The short answer to this question is a big no! The recent focus on wood burning stoves being a major contributor to London pollution is a largely fake news.
Studies have clearly shown that particulates that come from burning solid fuels, are mainly coming from those who are illegally burning wood and house coal in open fires. It has been known for a long time that this is highly polluting and is therefore illegal.
The sort of stoves that we install are either DEFRA or SIA approved. The use of these appliances is actually encouraged by the Mayor for London – see the poster below. These burn very efficiently converting approximately 80% of the available energy stored in wood or smokeless fuel into heat. They achieve this high level of efficiency by having a secondary burn function, this convects particulates back into the flame to be reignited. We know from sweeping the appliances we install, that very little soot is produced in relation to the amount of fuel burnt.
If you have the right stove and are burning the right fuel at the right temperature, you can be rest assured you are not a significant contributor to polluting the air and you are using a sustainable means of generating heat for your home.
For more information, click on the poster or one of the other links below.