All about particulate emissions from wood fires and stoves

There is a lot of focus on particulate matter these days. Rightly so, because inhaling particulate matter is harmful to us. However, you don't have to worry about burning wood. Wood fires with the right certification are nowadays less harmful to both our health and the environment; they emit significantly less particulate matter because combustion is optimal.

Besides the measures taken by the government to reduce emissions, there are several, easy, adjustments you can make to make your wood fire burning cleaner. When you buy the right fire and fire responsibly, you can reduce particulate emissions well. In this article, we are going to talk about:

  1. What is particulate matter anyway?
  2. How much particulate matter does a wood-burning stove emit?
  3. Four tips for clean combustion
Curious about the environmental friendliness of a wood fire? We previously wrote an article about it.

Read the blog

What is particulate matter anyway?

Particulate matter is a variety of different particles floating through the air. The particles are microscopic and therefore not visible to the naked eye unless it is foggy. When it is foggy, or windless, the tiny fine particles concentrate. You can see this by a grey or yellow-brown haze hanging over the flue. This concentration of fine dust is harmful and it is therefore not recommended to fire in such weather conditions.
Particulate matter is created by burning fuel in cars or planes, but windblown sand is also part of fine dust. Particulate matter is small, we inhale it easily and therefore particulate matter is not healthy. It is not only outdoors that fine dust occurs, you cannot prevent it in your home either.

Fine dust in the house due to a wood-burning stove

Most of the airborne fine dust is caused by industry and traffic, but burning wood in the wood-burning stove in your home also emits fine dust. No matter how well your stove is connected to a flue, you cannot prevent fine dust from escaping into your home. We told you earlier that particulate matter is harmful, which is why stoking a fire is strongly discouraged. After all, a fire has no protection in the form of glass towards the living space.
Fine dust in the house cannot be prevented. However, there are several measures you can take to reduce the emission of fine dust (in the house). More on that later in this article.

Wood stove without particulate emissions; is that possible?

No, a wood-burning stove without emissions of fine dust is not possible. This is because every form of combustion releases particulate matter. This also applies, for instance, to lighting candles or tea lights for atmosphere.
However, you can make sure you connect your wood fire or stove to a flue in the right way. This way, you reduce the emission of particulate matter into the home. There are also plenty of measures you can take as a stoker. The heating behaviour of the stoker has a lot of influence on particulate matter emissions.

How much particulate matter does a wood-burning stove emit?

It is difficult to answer this question. The amount of particulate matter your fire or stove emits depends on the type of fire you have, its age and your heating behaviour. Every fire we put on the market is thoroughly tested before it can be sold. Among other things, they have to meet certain particulate matter requirements. Our wood-burning stoves score very well here. The fine dust values of this test can be found on each product page under NOx value. In addition, the use of a smoke filter also affects the amount of particulate matter your stove emits.

Wood stove with smoke filter: good idea or not?

If you install a smoke filter in the flue of your fire, it will stop up to 95% of the fine dust. Yet we still have our doubts about using a smoke filter. We explain why we still have doubts about using a smoke filter.
As a manufacturer of fireplaces, we do not simply recommend using a wood smoke filter. This is because the use of a wood smoke filter affects the resistance in the outlet, which can cause a fire to "behave" differently after a filter has been installed. Also, an improperly placed filter can negatively affect the enjoyment of stoking. In short: as a manufacturer, we are certainly open to using a wood smoke filter, but we have not yet found a smoke filter that works well in the long term.

EcoDesign legislation for wood fires and stoves

These days, there are strict requirements on harmful emissions. The government has laid down these requirements in the EcoDesign 2022 legislation. The requirements are as follows: Stringent requirements that ensure we reduce particulate emissions. Want to make sure you comply with the legislation? Then we recommend you buy your new fire from an authorised dealer and have it installed by a suitable installer. And follow a fire training course so you are safe in every respect!
Our fires meet these strict requirements. You can view them on the assortment page. Do you have any questions about legislation or would you like our experts to help you?

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Four tips for clean combustion

If you burn wood, you will emit fine dust. You cannot prevent this simply because combustion takes place. But there are many measures you can take to keep particulate emissions as low as possible. We give you 4 tips to help you burn as cleanly as possible.

1. Buy the right fire

Nowadays, a fire with a hatch or door is strongly preferred. In fact, we strongly advise against open fires. This is because an open fire releases more fine dust into your home. The insert or built-in fire ensures less emission of harmful substances and is therefore strongly preferred. This is because in a 'closed' fire, the temperature becomes much higher than in an open fire. A higher temperature ensures better and therefore cleaner combustion.
In addition, it is important to check how much your current fire emits. Older fires often do not comply with EcoDesign legislation. The quality of the fire also deteriorates with frequent use, causing it to emit more particulate matter than a newer fire. With a newer fire, you also often achieve a much higher efficiency. This means that as little heat as possible flies out through the flue and is instead released to heat your room. So with a newer fire you not only burn cleaner, but the stoking is also a lot more efficient and therefore often cheaper because you use less wood!
Wondering what else to look out for when buying a wood fire? Read the blog!

Points of attention when buying a wood fire

2. Only burn wood

Plastic, paint, ink and other chemical materials contain far more pollutants than wood when you burn them. So do not light the fire with newspaper or use processed or painted wood as fire fuel.
Besides the processing of the wood, the type of wood also affects how clean you burn. In addition, humidity plays a major role; only burn wood that is really dry. That way, you avoid unnecessary pollution.

3. Fire according to the right method

We already wrote a blog about it: 'What is the best way to fire wood? Do you have a new appliance that meets all the requirements, are you firing with the right wood but not using the right method? Then your stove's emissions will be higher than hoped. Which firing method is best to use to stoke cleanly and efficiently? That is the Swiss Method, we explain it step by step in this blog.

4. Keep the stove clean

If you fire in a clean stove with little ash and soot left behind, you will emit fewer harmful substances. So make sure you keep your stove clean, including the flue where ash and soot can collect.

Enjoy your wood stove

With these tips in your pocket, you know you can enjoy your wood stove or wood fire indoors with peace of mind. After all, nothing beats an atmospheric wood fire! Do you have any questions as a result of this article? Then feel free to contact us!


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