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Now that the dark, winter nights are slowly creeping in and the temperature is falling, many of us are already using wood burners to keep warm.

Wood burners are incredibly popular, and many people use them as an effective way of heating their homes. Combining cost effective heating and an aesthetic appeal which makes wood burners highly attractive, it is estimated that around 1.5 million households in the UK use this form of heating.

Many people choose a wood burning stove to lower their environmental impact by utilising a sustainable resource to heat their properties, rather than purchasing energy.

 

Are wood burning stoves bad for the environment?

A number of reports circulating in the news over recent years suggest that stoves are responsible for far more emissions than they actually contribute.  Many of these studies quote air pollution statistics that are inaccurate and group today’s modern, clean wood burning stoves together with other domestic fuels, open fires, and older wood burners.

Wood burners do give off fumes which contain microscopic specks of soot, which can cause air pollution. However, using approved fuels significantly reduces any potential harm.

If the wood you are using is burnt correctly, it can actually become part of a carbon neutral process. This means that the carbon released from the burning wood is balanced out by the carbon absorbed by the tree. It is also worthwhile remembering that burning wood can also be part of a sustainable energy process, providing trees are replanted and wood land is properly managed.

 

Are wood burning stoves bad for the environment? The myths and facts

There are many myths circulating about wood burning stoves and it can be hard to know the real facts. Let’s take a look at some of the most common myths:

Myth: Wood burning stoves are the biggest contributor in the UK of small particle matter

Fact: This is based on incorrect data.

 

This myth is based on a statement from Defra’s Clean Air Strategy, which claimed that domestic combustion accounts for 38% of fine particle matter. However, this figure was based on a government survey from 2015, which was found to wrongly overestimate the amount of wood being burnt on stoves and fireplaces.

In fact, a study carried out by the SIA in 2019 showed that the true figure was actually less than a third of what the Government quoted. This made the percentage of PM2.5 attributed to domestic combustion around 13% not 38% as their study concluded.

Later figures published by Defra supported SIA’s findings, reinforcing that, if accurate wood fuel volume figures were combined with the correct emission factors, the real percentage of PM2.5 attributed to domestic wood burning would be less than 10%.

Myth: All wood burning stoves create high emissions

Fact: Modern, eco-design compliant wood burning stoves create lower emissions

 

Defra’s 38% figure was based on emissions from older stoves and open fires. But it has since been proven that modern, Ecodesign compliant wood burning stoves produce 66% less emissions than older, outdated appliances.

Myth: Wood burning stoves create the same emissions as 18 diesel cars

Fact: This is misleading.

 

This myth is based on test results interpreted by the Air Quality Expert Group (AQEG). However, the SIA has pointed out that the comparison is extremely misleading.

Firstly, the test looks at the appliances running at significantly different efficiency levels – car comparing exhaust emissions at an efficient run rate of 21mph to all the emissions of a full run rate for a stove. This doesn’t consider the small particle emissions generated by the car’s brakes and tyres, which are often greater than those produced by the exhaust pipe.

In addition to this, the different dispersal points of particulate matter from wood burning stoves and cars, is completely ignored. A car outputs emissions at face level for a child, meaning there is very little dispersal before it is breathed in, whereas a woodburning stove sends emissions out of the top of a chimney, meaning there is considerable dispersal of the emissions before they even reach human height.

Myth: Wood burning stoves and fireplaces are harmful

Fact: Another misconception.

 

This view fails to consider the huge advances that have been made by the woodburning stove industry in recent years. Members of SIA, including Charnwood, were among the first manufacturers to develop ultra clean burn technology to achieve the forthcoming 2022 Ecodesign Regulations. More recently, SIA has supported and initiated the launch of clearSkies – an independent emissions and energy performance certification scheme for solid fuel stoves and fireplaces. Appliances that are certified under clearSkies will not only meet the performance levels set out under Ecodesign, but many will also go a significant way beyond. The majority of Charnwood stoves achieve level 5 clearSkies certification.

Find out more about our Ecodesign ready stoves here.

 

What are the regulations around wood burning stoves?

On May 1 2021, new regulations came into force, restricting the types of fuel that you can burn at home. This means that coal and wet wood are no longer allowed to be used.

At Charnwood, we welcome the announcement that, going forward, only fuels that reduce air pollution can be burnt in stoves and open fires in domestic settings. For many years, we have been producing exceptionally high-performance stoves designed to run on approved wood-burning stove fuel. Look out for the Ready to Burn label on bags of wood which ensures the moisture content is less than 20%.

 

How much are wood burning stoves?

There are lots of different wood burning stoves available and they all come in different sizes. The price you can expect to pay for a wood burning stove in the UK varies and is dependent on its size, specification, and design. However, the vast majority of stoves are priced between £800 and £1500.

Explore our range of stoves here.

At Charnwood all of the appliances we make now meet the Ecodesign ready requirements and virtually all are Defra exempt, so you can burn wood safely and cleanly, even in smoke control areas. If you have any questions about wood burners and the environment, please get in touch.

charnwoodstoves

Whether we like it or not, autumn (and winter) is on its way, bringing cooler weather and darker nights with it. But what better way to embrace this seasonal shift than with some cosy living room updates?

Today, we’re going to be sharing some interior design tips on how to pull off a cosy living room design. Taking the lead from some of the latest seasonal trends (as well as timeless upgrades), we’ll give you all the ingredients you need to cook up a snug and soothing living space.

Go bold with neutrals

 

Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash

Neutrals aren’t typically renowned for their statement-making capabilities, but this year that’s changed.

Neutral hues like beige, grey, taupe and terracotta are standout colours this season and can make a refreshing change from cooler colour palettes like white. Mirroring the natural world outside, they bring an earthy, warm feel that’s perfectly timed for autumn.

To optimise their visual impact, keep the overall colour palette simple. Pairing one anchoring neutral hue with a complementary shade can help to break up block colours, giving it a softer, layered look.

For a classic comforting finish, soft clay-coloured walls with ivory woodwork and accents can transform your living room into a sumptuous space. For a more modern vibe, use eye-catching feature walls to show off your neutrals, like a pale grey wallpaper colour paired with a blush pink or an on-trend mustard yellow.

Turn up the heat

With cold weather on its way, getting your living room heating just right is key to creating the ultimate hunkering-down haven – and nothing makes a living room feel cosier than a real fire.

With the ability to command attention, fireplaces provide a natural focal point for living rooms of any size, so it’s time to make them roar.

For a practical and stylish option, a striking wood burning stove is guaranteed to give your living room that all-star treatment.

Whether you opt for classic black or gorgeous green, a stove that radiates style and heat is never a bad addition to your living room design, helping you to enjoy all the visual beauty of a roaring fire without the worry of a sooty hearth.

Embrace autumnal shades

Neutral hues are primed for giving living rooms a grounded and cohesive base, but unless you’re going for a monochrome masterpiece, there’s always room to add some popular autumnal shades.

To keep the colour palette warm and welcoming, why not introduce flourishes of spice-inspired hues like burnt orange, turmeric, mustard yellow and mulberry that match the natural colour changes outside?

Alternatively, give your living room a luxury edge using stunning jewel tones like cobalt blue and emerald green. Perfectly matched to pale grey or taupe, these rich hues are guaranteed to indulge the senses.

To ensure these hues don’t overpower the room and take the vibe from soothing and serene to busy and bold, use them in moderation as accents through your selection of accessories and soft furnishings.

Snuggle up with layers

During the cold, dark winter nights, we all crave (and deserve) some extra comfort. The introduction of different textures can be just what’s needed here, giving your living room a layered look that feels like a giant hug every time you enter the room.

To pull this off without the finished look feeling frumpy and cluttered, choose your fabrics and furniture wisely. These can be statement pieces like a new sofa covered with soft, sumptuous and on-trend boucle, velvet or corduroy.

Alternatively, use accent pieces to do the leg work, creating an indulgent and inviting space. A new statement rug, extra sofa cushions, throws and assorted accessories will create a wonderfully layered look.

While contrasting textures and finishes work well, you need to find the right balance, so don’t be afraid to play around with your positioning and fabric options before deciding on your final design.

Giving your living room some TLC this autumn could be the ideal way to ensure your home epitomises comfort when the cold sets in.

Whether your living room’s due a full overhaul or you just want to make a few updates in time for winter, we hope these ideas give plenty of seasonal inspiration to create a cosy and charming space.

Author bio

Alex Jones is a content creator for 1ClickWallpaper – one of the UK’s leading online suppliers of affordable wallpaper and decorating supplies, offering a huge online range of wallpapers, paints and decorating essentials.

charnwoodstoves

We recently released the fascinating results of the Charnwood Wellbeing Study 2021 which revealed 93% of 1227 wood-burning stove users recognise their stove’s positive impact on wellbeing. A further 6% answered maybe with only 1% replying no. The study also gave additional detailed insight into how these wellbeing benefits are experienced and this blog will take a closer look at these findings.

Relaxation

Lighting your stove is the perfect way to draw a line in the sand from the stresses of the day. It can become almost a ritual that readies the body and mind for repose. There is documentation of the power of fire playing this roll since the dawn of time. Studies have shown how hearth and campfires can influence arterial blood pressure and defray the costs of the social brain through fireside relaxation. Here is a section from the study:

‘Results indicated consistent blood pressure decreases in the fire-with-sound condition, particularly with a longer duration of stimulus, and enhancing effects of absorption and prosociality. Findings confirm that hearth and campfires induce relaxation as part of a multisensory, absorptive, and social experience.’

So, in short, science supports what our survey participants reported below.

“I find the process of building and lighting the fire therapeutic and sitting watching the flames is very relaxing.”

A fire promotes feelings of safety and security which helps relaxation. Tension is often held in the body and the warmth of the fire seems to have a physiological effect as well as a psychological one. The heat relaxes the muscles, and the mind follows.

“It helps me to switch off after work and also to consider things more clearly and calmly. It seems to warm my soul as well as my feet!”

“We love our log burner. It makes us feel warm, safe and secure. It helps heat the whole house, which has proved an asset in power cuts. Nothing beats sitting in the living room with the warmth of the fire in the depths of winter.”

“It’s extremely relaxing to sit by the fire and watch the flames dance away. So much so in fact, that we opted to cancel our Netflix subscription and we simply don’t watch it any longer. We’d much rather sit and watch the fire instead!”

Stress release

With stress widely regarded as one of the unhealthiest components of our lives, it is encouraging to know that a fire can change these negative states of being.

“You can just gaze into the fire and be taken away from the stresses of work. It gives opportunity for the family to come together and talk. Talking just seems to come easier when siting around the stove.”

“Chopping wood is a great way to relieve stress! Everyone congregates around the fire and the children like to help with the kindling etc. It just creates a special atmosphere.”

“All my problems seem very manageable when I feel the fires warmth, realising that life is good and that I shouldn’t stress out about the small stuff.”

Improves mood

 

Mood and happiness are intertwined and while we all have strategies to improve our mood, some are better for us than others. Lighting your stove is arguably one of the better ways to improve your mood and one that can be depended upon time and time again.

“The world seems much better with a stove! It has huge mental health benefit, particularly during pandemic “
Again, whether that is improving from a negative state or enhancing an already wonderful occasion, it appears a significant proportion of participants recognise a strong effect from their wood-burning experience on their mood.

“Really effective on cold winter afternoons with few outdoor options.
Definitely a mood lifter.”

“My stove helps with relaxation & mood improvement. It helps to unwind after a day’s exertions at work.”

Promotes Family Bonding

With more of our lives being played out online, those of us who remember life before social media, recognise the negative impact on in-person interaction and connection. One can be in the same house, room or even at the same dinner table as others and still feel detached from the person gazing at their phone. As an antidote, a wood-burning stove can provide a focal point for the home, encouraging people to share space and spark conversation. Time shared in this way often leads to a deeper sense of connection and a tighter family unit.

“You can just gaze into the fire and be taken away from the stresses of work. It gives opportunity for the family to come together and talk. Talking just seems to come easier when siting around the stove.”

“Something the whole family enjoy doing together and it makes us all feel incredibly relaxed and happy.”

“After a day of sledging and building snowmen and having snowball fights with the family it was very relaxing and comforting for us all to warm up in front of the fire.”

“Having the fire going brings everyone to the same room. This helps with family bonding and discussions in general. With our digital lives, it is so easy to just stay in your room and get distracted. However, the fire brings us together and we can even share a warm drink together!”

Homely atmosphere

Now this one didn’t surprise us too much, gaining the most votes out of any of the options available. Relating to family bonding, the fireplace has long been the centre of the home and we are hardwired to respond positively to its influence.

“Winter evenings with friends. Whenever we have visitors during the winter, we always make sure the stove is running as this usually ensures nobody will request the television be turned on, leading to an altogether much nicer atmosphere with people actually chatting and engaging much more, rather than staring at the screen.”

“Chopping wood is a great way to relieve stress! Everyone congregates around the fire and the children like to help with the kindling etc. It just creates a special atmosphere.”

“Christmas especially. The stove just provides a much-needed atmosphere on a cold winter’s night. You feel relaxed, cosy and there is something about it that just welcomes you into the living room. I couldn’t live without it.”

Meditative

The recognition of meditation’s utility in our modern lives has grown exponentially over recent years. Online meditation apps, sound meditations as well as more traditional forms have all been widely adopted. Despite these great tools, it can still be very challenging to unlock the benefits of meditation through a strict dedicated practice.

Perhaps equally beneficial and certainly more accessible are those everyday acts/experiences that encourage something approaching a meditative state. Hobbies, music, walks in nature etc. can, from anecdotal evidence, bring about these states to greater or lesser degrees. Wood-burning is also certainly on that list. A full sensory experience that allows the mind to detach from thoughts more easily, replacing with a spaciousness that is restorative. Detaching from thoughts and stilling the mind is so much easier when one has a focus, be it the breath, a mantra, or a fire…

“It draws the family (and pets) into the room, warms the atmosphere and the space and watching the flames is meditative too. “

“You can just gaze into the fire and be taken away from the stresses of work. It gives opportunity for the family to come together and talk. Talking just seems to come easier when siting around the stove.”

“Watching the stove in full display is almost hypnotic and has great relaxing properties. It also has a back to nature feel and without any electrical devices in the room is perfect for de-stressing.”

“Mesmerising flame watching takes us away from our worries and concerns. The room has a focus that isn’t a screen and gives warmth with it.”

Escapism

The process of lighting a fire taps into the more primal part of our brain and somehow allows us to switch off from the everyday stresses and escape from worry. A warm fire signifies access to cooking, warmth, and shelter and when these primary needs are catered for, we instinctively feel better about life.

“Fire is deep within the human psyche and sits in a happy place in our limbic brain. You get lost from the day to day in a fire – it’s a little bit of wilderness in the order of the day to day.”

“I’ve long felt a disconnect between earning money in the corporate world and home life. Here is something with a direct connection – the family stay warm through my simple effort.”

“Helps to switch off from the technology that takes over our everyday lives. You feel a sense of achievement when the first sparks ignite.”

Other

There are too many incredible quotes to list them all. To give a feel for the full range of benefits that a log burner can bring to wellbeing, here’s a list of the most used words and phrases in the ‘Other’ category:

Safety, protection, memories, therapeutic, comforting, unwind, switch off, tradition, better than tv, mesmerising, warmth, warm my soul, nicer atmosphere, joyful experience, encourages chatting, stove is a catalyst, congregates, less vulnerable, natural, sense of achievement, hypnotic, cosy, ritual, magical, toasting marshmallows, contentment, building a memory…


The results of the Charnwood Wellbeing Survey are the first of its kind. Whilst offering many fascinating insights into life with a log burner, as with many things in life, seeing is believing. Perhaps we can modify this expression to ‘experiencing is believing’ as far more than one sense is stimulated when nestling down in front of a toasty fire on a cold winters evening.

Read More:

Wood Burning Stoves – Wellbeing Benefits

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This blog is a review and closer look at the results of the Charnwood Wellbeing Survey 2021. A survey of over 1200 wood-burning stove users and the impact of stoves on their wellbeing. The vast majority of stoves owned by participants utilise Charnwood’s modern clean-burn technology and are EcoDesign ready.

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In recent years we have seen a move towards a greater understanding in society of mental health and the need for self-care. The lockdowns only brought this more into focus and it was no coincidence that stove sales rose steeply during this time. It was clear from our conversations with customers that there was a strong relationship between owning a stove and a happier home.

We recently conducted a survey of stove users to better understand the significant and unique benefits that wood-burning stoves provide their owners and family’s wellbeing. The response was phenomenal with 1227 users (we thank you all) providing deep insight into the wider benefits of owning and using a stove.
 
A whopping 93% replied, definitively, that their stove has a positive impact on their wellbeing, while the bar graph below shows the range of ways these benefits manifest.
 

Participants were then asked to elaborate on their choices, and we were overwhelmed with the response. You can view the Charnwood Wellbeing Survey Results here.

Here are some of the best responses that provide some wonderfully deep insight into life with a stove.

The benefits of a wood-burning stove to wellbeing

“The wrap round warmth the fire provides improves the feeling of well-being that no other heating system seems to provide.”

“The world seems much better with a stove! It has huge mental health benefit, particularly during pandemic “

“I live alone and work a very stressful and emotionally draining job. Coming home to my stove provides so much comfort, even in the absence of having someone to come home to. Literally couldn’t live without it.”

“I find the process of building and lighting the fire therapeutic and sitting watching the flames is very relaxing.”

“It helps me to switch off after work and also to consider things more clearly and calmly. It seems to warm my soul as well as my feet!”

Increases bonding and improves relationships

“My grandchildren ask for the fire to be on when they are having a hot chocolate on a frosty day.”

“Winter evenings with friends. Whenever we have visitors during the winter, we always make sure the stove is running as this usually ensures nobody will request the television be turned on, leading to an altogether much nicer atmosphere with people actually chatting and engaging much more, rather than staring at the screen.”

“After a day of sledging and building snowmen and having snowball fights with the family it was very relaxing and comforting for us all to warm up in front of the fire.”

“Chopping wood is a great way to relieve stress! Everyone congregates around the fire and the children like to help with the kindling etc. It just creates a special atmosphere.”

“The stove is the catalyst for family bonding, which helps with relaxation & mood improvement. It helps to unwind after a days exertions at work.”

“You can just gaze into the fire and be taken away from the stresses of work. It gives opportunity for the family to come together and talk. Talking just seems to come easier when siting around the stove.”

Digital detox – an antidote to the digital age

“Helps to switch off from the technology that takes over our everyday lives. You feel a sense of achievement when the first sparks ignite.”

“It’s extremely relaxing to sit by the fire and watch the flames dance away. So much so in fact, that we opted to cancel our Netflix subscription and we simply don’t watch it any longer. We’d much rather sit and watch the fire instead!”

“Sitting round the fire has become a special tradition. We’ve removed our technology from the living room and now have the fire and bookcase”

“We watch the flames not the TV (even the dog likes to sit and stare)”

“I sit on the sofa watching the flames. It’s better than watching tv”

“Mesmerising flame watching takes us away from our worries and concerns. The room has a focus that isn’t a screen and gives warmth with it.”
 

Stoves provide a real sense of security

“We love our log burner. It makes us feel warm, safe and secure. It helps heat the whole house, which has proved an asset in power cuts. Nothing beats sitting in the living room with the warmth of the fire in the depths of winter.”

“Lighting the stove after a walk by the sea during winter is a joyful experience. Has helped to alleviate the worry of power failures as we live in an area prone to electricity outage during bad weather. Just knowing that we have our lovely stove for independent heat and low light is fab.”

“Back up for central heating given no of power outages,”

“As an electric only house, we wanted a plan b during a power cut to heat the home”

“more efficient than previous coal fire and, in extremis, if gas supply fails or is too expensive, will provide warmth.”

“Having a wood burner means I am less vulnerable in power cuts. I can still have heating, boil a kettle, cook food if I need to.”

They cultivate a deeper connection to nature

“Worked in forestry for 36 years, just a natural thing to do, can’t beat a real fire.”

“Chopping and stacking wood is very calming and lets my mind focus on that one task. Building, lighting and getting the fire to the perfect temperature does the same and gives a real sense of achievement. It all makes me feel closer to nature.”

“For me, sitting around a real fire has a deep connection to something ancient.”

“There’s something deeply Primeval about lighting a fire and benefiting from its heat. Every time you light it there is a deep sense of satisfaction”

“Splitting logs gets me outside and keeps me active, which is good for my body and mind. There’s also a great sense of satisfaction in getting the wood pile ready for winter, and I’ve also learned a lot about different types of wood and how to manage trees sustainably.”

“Watching the stove in full display is almost hypnotic and has great relaxing properties. It also has a back to nature feel and without any electrical devices in the room is perfect for de stressing.”

Making special occasions even more special

“Christmas Day spent with all the family and grandchildren gathered around our stove brings happy memories all year round.”

“Christmas especially. The stove just provides a much-needed atmosphere on a cold winters night. You feel relaxed, cosy and there is something about it that just welcomes you into the living room. I couldn’t live without it.”

“It’s a ritual on Christmas morning to rekindle the stove, and to unwrap the presents without a fire is unthinkable. There’s something magical about children in their pyjamas sitting on the rug in the cosy space in front of a blazing stove.”

“My young nephew visited at Christmas & we built the fire together. It was the first time he had ever lit a real fire. We celebrated with toasting marshmallows! It wasn’t just building a fire – it was building a memory.”

Conclusion

This survey is the first of its kind (that we know of at least) and brings real weight to the argument in favour of wood-burning stoves beyond their already strong heating and environmental credentials. When having the debate on the viability of various home heating solutions, we should recognise the powerful effects that wood-burning stoves have on wellbeing – effects that no other heat source can replicate.

If mental health and wellbeing are, as we believe, important considerations that are rightfully getting more attention, then it is vital that this is properly considered when arguing for and against all types of energy solutions. Let’s be clear, the experiences discussed above are nothing short of what makes life worth living – we shouldn’t downplay or underestimate the important role wood-burning stoves play in people’s lives and the positive knock-on effect to society.

 

Read More:

The Truth About Wood Burning Stoves and Air Quality

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As a British based company that is passionate about the environment and sustainability, we were delighted when the government made the UK the first major economy to pass a law committing to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. These targets obligate the UK to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero through a combination of reduction and carbon offset. In this blog, we will discuss our own commitments and strategy to achieve Net Zero 2050 as a business.

Charnwood is a privately-owned, family-run business on the Isle of Wight. Founded in 1972, by Alfred J Wells and his two sons, sustainability and environmental considerations were at the forefront of their principles from the start. Amid an oil crisis and with Dutch Elm Disease prevalent, the 3 founders saw an opportunity to produce a small wood burning stove as an alternative way to help people heat their homes and directly reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

Our product’s environmental credentials

Charnwood Stoves

Our stoves are among the most environmentally friendly appliances available on the market, using the very latest combustion technology. The majority of our range now meets the new EcoDesign regulations coming into force in 2022.
Eco benefits:
• 90% more efficient than open fires
• They can produce heat 24/7 allowing them to work in conjunction with wind and solar energy.
• Carbon neutral fuel
• Ability to source fuel locally and without fracking and deep-sea oil drilling
• A good quality stove can last many decades and comes with the right to repair
• The materials used to fabricate a Charnwood stove and its packaging are fully recyclable
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The Truth About Wood Burning Stoves and Air Quality Click here to read more
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A company-wide approach

The idea of being ‘green’ extends beyond the products and to every aspect of the company; from choosing raw materials, recycling packaging and even how we transport our materials and products. It is our view that it is environmentally unsustainable to transport heavy materials around the world, on the grounds of small savings, when the world’s finest materials are available here in the UK. With this in mind, Charnwood strives to buy British whenever possible. We are ISO 14001 accredited, Fors Bronze (A fleet Operator recognition Scheme), and working towards ISO 45001.

Green Investments
 

We have invested in our plant and equipment over many years to reduce our carbon footprint and be more sustainable. Across our site, there is currently 135kW of solar PV systems that have generated nearly 1000MWh to date. The vast majority of this energy is used on-site which equates to a reduction in CO2 of 368 tonnes. The rest of our electricity is sourced from a supplier providing renewable energy; however, we are planning to apply for further solar panels in due course.

By monitoring our half-hour data, we identified usage outside of working hours. By ensuring machines and compressors are turned off during these times we have achieved many thousands of annual savings.

When investing in machinery we always consider energy consumption. As a result of this objective, we have invested in 4 variable speed drive compressors, each reducing energy consumption by up to 50% when compared to fixed drive compressors.
Our investment in the latest fibre laser technology has resulted in a reduction in energy consumption of our metal cutting facility of over 500kWh per day due to advancements in technology.

Our sustainable network

Our suppliers

Our supply chains get evaluated on their environmental credentials. A recent example is our steel supply. We have placed a large forward order for 750 tonnes of hot rolled steel with our supplier who produce the material in South Wales. We have chosen to buy our steel with them here in the UK, as we feel they play a big part in making the steel industry more sustainable. We have agreed to pay a £10 per tonne carbon surcharge, which will be used to reduce their carbon emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 and help them be carbon-neutral by 2050.

Our employees

Since 2008 we have run a scheme, marketed internally as the “Green dog”, encouraging our employees to be environmentally friendly. This ranges from reducing energy consumption by switching off lights and keeping air-con between certain temperatures, to using the compost bin and offering them locally sourced fruit and milk.

We are part of the cycle-to-work scheme which has proven popular and provide showers to facilitate this. We avidly discourage printing in the office and have invested in a digital solution that delivers order information to the factory floor, thus cutting out the paper trail. We are looking to extend that solution throughout the company.

We also have a policy of investing in electric company vehicles and have multiple charging points at the factory available to all staff and visitors.

Our customers
 

At the customer level we are taking our commitment to greener packaging to a higher level by sourcing innovative, alternative solutions to pallet wrapping and reviewing every aspect of the packaging, right down to the tape, labels and documents enclosed. We have used recycled stationery throughout our offices since 2012 we are now looking to swap to even more eco-friendly, more visibly recycled versions so that our efforts do not go unnoticed by our customers.

Our commitments

Whilst the Net Zero 2050 initiative is currently the only formal sustainability initiative we are part of, many of the projects we are involved in, especially for Transport for London require us to commit to reducing our environmental impact. In recognition of this and other achievements, we were awarded the Green Business of the Year Award by our local chamber of commerce.

We believe Net Zero 2050 is an inevitable step for all companies and we are committed to leading the way in a domain that we are passionate about. We will continue to analyse our approach and actively seek ways to improve the business’s environmental credentials. Factoring in our interventions to date with our plans for the future, we are well placed to reach ‘carbon-neutral’ status before 2050.

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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!
 

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.

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.

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!

1/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_quality_guideline
2/ https://www.nature.com/articles/s41370-019-0151-4
3/ https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4433/11/12/1326/htm
4/ https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/summary-results-of-the-domestic-wood-use-survey

Other useful sources of information:
5/ https://stoveindustryalliance.com/
6/ https://www.readytoburn.org/

 

charnwoodstoves

On the 5th August 2021 a number of our employees took part in the Cycle to Work Day. As part of our company’s commitment to Net Zero 2050 we agreed to partner up with The Woodland Trust and plant a tree for every 10 miles cycled. True to British tradition the summer weather didn’t disappoint and we experienced some very heavy rain on the day but this band of brave souls managed to clock up 214 miles between them – equating to 21 trees!

We hope to repeat this event again very soon to encourage our employees to use their cars less. The weather will hopefully be kinder next time so we can persuade more people to participate  and in turn plant more trees!

Did you know?

The average person in the UK is responsible for at least 5.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year. So when it comes to climate change native woods and trees are one of the best ways to tackle the climate crisis. Check out this short film from The Woodland Trust

Charnwood’s Commitment to Net Zero 2050

We have always put sustainability at the forefront of our principles and the idea of being ‘green’ extends past the manufacturing process to every aspect of the company; from choosing raw materials, recycling packaging and even how we transport our materials and products. We are ISO 14001 accredited, Fors Bronze (A fleet Operator recognition Scheme), and working towards ISO 45001. We are looking to become Net Zero 2050 as we feel this is an inevitable step for all companies and we would like to lead the way in a domain that we are passionate about.

charnwoodstoves

A wood burning stove is a brilliant addition to any space, helping to optimise heat in the rooms you spend the most time in, while also adding a stylish focal point.

Affordable and practical, wood burning stoves continue to increase in popularity in both traditional and modern properties, and are a striking focal point in any room. However, one of the main reasons why they are so popular is that they can heat your entire household – keeping your energy bills to a minimum, which makes them a great investment.

Whether you’re thinking about investing in a wood burning stove or you already have one, we’ve created a guide outlining our top accessories to maximise its use, allowing you to get the most out of your stove in an efficient and safe way.

Room Heating Stove Gloves

As a general rule of thumb it is advisable to use stove gloves when using your wood burning stove. Fireside stove gloves will not only protect your hands and lower arms when you’re loading firewood or fuel, but they are also ideal for cooking on a BBQ with too.

Room Heating Stove Ash Vacuum

Everyone loves firing up their wood burning stove,  but cleaning it can be a different matter! While it is not particularly time consuming, cleaning your stove can be a dirty job but it will need to be done on a regular basis.

The good news is, there is a solution. A stove ash vacuum is perfect for cleaning up the ash with minimum mess and hassle. Easy to use and empty, this is sure to become a welcome addition to your home.

Room Heating Stove flue pipe thermometer

It’s important that your wood burning stove is always burning at the right temperature. One of the best ways to do this is to use a flue pipe thermometer.

Compact and easy to use, this thermometer will help you run your stove at its optimum level. It helps to improve efficiency and identify any over or under firing issues straight away.

Room Heating Stove Log Basket

If you have a wood burning stove, one of your first purchases should be a stove log basket. These come in all shapes and size. Stove log baskets are a great way to keep your logs neat and tidy, ensuring that they’re always to hand when you need them.

Moisture Metre

Finally, a moisture metre is a great tool for those looking to keep burning levels at their cleanest and most efficient.

Affordable and easy to use, a moisture metre is a handheld device that allows you to check the moisture content of your wood. This is important as you will need to make sure that the moisture content of your logs is under 20% to burn effectively.

At Charnwood, we offer a range of room heating stove accessories. Explore our range and get in touch if you have any questions.

charnwoodstoves

We’re proud to present the Cranmore: a classic new wood burning stove from Charnwood. While it may be traditional in style it uses the very latest in clean burn technology. The Cranmore draws inspiration from the Regency era with a single framed glass door and archetypal detailing. The stoves pleasing proportions make it well suited to a traditional fireplace and with its large picture window and mesmerising flame pattern it is an ideal replacement for an open fire.

Timeless style, exquisite detailing and built to last a lifetime

The best of British

The Cranmore is British made with British materials, using the latest technology that draws on Charnwood’s 50 years of expertise. It is available in a range of colours and features a firm close, cool-to-touch, handle for safe and easy reloading. It is incredibly simple to operate with one single air control and features a sliding firebed for clean and easy ash removal.

The Cranmore 5 has a narrower portrait window than the 7 but still provides a punchy 5kw output

Available as 5 or 7kW models, the Cranmore uses our clean-burn BLU technology and is exceptionally efficient, with a level 5 clearSkies rating. The comparison table below is a useful tool; however we recommend speaking with your Charnwood supplier to help you decide which stove is most suited to your space.
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The perfect open fire replacement

With rules around Eco Design Ready stoves coming into force in 2022 and the potential for further regulation, the Cranmore is an ideal and timely choice. It offers the wonderful ambience and flame picture associated with open fires, while exceeding all minimum criteria for Eco Design Ready status.

The difference between an open fire and the Cranmore in terms of its efficiency and eco-credentials shouldn’t be understated. The Cranmore produces a far more efficient burn and reduces PM emissions by 90%. Added to Charnwood’s policy of caring for the environment, in all aspects of the business, means a Cranmore stove is an environmentally sound heating solution you can be proud of.

Victorian, Georgian, and Regency period properties all provide a perfect backdrop for the traditional aesthetic of the Cranmore. The elegant and timeless design blended with the latest technology makes the Charnwood Cranmore nothing short of a modern classic.

For more information contact us here. For the latest news follow us here.

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Glamping’s popularity continues to soar with a range of luxury camping options available across the UK. Log cabins, yurts, shepherds’ huts, and other ‘tiny home’ accommodation are fantastic ways to bring comfort and relaxation to the most beautiful locations. Many owners are adding wood-burning stoves as trends continue to show they are a key consideration for holidaymakers. After all, there is nothing quite like staying in an idyllic spot with the radiant heat of a wood-burning stove to get you into holiday mode. In response to this rapid growth in glamping stoves, HETAS has released new regulations for installation in leisure accommodation units. Here’s an overview of some of the key points raised and why, with the release of Charnwood’s Aire 3 Stove Pod package, we have the perfect glamping solution.

Suitability

When choosing your glamping stove, bear in mind that HETAS regulations state that “Only appliances that have been appropriately tested to the required CE type test standards (i.e. BS EN 13240) and have a measured gross efficiency of above 65% shall be installed.’’  

Size
It is also important to make sure that the wood-burner you choose has sufficient output for your space, but not be too large that it negatively affects emissions and efficiency. As a general guide, a 3kW output heats a 30m3, 5kW a 60m3 space, while a 7kW output will heat approximately 90m3. Between 3 and 5kw is an ideal output for most leisure accommodation, however, we recommend speaking with your supplier to ascertain what best suits your needs.

Efficiency
Whilst a minimum efficiency of 65% is currently required, in light of DEFRA’s recent announcements and with more changes coming in 2022, it makes sense to choose an EcoDesign ready stove. This future proofs your investment, while also being the eco-friendly and cost-efficient choice. The majority of Charnwood stoves are EcoDesign ready and accredited with the highest 5 Star ClearSkies rating.

Clearances

 

Each stove manufactured undergoes CE type testing to verify the safe distances required from your stove and other surfaces. Due to the limited space in most glamping setups that means these minimum distances cannot usually be obtained. Therefore, heat shielding is required to protect and ensure any adjacent combustibles do not rise above 85C.

Hearths
Situated underneath the stove, hearths should extend 150mm on the sides and 225 mm at the rear and front of the appliance. They should be made of suitable non-combustible material and provide sufficient support for the weight of the stove and chimney system.

Shields
If your stove’s guidance on clearance is below 700mm, it is eligible for use with a heat shield in your leisure accommodation. A heat shield can reduce the safe distance required for your stove to just 95mm and in the case of Charnwood’s Stove Pod and Aire 3 package this is reduced to just 50mm – a significant space saving.

HETAS state a heat shield should extend to the extremities of the hearth (150mm on either side) and 200mm above the top surface, without obstructing the flow of cool air behind the shield. A gap of 25 mm should be maintained between the shield and the combustible surface.

For more information on all the regulations, we recommend speaking with your nearest supplier and checking out the HETAS website.

Aire 3 Stove Pod Package


Whilst there are a number of regulations to be mindful of, Charnwood has taken the headache away by creating the perfect glamping stove package, allowing you to easily meet all HETAS and Defra regulations. It exceeds efficiency and clearance targets and is designed to be quick to fit and provide many years of good use.

The Aire 3 is one of the most efficient stoves on the market, demonstrating 86% efficiency on independent tests. It’s one of the few glamping stoves that is EcoDesign ready and has been given a 5-star clearSkies rating – the highest possible award. With a 2-5 kW output, it is the perfect size for most leisure spaces and provides a crystal-clear burn. The glass door is designed to maximise the viewing area and your guest’s enjoyment of the fire. It also benefits from being easy to operate, with a single air control and removable ashpan, which lends itself to guests that may not have previous wood-burning experience.

The stove pod provides a sleek, safe, and secure enclosure and is designed for ease of installation. We recommend this is carried out by a heating specialist, however, the Stove Pod’s unique design means that you will save on time and labour when compared to alternatives.

The Stove Pod is a freestanding unit that doesn’t require affixing to any walls which is particularly important in a yurt and other glamping accommodation. It is an exceptionally sturdy design and will provide years of use, even from the most inexperienced holidaymakers. The internal shelf supports the flue providing far greater stability and the curvature of the design focuses heat into your space.

The steel skin is magnetic and Charnwood offer a number of tools and pots that can be attached, while the flue support incorporates a handy warming shelf for plates, pots and pans. It is available in a matt black hammered powder coat with the option to add a VLAZE vitreous enamel liner for a stylish, easy to clean finish.

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We welcome the new glamping stove regulations for which the Aire 3 Stove Pod package offers a perfect solution. As with all Charnwood products, beauty and longevity come as standard, but it is the intelligence of the design that makes the Aire 3 Stove pod package the ideal choice for the glamping stove market.

For more information do get in touch with your local supplier. For the latest news follow us @Charnwood.

 

FAQs

Can you put a wood stove in a yurt?

Absolutely! They are very popular as they provide a comfortable, radiant, source of heat while being extremely beneficial for one’s wellbeing. A stove pod is an excellent stand-alone option as it is far easier to install and doesn’t need to be affixed to the tent. We recommend speaking with your supplier or heating specialist about installation.

Can you put a wood stove in a Tiny House?

A wood-burning stove is a great option for a Tiny house. Due to the limited space, you will need to consider a heat shield and hearth to adhere to HETAS regulations. A stove pod would be an ideal option as it’s easy to install and reduces clearance requirements to an absolute minimum.

Can you put a wood stove in a Shepard’s hut?

A Shepard’s hut heats up quickly and benefits from the warm radiant heat of a wood-burning stove. It’s a perfect choice for those who are living off-grid and want a sustainable and eco-friendly fuel source.

What is considered a non-combustible wall?

While brick, metal, stone and tile are non-combustible, many walls include some combustible elements, such as wood, in their underlying structure. If enough heat is transmitted through the non-combustible part of the wall to the vulnerable underlying material, it could present a fire hazard. To prevent this a heat shield is your only option.

Do you need planning permission to install a wood-burning stove?

No, you do not need to have planning permission. However, you must adhere to DEFRA controls and HETAS Regulations. We recommend consulting with your supplier/heating specialist for advice.

Does having a wood stove increase insurance?

Not necessarily. Your insurer may consider your wood stove in the same category as a space heater or other similar heating appliance. Consult your insurer and if there is any increase, it is likely to be small.