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 UK Governments Clean Air Strategy 2019, the government is not banning wood-burning stoves, it wants 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 the Government is going to do?
Ban the sale of stoves that don't meet environmental standards, and ask those who own older, less green stoves to consider upgrading to newer clean-burning models.
Ban the sale of the most polluting domestic fuels, house coal and unseasoned (wet) wood.
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.
The Government claim wood and coal-burning stoves account for 38% of particulate matter air pollution, which it plans to reduce to 30% in total by 2030.
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
Our Wood Burning Stove Guide explains why the only wood you should burn in your stove should have a moisture content of below 20%, and why you should never burn waste wood such as MDF or painted/varnished offcuts.
The Government is going to reinforce this by banning the use of wet and polluted wood in wood-burning stoves.
You can buy kiln dried wood nationwide, at the time of writing (Nov 2021), it costs about £100 a cubic metre.
2. Regularly sweep your chimney
This is a must-do to prevent chimney fires as well as stopping built-up soot deposits from 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.
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.