Step 1: Do you live in a Smoke Control Area?
If you live in a town or city, there is a good chance you live in a Smoke Control Area. In a Smoke Control Area, you can only use Defra-approved appliances to burn solid fuel, or if you do not have an approved appliance, you can only burn authorised smokeless fuels.
Step 2: Have you updated your old fireplace?
One of the best ways to help our environment when it comes to burning solid fuel is to consider the appliance you are using to burn your fuel. It is widely recognised that old stoves and fires are vastly less efficient when compared to modern, clean burning appliances such as an Ecodesign Ready stove.
If you are using an open fire or older stove to heat your home, you may wish to consider replacing it with a clean burning, high efficiency model that produces less emissions.
Some stoves are not only approved for use in smoke control areas, but are also Ecodesign Ready. An Ecodesign Ready stove burns so cleanly it meets, and in many cases exceeds, future 2022 environmental standards. Crucially, an Ecodesign Ready stove keeps emissions to an absolute minimum.
Stovax stands in support of the Government’s Clean Air Strategy, and updating an old fireplace is a good place to start. We recommend updating to a DEFRA-approved or Ecodesign Ready stove or fire – you can read more about the benefits of Ecodesign Ready stoves on our website, and find out more about the Clean Air Strategy here.
Step 3: Are you burning the right fuel?
To take advantage of the eco-credentials of wood as a fuel, it is essential that the wood is of a good quality, and that it is burnt cleanly on an efficient modern stove or fire.
Poor quality wood tends to have a high moisture content. When wet wood is burnt, a large amount of the heat energy created by the fire is wasted burning off the excess water, and results in poor combustion. Aside from wasting energy, burning wet wood results in the production of tars and creosote, which can damage a flue and increase the risk of chimney fires.
It is easy to identify quality firewood by looking for the Woodsure ‘Ready to Burn’ label. Using good wood can reduce emissions by 50%, and when burnt in an Ecodesign stove can help to reduce emission
Step 4: Have you maintained your stove and flue?
All flue systems and stoves need to be maintained so that you can get the best from your appliance.
Your chimney must be swept at least once a year, because chimneys need a clear passageway for combustion gases to exit your home. Obstructions, soot, deposits and tar can all build up in your flue over time which can make your stove run less efficiently.
Likewise, your stove needs to be regularly serviced by a HETAS installer to ensure safe use and optimum efficiency.
It is important that your efficient heating appliance has a consistently insulated chimney to be able to perform efficiently. Installation should only be carried out by a competent installer. Find a list on the HETAS website.
If you are looking to upgrade your old fireplace to a new efficient one, talk to your local expert retailer who can offer advice on which stove will best suit your home.