Don't believe the headlines
No doubt you will have seen some misleading headlines in recent months about a possible ban on wood stoves and solid fuel fires.
But what is the truth behind these headlines? Will you have to stop using these methods of heating your home?
The short answer is no. There is no ban on these forms of household heating or plans to do so.
Last week, the Government did announce that it will ban the sale of traditional
bituminous house coal and that wood sold must have a moisture content of 20% or less. ’Wet’ wood – also known as green or unseasoned wood – is often sold in nets and is cheaper to buy. It contains moisture which, when burned, creates more smoke and harmful particles of air pollution Wet wood can also damage chimneys much more, by allowing tar and soot to build up.
These changes will be phased in over the next couple of years with all wood sold from 2022 having to be ‘dry’.
The bottom line, however, is that you will be able to continue using your solid fuel stove or fireplace as normal. There is no ban on using them.
There has already been much written about the new legislation and its implications, both positive and negative.
The reality is that as a business Wilkins Chimney Sweep has no vested financial interest in this matter. Chimneys will still need to be cleaned and we do not supply fuel to customers. However, we do attend thousands of chimneys every year and have a fairly unique view of the issue.
No professional chimney sweep would argue against restricting the use of wet wood or for that matter house coal. We see the impact on a daily basis that using such fuels have on the environment and the damage that is caused to the stove and flue itself. However, there remain questions over whether legislation is the most appropriate route. Are there sufficient resources available to enforce the legislation? Will the sale of ‘illegal’ but cheap fuels be forced ‘underground’ with people using any old bits of ‘waste’ timber?
At Wilkins Chimney Sweep, we are committed to educating our customers. As you will see from previous blogs, we encourage our customers to burn the right things for the benefit of the environment, their stove and their bank balance.
We will continue to always provide expert free advice as part of our service. Wilkins Chimney Sweep support Burnright, the national consumer awareness campaign designed to help you get the most from your fire and fuel.
Alternatively, contact your local Wilkins Chimney Sweep if you would like to discuss any of these issues.