led to improved combustion and hence lower emissions so reduced the risk of exposure.”

Modern wood-burning stoves are safe

This report gives valuable insight into how everyday household activities contribute to PM 2.5 emissions in the home. It accurately highlights the major contributors and crucially shows there is no scientific evidence linking adverse health impacts from exposure to PMs in indoor air and the use of modern wood burning stoves.

When considering the many benefits of a modern wood-burning stove to wellbeing, the fuel crisis, and environment it is wonderful news that people can now confidently enjoy all these benefits safely.

The report, which can be downloaded in full via the link below, was commissioned by the SIA and has been independently peer reviewed by Prof Alan Williams, CBE FREng FRSC, Emeritus Professor in Combustion, The University of Leeds.


If you’re searching for a timeless decor style that feels warm, comforting and characterful, you’re in the right place.

Today, we’ll be sharing some timeless rustic home decor ideas for the entire home. From cosy living rooms and country-style kitchens to charming outdoor areas, this post will give you all the inspiration you need to introduce evergreen rustic interior design inside and outside your home.

1. Champion neutral colours

Country chic design is all about creating a close connection to nature – and finding the right colour palette is key to getting this right.

To nail the rustic vibe, neutral hues are an absolute must. The right blend of white, cream, beige, brown, grey and even black will evoke an earthy, grounded feel in interiors throughout your home.

Soft, pale tones work beautifully as base colours for walls and floors throughout your home, while darker shades like brown, black and grey are better used as accent colours to bring depth and variety to your light canvas.

This restrained and considered colour pallet can add longevity to rustic decor, ensuring it ages effortlessly with just a few minor tweaks. These could include introducing colourful, on-trend decorative touches like artwork, fabrics and more for an affordable and easy refresh.

2. Go organic with integral materials

The concept of rustic decor is continually being reinvented and can refer to a huge variety of styles, from wood-centric alpine chalets to elegant Tuscan villas and everyday farmhouses. However, all rustic decor styles centre around the use of organic materials and lots of texture.

So, if you want to successfully pull off that rustic feel, choosing the right materials for integral design elements like structural features, furniture and flooring is key.

Whether you’re redecorating your bathroom, bedroom or garden, wood, stone and organic materials are essential. Firstly, they tie in perfectly with a neutral colour scheme. Secondly, many natural materials come with exceptional durability, not to mention bags of textural value and charm.

Inside your home, celebrate original features like chunky wooden fireplace mantles, exposed ceiling beams or stone feature walls. If you don’t have these, create your own with decorative touches like wood panels, handmade furniture, stone-look floor tiles and more.

Outside, you can revel in nature to convey a truly authentic rustic feel. Use your garden’s natural elements – like established trees and flowerbeds – as focal points, as well as structured elements like raised beds made from wood, stone. For pathways and patios, champion practicality and style with durable, rustic outdoor tiles in a neutral colour.

3. Add your own finishing touches


The right colour and materials will go a long way towards creating a homely, welcoming rustic interior design that has timeless appeal. However, you need to embellish these spaces with your own personal touches to add character and prevent them from feeling bland and boring.

The trick here is to champion classic designs and adopt a less-is-more mentality. Rather than stuffing rooms with lots of trendy trinkets and kitsch features, take a pared-back approach using a selection of key rustic-themed features that add bags of charm.

We’re talking focal points like an attention-grabbing firepit in the garden or a wood burning stove in the living room which will instantly make the space feel cosy and warm. Elsewhere, double up on soft furnishings that bring texture and a layered look. For long-lasting natural fabrics, wool, leather, hessian and linen give that earthy vibe, while faux fur and even crushed velvet can create a soft and indulgent finish.

When it comes to decorative elements, rustic interior design allows you to channel your eclectic side. But to ensure this doesn’t feel cluttered and dated, practise some restraint here. If possible, stick with a rough colour scheme for added cohesion – and choose a few anchoring accent pieces like a vintage rug, an oversized mirror or antique planters to draw the eye in. For smaller trinkets, go with clusters of mismatched, differently sized items in groups of 3 to 5, as these will add a little extra character to spaces inside and out.

While rustic interior design has changed over the years, if you follow these golden rules of rustic home decorating, you can create a stunning aesthetic that will stand the test of the time.

Whether you’re revamping your garden, living room, kitchen or bedroom, the right colour, materials and finishing touches will instantly give your home a bonafide country feel that will never be off-trend.

Author bio:

Suhayl Laher works at Tiles Direct, one of the UK’s largest independent tile distributors and retailers – bringing design inspiration to homeowners, architects and developers.

Header photo by Alisha Hieb on Unsplash