I ought to say that there was a time I would have gone down the wood burner road. Seeking to move away from fossil fuels, wood burning seemed more sustainable and less impactful on the environment. But then comes the bad news. Even wood burners that meet the most recent criteria for emissions are actually very bad for the environment.
One study shows that wood burning stoves that meet the regulations still emit 750 times more small particulate matter (PM2.5) than a heavy good vehicle, and that domestic wood burners are the single biggest source of PM2.5 air pollution in the UK, producing three times more pollution than road traffic. And the problem isn't just what goes up the chimney. These microscopic particles (PM2.5 refers to particles that are 2.5 microns in size) pass directly into the blood stream once they enter the lungs and every time you open the door of your stove, they are released into the room.
Along with the particulates two dangerous chemicals are also released. Benzene and formaldehyde are both known carcinogens and are by products of burning wood.
So they might look nice and cosy, they might be nice and warm and they be reducing the amount you have to spend on gas or oil, but they are not the long term solution to home heating and reducing our use of fossil fuels.