Will the Government ban all wood-burning stoves, BBQ’s and fireplaces?

Is there any greater pleasure than sitting in front of an open fire, whether for fellowship or cooking an outdoor meal?

Many of us have grown up with open fireplaces and like the nostalgia and therapeutic effect of a fire. Is there a greater way to heat one’s home while creating a wonderful ambience for either a quiet night at home or entertaining friends around a crackling fire?

While we all agree that it is essential to combat pollution and conserve our planet for our children, many are uncertain as to precisely what the new regulations mean and how it will affect our entertainment and heating of our homes.

Firehouse is publishing a series of articles to help you understand the new regulations and how to ensure you are compliant, without sacrificing such a great way of enjoying the outdoors or winter evenings indoors. For ease of reference, in this article “stoves” will include all heating and cooking devices.

The short answer to the question of whether all wood-burning stoves and fireplaces will be banned thankfully is NO.

However, they will be subject to stringent controls, enforced by the new legislation. Firehouse sells, installs and maintains stoves that are already DEFRA approved and exceeded the requirements of the new clean air regulations.

To set a standard for stoves, DEFRA, in conjunction with the industry, is currently developing further reliable methods to measure stove emissions and only stoves that meet these stringent requirements will be allowed.

Which areas will be subject to the new regulations?

Currently, specific smoke control areas are designated by local councils, where it is illegal to allow any smoke emissions and only authorised fuels and appliances may be used.

In future, the focus will be on a nationwide approach to smoke control. Local authorities will be allowed to impose even stricter restrictions in high-risk areas.

What are the best wood-burning appliances to use?

The leading manufacturers of wood-burning stoves, BBQ’s, Chimineas, firepits and fireplaces have developed clean-burning appliances that exceed the requirements of the new regulations. These are based on closed-combustion appliances with secondary burning and technology such as Airwash and Clean-Burn.

Closed system fireplaces are the most effective way to heat your home as they only allow enough air into the fireplace to fuel the fire and make use of secondary burning chambers, thus creating the maximum amount of heat, while using the minimum amount of fuel. These stoves also have heat retention of up to almost 90% inside your home, versus a traditional open fireplace that uses a lot of fuel, emits a great deal of smoke and retains only 10-15% of the heat.

What fuels will not be permitted by the new regulations?

A short explanation is necessary first. The emissions, focused on five significant pollutants, are named PM2.5 emissions and are measured in g/MWh.

A solid fuel open fire on average emits 2950 g/MWh, compared to a modern DEFRA approved closed-combustion stove’s 325 g/MWh. The wood-burning stoves that are not DEFRA exempt, average emissions of 2660 g/MWh.

Solid fuels are also graded from “very dirty” to “less dirty.” At the top end of “very dirty” is coal, with dry wood and pellets rated “less dirty.”
the Government is tackling the “dirtier” fuel types and non-Defra stoves. The fuel types that are likely to be banned will include wood that has not been seasoned or dried and mineral fuels, such as bituminous house coal or high-sulphur manufactured solid fuels.

At present, the sulphur content of solid fuels is limited to 2% in smoke control areas. This limit will be imposed nationwide. Fuels manufactured from a variety of wastes and recycled products will be tested before approval.

Well-seasoned wood is generally considered to be one of the cleaner fuels. It contains almost no sulphur and very little nitrogen and does not create a smoke problem. A boon is that the ash is an excellent fertiliser and presents none of the economic and environmental costs of conventional alternatives.

A government-supported quality assurance scheme, called Woodsure, certifies suppliers of reliable, high-quality wood fuels such as seasoned dry firewood, woodchip (and hog fuel), pellets and briquettes. It is envisaged that ultimately only certified solid fuels will be permitted, and customers are advised to buy their fuels only from certified suppliers.

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: