If you’ve seen some of the recent news headlines, you might think so! Woodburners have certainly been getting some bad press and being blamed for a adding to poor air quality in cities.
As with most headlines, it’s actually a bit more complicated than that.
Specifically, the concern is about a certain type of particle emission (PM2.5). Air quality is a major concern in cities and today the Mayor of London is requesting powers to create zero emission zones from 2025. As well as emissions from woodburners, these zones would also ban things like bulldozers and canal boats with dirty diesel engines.
But not all woodburners emit dangerous particles. Simply put, you’ll only be causing a problem if:
1. your Woodburner is old and inefficient
2. you are using it incorrectly eg “slumbering” the stove by stacking it full of fuel and shutting it right down
3. you are burning wet wood
DEFRA, one of the departments of government, the stove industry and HETAS, the official regulator for solid fuel appliances, all recognise this and there are 2 major initiatives to help publicise and address these potential problems.
How To Keep Your Burn Clean
Firstly, don’t burn wood until it’s properly dry – watch out for the increased availability of nets of logs labelled “Woodsure – Ready to Burn” at garages and DIY stores (in many cities burning unseasoned wood sold at places like this is a major problem)
Secondly, when choosing a new stove, look for one which is “Ecodesign Ready” – this is the new standard for minimal particulate emissions which all new stoves will have to meet in 2022. There are an increasing number of these stoves available now.
So, if you have a new, efficient woodburner, you are using it correctly and you are burning good quality dry wood, you will not be contributing to poor air quality.
You hopefully won’t be surprised to hear that at Elcombe Fire and Wood we have always ensured our firewood is properly dried and meets the standards set by HETAS. And we have a good range of Ecodesign Ready woodburners for you to choose from when thinking of fitting a new stove.