Sarah Beeny has been sharing her views on wood-burning stoves – do you agree?

She's been Tweeting her opinions

Wood burners have had something of a bad rap of late. With the government aiming to clean up the UK’s air quality, wood burners and open fires are coming under increasing scrutiny. But some think they're being made a scapegoat for bigger pollution problems.

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living area with stone brick wall and blue arm chair and wood stacks and fireplace and cushions

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Brittain)

The latest to enter the debate is our favourite renovating expert, the lovely Sarah Beeny.

It all started with this response to a Tweet from clean air campaigner Karen Gaines, which stated, 'UK’s largest single source of PM2.5 – 37,200 tonnes – is domestic wood burning, representing 2.7 times the 13,900 tonnes emitted by road transport. An eco-labelled wood stove is allowed to pollute as much as 25 ten-year-old diesel trucks.'

Incidentally, PM denotes fine particles, which have been cited as a cause of disease and premature death.

Sarah doesn't feel that people use their wood burners anywhere near as much as many reports are estimating...

...and especially not in new builds!

Sarah believes the majority of owners of wood burners don't use them exclusively to keep warm, and that they're often a supplement to central heating.

Many of her fans agree. Andrew Petherick replies 'I find lighting fires a pain anyway, so it's weekends only for me. And who has time to sit in front of them, anyway!'.

And 'Dave' says 'My wood burner is only used in winter when it’s cold. That’s only for a few hours. I can’t see anyone needing to burn for 3-12 hours, I’d have to open all my windows to let the cold air back in.'

Replying to Dave, Sarah says she believes most people will use their stove a few hours a week – but does raise concerns about people using wet or 'unseasoned' wood.

Rather than focussing on wood burners, Sarah believes that the Government has bigger fish to fry – for example, air fresheners, which she says have 'totally zero benefits - Environmental impact to produce - package - ship - and dispose of whilst spitting out toxic chemicals along the way - genius!!?!'

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Do you agree with Sarah's views? You can follow her @sarahbeeny as the debate unfolds.

Amy Cutmore

Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.