Air Quality and Domestic Heating

Open fires and wood-burning stoves have risen in popularity over recent years. They are now an additional form of heating for many households and for some they may be the sole heat source. This increase in burning solid fuels in our homes is having an impact on our air quality.  Domestic heating using solid fuel is now the largest source of fine particulate matter pollution (PM2.5) in the UK. 

There are simple steps that households can take to limit emissions both indoors and out. Using cleaner fuels, in a cleaner appliance which is installed by a competent person, knowing how to operate it efficiently, and ensuring that chimneys are regularly swept, will all make a big difference. Defra has developed guidance for residents on simple steps to help reduce emissions from domestic heating.

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Quick tips for reducing solid fuel heating emissions:

  • Only burn dry ‘seasoned’ wood;
  • Do not burn treated waste wood (e.g. old furniture) or other types of waste;
  • If you use Housecoal, use approved smokeless fuels instead;
  • Get your chimney swept regularly (up to twice a year);
  • If you want to buy wood to burn immediately look for the ‘Woodsure’ logo as a guarantee of good quality dry wood.  

If you would like further information or advice, please contact Environmental Protection using the contact details on this page.