Letter: As an owner of a wood burner, your articles (Wood burners triple harmful indoor air pollution, study finds, 18 December; Avoid using wood burning stoves if possible, warn health experts, 1 January) caused great concern. We live in a rural area and would struggle without our stove. But according to a Sheffield University study, we are endangering our health by flooding our lounge with levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) that may far exceed the World Health Organization’s safe limit of 25 micrograms per cubic metre. I purchased a £200 air quality monitor, convinced that it would confirm that there was a problem with PM2.5 levels. I was therefore astonished to discover that our wood burner had no effect on PM2.5 levels, even when the door was opened for refuelling. For reference, I lit a match and the PM2.5 level shot up to 165 micrograms per cubic metre. We only burn wood and kindling that contain less than 20% moisture. We operate the stove at optimum temperature by using a stovepipe thermometer and spent as much on the flue as the stove. More in-depth research is needed before conclusions can be drawn about whether all wood burners cause indoor air pollution.
Guardian 11th Jan 2021 read more »