Man and woman sitting in front of the wood stove Jøtul F 373 Advance in the living room

Tips for improving the indoor climate when burning wood to heat your home

Most of us have probably experienced those unpleasant moments when smoke seeps out of the fireplace or wood burner into the room, leaving a bad smell in the air and finding its way into clothes and the furniture. A poor indoor climate has a detrimental impact on the quality of life for those who have respiratory conditions or suffer from allergies. But did you know there are several things you can do to improve the quality of the air inside your home?

Clean the outside and inside of the fireplace

Soot and burnt dust can irritate the eyes, mucous membranes and respiratory tract. So cleaning both the outside and inside of the fireplace can make a difference to the indoor climate.

Man cleaning the wood stove Jøtul F 233 with ash and water

We recommend using an ash vacuum cleaner for the inside and outside of your fireplace or wood burner. An ordinary vacuum cleaner will often release soot into the room and there is always a risk of it catching fire if there are any embers left in the ashes.


Do you find smoke sometimes comes into the room when you have a fire going?

There may be several reasons for this and we have a number of tips on how to prevent this from happening. One tip is to open the door of your fireplace slowly before adding more logs. This helps to equalise the pressure in the wood burner and prevent smoke from billowing out. If smoke continues to come into the room from the wood burner, it may be because of negative pressure in the room, windy conditions or a fault in the chimney.

Hand that opens the fireplace door to the wood stove Jøtul F 373 Advance carefully

Good flow of air is important

Even if Jøtul’s wood burners and fireplaces are some of the cleanest burning and most efficient in the world, it is still important that you use dry wood, light the fire on the top of the kindling (recommendation from SINTEF), and ensure there is a good flow of air in the room for optimal combustion - which also minimises particulate emissions. If you are struggling to get the fire going, check that all the dampers and flap vents in the outer walls are open, try leaving a window slightly ajar, turn off any fans in the bathroom and kitchen, or check the condition of your chimney. Any of our dealers can also help you with this.

Store firewood in a dry place outdoors, and only use dry logs for your fire

Logs have an effect on the indoor climate so if you have an allergy or respiratory condition, don’t have more firewood indoors than you’ll need for that day.

Wood hide with firewood and ax

If you want to use logs as a decorative feature in your home, stacked in a niche for example, make sure they are completely dry and vacuum clean them regularly. Never bring logs indoors if you see mould or fungi growing on them.

We do not recommend storing your firewood against an outdoor wall of the house as this might attract mice and rats and trap moisture. Use a balcony, woodshed or garage instead.

Use your fireplace safely

Do you have children or pets? If so, it might be a good idea to have a safety gate in front of the fireplace or wood burner to prevent accidents and burns. Also make sure to keep flammable materials and heat-sensitive objects at a safe distance from the fireplace. You can find the required distances to combustible materials in the manuals for our fireplaces and wood burners.

Woman carrying cardboard in her hands

Do not use your fireplace for burning rubbish

It also states in the manual what you can burn. Dry wood and finely split wood with a moisture content of less than 20% is recommended. Do not burn cardboard, paper, wrapping paper, building materials, etc. in the fireplace. These can release harmful pollutants into the air and damage your fireplace or wood burner as the temperature can get too high.

Other ways to help improve indoor air quality

Did you know that candles, when lit, can be a source of pollutants in indoor air, according to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health?

White LED lights on a brown floor

Each time you blow out a tealight, about 350,000 particles of soot are released. If you want to keep the cosy factor but without the soot, you can replace wax tealights with LED tealights.

Enjoy the comfort of your fireplace with a clear conscience

Neither a well-insulated home nor allergies should prevent you from enjoying the many pleasures that a wood burner and fireplace bring. Just be sure to use it safely and properly.

And when the temperature has dropped and it’s freezing cold outside, what could be more enjoyable than sinking into an armchair in front of your fireplace or wood burner and listening to the sound of crackling logs? Gazing into the flames also has a positive effect on your heart rate and blood pressure, according to this scientific report. This means you automatically relax more when you have a fire going in your fireplace. It’s very therapeutic!


Read more tips on fireplaces and wood burning