Managing director of St Neots Fireplace and Stove Centre, Steve Ruff explains the real meaning behind the new government regulations and what you can do for your wood burner to ensure you can continue to use it in your home. Are wood burning stoves being banned? 'No. There's a lot of misinformation out there about the new regulations,' Steve said. 'People are confused about what they mean and think they need to find a new way to heat their home because in the next couple of years they'll be banned from using their wood burner.' 'But in reality, the new regulations are steps you can take to make your wood burning stove more eco-friendly and cleaner for the air.' The guidelines the government is setting will help reduce the amount of air pollution produced when burning wood or coal in your open fire or stove. 'It's a lot more to do with changing the fuel you use and updating to a newer, Ecodesign ready model,' Steve added. What fuel should you be using for your wood burning stove? 'It's best to use a good quality, dry wood with a moisture content of 20pc or less, or a smokeless fuel to feed your stove or fire,' Steve said. 'This will increase your wood burner's efficiency, making it cleaner for the air and help to reduce the number of pollutant emissions created by your burner.' Currently a lot of people use wet wood or coal to power their open fire or wood burning stoves. Coal is a limited fossil fuel and non-renewable energy source that when lit can produce excess smoke and soot that releases greenhouse gases and emissions that are harmful to the environment. Both wet wood and coal are considered to be two of the most polluting fuels, which is why the government intends to phase out their use for domestic burning by 2022. 'It will be necessary for you switch the fuel you use in your wood burner to a cleaner alternative like dry wood or smokeless fuel if you want to continue using it in your home,' Steve added. 'If you're not sure which one will work best in your wood burning stove ask a member of our team and we'll be able to recommend which one will be the most energy-efficient.' How else can you make your wood-burner more environmentally friendly? If your wood burner is an older model, then it may be worth updating to a newer design. By 2022, you'll only be able to buy appliances that adhere to the strict Ecodesign standard outlined by the government. 'Ecodesign ready stoves should make wood burners a sound heating solution for your home and maximise their energy efficiency,' Steve said. It may be worth replacing your old stove now with a modern appliance that produces fewer emissions than an open fire, can improve air quality and uses renewable and sustainable fuels. 'Modern appliances require less fuel to produce the same amount of heat as your old wood burner,' Steve said. 'For example, an open fire will need 16 logs to produce 4kw of heat over five hours compared to just 5 logs needed by an Ecodesign ready stove.' St Neots Fireplace and Stove Centre can help you find the right wood burning stove for your home and recommend models that will meet the current government requirements. Using a wood burner to heat your home Wood burners can be an ambient, heart-warming addition to your home and garden as well as being and eco-friendly and safe for the air. 'Don't be discouraged by things you have may have read. Wood burning stoves aren't banned, we're merely seeing a move towards making them greener, which is a good thing,' Steve said. St Neots Fireplace and Stove centre is a long-run family business operating in St Neots, Cambridgeshire and surrounding areas. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, Steve can recommend an eco-friendly design, explain how to use your stove and advice what fuel will work best. Find the team at 99 Huntingdon Street, St Neots, PE19 1DU. For more information call 01480 470656 or visit stneotsfireplaceandstovecentre.co.uk.