Open fire versus wood burner. Any ben... - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation

48,781 members58,072 posts

Open fire versus wood burner. Any benefits to either, please?

Scotjo99 profile image

Hi all, newbie in town here.

Need advice please. I am housebound as I several health problems, including severe copd so use oxygen 24/7.

My house currently has gas ch & an open fire for heating. Bad for breathing but would a log burner be any better? Has anybody tried it & would care to share their thoughts please! The so called clean fuels are so expensive & we have a pretty much limitless supply of wood so this is a factor, living in a cold part of the country, as we do.

Thank you

10 Replies

Sorry but I can’t do either. We had a wood/coal fire for years and eventually realised it had to go. Tried log burner at my sister’s as a trial, no better at all. Don’t think the burners are sealed well enough to help folks with dodgy lungs. I think they both seem to make dust on furniture too, which doesn’t help. We’ve tried an open gas fire, not good enough either. Saving up for a closed, glass fronted gas fire now, and meanwhile relying on central heating, and a rug when necessary! Good luck....we’re all different, might suit you.

I agree - much of a muchness. Central heating is the best option, unfortunately not everyone has it.

Hi Scotjo

I have a friend on BRUS who is a campaigner against wood burners as all the trendy folks around her burn them and she finds it very detrimental to her lungs. There is a link here which might be of interest to you.

I defo wouldn’t have one but I grew up with a coal fire and all the thick fogs we used to get before the clean air act.

Cx open wood fires in afraid. I love them , but so bad for us. xx 😒

jmsutt profile image
jmsutt in reply to Caspiana

Two lonely fireplaces here, Caspiana. Now if I could just get my young neighbor to stop burning wood in a fire pit and loading my patio with smoke when I am outside. 🙄 Prayers that your recovery is going well. Caspiana, did you ever find that an rising barometric pressure made a difference in your ability to take a deep breath. Lately, I have noticed that when I find taking a deep breath difficult, it is correspondent with a rising barometric pressure. J

My physician made a strong point, which I follow, and it has served me well. If it smokes from fire....really any smoke, you are causing harm to your lungs, even if they are very healthy. Smoke is unhealthy. Smoke causes pollution. Breathing is the most important thing.

Take care,


I didn't find having a log burner any better than an open fire. Both are prone to blow-back and both need to be cleaned regularly.

It may be worth investigating whether there are totally enclosed systems available on the market, though I suspect these would be much more expensive because they would have to be designed to take explosive pressures without leakage.

My own COPD was caused in part by having to use open fires and solid fuel stoves for heating for many years as I lived in country villages with no gas supply and unreliable electricity supply, in both West Cumberland and Perthshire.

Yatzy profile image
Yatzy in reply to Ergendl

Modern day Wales wasn’t helpful to me either, no gas in the village so oil heating etc, and yes, I remember the electricity failures, coal/wood fire only hope and camping gaz (not good!) only hope of a hot drink, with local f & c shop (on a different circuit!) only hope of hot food.

Local factory wrecked my lungs too in the nineteen years I was there.

There’s not always fresh air in the valleys!! The views were to die for, but I almost did!! My health much better since I moved to leafy Cheshire sixteen months ago.

Ergendl profile image
Ergendl in reply to Yatzy

You'll not be that far from me, then, in not quite so leafy south Cheshire.

Thank you so much for all the replies, everybody, very much appreciated indeed. Looks like it's back to the drawing board then, unfortunately.

This copd is just crap, isn't it? We have no life, it's not even an existence, it's just purgatory :(

Thanks again folks, take care x

You may also like...