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25 April 2019


What Ban? - The Truth About Particulates And Stoves


As we have reported previously the media attention on particulates and specifically those within the fireplace and stove industry has been high for several months now.

 

Unfortunately, there has also been a lot of fake news about stoves being banned. The key points raised are the emissions and PM 2.5 and PM 10 particulates or dust which wood fired stoves, fires and heaters produce along with cars and many other products as they operate. They are the very fine particulates that could easily fit into the full stop on this page. PM 2.5 for example is the amount of particulate matter per cubic metre less than 2.5 micrometers or 1 x 400th of a millimetre.

Heavy pollution from such particulates can result in respiratory issues which has been part of the call to reduce them. So, they must be really high now with the number of stoves on the market right? – The answer is no, since 1970 emission figures have been coming down dramatically and with new stove combustion technology such as the Ecco Stove and correct fuel usage it will continue to do so. In 1970 PM 2.5 particulates were at 495,000 tonnes per annum where as in 2017 they had dropped to 106,000 tonnes per annum. PM 10 were at over 600,000 tonnes per annum and in 2017 were measures at 169,000 tonnes per annum.

 

Defra (The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) are charged with helping this process along by introducing a clean air strategy in towns and cities specifically to ensure the right stoves and heaters are installed. Their own study which can be found here
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/778483/Emissions_of_air_pollutants_1990_2017.pdf shows how particulate emissions have been dropping (see graph above).

 

So why has there been so much media hype and why is there a need for a clean air strategy in 2022? Well there are still a lot of inefficient products on the market, but more importantly people are not burning the correct fuel in the right way. Although they have reduced considerably, we could do achieve even better results.

 

For many years chimney sweeps, stove retailers and manufacturers have endeavored to educate their customer base. Moving them away from some old practices such as slumbering, burning wet fuel or not seasoning fuel. In some cases, people are still burning household waste such as plastic packaging which can be very harmful to the environment.

 

 

 

Burnright have been campaigning to educate the public in the correct use of fuel so that we can all enjoy our fires for many years to come. They have some great “do’s and don’ts” points that you can find here https://burnright.co.uk/quick-guide/dos-donts. Hetas also give some good guidance on the clean air strategy at www.hetas.co.uk.

 

To summaries their points:

• Have hot fires reaching the stoves optimum temperature as quickly as possible.
• Do not reduce airflow to the fire to create “slumbering” conditions.
• Use dry, seasoned fuel 20% moisture content or less. Check it with a moisture metre.
• Ensure your stove is 2022 ready or upgrade it to one that is.
• Don’t buy a stove that has too high an output for the area you are heating.
• Don’t burn plastics, packaging and other items only wood and smokeless fuel.

 

What else can you do to make sure you can enjoy your fire and at the same time help bring emissions down? – As well as burning the correct fuel you can ensure you are using an approved stove that conforms with current and future emission standards. Check with your installer or the manufacturer to see whether their products have passed the new testing standards for the 2022 design standard.

 

Although particulates and emissions are continuing to fall, we can all do better simply by thinking before we use our fires. If you would like to speak to a member of out team about upgrading your old stove to a new eco design ready model, why not ask about our scrappage scheme as well and get some cashback* when you upgrade as part of Ecco Stoves support for a greener future.

 

*Direct sales from Ecco Stove Ltd only and priced per application. Not to be used in combination with other offers or discounts. The Scrappage scheme is not available all year round.


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