How to choose the correct fuel for optimal burning

Every stove user has a responsibility to burn correctly. There are a number of factors that contribute to a more efficient burn; simply throwing anything in your wood burner is not the correct behaviour! 

Understanding how poor fuel impacts your burn can help you act responsibly and ensure you are burning optimally and safely.

Choose the right fuels

By selecting the correct wood for your stove, you can ensure you are achieving a cleaner and safer burn. Burning poor quality or wet wood causes a less efficient burn with significantly increased emissions. 

To burn responsibly and safely, make sure your firewood is:

Ready to Burn

Wood sold with the Ready to Burn certification mark has a moisture content of 20% or less. Burning dry wood results in a cleaner burn that heats your home better and produces considerably less pollutants than wet wood. Using a moisture meter to measure your wood’s moisture content before each use also ensures that the wood you are burning has remained dry throughout storage.

Using Ready to Burn wood ensures domestic burning is cleaner and safer; wet wood burns with more smoke, produces more harmful particulates, and causes significantly more air pollution. Burning Ready to Burn wood helps you avoid the risk of chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning, keeping you safe and notably reducing your wood burner’s environmental impact.

Woodsure Certified

Woodsure is a certification body that works to improve the standard of woodfuel in the UK and educate consumers on responsible woodfuel usage.

By burning Woodsure certified fuel, you can be confident that your firewood has followed stringent checks and is clean and sustainable. Woodsure certification checks the length, diameter, and moisture content of wood, ensuring wood produced for burning is suitable and clean.

Woodsure certification verifies that the entire journey of every supplier’s wood follows legal requirements – from felling to supplying.

Suitable for safe and clean burning

Many types of wood are not suitable for domestic burning; they can emit toxic chemicals, produce significantly more smoke, and create much higher levels of air pollution. Wood that is not suitable for burning includes, but is not limited to:

  • Treated or painted wood
  • Chemically treated wood (plywood or chipboard, for example)
  • Wood containing plastics
  • Wood containing resins or glue
  • Wet wood
  • Wastepaper or cardboard

In May 2023, the sale of traditional house coal was banned in England. Coal is one of the most polluting fuels that can be burned in the home, making it vital to steer clear of this harmful fossil fuel. As an alternative, you can look for Ready to Burn certified manufactured solid fuels.

Caring for your firewood and wood burner

Simply purchasing a Cleaner Choice stove and Ready to Burn wood doesn’t guarantee you will always be responsibly burning. Regular checks and maintenance are required to ensure that your fuel and appliance are operating optimally and safely.

Log storage

Storing your wood correctly is essential to ensure they remain dry and free of rot. Following our advice on how to store your firewood correctly and safely helps you get the most out of your wood and keep burning responsibly.

Appliance maintenance

Regular upkeep of your wood burner and chimney system is integral to keeping your burns safe and clean. Getting your chimney swept, reporting any issues with your stove to a HETAS Sweep & Service Technician, and always following the manufacturer’s guidance keep your fires burning optimally and your air pollution minimal. 

Burning responsibly has never been easier – looking for the Ready to Burn mark, storing your logs safely, and appropriate use of your appliance significantly reduces the air pollution emitted by your log burner. Burning responsibly benefits the environment, your health, and the health of those around you.

The HETAS Advice Hub has a range of tips and advice to ensure you can continue to burn safely and responsibly.


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