Is there going to be a ban on wood burning stoves in London? The simple answer to this question is "no".
There has recently been press about the possibly damaging effects of burning wood on our air quality. We welcome these discussions and have been specialists in clean burning stoves since we opened 10 years ago. We recognise that burning wood is better for the environment long term as it is a sustainable and carbon-neutral form of heating our homes. However, air quality is also an important issue for us all, particularly in and around London.
The car industry is doing it's bit to improve our air quality, and so is the stove industry. Here in the UK and in Europe, stove manufacturers are working together to ensure that technologically advanced options are now available. Using a modern, clean burning, Ecodesign-ready stove can reduce emissions by up to 90% - meaning that not only do they give out a wonderful amount of heat for less fuel but they burn far cleaner and produce little or no smoke into the air.
Supported by Defra, Ecodesign is a new Europe-wide emissions regulation scheme for stoves and space heaters due to be introduced in 2022. Ecodesign Ready stoves have been engineered to burn wood more completely. The targeted introduction of combustion air at higher levels in the fire box of the stoves reignites the combustion particles before they can leave the stove. This technology reduces particulate emissions by 90% compared to an open fire and 80% compared to a stove of 10 years ago and can also lead to significant reductions in CO, NOx and Organic Gaseous Carbon compounds (OGC).
We can significantly reduce the level of emissions from burning firewood simply with the replacement of open fires and old wood burners with Ecodesign Ready stoves. This is where the ‘quick win’ in emissions reduction can be made.
The stove manufacturers that we here at Fire Gallery have chosen to work with, have been fully committed to the Ecodesign project from the outset. Today, and five years ahead of schedule, most of our stoves already operate under the Ecodesign limits.
Good quality wood with the right moisture content (between 12 and 20%) will generate the correct heat, the best flame and will not emit black or grey smoke. Burning the right fuel is a crucial part of keeping our stoves clean burning - kiln dried wood, and species such as ash, beech or birch, burn particularly well.
Legislation on the types of fuel available to purchase would be welcome, but in the meanwhile, stove owners can be sure of the wood’s quality and origin by buying from accredited British suppliers. Woodsure, the UK’s woodfuel accreditation scheme, has also recently launched a new ‘Ready to Burn' initiative, which offers a certification mark to suppliers who can demonstrate that their logs have a moisture content below 20% so stove owners looking for that guarantee should keep an eye out for the Ready to Burn label.
The Mayor of London supports the SIA Ecodesign ready scheme and he is not recommending a ban of wood burners, but rather that Ecodesign ready stoves are chosen by Londoners earlier than 2022. Around 70% of fireplaces in London are still burning wood and coal in open fires. Replacing these with cleanburn, EcoDesign ready wood stoves would go a long way to improving the air particulates caused by wood burning on these open fires.
The fact remains that burning a sustainable and renewable energy source such as wood offers a better heating economy and helps to reduce the carbon footprint of our homes in the long-term, as it reduces the reliance on energy from power stations.
Contact us for more information or to book in a free site visit to find out how you we can install an EcoDesign ready stove into your home.
For more information on EcoDesign Ready stoves, visit http://www.stoveindustryalliance.com/ecodesign-ready-stoves-and-air-quality/
For more informationon Woodsure’s ‘Ready to Burn’ initiative, visit http://woodsure.co.uk/