Date posted: 10.05.21

Since 1st May, the sale of coal and wet wood for household burning is being phased out in a bid to cut pollution. While stoves and burning wood are, at times, still being unfairly tarnished with the misleading “stoves and burning wood is bad” attention-grabbing headlines, it’s actually the burning of wet wood and using old inefficient stoves and open fires, which are causing pollution.

Sadly on occasions, the media are doing a disservice to the public by repeatedly failing to illustrate these crucially important differences. The public needs to know what is good and what isn’t with regards to pollution from burning wood, so they can make informed choices.

  • Open fires, old inefficient stoves, burning wet wood is bad.
  • Using an Ecodesign stove, burning correctly seasoned wood is good. Good for the environment, good as a renewable and sustainable heating source.

The restrictions that started from 1st May means that:

  • Sales of bagged traditional house coal and wet wood in units under 2m3 are now illegal.
  • Wet wood in larger volumes must be sold with advice on how to dry it before burning.
  • All manufactured solid fuels must now have a low sulphur content and only emit a small amount of smoke.
  • In addition, a new certification scheme will see products certified and labelled by suppliers to make sure they can be easily identified, and retailers will only able to sell fuel that is accompanied by the correct label.

Dangers of burning unseasoned “wet” wood:

  • Increases polluting particulate emissions
  • Increases congestion/tar in your flue
  • Increases risk of a chimney fire
  • Poor heat output
  • Excessive smoke

Woodsure – Ready to Burn

For a while now, we have actively pushed Woodsure’s initiative “Ready to Burn”. This not-for-profit organisation has a focus on educating consumers about burning correctly seasoned wood. Consumers are able to buy Woodsure certified seasoned wood, the only scheme of it’s kind, at certain retailers around the UK. The logo, shown right is only displayed on wood that meets Woodsures requirements.

Ecodesign Ready:

Ecodesign comes into effect from 1st January 2022, and is a European regulation for solid fuel local space heaters, which is a more formal description of a wood-burning stove. When a stove is tested to see if it is Ecodesign Ready, it must keep within these very stringent, technical parameters, which are outlined below:

OGCs – Organic gaseous compounds (OGC’s) from stoves will not exceed 120 mgC/m3 at 13% oxygen for stoves using solid fuel other than compressed wood pellets, and 60 mgC m3 at 13% oxygen for stoves using compressed wood pellets. The measurement of mgC/m3 means milligrams per cubic meter. 

CO – Carbon Monoxide is a deadly, colourless, odourless gas which is produced during combustion. When a stove is being checked for compliance with Ecodesign it is not allowed to exceed 1,500 mg/m3 at 13% oxygen using solid fuel other than compressed wood pellets, and 300 mg/m3 at 13% oxygen for stoves using compressed wood pellets.   

NOx – Nitrogen Oxides are a combination of gases, which are composed of nitrogen and oxygen. NOx gases react to form smog and acid rain as well as being central to the formation of fine particles (PM) and ground-level ozone, both of which are associated with adverse health effects. NOx from solid fuel stoves using fossil fuels shall not exceed 300 mg/m3 expressed as NO2 at 13% oxygen. 

View our range of Ecodesign Ready wood burning stoves here.

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