Log Burner Regulations & Rules 2024: What's the Alternative?
6 mins to read

Log Burner Regulations & Rules 2024: What's the Alternative?

# Woodburners

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Are you considering buying a new log burner? 

Perhaps you’ve heard about Ecodesign 2022, the new Europe-wide programme to limit the emissions of log burners and multi-fuel stoves? 

Maybe you already have a log burner and are concerned that you might never be able to use it again?

Well, new log burner installation regulations and rules came into effect on 1st January 2022.But you probably don't need to worry too much if you have an existing wood or multi-fuel burner.

The main change is the type of fuel you're allowed to burn. 

This article is all about the new log burner installation regulations for 2024. We'll explain what you can and can't do and what to consider if you're buying a new log burner; along with some eco-friendly alternatives you might not have thought about yet. 

wood burner regulations


Put your feet up, grab a brew. We’re going into the depths of wood burner regulations in 2024. 

What is Ecodesign 2022, and what will change?

We all know that air pollution is a significant problem here in the UK, especially in large industrial towns and cities. And, while air pollution rates have been dropping steadily since 2010, they're still too high. 

Many health problems arise from prolonged exposure to polluted air, especially lung conditions such as asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). 

And domestic log- and coal-burning stoves have been identified as a significant source of pollution. 

EcoDesign is a Europe-wide programme of new regulations to limit what can be burnt in log burning- and multifuel stoves. Brexit doesn't affect the roll-out of the new log burner rules - EcoDesign is part of the UK government's Clean Air Strategy.

In short: it will be illegal to sell or manufacture a log burning stove that isn't EcoDesign Ready. That doesn't affect stoves already in the supply chain, but - for log burner fans - you'll need to use "Ready to Burn" fuels. 

More about "Ready to Burn" later. 

Will EcoDesign affect the heat produced by my log burning stove?

In short: no. 

The Clean Air Strategy dictates that we burn dry wood - that's wood with a moisture content of 20% or lower. 

Wet wood produces a higher level of damaging emissions than dry wood. But, if you build your fire correctly, dry wood won't produce less heat. 

wood burner fireplace regulations

Will I need to replace my existing log burner?

No. The EcoDesign legislation refers only to log burners manufactured after 1st January 2022. So, you don't need to replace your existing log burning stove as new wood burner stove rules and regulations will have no impact there. 

The UK government actually outlawed traditional house coal back in May 2021. You might not have known about that? Now, all domestic burners need to use smokeless fuel (with a low moisture content). 

Make sure you use "Ready to Burn" fuels. These are combustibles with a moisture content of 20% or less. 

It applies to everything you burn: wood, coal, and eco fuels (but most eco fuels will already comply - check the label).

What are the rules on installing a log burner?

There are very few building regulations regarding log burner installation in UK homes. 

Nonetheless, it's generally inadvisable to install a log burner yourself. It's better to get a professional to do the job for you. If you install your burner badly, it will underperform, but - more importantly - it could be dangerous. 

Use a HETAS-registered installer for peace of mind. 

Any regulations that do exist refer to WHERE you install your burner. And building regs dictate that you have a proper hearth.

Your hearth needs to have:

  • At least 300mm clearance at the front of the burner
  • At least 150mm clearance on either side
  • The entire hearth area should be a minimum of 840x840mm and 12mm thick. 

If your burner stove heats above 100ºC, the hearth must be 250mm thick. 

Should I have a flue liner for my log burning stove?

New log burner rules do not dictate the future of flue liners at all. There are no legal obligations regarding flue liners. Some people think you don't need one, but the jury is out.

However, HETAS installers recommend installing a flue liner because it provides:

  • Better draw - chimneys tend to work more efficiently with a liner. 
  • A hotter chimney - the warmer the chimney, the more easily smoke will rise to the top. Cold chimneys clog up more quickly. 
  • Increased safety - you don’t want carbon monoxide leaking into your home. A flue liner minimises that risk and reduces the potential for a chimney fire.

Do I need planning permission for a log burning stove?

Generally, you don’t need planning permission for a log burner installation. However, there are some caveats.

You might think you’re saving yourself a few bob by installing your log burner yourself. But, take heed: it could cost you more.

log burner regulations


A HETAS installation comes with a certificate of compliance. Your qualified installer signs the certificate, which gets sent to the council to notify them of the building work. 

If you fit the stove yourself (or hire a non-HETAS-registered installer to do the work), you must inform your local Building Control department BEFORE you begin the installation. Strictly speaking, this isn't the same as planning permission, but you do need to complete this step. 

After the installation is complete, the Building Control dept will need to inspect the work to ensure that you’ve complied with building regs. This is all at your expense, so what might feel like a low-cost installation can add up. 

If you don’t register your self-installation, you can face a fine. 

These new wood burner regulations sound complicated. Is there an alternative to wood burners?

Log burners are beautiful pieces of furniture, sure. But log burner installation regulations are a bit of a hassle. 

There’s a lot of mess involved in log burners, although log burners are much easier to clean than traditional open fires, for sure. 

But, if you’re looking for a more eco-friendly alternative to an open fire or a log burner, then you might consider a bio-ethanol fireplace

What is bioethanol?

Bioethanol is an alcohol-based, smokeless fuel. You need neither a flue or a chimney with a bioethanol fireplace, but you still get the same flame effect, in a range of slick modern designs. 

Or, for the traditionalists, there's a range of conventional log burner-style bioethanol fireplaces that bring that cosy warmth into any room. 

And, what's more, there are no installation hassles, especially with the freestanding woodburner style biofires. Just unbox it from the safety packaging, fill up the bio ethanol fuel tank, and - hey presto - a real flame that makes any room feel super-homely.

Find out more about bioethanol fireplaces?

Check out our great range of fireplaces in a range of beautiful, sophisticated styles. Remember: no installation, and you don’t need to clear it with the council. 

Real flames, no chimney or flue - just unbox, fill, and enjoy!. 

You probably have questions. 

Get in touch or check out our FAQs. We’re always happy to help you choose your beautiful bioethanol fireplace or firebox, which helps protect the environment one fireplace at a time. 

Thanks for reading our guide to wood burner rules and alternatives.