The UK government announced its Clean Air Strategy 2019 earlier this year. Taking World Health Organisation recommendations as its cue, the extensive document outlines Britain’s effort to curb activity which is known to increase the percentage or airborne pollutants in the atmosphere. The extensive document is the product of a vast consultation process, with feedback from various industry participants and individuals.
According to an executive summary of the Clean Air Strategy, air pollution is one of the biggest health hazards in the UK’s urban areas. It is responsible for taking years off the lives of many members of the public. It also has an impact on the very food we eat – our crops – and the water we drink – our rivers, streams, and reservoirs.
Unfortunately, the text goes on to identify one of those contributors of airborne pollutants to be the beloved woodburning stove.
It’s been a month or two since the government published the Clean Air Strategy and, in that time, the media has somehow managed to conjure up a panic among the owners of woodburning stoves. Granted, the Clean Air Strategy does feature an entire page dedicated to the topic of “domestic burning”, however, there is no need for concern.
There is absolutely no danger of the government stopping you from using your wood burning stove.
In an article detailing the new measures, the BBC report the UK’s Environment Minister as stating:
“[We] can reduce the amount of harmful pollution to which they unwittingly expose themselves, their families and the environment, while still enjoying the warmth and pleasure of a fire.”
The idea behind the new regulations is to restrict the types of woods you burn to those that give off the least airborne pollutants and which are better for the longevity of both your stove and chimney ultimately. To achieve this, they have given a host of new powers to local authorities and will be prohibiting the sale of many of the worst-offending fuels.
The regulations state that only wood with a moisture content of less than 20 percent can be burned. The wood must also be untreated. In terms of coal, only smokeless varieties will be permitted. Finally, there is also a big push towards low sulphur fuel sources, given that a huge percentage of sulphur dioxide in the atmosphere can be attributed to the burning of coal in homes. Of course, not least because of the risk of toxic fume inhalation, no plastics are to be burned either.
Sure, this means that the days of buying your wood in a sack from outside your local petrol station might be over but is that really such a bad thing? These days, there are loads of great suppliers of much higher quality firewood anyway!
When it comes to which burners will be allowed going forward, you can rest easy. The regulations stipulate that any stove bought before the Clean Air Strategy was published can still be used to burn regulatory-compliant woods and other fuels. However, the government has pledged to only permit the sale of environmentally-friendly stoves by 2022.
Make a Change Today!
Although the roll out of the government’s new regulations will likely be slow, you don’t need to wait for the council’s air pollution division to swoop in on you to get ready for them. Here are some of the best ways to make sure all the wood you burn follows the Clean Air Strategy 2019.
Make Sure You’re Ready-to-Burn!
Well, not you exactly, but your wood. Sourcing your firewood from a reputable firm (such a us) will ensure that everything you burn is above board. It will also extend the life of your chimney and stove itself.
Avoid Burning Chemicals!
This one should be a given, but we thought we’d throw it in there anyway. Of course, you shouldn’t burn plastics on your stove!
However, it’s not just plastics you need to be worried about. Harmful chemicals can be given off when much more wood-like fuels are burned. Chipboard, MDF, and treated woods are prime examples of not-quite-woods that are unsuitable for burning.
Store Wood Properly
If your wood needs to be burned at 20 percent moisture content or below, it needs somewhere dry for storage, right? In that case, you need an appropriate place to keep it away from the elements.
There isn’t some fancy, extravagant solution to this problem. You just tool a woodshed!
Log stores come in all shapes, sizes, colours, and prices. This can make choosing the correct one for your space, style, and budget tricky. If you are looking for a log store, there’s a place with extensive reviews of all top shed and woodstore manufacturers. Pay WhatShed a visit today and browse their detailed listings.
Call the Chimney Sweep
Yes, it sounds like a horrifically messy undertaking but there are many professional chimney sweep services available that will guarantee that your cream carpet stays immaculate. They’ll likely be able to provide you with additional pointers on the Clean Air Strategy, as well as preserving the longevity of both your stove and chimney.
Cleaning your chimney regularly (once a year at least) gets rid of build-up that can contribute to airborne pollution. This build-up is also a fire hazard.
Yes, You Can Still Use Your Stove!
Despite what you may have heard relating to the Clean Air Strategy 2019, you can definitely continue to heat your home with your woodstove and enjoy the ambience it brings.
The important thing to consider for existing stove users is to ensure that you always use untreated fuels with a moisture content of less than 20 percent. Those wishing to buy a new stove are advised to opt for a SIA Ecodesign Ready stove. These come recommended by both the Department of Environmental and Rural Affairs and the Stove Industry Alliance. Happy burning!
Article provided by Gareth Bennet – WhatShed.co.uk