How to choose the perfect wood-burning stove for your home

Deciding on the right wood burner for your home isn’t easy. You’ve got to consider its size and aesthetics, plus where it will be installed, all whilst trying to understand complex industry jargon like ‘heat output’ or ‘particulates’. The HETAS team have created this article as an easy way for you to choose the cleanest stove that is right for you. 

You can feel peace of mind that your wood burner is cleaner and safer when using a Cleaner Choice appliance. Minimised emissions, clear instructions, and compliance with building regulations are guaranteed across all Cleaner Choice appliances, giving you the confidence to burn cleaner. 

Appliance output

Your wood-burning stove’s heat output is a simple way of numerically describing the amount of heat your stove will produce – the larger the number, the more heat your stove will produce.  

Larger rooms with poorer insulation will require a higher heat output stove to keep them warm than a smaller room with good insulation. When looking at stoves, consider the age of your home and how well insulated it is – a stove that is too large can create the temptation of running it at low output, creating the risk of slumbering. 

Heat output is measured in kW (kilowatts), but it is important to remember that a 5 kW stove does not only emit 5 kW of heat. Variables such as the fuel being burnt, the condition of your stove, and the stage of the burn will affect the heat output – it will take some time for the fire to build before it emits 5 kW of heat. 

The Cleaner Choice product search allows you to filter your search to browse stoves that suit you. Your local HETAS Approved Retailer will have the expertise to advise you on the best size stove for your home. 


It is vital to look at the efficiency of wood burners when deciding which is best for you; a stove with a higher efficiency will supply more heat to your home, losing less heat up the chimney. In addition to utilising more energy to keep your home warm, a higher efficiency stove also produces less emissions. Efficiency of wood burners is measured with percentages: a stove with 70% efficiency uses up to 70% of the energy to heat your room, only losing the remaining 30% through your chimney. 

Due to the strict performance requirements for Cleaner Choice appliances, you can rest assured that a Cleaner Choice wood burner will not only utilise more energy to heat your home, but it will also emit less emissions. 

Cleaner Choice appliances can be filtered by their efficiency in the product search, letting you find the most suitable stove for your home. 


Finding a stove that minimises its emissions of particulate matter (PM) is essential. PM is a hot topic across the globe due to its effect on air quality, so it is important that we all ensure we are minimising our emissions to promote cleaner air.  

Choosing a Cleaner Choice certified appliance will ensure your stove is going above and beyond emissions requirements, giving you a cleaner burn. Cleaner Choice certified appliances are independently verified by HETAS to produce at least 50% less particulate matter emissions than the current legal requirements – by burning in a Cleaner Choice appliance you will be minimising your emissions and reducing your impact on air quality.


Wood-burning stoves can be complicated to operate at times; figuring out how to burn optimally and safely isn’t easy. That is why it is integral that the stove you choose has clear, understandable operating and maintenance instructions, allowing you to feel confident your fires are clean and safe. 

When purchasing a Cleaner Choice appliance, you can rest assured that you will be provided with user-friendly guidance on how to operate it. All Cleaner Choice appliances come with clear, comprehensible instructions on how they should be operated, assisting our aim to provide comprehensive guidance to consumers on how to achieve cleaner burning practices. 

Using advice specific for your appliance and direct from the manufacturer, combined with the advice provided in the HETAS Advice Hub, will help you operate your wood burner in the safest, cleanest manner. 

Making the Cleaner Choice assures you that your appliance will come equipped with the instructions and guidance necessary for safe and clean operation, as well as be cleaner and safer for the environment. 

Smoke control areas

Smoke control areas are present across many areas of the UK. Within a smoke control area, it is an offence to release smoke from a chimney and you must only burn authorised fuels unless you have a Defra exempt appliance. If your chimney releases smoke in a smoke control area in England, you may have to pay a penalty of up to £300. 

All Cleaner Choice appliances are exempt due to their low emissions. The Cleaner Choice logo demonstrates that an appliance has committed to reducing its emissions, going above and beyond current requirements, and is permittable for use within a smoke control area. 

A growing number of manufacturers are signing up to make the Cleaner Choice, creating an ever-expanding list of products for you to choose from, all of which ensure cleaner and safer operation. 

Visit the HETAS appliance search to find Cleaner Choice approved products and find the perfect appliance for your home. 


HETAS, Severn House, Unit 5 Newtown Trading Estate, Green Lane, Tewkesbury, GL20 8HD