Light my fire but don’t choke on the smoke: Wellbeing and pollution from fireplace use in Sweden
Journal article, 2020

Fireplaces are popular in Northern Europe. However, particle emissions from fireplaces have been identified as an environmental problem and a health problem. User behaviors affect particle emissions and the success of particle reducing technologies to a large extent. This interdisciplinary study aims to investigate why and how people use their fireplaces, including what emotions people associate with fire, and their interest in learning more about fire making and changing behavior related to fire making. It does so by applying an emotion regulation model in a novel way. In total, 146 Swedish individuals owning a fireplace (the majority had wood stoves, a few had tiled stoves, boilers or other types of fireplaces) participated in an online questionnaire about motives, behaviors, knowledge, and interest in learning and changing behavior. The most common motives for using a fireplace in this sample were complementary heating and “cozy fire making”. Our results suggest that watching a fire can aid in regulating emotions from unpleasant stress towards joy and provide a pleasant atmosphere for socialization, and that wood fuel may be a preferred complementary energy choice because it provides beautiful light, comfortable warmth, beautiful design and safety. People reporting emotional motives for using a fireplace also reported an interest in changing behavior.


Bodil Karlsson

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden

University of Gothenburg

Maria Håkansson

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden

Jonas Sjöblom

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Combustion and Propulsion Systems

Henrik Ström

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Fluid Dynamics

Energy Research and Social Science

2214-6296 (eISSN)

Vol. 69 101696

Particle-emission-free wood stoves

Formas (2017-00677), 2018-01-01 -- 2020-12-31.

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories

Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)

Energy Engineering

Applied Psychology

Other Medical and Health Sciences

Other Civil Engineering

Areas of Advance

Health Engineering



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