Thursday, July 16

Can Your Stove Help Keep Air Pollution Down?

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While we all love our log burners, we also don’t like to think that our enjoyment is damaging the environment.

With rising concerns around the effects of carbon on climate change, many of us are thinking of ways to improve our environmental footprint. Wood burning stoves and air pollution often find their way into the spotlight, with some people claiming they cause too much damage to public health and the environment.

However, not all wood burning stoves are necessarily a problem – on the contrary, they can help us reduce our carbon footprint in certain ways by offering:

  • A carbon neutral source of heat
  • A more efficient alternative to open fireplaces
  • More awareness of the fuel we are burning

Read on to find out more about wood burners, air pollution and how you can make yours as environmentally friendly as possible…

Is Wood Burning Environmentally Friendly?

Yes it can be, if trees are replanted and not transported long distances…

Wood burning can be considered a sustainable and carbon neutral form of heating. If done correctly, the carbon released when burning wood is offset by the carbon absorbed by the tree in its lifetime. Wood also releases less carbon than fossil fuels, such as coal or oil, which develops underground without helping to absorb any carbon from the atmosphere.

Take a look at this table to see how burning wood compares to burning fossil fuels…

So, what is the downside when it comes to stoves? While burning wood doesn’t necessarily damage the environment with carbon, transporting it does. From chopping down trees to sending a lorry packed with heavy logs across the country, a lot of CO2 is produced in the process of creating firewood.

There is a simple solution to this, though! If you can purchase your firewood from a local, sustainable supplier, you will be doing your bit to keep your stove as environmentally friendly as possible!

You could even make your own wood supply – see our guide to stacking, storing and seasoning your own firewood for more information on the best way to do it.

Do Wood Burning Stoves Cause Air Pollution?

Wood burning does unavoidably create smoke, but this can be limited with a few easy solutions…

While wood burning isn’t necessarily bad for the environment when it comes down to carbon, there is another issue at foot – air pollution. Air pollution covers all gasses, chemicals and particles in the air that can damage the environment and our health.

This issue hit the headlines at the start of 2019 when the government’s Clean Air Strategy cast doubt on the future of wood burning. The main concern was that the particulate matter produced by wood smoke was creating a serious public health issue.

You can find all the information you need on our blog post Are Wood Burning Stoves Going to be Banned?

While there is no denying that burning wood gives off smoke, there are also ways a stove can help greatly reduce air pollution. Here is how:

  • They are a great replacement for an open fire. Most domestic air pollution is currently coming from open fires. When replaced by an efficient eco-friendly stove, this can be reduced by an incredible 90%! Read more about switching your open fire to a wood burner here.
  • The Stove Industry Alliance is committed to keeping emissions down. There is plenty of cooperation between stove manufacturers and those behind the Clean Air Strategy. So much so, that EcoDesign stoves are already exceeding low emission targets and produce 80% less emissions than a 10 year old stove!
  • Awareness of the best fuel types is growing. Burning ‘green’ or unseasoned wood can produce twice as much particulate matter as properly dried wood. Making sure you are using good quality firewood can drastically reduce air pollution from your stove.

How to Keep Your Wood Burner Environmentally Friendly

Overall, there is plenty you can do to reduce air pollution from your stove and keep it as environmentally friendly as possible.

Here are a few steps you can take to help minimise the pollution from your log burner:

  1. Update your wood burner if necessary. If your stove is over 10 years old, it probably isn’t as efficient as today’s models. With our stove scrappage scheme, you can get 10% off a new EcoDesign stove when you recycle your old log burner, along with enjoying a cleaner burn!
  2. Replace your open fire. If you are currently burning wood on an open fire, consider installing a stove instead. They burn wood far more efficiently and give off more heat. See more positives of buying a wood burning stove here.
  3. Source your wood responsibly. Try and buy wood from a local source to ensure a minimal amount of carbon has gone into producing it. Sustainable wood producers should also replace the trees they cut down to maintain carbon-absorbing woodland.
  4. Make sure your wood is properly seasoned. Whether you are buying it or chopping it yourself, make sure the moisture content of your wood is below 20%. This gives off less smoke, meaning less air pollution.
  5. Keep your chimney in good repair. Cold and cracked chimneys can reduce the efficiency of your stove, which could lead to you burning more wood. Make sure your chimney liner is in good condition or, if you don’t have one, get one fitted.

Shop online at Direct Stoves today!

Looking for a new eco-stove? We stock one of the best ranges of EcoDesign Wood Burning Stoves – take a look at them today!

Find more stove advice on our blog! You might also find these posts useful…

Showcasing the Most Efficient Stoves on the Market | What is DEFRA? | Why You Need to Sweep Your Chimney

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