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Old wood stoves - soon a thing of the past?

Old wood stove
1924: Country kitchen with water boiler, copper drums and a faithful old wood stove. Photo taken in Norr Enby, Sorunda parish, Sotholms härad, Södermanland. Photo: Gösta Berg (CC BY-NC-ND)

Rescuing an old wood stove from the iron scrap and putting it in the cottage may soon be a thing of the past - if the environmental fascists have their way.

Ah, the stove. It's only been around for 150 years (roughly speaking), but for me it's still one of the first things I think of when I dream back to the old days and the lives of former family members.

But now the daydreaming will soon be over. That is, if you actually want to take the plunge and install an old wood-burning stove in your kitchen or cottage and preserve a small part of our Swedish cultural heritage.

For now, from July 2018, the state in principle prohibits the new installation of old wood-burning stoves - "for the sake of the environment". The overprotection strikes again. If you install an old wood-burning stove in your home, despite the higher efficiency requirements, both the householder and the housewife become criminals. My advice is not to tell. A Swedish tiger, as it is called.

However, it is still possible to make a fire for the crows in a fireplace, says the government. The bottom line is that it's okay to burn as much as you want, as long as you don't get much use out of the fire. But good luck if you've managed to scrape together a penny and want to save an old wood-burning stove so you too can fry up some meatballs and warm yourself on a cold winter's day when the power goes out.

At the same time, we have another part of the government (the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency) that says that citizens must take more responsibility and become better at coping on their own if, for example, the power goes out.

Logical? No, the state is not known for being logical.

Not to mention such a thing as THREE BILLION people in the world cook over an open fire. Every day.

Now, of course, the long arm of the Swedish state can't reach all the way over there and take care of the little environmentalist, although I'm sure they'd throw themselves (and our tax money!) at the challenge if they had the chance.

Instead, they go after the Swedish subjects - in this case the big problem of all Swedes (how many do you think?) who buy used wood stoves on Blocket for their summer cottage to cook and keep warm when the power goes out.

Of course, this ban does not affect people with fat wallets who can spend 20,000 SEK on a newly produced eco-labelled wood stove that meets the stricter requirements. It will affect people who are a bit more frugal, who will simply have to do without a wood stove. It affects people in rural areas. It will affect people in Norrland. It affects the same people who are hardest hit by the petrol tax increases, who also happen to be the same people who suffer most from power cuts and are most left out in crises.

They should have a harder time standing on their own two feet, says the state. Because the eco-fascist state hates independent people. Especially less well-off people who are so brazen that they buy second-hand, so the state loses out on both VAT and profit tax.

But the supervisory authorities do not stand unchallenged. Righteous people do not stand as subjects and bow down before the state, humbly thanking it for looking out for the good of us all - not to mention the good of the environment - as it tightens its noose around our freedoms. When the state engages in foolishness, and it often does, then one must cry foul. That rule applies whether we are talking about old wood-burning stoves or tax-subsidised superpower ambitions.

"He must shout loudly who wants to scare the devil", as the old saying goes. This is also true when you want to scare politicians and bureaucrats. The one who shouts the loudest wins.

What, then, do the less well-off commoners demand of those in power in the country who still have their wits about them?

We demand an unconditional exemption for the cultural treasures that are our old wood-burning stoves, and that exemption must extend so far into the future that today's reality-deprived bureaucrats have long since retired and been replaced by people who at least have one foot on the ground.

We demand what old and ancient has been, as Smålands allmoge once demanded of Gustav Vasa. We demand some sense. A little common sense. A little logic. A little humility. Is that too much to ask?

At the same time, I appeal to all the country's chimney sweeps, if these irrational rule changes become reality, take the side of the little person especially if you happen to come home to someone who has put in an old clunker of a wood stove that may not meet the modern environmental requirements of the vegan electric bike-subsidising government. Look between your fingers. Free rather than trap. Practice civil disobedience. It's in your power to do right when the state does wrong.

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5 thoughts on “Gamla vedspisar – snart ett minne blott?

  1. Rikard says:


    I live in a house in the country now (after over twenty-five years in some of Sweden's worst ghettos) and in the basement there is a sauna that can be fired with wood.

    I wonder what the stove standing freely on the floor counts as?

    Comradely greetings,
    Rikard, former teacher

    • Daniel Sjöberg says:

      Hi Rikard!

      I'm by no means an expert on the subject, but I would guess that it counts as a regular stove. But as it's already installed, you won't be affected by these new regulations either way, so you should be able to sleep soundly!

      / Daniel

  2. Björn says:

    I make a fire on the stove and brew my hand-ground coffee there every morning. They have to carry my dead body out before the wood stove.

  3. Rose-Marie, Huddinge says:

    What has happened to logical thinking and a sense of our cultural heritage? How will we survive in the event of a crisis? How little does the wood stove matter?

    I get so sad and upset when people sabotage other people's good deed of reducing waste and wasteful politics and thinking ahead.

    I live in a relatively new house but installed a wonderful renovated old wood stove from about 1899 during the construction. It has been a great help during many power outages and helped heat the house during harsh winters. Without it, we would have been both freezing and going without food....

    Sorry for the stupid question, but does anyone think when they come up with such crazy bans?!

    Stop the politics of waste and think practically about the environment and save the earth's resources. Use and protect our cultural heritage.
    Stop wasting time and resources on barely noticeable "problems" and put energy into things that can make a real difference, such as food waste, minimal resources for children and young people who are suffering in our society.
    There are so many bigger and more important things to do than the tiny part that still needs and protects our culture...

  4. Per says:

    The rules are interpreted very differently in different municipalities. I have lived in houses heated with gas, coke, anthracite, electricity, wood, kerosene and dried cow dung. In wood boilers and stoves, tiled stoves, wood stoves and fireplaces. I know fire! In a small town in central Sweden I would install a wood-burning stove. I carefully selected a new stove with controls for primary air, secondary air and tertiary air. Firebrick in the combustion chamber, very efficient. However, the official at the municipality could not find it in his lists and it was not approved. I asked to pay the chimney sweep or fire engineer to inspect it, but was refused. Since it was not on the list, it was not allowed to be installed. By chance, I learned that the fireplace was easier to get approved. Then asked, mostly in jest, "will it pass if I remove the shutters? Then it will burn like a fireplace. The answer was YES, so if I destroyed the efficient fireplace and burned without the doors, with a lot more unburnt gas and soot coming out of the chimney, then it was classed as a fireplace and approved. I gave up, installed it elsewhere where it has now been for many years, sooted and check d regularly with no remarks.

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