Log burners are often seen in countryside homes, especially those with low access to the gas network, and are popular with families who have a their own waste wood to burn. However, these heating systems have recently started becoming a popular choice for town homes as well. Almost 200,000 log burners are installed every year in Britain, with sales increasing as much as 40% yearly. More than a million british households are now equipped with wood-burning stoves, which are widely praised by owners and sometimes criticized by health and environmental organizations. So what are the potential dangers of log burners, and should you worry about them?
Are log burners bad for you?
There are two main criticisms moved against log burners, namely that their smoke may be unhealthy and that they are not as environmentally friendly as they are made up to be. According to two reports from 2011 and 2013, biomass particulates produced by log burners could be bad for men’s health and cause respiratory diseases, but not all the samples studied showed this to be true.
The second claim - that log burners are not necessarily eco-friendly - has more backers. Wood is considered a carbon neutral fuel, because growing trees absorb as much carbon dioxide as the burning logs release. Therefore, choosing an approved supplier who ensures that new trees are planted should be enough. However, the transportation of wood logs and pellets ends up creating unwanted smog. The solution to this issue is simple: choosing nearby local suppliers minimizes transportation costs and emissions. The best option of them all is of course to use your own wood, or even foraging branches from the nearest park after a storm.
Why do people love log burners so much?
Even with the possibility that log burners may be unhealthy, an increasingly large number of people in Britain is choosing to install them. The wood-burning stove craze started around 2009, when gas companies started increasing bills, and the option of log burners was brought up as an eco-friendly and efficient heating alternative. Aficionados say they love them because of the ease of use and the cosy atmosphere they create. Moreover, they help save on heating bills, since wood has lower and stabler prices compared to gas.
Even with often hefty price tags, log burners keep gaining fans for many reasons, the main ones being environmental concerns and design. Because they come in both old school and modern versions, they adapt to different tastes. Log burners are also highly efficient, easy to use and clean.