Friday 24th May 2019
The popularity of wood stoves in recent years has led many to associate air pollution with wood stoves and wood fuel. In reality, air emissions result mostly from burning wood in open fires, which is illegal in most residential areas of the UK under the Clean Air Act 1993. According to the Stove Industry Alliance, using modern wood stoves reduces emissions from burning wood by a factor of ten compared to using an open fire because modern wood stoves ensure higher burning temperature and complete combustion of wood fuel. Using wood stoves classed as 'exempt' under the Clean Air Act or compliant with the Ecodesign standard promoted by the Stove Industry Alliance is particularly advantageous for the consumer and environment.
Additionally, a major factor contributing to air emissions is the use of wood with high moisture content, such as wet logs or logs 'seasoned' over an insufficient period of time. Bioglow sells only wood fuels that are either kiln-dried to moisture of 20% or less, or made from sawdust with moisture of around 10%. Using modern wood stoves to burn kiln-dried logs or wood briquettes made from dry sawdust is dramatically more efficient and environmentally friendly compared to burning wet logs.
For many users in homes not connected to the gas grid, using a modern wood stove replaces non-renewable fossil fuels with a clean, renewable fuel source, providing further environmental benefits.
The Stove Industry Alliance provides the following step-by-step guide to correctly using and enjoying your wood stove:
1. Use plenty of small kindling.
2. Set all controls at fully open, light the fire and close the door. Flames should fill the box for about 10-15 minutes while the stove reaches a good operating temperature.
3. Refuel with slightly larger logs or additional wood briquettes. If your stove has more than one air control, close the one that allows air in directly from the room.
4. Once the stove has reached optimum temperature, you can reduce the amount of air using the 'secondary' air control. Be sure not to close it off too far as there needs to be enough air coming in for the wood briquettes to burn. If the fire continues burning with all air inflow controls closed, this may indicate an air leak - have your stove inspected by a qualified technician.
5. Keep the temperature hot. If using a flue thermometer, air for the middle for best results.
6. Refuel the fire from time to time to maintain a bright flame.
7. Check the top of your chimney - no smoke should be visible. If you see smoke, adjust the controls of your stove or get advice from a chimney sweep or qualified stove technician.