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Wood-burning is sustainable heating

The vast majority of us want to make sustainable, eco-friendly choices for the future and coming generations. That makes it all the more satisfying to sit by your wood stove or fireplace, secure in the knowledge that wood is a renewable, low mileage resource, and that a clean burn, solid-fuel fireplace from Scan is a sustainable home heating source.

Our cultural heritage

The feel-good of the flickering flames has been with us for generations. This tells us what a resource fire was to our ancestors many hundreds of thousands of years ago. Indoor space heating from wood burning is a cultural legacy that has never become outdated, although the heating methods have changed, and we have acquired new heating sources, new building traditions and more well-insulated homes.

Suspended particulate from wood burning

Suspended particulate consists of tiny bits of solid material from the combustion process carried through the air, and which can be breathed into the lungs. This and other sources of air pollution pose a major health problem in many urban areas across Europe, reports the European Environment Agency, and solid fuel stoves and fireplaces have been under pressure for many years because old, non-clean burn stoves release a high proportion of harmful particulate to the air.

Because the rate at which these old fireplaces is replaced is slow, and the density of suspended particulate matter is high in some urban areas on cold winter days, an increasing number of organisations are calling for a ban on burning solid fuel in non-clean burn stoves.

One major challenge is the fact that no international studies have been conducted to demonstrate just how low the emissions from clean burn technology actually are, and that no emission requirements have been set for new stoves available on the market today. In the absence of facts and actual evidence, wood burning generally, as opposed to the type of wood burner, has been identified as the problem.

Wood burning requires oxygen supply

When wood burns, gases are given off, and according to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) half of the energy (heat) stored in wood is in these gases. One problem is that a great deal of wood is burned with insufficient oxygen supply, resulting in incomplete combustion and high particle emissions. The Principle behind Clean burn Technology therefore revolves around the way in which the wood burns. 

NIPH states that old wood-burning stoves release six times as many particles as new clean-burning stoves. Particle emissions from wood-burning can therefore be greatly reduced by replacing old polluting stoves with new clean-burning stoves. 

Stoves and fireplaces with Clean Burn Technology

Ever since Scandinavian legislation introduced a requirement for all stoves and fireplaces sold to be clean burn, precisely in order to reduce air pollution, Scan has been a world-leading manufacturer of climate-friendly stoves, fireplaces and fireplace inserts thanks to our Clean burn Technology. With intensive R&D investments,, we have developed a combustion technology which keeps emissions well below the maximum of 10 grams of particles per kilogram of combusted wood, as required by the Norwegian authorities for clean burn stoves. 

Some models from Scan can boast particle emissions as low as 1 grams, which is commended by even the health and environmental authorities. 

The focus on the climate is a vital part of our societal mission to contribute to a sustainable planet. This is why we are deeply committed to explaining the importance of clean burn worldwide. 

Sustainable heating

Space heating from a wood stove is considered to be carbon neutral, as the wood that is burned gives off the same amount of CO2 (the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide) as it would have done had it been left to decay naturally in a forest. In this way, CO2 released during the combustion of wood is absorbed by the trees and used in nature’s own carbon cycle. For this reason, wood as a biofuel is recognised as an important resource meeting the obligations of Kyoto Agreement states the Varmeprodusentenes Forening (Norwegian stove and fireplace manufacturers’ association).  

According to Norsk Varme, an association representing the entire stove and fireplace industry in Norway, new stoves utilise up to 82% of the energy stored in a log, while stoves with an energy-efficiency of 90% are also under development. By comparison, 80-85% of the energy in watercourses supplying hydropower installations is utilised, while coal-fired power utilises less than 50% of the energy in coal. 

Light your fire with a clear conscience!


Replacing 5,000 kWh of electrical power from a coal-fired power station with wood/biofuel could cut CO2 emissions by 5 tonnes. This is equivalent to the CO2 emissions from two years of car-driving

Norsk Varme (industry association for environmentally friendly fireplaces)

In other words, a clean burn stove from Scan and correct fire lighting and fire tending technique will not increase your carbon footprint! This makes it all the more enjoyable to curl up with a good read by your stove or fireplace and take some time out to the sound of the crackling fire.