The next in a series of essays by Charmain Ponnuthurai is about ‘Going Inwards’. Charmain (Dammy) is the author of Midnight Feasts: An Anthology of Late-night Munchies, and founder of Larder and Crane cookware.


And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? – Kings 19 verses 12-13

The first shiver of Autumn, brings to us thoughts of roaring fires, cosy layers, soft blankets and warming food. Though with the drawing in of the nights and the reduced length of daylight, we increase our time for contemplation and the opportunity to hear that still small voice within us. We live in a time of rapidly progressing AI, which some fear will render much of all work obsolete. In such a scenario, many of us would have to find meaning elsewhere. Regardless of whether our lives are reimagined by AI, a human search for meaning exists, a humane search for empathy and connection. The most independent of us are not immune to feelings of loneliness and a requirement for warmth that no matter how clever the robot, it cannot be surpassed by what tactility offers.

One simple reach towards feeling connection can be found in the simple daily need for nourishment. There are so many off the shelf prepackaged solutions for our ‘busy lives’, that tie in with the materialistic goals of efficiency and valuable results. Though it is in the very act of cooking and sharing food, where we can find the time for a moment to connect and be entirely present with ourselves and others. As winter draws closer, we may wake up feeling uninspired by the rain lashing at our window, and the daily news grind of the troubles that face us both in our own communities and together as a planet. The act of being nourished and nourishing others holds a sacred place; such a basic act comprises a rare, untarnished purity, like the simple comforting sound of a purring cat. The process of preparing, cooking, and laying the table gives us the opportunity to listen to that still small voice which can be so hard to hear within us, in the midst of burgeoning communication channels that keep us distracted.

The journey inwards brings us solace against the chill of the elements and brooding skies. We become concentrated on our homes as a solace from the hibernation of the sun and look forward to the thought of lighting a fire, playing some music and enjoying the pleasure of comfort cooking. We think of tucking into slow cooked stews, silken soups and puddings that invoke the nostalgia of childhood such as old school rice pudding, or a constantly renewing stack of pancakes. As the song by Spike Jones goes, “Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag, And smile, smile, smile. Don’t let your joy and laughter hear the snag…”

In the essay ‘A Purple Future’, Daniel Pinchbeck speaks of how we have lost the knowledge of ancient and indigenous cultures, of our connectivity with one another. Pinchbeck suggests this is, ‘an underlying consciousness that is indivisible, instinctive, timeless and spaceless and without boundary.’ We have instead turned to a way of living that quantifies everything by measurable value and outcomes. It is of course hard to sometimes reach into this thought process, when we are faced with the rising costs of living and an uncertainty of basic material requirements. Though as with all human progress, our fears have become so strong that they curtail the freedom to be creative as we try to grip onto certainty. We can see as a simple observation that with young children, who are unencumbered with anything but the moment that joy is always present and experimentation paramount as they learn about the world around them.

The lead into winter and the early nights drawing in some way gives us this sacrosanct time in which to pause, to cook that slow stew and undertake simple acts such as lighting a fire. These moments allow us to open ourselves to the silent possibilities and creativity that arise from ‘hunkering in’ so we may begin to see new shafts of light as we navigate our way through the darkness.

“The goal of life is not to possess power but to radiate it’ Henry Miller


If you haven’t read Charmain Ponnuthurai’s piece on ‘storytelling’ click here – we highly recommend it! 


In the ongoing debate over air quality and PM2.5 emissions, modern wood-burning stoves often face unfair criticism. The root of the issue lies in the unfortunate lumping together of modern ultra-efficient stoves with their vastly more polluting counterparts—open fires, outdoor bonfires and old, poorly maintained stoves. Today, we turn our attention to the latest report, released by the Environmental Research Group. 

Anti-woodburning groups have previously drawn on questionable data often not recognising the crucial distinctions between various types of wood-burning. However, there is a glimmer of progress, as this latest report at least acknowledges some of the benefits of ultra-efficient stoves and that ClearSkies 5 Stoves can in fact improve indoor and outdoor air quality. This is a step in the right direction.   

Key Findings from the London Wood-Burning Project: 

On page 71 of the 127-page report, we find the page titled Key Findings. Below are the 4 crucial pieces of information from this page: 

1/ Use of the clearSkies Level5 stove demonstrated some benefits for indoor air quality. Indoor PM2.5 did not increase when adding fuel to the stove once lit… At times there was actually a decrease in indoor concentrations of PM2.5 when adding fuel. 

As we have long pointed out, a properly functioning wood stove draws particulates out of the room and up the flue, helping improve air quality and ventilation in the home. The stove used in this study was our Charnwood C-Five. 

2/ Increases in pollutant concentrations may be more affected by participant technique or specific airflow characteristics of an individual appliance, rather than to the type of appliance or fuel. 

We always encourage best stove practices and will continue to do our level best to educate new and existing customers and beyond.  

3/ However, the biggest increases in PM2.5 concentrations indoors did not relate to indoor wood or solid-fuel burning but instead were a result of cooking, especially frying, grilling and use of the oven, and particularly when the extraction fan was not used. 

Again, we have tried to communicate this fact for a long time, as it really provides perspective on the issue of PM 2.5 in the home. A slice of burnt toast or your Sunday lunch can contribute far more than a wood-burning stove. 

4/ The PM2.5 increase measured outdoors, due to the non-DEFRA exempt stove, was double the increase due to the clearSkies Level 5 stove. 50 μg m-3 and approx. 25 μg m-3 

The methodology used to gather this data from the environment, again, can not adequately separate the different sources of PM2.5 in the tested areas. It is subject to error from many environmental factors, such as road traffic, construction, manufacturing, and other industrial processes. 

However, this data does still accept that a modern ClearSkies 5 stove significantly reduces emissions. We have rigorously tested all Charnwood stoves and when ensuring best stove practices and using seasoned wood with a moisture content of less than 20%, emissions can be reduced by up to 90% in comparison with an open fire. This provides an exceptionally clean burn! 

Differentiating Wood-Burning Practices: 

It is essential to differentiate between various forms of wood-burning. The UK government’s 2020 figures highlight that Ecodesign-compliant stoves contribute only 1-2% to PM2.5 emissions, a fraction compared to other sources. ClearSkies Level 5 stoves, surpass Ecodesign standards, offering a further reduction in emissions by up to 30%! 

This is where the anti-wood-burning stove movement has gotten it so wrong in the past. By not differentiating accurately between different wood-burning practices they have missed the opportunity to really help reduce PM 2.5 emissions with a solution that has been proven to work – modern ultra-efficient stoves. 

In London 70% of wood burning still occurs on open fires. If people were widely encouraged to switch to one of the many modern and efficient wood burning stoves available, it would massively reduce urban PM 2.5 emissions. The emissions of 70% of London Wood burning could be reduced by 90%! 

Wood-Burning Stove’s Co-Heating Future  

Heat pumps, solar and wind energy, have positive qualities, but are simply not sufficient to meet our home heating needs on their own. This is particularly true for the vast amount of older housing stock across the UK. Wood-burning stoves can increase the uptake of other renewables by providing energy security and filling the gaps in power. 

Below is a link to an article which comprehensively explains why modern wood-burning stoves will be an essential heating solution long into the future. 

Wood-Burning Stove’s Co-Heating Future (A Nuanced Look At PM 2.5 Emissions) 


With gas and electricity prices set to increase even further in January 2024, we need all sides of the debate to work towards a more informed and positive dialogue. For our part, we continue to lead the industry in creating the most efficient stoves on the market. We are investing heavily to continually improve and are passionate about providing people with energy security and the many other benefits offered by wood-burning stoves. 


The Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) has carefully examined a recent study by Global Action Plan/Impact on Urban Health, titled “Relight my fire? Investigating the true cost of wood-burning stoves.” In this blog, we will present some of the key insights and considerations revealed by the SIA that address the misleading conclusions made. 

Study Methodology Critique 

The SIA raises important questions regarding the methodology used in the study. Specifically, the model scenarios seem to artificially inflate the costs associated with wood-burning stoves while decreasing costs related to Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP). The SIA points out discrepancies in cost consideration, installation assumptions, and the efficiency impact of heating system distribution. 

Here are just two of the key points raised which show why it is impossible to draw accurate conclusions from the data set: 

Model B “includes the cost of purchasing the item (stove) and installation, while all options include maintenance and replacement costs.” The SIA questions why the purchase and installation costs have been factored in for the stove led heating in Model B, as they have not been factored in for the gas boiler led heating, Model A? 

Model E “Newly installed Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) providing 100% of heat” underestimates the actual running costs of the ASHP in the reference dwelling used (a Victorian mid-terrace of single skin, uninsulated solid brick construction). Heat pumps are not suitable for use in badly insulated housing stock; they will not run optimally in these conditions and therefore won’t give a 3.5 seasonal CoP which the report uses to reach its conclusions.  

Appliance Efficiency 

When evaluating cost-effectiveness, appliance efficiency is a highly significant variable, and is not accurately reflected in the study. Since January 1, 2022, all solid fuel stoves have had to adhere to Ecodesign Regulations and ensure a minimum efficiency of 75%. Many of our stoves surpass this requirement, with tested efficiencies exceeding well beyond 80%, which is comparable to the most efficient gas room heaters in peak condition. It is also important to consider that wood-stoves offer individuals better localised space heating, meaning they allow you to heat the space you need without wasting heat on empty rooms. This is a key part of many people’s heating strategy and this flexibility also facilitates off-grid low-carbon sustainable living. 

Comparative Fuel Costs 

The SIA references data from various sources, including Nottingham Energy Partnership, to provide readers with a comprehensive view of comparative costs per kWh for different heating fuels. As of October 2023, the price per kWh for an ASHP is 12.37p, kiln-dried logs at 11.18p, mains gas at 8.64p, and electricity at 33.40p. It should be noted that, between November 2022 and June 2023, kiln-dried wood logs were more cost-effective than mains gas per kWh. 

This points to another key reason people choose wood-burning stoves – energy security. It is still fresh in everyone’s minds how susceptible gas and electricity prices are to spiking at a moment’s notice because of global issues. Sustainable sources of wood are available locally and provide a vital shield against the next crisis. 

We invite you to read our blog on why people are choosing wood-burning stoves to better understand the many factors that were missed in this study. 

SIA’s Recommendations: 

We are fully aligned with the SIA on the recommendations for those considering or currently using wood-burning stoves: 

-Choose an Ecodesign compliant, sustainable, solid fuel stove. 

-Upgrade from an open fire or older stove to reduce emissions significantly. 

-Ensure your stove is Defra exempt if you live in a Smoke Control Area. 

-Seek guidance from local SIA Retail Group members for the right stove size and installation. 

-Have your stove fitted by a qualified professional (HETAS or OFTEC registered). 

-Use quality fuel, ensuring wood logs have a moisture content at or below 20%. 

-Regularly service and sweep your chimney for optimal stove performance. 

For a more detailed look at best practices, before the winter bites, read our essential-wood-burning-stove-tips! 


There are many factors that determine which heating solution is best for your home. As pointed out by the SIA, this latest study has missed many factors that favour wood-burning stoves, particularly as part of a modern co-heating solution.  

Charnwood Stoves remains committed to leading the industry in producing the most reliable, efficient, and sustainable wood-burning stoves on the market. We continue to invest heavily in research and development to improve efficiencies even further and have many exciting developments on the way!   

Read how a wood-stove can help you save money on your bills! 


With the colder, darker months fast approaching, autumn is well and truly upon us.

And, with chunky knits, boots and jumpers already making an appearance, many people are thinking about how they’ll keep their homes warm and snug during the winter months.

Over recent years, wood burners have increased in popularity, with many people considering them to be an effective way to heat their homes for less during the ongoing energy crisis.

However, it’s important to remember that not all types of fuel are suitable for use in a wood burner. In fact, using the incorrect wood can increase maintenance costs, deliver poor stove performance, and even prove to be dangerous.


Types of wood to avoid

Within this guide, we’ll take a look at the types of wood you should avoid or burn with caution when using your wood burning stove.


Old pallets and treated timber

However tempting it may seem avoid burning pallets and treated timber. Paint, varnishes and oils can give off harmful emissions and can damage your stove and chimney.


Because pine has a high resin content, it is not considered the best wood to burn on a log burner. It burns quickly and the resin can seep out and clog up different parts of the stove system, which can lead to a whole host of operational problems. If you do choose to burn pine ensure it is well seasoned.



Much like Pine, Larch contains high levels of resin, which forms sticky deposits inside of the stove and flue.



Poplar doesn’t burn for long periods of time and, when it does burn it can be smoky. As a result, it isn’t a good choice for a wood burner.



Laburnum is poisonous when used as firewood so should not be used as fuel for a log burner.



Alder produces a relatively low heat output, and is renowned for popping and sparking as it burns. This type of wood burns quickly but produces very little heat.



Most varieties of chestnut are okay to burn on a log burner, however, you should be aware that they tend to spit and spark, meaning many people are reluctant to use them.



Cypress isn’t ideal as your main firewood source as it provides a low heat output and doesn’t produce very good coals.



Spruce produces little heat making it an ineffective fuel for a log-burning stove.



Firewood should contain a moisture content of below 20%. Willow tends to grow in wet soils or beside water bodies, giving it a high moisture content so if you choose to burn it ensure it is dry and well seasoned.


Learn more about the different types of firewood.


What wood can I burn on a log burner?

Although there are many types of wood that shouldn’t be used on a wood burner, there are also many that you can use for fuel, including:


Hardwood firewood

Hardwoods, including ash, birch, maple, oak, and the majority of fruit trees, are some of the best fuels for wood burning stoves due to the fact that they can burn for long periods of time while generating plenty of heat. Hardwood is also cleaner to handle than other types of wood.


Softwood firewood

Some softwoods tend to be cheaper than hardwoods and can also be used in your wood burning stove.


Explore the best firewood to burn in the UK.


Why choose us?

Founded in 1972, we are a privately owned, family-controlled, British company specialising in the design and manufacture of high-quality wood burning and multi-fuel stoves. Our team are committed to providing the highest quality stoves, at the best possible price.

We also have a firm focus on protecting the environment and ensuring our operations are sustainable and responsible.

We operate a policy of caring for the environment in all aspects of the business; from the products we design, to the way we package them, to the way we transport them, to the way we deal with the disposal of waste products, to the vehicles we use, to our choice of raw materials.


Get in touch now

If you have any questions about our wood burning stoves, please get in touch with a member of our team today.


A boiler stove is a sustainable and practical way to run a central heating system while adding a cosy atmosphere to your home. Wherever you choose to install your boiler stove, you can create a focal point that offers both sophistication and homely tradition that will stand the test of time.

Here, we explore all you need to know about where to install a boiler stove.


Installing a boiler stove in a living room

The living room is often the most popular location to install a boiler stove as this is where people spend a lot of time. Whether you’re watching your favourite TV series or curling up with a good book, having a boiler stove on in the background provides not only a homely ambience, but beautiful aesthetics. Modern boiler stoves offer a huge range of designs and styles, so whether your home is contemporary or traditional, you will find something to suit.

Also explore how to install a wood-burning stove.


Plumbing a boiler stove into the central heating

In most cases a boiler stove can be incorporated into you existing system. If you choose to plumb your stove into your central heating to power your radiators and/or hot water, you must contact a qualified heating engineer.


Boiler stove installation for hot water supply

Once installed, you can use your boiler stove to transfer the heat from the burning fuel into hot water that can be piped and used around your household. Depending on the size of your home it can easily produce enough hot water for a full household or it can take some of the strain off your central heating system and help make things run more efficiently.


Can you self-install a boiler stove?

A boiler stove must always be installed by a qualified heating engineer. The installation needs to be done safely and according to the recommended industry standard and building regulations. Installation can vary from property to property, which is why it’s extremely important to have a professional complete the process.


Are boiler stoves suitable for kitchens?

For many people, the kitchen is the heart of the home and where people gather together to relax and socialise. A boiler stove can look beautiful in both modern and traditional kitchens, but you will need to ensure there is either an existing flue system or a location in the kitchen to install a flue pipe and chimney.


Can you install a boiler stove in a bedroom?

Yes, you can install a boiler stove in a bedroom if the size and proportions of the room are suitable. You will need to speak with a qualified heating engineer to see if your bedroom is suitable for a boiler stove.

Also find out our wood-burning stove design ideas.


How to choose the best boiler stove for your home

When it comes to choosing the best boiler stove for your home, you should speak to one of our recommended Charnwood Stockists who have the relevant training to provide a comprehensive pre-sales service. They can recommend the correct boiler stove for your home and provide all the information you need regarding the regulations in your area and what the installation will entail. Explore our exclusive network of stockists.


How to find a qualified boiler stove installer

We strongly recommend you purchase your Charnwood boiler stove through an official and trusted Charnwood stockist. They will be able to provide all the information you need about finding a qualified boiler stove installer and can also provide the highest standards of after-sales support.


Why Choose Us?

Opt for Charnwood Stoves, where expertise meets excellence in boiler stove installations. With a heritage of precision engineering, we guide you to the perfect placement for maximum efficiency and warmth in your home. Our commitment extends beyond quality; we prioritise your comfort and energy efficiency while integrating seamlessly into your space. At Charnwood Stoves, expect a fusion of innovation and reliability, ensuring your heating solution not only enhances your lifestyle but also reflects our dedication to sustainability. Choose us for expert guidance, superior performance, and a cozy, eco-conscious home heating experience.


Contact Charnwood today

If you’re feeling inspired and want to find out more about the possibility of adding a boiler stove to your home, get in touch with Charnwood today. Our experts are on hand and ready to answer any queries you might have.


As we head into the cooler months many of us are preparing to light the log burner or, if we don’t already have one, considering installing one. Wood burning has been around since the dawn of civilisation and there is undoubtedly a primal connection with fire within us as humans. At Charnwood, we have 50 years of expertise in wood burning technology and the stoves we sell across the globe today are among the cleanest, greenest appliances available on the market.

However recently there have been a number of reports circulating within the media that suggest stoves may be polluting our environment and are bad for our health. What is the truth about wood-burning stoves and air quality? In this article, we delve into the real facts and why many of these reports are very misleading and damaging to an industry that is a part of the solution to clean, sustainable, low carbon energy.


Is particulate matter (PM 2.5) from wood-burning stoves damaging our health?

The term particulate matter, also known as fine particles or PM 2.5 refers to tiny particles or droplets in the air. They are about thirty times smaller than the width of a human hair.

The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) safe level for PM 2.5 particulates in the air is a daily average of ≤ 10 µg/m3 (1). For reference, air outside in Central London averages 18-25 µg/m3.

A US study in 2019 of 137 homes published in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology, found that the average daily level of PM 2.5 particulates in homes (2):
– with a wood stove measured at 6-8 µg/m3
no wood stove measured only a fraction less at 6-7 µg/m3

So, we’re really talking about a minuscule difference that is well within the WHO safe level. Hard to believe? It really shouldn’t be because a correctly functioning wood stove draws air, smoke and particulates out of a room and up the chimney.

In contrast, the UK media bases its negative assertions on a study of just 19 homes that took measurements using, as they admit, “low-cost air quality monitors” (3).

It is impossible to remove PM 2.5 completely from our lives and some measured thinking on this subject is required. When you consider that brakes from an electric car and even a burnt piece of toast (as well as a host of other everyday items) produce significant amounts of PM 2.5 particles, it helps put things in perspective!

However, we welcome regulation and continue to innovate to reach even greater levels of efficiency and emission reduction. We are proud that we are now creating stoves that are 90% more efficient than open fires and new innovations are forthcoming.

We welcome more studies being undertaken, but what is clear is that the most comprehensive data available to date indicate that the dangers presented from wood-burning stoves are exaggerated, to say the least.


Are wood-burning stoves environmentally friendly?

In most cases yes they are. But it is worth noting that not all wood-burning stoves are the same. At Charnwood, we only produce stoves that meet the criteria for EcoDesign 2022 which significantly reduces particle emissions while ensuring very high efficiencies.

The Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) have produced this short film to help dispel some of the myths around wood-burning stoves with the real facts.

It’s worth considering that as wood burning stove sales have increased in record numbers during the recent lockdowns, with more opportunity for their use, measurements for 2.5 µg/m3 actually decreased. Coincidence? No, it’s because modern wood-burning stoves are not the problem.

Much of the confusion has come from DEFRA lumping in wood-burning stoves with open fires and bonfires and then presenting a grouped figure for emissions – this totally distorts the data (4). An EcoDesign Ready stove produces 90% fewer emissions than an open fire and 80% less than older designed stoves. Despite this fact, modern wood-burning stoves continue to get tarnished in the press for the faults of open fires and the like and continue to get attributed to an unrepresentative figure. It is open fires that need to be scrutinised and those who have made the switch to an EcoDesign Ready wood-burning stove should be commended for doing so and more people should be encouraged!

Also learn why burning the right wood saves money and protects the environment.

At Charnwood, we recently released the Cranmore, which is the perfect open fire replacement. Super-efficient, clean and with an EcoDesign score of 5 (the highest possible), its dimensions and aesthetic are perfectly suited to an open fireplace. If you have an open fire, we encourage you to make the switch!


Wood burning stoves are part of our home heating solution

At Charnwood we are big fans of wind and solar energy – indeed our factory roof on the Isle of Wight is covered with panels and many of us have installed solar on our roofs at home. They are a big part of the solution, but it’s important to remember that even these much-lauded technologies have some downsides. Firstly, they don’t offer a constant supply and then there are environmental costs, although relatively low, involved in their production. However, overall, the net benefit for the world is clear and demonstrable.

Fossil fuels on the other hand are non-renewable and as we all know, polluting. The main advantage is the ability to provide power 24/7 – but they’re not a sustainable part of the world’s future.

These are just a few examples, but they highlight that no energy source can be 100% perfect. It’s about finding energy sources that are, on balance, positive for society and wood-burning stoves fall into this category as a very viable solution.


Wood burning stoves

Wood is a renewable energy source, sucking carbon out of the atmosphere as trees grow. Of course, there are best practices that need to be followed and selecting the right type of wood from the right sources is key.


Wood burning stoves have numerous benefits:
– They can produce heat for long periods.
– Allowing them to work in conjunction with wind, solar and other energies helps make these great technologies more viable – They are not in competition with each other.
– An ideal emergency/low-frequency heat source.
– Wood is a carbon-neutral fuel as it gives off the same amount of carbon whether it is burnt or decays naturally. The carbon released from burning wood is balanced out by the carbon absorbed by the tree during its lifetime.
– Ability to source fuel locally and without fracking and deep-sea oil drilling.
– A good quality stove can last many decades and provide an affordable source of heat for low-income households.
– The right to repair. The majority of components used within a Charnwood stove are modular and can be replaced when or if they wear out further extending the life of your stove.
– Charnwood stoves and packaging are fully recyclable.

Also find out the wellbeing benefits of having a wood-burning stove.


Wood Burning Stoves: An antidote to the digital age

In addition, the mental health benefits absolutely shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s no coincidence sales of stoves rocketed during the hardships of the last couple of years. People recognised the need to make their homes as comfortable and stress-free as possible. Restorative spaces that help us face the trials and tribulations. This isn’t trivial in the slightest. This is a benefit that no other energy source we’ve talked about can provide. You don’t get a visceral connection to nature by flicking on a switch. Fire affords a primal connection that genuinely helps people unwind and reconnect.

We’ve spoken to many customers about their stove and the responses are strikingly similar. Their stove provides much more than just heat. It’s clear from our conversations that burning wood provides enormous well-being and associated mental and physical health benefits. People report it helps them “switch off” and “after a day in front of a screen, chopping wood [and] preparing the fire really helps me to reconnect to the real world”, “brings the family together”, “helps me sleep better”, “almost like a meditation”. You simply don’t get this from another heat source.

To the individual and family, this is clearly hugely beneficial. Now consider this extrapolated across a population and the effect multiples – it becomes powerful. Improving people’s wellbeing and reducing stress allows people to take more actions/decisions from a healthier state of mind. This in turn can only contribute positively to society.

It is widely accepted that few things are as unhealthy as chronic stress and from our personal experience as well as our customers few things can relieve it as consistently well as the process of wood-burning.
– The pleasure of foraging (optional)
– Exercise/stress relief from chopping wood (optional)
– Feeling connected to a historical and natural process
– Lighting a fire – satisfaction of a job well done.
– Enjoying the long-lasting and penetrating warmth
– Deep relaxation with the crackle and flicker of fire
– A focal point for friends and family

So in conclusion an EcoDesign Ready wood burning stove is a clean and environmentally sound choice for heating your home. It is of course important that it is used correctly and the fuel burnt is properly seasoned but this is a source of energy that provides not only warmth but can be key to our wellbeing.

Also explore the best firewood to burn chart in the UK.


Golden rules. 3 steps to burning wood on your stove efficiently

1/ Good fuel – This is wood that has been stored and allowed to dry until the moisture content has reduced to 20% or less. Freshly cut or ‘green wood’ holds up to 70% water which causes far more smoke to be produced. It is for this reason we have long stressed the importance of using seasoned wood because it produces a significantly cleaner burn – reducing emissions by up to 50%. Additionally, improved efficiency equals cheaper running costs, while a cleaner fuel means your stove and chimney will require less maintenance. It’s a win-win.

2/ Efficient stove – Charnwood is proud to have stoves certified in the inaugural clearSkies listing, an independent emissions and energy performance certification mark for stoves. Many Charnwood products carry a level 5 certification (the highest available rating) which guarantees performance levels and exceed the minimum EcoDesign criteria by a sizable 30%. This is only awarded to stoves that significantly reduce particle emissions while ensuring high efficiencies and a superior flame picture.

3/ Correct use – this is a variable that has until now been dependant on the experience and diligence of the end-user, providing mixed results. That is why Charnwood are developing new technology that will give the user the option of automating this process. This will mean the stove will burn at the most efficient rate possible, further improving its green credentials. Watch this space!


Other useful sources of information:


Why Choose Us?

At Charnwood Stoves, we stand committed to revolutionising home heating with eco-friendly wood-burning stoves. Our legacy of craftsmanship spans decades, ensuring each stove combines cutting-edge technology with timeless design. Our team prioritise clean-burning solutions, championing air quality while delivering warmth and ambiance to your space. With an unwavering dedication to sustainability, our stoves not only elevate your home but also minimize environmental impact. Choose Charnwood Stoves for reliability, innovation, and a greener approach to heating.

Get in touch with us today.



The next in a series of essays by Charmain Ponnuthurai is on ‘The role of fire in promoting stillness’. Charmain (Dammy) is the author of Midnight Feasts: An Anthology of Late-night Munchies, and founder of Larder. She is also the founder of Crane cookware used by the Charnwood team in many of our photo and video shoots. 


“I approach a cedar hut where I plan to sit quietly for a few hours, gathering the scattered pieces of myself. I draw in a deep breath, let it go, and try to shed a feeling of decadence for sitting here alone, idle on a Sunday morning”- Scott Sanders (from his essay on Stillness)

In his essay on stillness, Sanders speaks of the active need to switch off from the continuous distractions that crowd modern life, in the pursuit of the rewarding silence that only a state of hermetic time brings. The amount of time we spend absorbed by our screens and with the added layer of AI working its way into decisions that might otherwise have been made using our more analogue senses, such as imagination, have the potential to change the course of society. So much so people talk now of actively seeking ways to deprive their senses, through means such as sensory deprivation tanks. This battle between our technologically rewired brains and our own soul’s calling is one we can only really hear when our crowded minds and diaries are silenced. This silence can at times feel unnerving as listening to that still small voice can bring with it both waves of sadness and joy with its breath.

If we are open and brave enough to look for this sense of silence, it can be found in few such simple things in everyday life that are as effortless as sitting in front of a crackling fire. Whether that fire be the warmth of the home wood burner, the campfire or the greeting of a welcome pub fire on a rainy day, the light and flickering flame drawing us into being present in the moment, it’s a simple commune with nature that draws us into the moment and away from our busy minds.

Much has been written about fire, from the mythologised in the story of Prometheus who stole fire from the Olympian Gods, to the eulogised history of Mayan culture where fire was used as a major force of transformation. First traces of lighting a fire date as far back as a million years ago. Scientists have found that the use of the fire for cooking dates back some 800,000 years ago. The ability to control fire allowed for so much human freedom, both in terms of geographical movement, extending waking hours and most potently that sitting around the fire was the beginning of early language development.

In Mayan culture we see acts such as burning fields as a transition across cycles of times. They viewed fire as cleansing, restorative and burning away the old to make the new. The Maya wrote about their rituals of fire in their classic period (A.D 250-900) inscriptions. The most important are ‘och k’ank’ (fire entering) and ‘el-naah’ (house-censing), rites were directed at both their homes but even found within the tombs of Mayan Royalty. Even today every year in Guatemala, on December 7, people burn piles of household garbage as means to cleanse their homes on the eve of the Feast of the Immaculate

Conception. In ancient times, we find evidence that the Maya lit even entire houses in rites of renewal.

Fire is such a potent subject, full of magic, danger, promise and the innate mesmerising quality that commands a silent respect, bestowing in its glowing flames a returning calmness. As we continue to further understand the connection between the mind and body’s health, we appreciate the need to look holistically at ourselves when searching for a cure to illness. Calmness is something that we relate to hermitage, meditation and deep religious orders. Though we may not be afforded the time for taking such time for sanctity we can perhaps find this in lighting a fire.

We recently undertook a survey asking the primary reasons that people have chosen to purchase a stove. Apart from the practical reasons such as for warmth and cooking, a significant number of the respondents stated their purchase was led by the purpose of well-being. Learning to lay a fire in itself has the distinct reward of being in the moment and working with our physicality and senses to bring in the kindling and the logs..

There is a strong intuitive understanding within ancient cultures that a fire holds the promise of improving our well being. As we consider that sitting by a fire brought about early forms of language development, it seems there are more expansive possibilities waiting to be discovered within the stillness of the flickering flames.

My heart grew hot within me. While I meditated, the fire burned; Psalm 39:3

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. Psalm 62:5


If you haven’t read Charmain Ponnuthurai’s piece on ‘storytelling’ click here – we highly recommend it! 


As environmental concerns continue to shape the UK’s regulatory landscape, advancements in stove technology have been made to meet stringent eco-friendly standards. Multi-fuel stoves, widely popular for their versatility, efficiency, and aesthetic appeal, are not exempt from these regulations.

In this article, we will explore the latest regulations and rules governing multi-fuel stoves in 2023, with a focus on Ecodesign, planning permission, fuel liners, hearth requirements, and ventilation regulations in the UK.


What is Ecodesign?

Ecodesign is an initiative by the European Union to improve the energy efficiency and environmental performance of products, including stoves and fireplaces. It came into effect in the UK on January 1st 2022.

In the UK, Ecodesign regulations have been embraced as part of the government’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions and mitigating climate change and, as of 2023, all newly-manufactured stoves must meet the Ecodesign standards, ensuring lower emissions and higher efficiency compared to older models. Ecodesign sets out maximum emission levels of PM (Particulate Matter), CO (Carbon Monoxide), OGC (Organic Gaseous Compounds) and NOx (Nitrogen Oxide).

Ecodesign only affects those room-heating appliances made available for sale from 2022 onwards; stoves and fireplaces already installed will not be affected.


Will Ecodesign affect the heat produced in a multi-fuel stove?

No, the implementation of Ecodesign regulations does not necessarily impact the heat output of multi-fuel stoves. The primary aim of Ecodesign is to reduce harmful emissions, making these stoves more environmentally friendly. Manufacturers have adapted by employing innovative design features and technology to maintain or even improve heat output while complying with the Ecodesign standards.

Discover more about multi-fuel stoves.


Is planning permission required to install a multi-fuel stove?

In most cases, installing a multi-fuel stove in the UK does not require planning permission. Permitted Development Rights (PDR) allow homeowners to make certain improvements to their property without seeking planning permission. Under PDR, you can install a multi-fuel stove, provided it meets specific criteria, such as not being installed on a listed building or within a designated conservation area. However, it is always recommended to consult with your local planning authority or a professional installer to ensure compliance with local regulations.


Is it a legal requirement to have a flue liner?

While it’s not a legal requirement, using a fuel liner is highly recommended when installing a multi-fuel stove. A flue liner is a flue or chimney lining that ensures proper venting of combustion gases and helps prevent dangerous emissions, such as carbon monoxide, from entering your living space. A fuel liner will increase efficiency, help keep your chimney clean and improve safety.

Your wood burning stove needs to meet the building regulations listed in Document J, which recommends (but does not require) that flue liners are used.


Top Hearth Requirements

The hearth is the base on which the multi-fuel stove sits, and it must meet certain requirements to comply with UK regulations. The top hearth, also known as the stove hearth or constructional hearth, must be made from a non-combustible material, such as stone, concrete, or a suitable hearth pad such as enamel. It should extend a certain distance beyond the stove’s footprint to prevent accidental fires. The specific dimensions and constructional requirements may vary based on the stove’s heat output and other factors, so it is vital to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and UK building regulations.


Ventilation Requirements

Proper ventilation is essential to ensure the safe operation of a multi-fuel stove. Adequate air supply allows for efficient combustion and reduces the risk of carbon monoxide build-up.

The ventilation requirements of your home will depend in part on when it was built; homes built after 2008 are designed to have an air permeability of 5m3/hm2 or less, due to the increased energy efficiency. Homes built before 2008 are unlikely to meet this level of air permeability. You can have your stove fitter test your home’s air permeability.

For homes with an air permeability of 5m3/hm2 or more, i.e. most older homes, ventilation is only required for stoves with heat outputs above 5kW, and this is done in increments of 550mm2. For example, a 6kW heat output would require 550mm2, a 7kW heat output requires 1100mm2, an 8kW heat output requires 1650mm2 and so on.

For homes with an air permeability of 5m3/hm2 or less, i.e. any home built since 2008, and some homes built before, the increments of 550mm2 start from 0, so a 1kW heat output would require 550mm2, a 2kW heat output requires 1100mm2, and a 3kW heat output requires 1650mm2.

This ventilation can be achieved through vents in the wall or an air brick. Installers must carefully calculate the required ventilation to meet building regulations.


Why Choose Us?

Charnwood has been committed to providing quality wood burning stoves since 1972 and we know all there is to know about wood burners and their regulations. If you have any questions about heating your home with a wood burning stove, please get in touch.



If you’re looking to transform your shed into a cosy retreat or a functional workspace, a wood burning stove can be the perfect addition. Not only does it provide efficient heating during cold months, but it also brings a rustic charm and warm ambience to your shed space.

However, before embarking on the journey of installing a log burner in your shed, there are crucial aspects to consider. From regulations and safety requirements to cost estimates and proper sizing, this comprehensive guide is designed to equip you with all the essential information you need to make informed decisions and ensure a successful installation.


Can I install a log burner in my shed?

In short, yes. A wood burning stove can be a fantastic addition to a shed, providing warmth and comfort while also giving the space a cosy atmosphere. However, they need to be installed properly and you may be better off in the long run hiring a professional to do it.

Firstly, size does matter – your shed needs to be big enough to accommodate not only the log burner but also the space required between the burner and any combustible materials, which may include the shed’s walls!

As part of scoping out your shed’s suitability for housing a wood burning stove, check the materials used to construct it. Wooden sheds are common, but some materials might not be suitable for log burner installations due to fire safety concerns. You may be required to fit non-combustible surfaces around and behind the log burner to make it safe. Take a look at our stove pod or Vlaze wall and floor panels : Both of these offer a very practical solution.

You also need to make sure that your shed has proper ventilation. Combustion requires oxygen, and without sufficient airflow, the wood burning stove may not burn efficiently or could even become a safety hazard due to the build-up of carbon monoxide.


How much does it cost to install a wood burning stove in a shed?

The cost of installing a wood burning stove in a shed can vary depending on several factors, including the type of log burner, shed size, materials, and labour costs.

The price of the stove itself ranges from a few hundred to £1,500 or more, depending on the features. You’ll also need a flue pipe and a chimney installation. The cost of these components typically ranges from £150 to £500. Installing a non-combustible hearth beneath the stove is essential and can cost around £100 to £300.

Hiring a professional installer is highly recommended to ensure safety and compliance. Labour costs might range from £500 to £1000 or more, depending on the complexity of the installation. While this is a sizeable outlay, it could save you money overall.


Regulations for installing a wood burning stove in a shed

In the UK, installing a wood burning stove in a shed is subject to a number of safety guidelines.

There must be a safe distance between the wood burning stove and any combustible materials like wood, plastic, or insulation. Typically, the required distance is 60cm from the sides and 80cm from the front of the stove. There isn’t a legal minimum requirement so these distances vary by model and manufacturer.

The chimney height should conform to specific requirements, usually at least 4.5 meters from the top of the stove to the flue exit point. The chimney should use an appropriate flue liner to ensure the safe passage of smoke and gases.

A carbon monoxide detector must be installed in the shed to alert occupants if there is a potential build-up of this harmful gas.

The installation should be carried out by a qualified and registered professional who is familiar with building regulations and safety standards.

Does dampness affect the appliance?

Yes, dampness can impact the efficiency and safety of the log burner. Moisture can affect the structural integrity of the stove and its components. Additionally, damp wood can lead to incomplete combustion, producing excess smoke, creosote, and harmful gases.

To prevent dampness from affecting the appliance:

• Use only well-seasoned firewood with a moisture content of around 20% or less – dry firewood burns more efficiently and produces less smoke.

• Store firewood off the ground and protect it from rain and snow by using a woodshed or covering.

• Ensure your shed has adequate ventilation to allow for proper air circulation. Good ventilation helps to prevent moisture buildup inside the shed.

• Invest in a moisture meter to regularly check the moisture content of your firewood.

• Clean your wood burning stove and flue regularly to remove any accumulated ash, debris or creosote.

• Install a chimney cap on top of the flue to protect it from rainwater and debris

• Regularly inspect the roof, chimney, and flue for any signs of leaks. Address any issues promptly to prevent water from entering the shed and affecting the wood burning stove.

• If possible, position the log burner away from potential sources of dampness, such as leaky windows or doors, or anywhere water might drip onto it.

• In cases where dampness is a persistent issue, consider using a dehumidifier inside the shed. A dehumidifier helps to reduce excess moisture in the air and creates a drier environment.


Best Wood burning Stove Sizes

The best size will depend on your shed’s dimensions and insulation levels. A stove that is too large may overheat the space, while one that is too small may not provide sufficient heat. To determine the best size, calculate the cubic meters of the shed by multiplying the length, width, and height, and take note of your shed walls’ thickness and composition. Then, consult a specialist; they’ll be able to recommend a stove size based on your shed’s measurements and insulation.


Sealing a Roof When Installing a Wood burning Stove

Properly sealing the roof where the flue penetrates is crucial to prevent leaks and maintain the shed’s weather resistance.  Install a flue pipe collar around the flue pipe where it exits the roof, then use a weatherproof sealant to fill any gaps or joints. This provides a watertight seal and prevents water from entering the shed.

Always consider hiring a professional roofer or installer to ensure the roof sealing is done correctly and complies with building regulations. Remember to check and comply with local regulations and obtain necessary permits before installing a wood burning stove in your shed. Safety should always be the top priority, and professional installation is highly recommended.


Why Choose Us?

We’ve been committed to providing quality wood burning stoves since 1972 and we know all there is to know about wood burners, wherever they’re installed. If you have any questions about heating your home with a wood burning stove, please get in touch.



The next in a series of essays by Charmain Ponnuthurai is on the subject of ‘gathering’. Charmain (Dammy) is the author of Midnight Feasts: An Anthology of Late-night Munchies, and founder of Larder which is all about giving the gift of cooking from scratch. Featuring excellent food writing and thoughtfully sourced hero ingredients that allow the recipient to discover their cooking creativity. She is also the founder of Crane cookware which the Charnwood team love and use in many of our shoots. When it comes to food, everything she touches turns to gold delicious. Without further ado here is, Charmain Ponnuthurai on ‘gathering’…


“When we don’t examine the deeper assumptions behind why we gather, we end up skipping too quickly to replicating old, staid formats of gathering. And we forgo the possibility of creating something memorable, even transformative.” – From the Art of Gathering by Priya Parker 

We are able to communicate in more ways than ever before, yet doctors across the UK report that loneliness pervades all social groups, and suggest finding the prescription for this may help to alleviate oversubscribed GP’s waiting rooms. Whilst the internet has granted us the flexibility of crossing geography and time zones,  nothing can replace the moment that togetherness brings. Walking through Victoria Park at the end of the August bank holiday weekend with thoughts of the end of summer, I was stopped by hearing the cacophony of voices singing behind stadium gates on the last day of the annual East music festival. The feeling of being part of this festival gathering whilst only standing outside the gates made me consider a newly learnt concept of Polyphony. This phenomena is described in a passage in Merlin Sheldrake’s book Entangled Life. He refers to a recording by an American musicologist of the Aka people, in the Central African Republic where no one voice loses its identity, yet neither does it steal the show. “Although each voice is free to wander, their wanderings can’t be seen as separate from the others. There is no main voice. There is no lead tune. There is no central voice. Nonetheless a form Emerges.” 

In our daily working lives and in the presentation to others of ‘what we do & who we are’, there is often the pitting against flex, showing ourselves to be more accomplished. However, striving for individuality we may risk losing the insight of the voice that speaks the quietest. Gathering occurs chiefly around food, music and art, prompting us out of our individual selves and enabling us to look up and into the wider world we inhabit. We just have to look at our feathered friends to understand the intelligence of gathering. 

The most startling of all is that of the starling, “Each bird in a murmuration is a participant and leader within a complex and ever evolving system. Each has the power to shape the direction and shape the whole system with the power to create entirely new constellations”. 

Arguably, what sets humans apart from the rest of the natural world is our self awareness, which has led to insularity and individualism. When we are able to exist in the moment without guile is in social groups; here we are able to release our sense of self and day to day preoccupations. In these groups we can be at one with nature, social animals thriving in the company of each other. 

Perhaps at a fundamental level, we are able to realise when we gather, how much a part of nature we are. Whilst we like to separate our species in its uniqueness, we are like – and of course share genes with – all organisms with all living organisms. Have you ever noticed that despite the fact that a stove heats the entire room in which it sits, we as groups huddle near its flames, becoming even closer. As birds throng together in the sky, as penguins huddle close on the ice, as various species congregate at the same water source. The stove for humans brings us together, not only from the feeling of being closer to the heat for warmth but utilising the stove for cooking simultaneously. The intimacy and connection to this makes it feel like whatever food it delivers will be more delicious than one that could be cooked on with a regular kitchen stove. Perhaps it’s in the wonder in its role as heat provider and nourishment that holds our attention and brings a group together in a less perfunctory way than an induction hob. Being part of the cooking is not only in the sourcing, chopping and creating the dish itself but in actually collecting the logs, kindling and laying the fire. 

A form of gathering at its simplest level is the family kitchen, which – however crowded it becomes – is always the core of the action in a home. It is always so bemusing and sometimes frustrating! How small children, even within wider spaces, stay close to adults and in this way they create a close group gentleness. The ultimate sense of gathering where we are not so focussed on our individual being but the shared touch and connection to the other. A more poignant example of gathering in and shared group experience is amidst the brutal hardship of war. In the beautiful book by Hubert Mingarelli, ‘Four Soldiers’, set in 1919 during the Russian Civil War, the soldiers set up camp together on The Romanian Front line. The book describes so poetically a sense of love between the men through steps such as making their temporary home. The glowing appreciation of working together and the shared joy. It talks of how they get through the harshest winter with the warmth from their togetherness eeking out food, enjoying the opportunity of strong tea, waiting, speaking and smoking. There is a deep reward often found in the darkest moments revealed to us a little like the murmurations in the unity of action, where there is no leader but shared movement and a hearing of all voices is where beauty is found. 

“And let us consider one another in order to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching”  

(Hebrews 10:24)


If you haven’t read Charmain Ponnuthurai’s piece on ‘storytelling’ click here – we highly recommend it!