What should I know to upgrade my old wood burner to a modern wood burning stove that complies with the latest fuel regulations?

Wood-burning stoves heating our homes have very much become part of our culture. However, many of the stoves currently in use are inefficient and will not meet the stringent requirements of the new fuel and air emission regulations announced by Government.

The innovative technology required in the latest model DEFRA approved wood burners, which do meet the latest emission standards, bears little resemblance to the stoves of even a decade ago, apart perhaps from retro cosmetic styling.

Firehouse supplies, installs and maintains DEFRA approved premier wood-burning stoves, BBQ’s Chimineas, fireplaces and firepits from the leading manufacturers, Chesney’s, Morso, Stovax, Rocal, RB73 and GardenmaxX.

How does an advanced modern wood burner differ from older stoves?

Some of the technology employed in modern wood-burning stoves include catalytic converters or other clean-burn technology, air-wash technology, secondary combustion chambers, forced-air intake and airflow, ceramic glass windows to safely contain the fire without impeding the view of the flames and more. The technology used in modern flue systems is very far ahead of the old concept of a chimney through which most of the heat escaped and which had to be continuously cleaned.

What is a catalytic converter?

A catalytic converter used in a closed combustion stove reduces toxic gases and pollutants that are released during burning. Just like a catalytic converter in a car, it traps the smoke, particles and other gases in a special chamber lined with ceramic panels with a honeycomb core, which are coated with a chemical (such as platinum, rhodium, or palladium) that chemically interacts with the smoke – in what is called a “redox” reaction – oxidising and reducing harmful gases, especially particulates and carbon monoxide, converting them into water and carbon dioxide.

Noncatalytic clean-burning technology

Some stoves use noncatalytic technology to recirculate the smoke and burn it for a second time; This includes special firebox insulation, a large baffle to produce a longer, hotter gas flow path, and pre-heated combustion air which flows into the firebox through small holes above the fuel.

What is air-wash technology?

Stoves using air-wash technology are designed to draw air over the inside of the window to improve primary combustion, burning the wood at higher temperatures and more completely. Air-wash technology also helps to keep the window clean.

What is a secondary combustion chamber?

The initial burning in a stove takes place in the primary combustion chamber. In the new superior stoves, a secondary chamber is linked to the primary chamber via a series of nozzles, drawing in the hot air and reigniting it to burn off most of the harmful gases, especially particulates and carbon monoxide. The secondary combustion process also causes more heat, and consequently, the stove needs less fuel, making it more energy-efficient, in addition to emitting cleaner exhaust gases.

In some cases, afterburners are used to burn the hot air again to increase the heat further and burn off more of the gases.

How are the advanced modern stoves ventilated?

An advanced modern wood-burning stove is ventilated by specially designed flues that enhance the burning efficiency of the stove, draw fresh air from outside for combustion without cold air entering the room, prevent backdrafts into the room, and expel the low level of unburnt gases safely into the atmosphere.

Some stoves have unique fans that force cold air down the flue, working almost like the bellows on a furnace, without any of the cold air entering the room.

Which fuel should I use in my new, compliant wood-burning stove?

Coal and unseasoned wood are being phased out as from February 2021 and may not be used in domestic stoves or open fires as from 2022.

You have a wide choice of cleaner fuels, such as properly seasoned wood, wood pellets or chips and briquettes.

Contact Firehouse today for the best advice and highest quality stoves, heating and cooking appliances.

Clean Air Strategy

This is 1 of 4 articles addressing the Government’s new Clean Air Strategy.

These are the other 3 articles: