Last week, we published an article on whether burning wood and coal on your stove will be banned – and found a lot of misconceptions along the way.
First of all, to clean up the misleading headlines the media published last week – there is no ban on open fires, wood burning stoves or multi fuel stoves. The new act is purely on the sale of some types of fuel.
So, what fuels are affected?
Read the facts here…
The sale of re-packed traditional house coal will be stopped (with a ban on loose sales via coal merchants to be applied at a later date)
It is worth noting that a lot of areas of the UK are covered by the Clean Air Act Smoke Control Areas. So, people living in these areas already can’t use this type of fuel, meaning they won’t be further affected by the new regulations.
Find out more: Smoke Control Explained
Wood sold in quantities under 2m3 must have a moisture content of less than 20%
If you already buy seasoned or kiln dried wood (in any volume) then this won’t affect you.
If you buy bulk volume of wood (2m3 or greater) and season it yourself, this won’t affect you.
The people that this will affect are those who buy bagged wood from supermarkets and petrol stations that has not been seasoned or dried.
The claims that this will mean people have to pay more for wood, or even won’t be able to afford to heat their homes at all, are simply not correct.
Anyone relying on burning wood to heat their home is very unlikely to buy wood in this manner as it is a lot more expensive than buying it from a proper wood supplier.
What’s more, when sold in weight, wet wood is heavier than dry wood, meaning you get less logs in a 10kg bag of wet wood than you do when the wood is dry. Coupled with the fact that dry wood gives off more heat than wet wood, it can work out more cost effective to buy dry wood when buying by weight.
Wet logs will produce about 1 kWh per kg. That’s the equivalent of a single bar electric fire.
On the other hand, kiln dried logs produce approximately 4.5kWh/kg. You will therefore need significantly less logs for the same heat output.
The sulphur content of smokeless coal must be less than 2%
The most responsible and well-known brands of smokeless coal have been working to this standard for a while now.
If you presently buy and burn smokeless coal and the bags your coal comes in has a “Ready To Burn” logo on it then your fuel already meets the required sulphur content standard. So there won’t be a huge change for many people with this part of the act.
As stated at the start, this is not a ban on wood burning of solid fuel stoves. It’s purely the restriction of some types of fuels with the aim to make sure the fuel we burn is cleaner and admits less particulates.
Find out more about wood burning and the environment in these posts…