If you've seen the recent headlines about restrictions on wood-burning stoves. Our advice is Don't Panic and throw out your stove, here's a brief guide on whats happening.
Wood Burning stoves - the sense not the scaremongering
Wood-burning stoves will be regulated under The Clean Air Strategy 2018, as mentioned on our Home Page, the government is not seeking to ban wood burning stoves, they want people to use them properly and the cleaner your stove burns is the more efficient it is.
There are over one million wood-burning stoves in use, in my village every house has one including our village shop, community hall and pub.
What is the government is going to do?
Ban the sale of stoves that don't meet environmental standards, encourage the sale of cleaner wood and ask those who own older, less green stoves to consider upgrading to newer clean-burning models.
The Government has introduced certification for stoves that meet their new standards. They carry an "ecodesign" label and soon these will be the only stoves available.
They are doing this because wood and coal-burning stoves currently account for 38% of particulate matter air pollution, which the Government plans to reduce 30% in total by 2030.
Modern Stoves are cleaner and 80%+ efficent
It may also introduce "no-burn notices" that give councils the power to stop people from using their stoves on days when air quality is particularly low, this would more likely apply to urban areas with already high traffic pollution levels.
What is the industry doing?
The Stove Industry Alliance (SIA), the trade association for stoves, had introduced Ecodesign Ready Stoves, five years ahead of the Ecodesign Regulations becoming law. on 1st January 2022.
What can you do If you already own a stove
1.Burn dry wood
If you've read our Wood Burning Stove Guide you will know that the only wood you should burn in tour stove should have a moisture content of below 20%, and never burn waste wood such as MDF or painted/varnished offcuts.
The Government is going to reinforce this by banning the use of damp and polluted wood in wood-burning stoves.
You can buy kiln dried wood nationwide. At the time of writing (Jan 2019) it costs about £200 a ton if bulk bought or about £1 per Kilogramme if bought in smaller quantities.
2. Regularly sweep your chimney
This is a must do to prevent chimney fires as well as stopping built up soot deposits being blown into the air.
In the UK have this done at least once a year, twice if we have a long cold season.
If you have a back boiler or Aga type stove you use all year round you may need to sweep your chimney more regularly.
3. Fit a Filter
It is estimated that Electrostatic filters can cut emissions of fine particles by up to 92%. Filters such as the Poujoulat Top Clean ionise particulates to attract them to the flue wall. They stay in the flue and are swept away when you clean the chimney.
Maybe its time to upgrade that old stove?
4. Upgrade to an eco-friendly model
If your stove is 10 years old or more, you should thinking be about replacing it anyway
Modern stoves have about 80% fewer emissions than the stoves of 10 years ago and have 80% or better efficiency, (60% was considered good in 2008), upgrading means fewer emissions and more savings, it's a win-win.