John Gulland

Career Summary

John Gulland's involvement with woodburning began in 1974 when he moved to a rural area and built a wood stove for his own home. During the late seventies he worked for a major manufacturer of wood furnaces, responsible for product development, quality control and customer service. He became a consultant in the field in 1981 and served for one year as residential wood energy policy advisor to Energy, Mines and Resources Canada.

While continuing to offer consulting services, he established a highly successful wood stove and fireplace retail store in 1985 which he sold to its manager in 1992. Working under contract to the Canadian Wood Energy Institute, he served as principal researcher, writer and project leader in the development of the reference materials and course documents for the acclaimed Wood Energy Technical Training program (WETT), the national training system for wood energy professionals.

John has delivered dozens of training seminars and workshops for wood heat professionals all over North America. He is acknowledged to be one of North America’s foremost experts on chimney installation design and function, especially in tightly constructed houses. He has also led teams of researchers conducting two major combustion venting research projects for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

From 1990 to 1994, his company provided association management and technical services to Wood Energy Technology Transfer Inc. (WETT Inc.), the national registrar for the WETT program, and to the Association of Registered Wood Energy Technicians of Ontario (ARWETO), its affiliate in Ontario.

In the mid-1990s, he developed a new manual and workshop called Reliable Chimney Venting which was adopted and published by the U.S. HEARTH Education Foundation. His book, The Hearth in the House as a System is now online. John is deeply involved in initiatives to reduce indoor and outdoor smoke emissions from wood burning equipment.  

Reports and Publications

1981 Wrote the Heating With Wood chapter of the Billpayer's Guide to Heating Systems for Energy, Mines and Resources Canada, which was later adapted as a stand-alone publication called Heating With Wood: A Homeowner's Guide

1984 Researched and wrote Coming to Terms With the Emissions Issue: A Report on the Development of a Canadian Standard for Performance Testing of Woodburning Equipment for the Canadian Wood Energy Institute

1985 Researched and wrote A Policy for Safer Woodburning for the Canadian Wood Energy Institute

1985-87 Served as project manager, principal researcher and writer of the 500-page Wood Energy Technical Training (WETT) Reference Manual for the Canadian Wood Energy Institute

1987 Wrote and produced An Old Flame Rekindled, a consumer booklet for the Ontario Ministry of Energy

1987-2000  Developed course manuals and examination documents for a total of ten courses making up the Wood Energy Technical Training program which is now the national training system for wood energy professionals in Canada

1990 Served as principal consultant, researcher and writer for a major combustion venting research project, the final report of which was titled That Nice Woodsy Smell: Combustion Spillage From Wood Heating Appliances for the Research Division of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

1992 Wrote A Guide to Residential Wood Heating, published by Natural Resources Canada and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation; more than 1 million copies have been distributed since publication

1994 Researched, wrote and self-published Reliable Chimney Venting, a technical manual presenting an integrated theory of chimney function and the effects of the weather, the building and its mechanical components; in 1995 established a licensing agreement with the Hearth Education Foundation in the United States for the distribution of the manual

1995 Researched and wrote The Hearth Products Market in Canada for Jotul a.s. of Norway to assist the company in developing a marketing strategy  

1997 Scoping Study: Reducing Smoke Emissions From Home Heating With Wood for Environment Canada to assist with policy development

1996-98 Developed a technical reference manual, policy manual, training documents and examination for the Masonry Heater Association of North America, leading to the certification of professional heater masons

1997 Wrote and self-published the fully illustrated book The Hearth in the House as a System, a hearth planning and problem diagnostics framework for builders, architects and information-driven homeowners.

1997-98 Developed technical and strategic documents for the North Central Hearth Products Association to assist the organization in mounting a challenge to a proposed energy code in Minnesota  

2000 Provided strategic and editorial support to the Hearth Products Association of Canada in a collaborative research project with Environment Canada to characterize dioxin and furan emissions from wood burning equipment

2000 Based on extensive research, revised the residential wood energy components of the 1995 Criteria Air Contaminants Emissions Inventory Guidebook for Environment Canada, the main reference for policy development

2001-02 Developed HearthCheck, a fully-documented professional training program on safe combustion venting in new, tightly-constructed houses  for the North Central Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association.

2002 Investigation of Negative Pressure Test Protocols for Wood- and Pellet-Burning Appliances (project manager and lead researcher) for a consortium consisting of the Research Division, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the Hearth Patio and Barbecue Association of Canada and the Hearth Patio and Barbecue Association (US)

2002 Led a team of survey research specialists in developing an effective questionnaire on wood burning equipment use and fuel consumption for Environment Canada to assist the department in updating its emissions inventory

2003 Researched and wrote Feasibility of Developing and Piloting a Woodstove Exchange Program for the Clean Air Foundation

2004 Scripted and produced three videos: Advanced Woodheat Technology (3:30), Firewood: from Forest to Woodshed (12:40) and Efficient Woodstove Operation (12:56) in both English and French languages for the Ontario Branch of Environment Canada

2005 Wrote The Safe and Efficient use of Woodstoves for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, part of the “About Your House” series

2011 Developed a template woodstove installation manual for Stove Builders International Inc.

2014 Scripted and produced the 9 minute video How to Operate Your Catalytic Woodstove for Blaze King Industries.


Over the years John has developed and delivered countless training seminars to hearth industry professionals, ranging in length from an hour to a full day. The subjects have included installation safety, chimney venting, smoke emissions reduction and market analysis. As an instructor for the Wood Energy Technical Training program he delivered many courses ranging from one to four days in length. Below is a sample of the more recent presentations, all of which include extensive slide presentions and most included handouts.

2001 Developed and delivered the seminar Wood, the Fuel of the Future at the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association annual meeting

2001 Developed and delivered the seminar Efficient Wood Heating at the Assembly of First Nations Housing Conference

2007 Developed and delivered a seminar Advanced Venting Diagnostics, including a slide presentation and handout for Urban Hearth dealers

2011 Developed and delivered a seminar Things My Customers Say, including a slide presentation, handout and computer based diagnostic chart for Urban Hearth dealers

2013 Developed and delivered the seminar Chimney Venting by Natural Draft to several clients in North America

2014 Prepared and delivered two seminars at the Urban Hearth Dealer Meeting; Catalytic Combustion, including the introduction of the new Blaze King video; and an update on major revisions to the Environmental Protection Agency’s New Source Performance Standard

2017 Developed and delivered two seminars: Call-Backs Drain Profits, including a handout and slide presentation; and Three Case Studies to analyze venting problem diagnostics to the Urban Hearth dealer meeting


Other activities

1978 Began working for a major Canadian wood furnace manufacturer; rose to the position of director of product development

1979 Began a long-standing contribution to solid fuel standards development through the technical committees of the Canadian Standards Association and Underwriters' Laboratories of Canada

1981-82 Accepted a one year appointment to Energy, Mines and Resources Canada on an executive interchange program to assist with the wood heating components of the National Energy Program; initiated an agreement between the Federal Government and the Canadian Standards Association for the accelerated development of solid fuel standards, which remained in place until the early 1990s

1983-84 Served as secretary and consultant to the Ontario Government/Industry Task Force on Residential Wood Heat Safety and produced its final report 

1983-91 Served as Chair of the CSA technical committee on emissions and efficiency testing of solid fuel burning appliances

1990-94 Selected by the board of directors to provide association management and technical services for the Association of Registered Wood Energy Technicians of Ontario (ARWETO)

1990-94 With the assistance of staff and volunteers, organized and managed the Wood/Gas Forum, the annual trade show and conference presented by ARWETO

1991-94 Provided association management services for Wood Energy Technology Transfer Inc.

1996 Developed an informational world wide web site,, devoted to responsible wood heating; with colleagues, founded The Wood Heat Organization Inc.

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Contact me by e-mail: john(at)