Don’t believe the headlines – an update!
We blogged to our customers back in March 2020 about proposals to change the fuels that could be burnt on open fires and how this was being misrepresented in the media. (https://www.wilkinschimneysweep.co.uk/post/don-t-believe-the-headlines)
The new legislation was introduced on the 1st May, so what has changed in reality?
In short, the sale of house coal and ‘wet’ wood for household burning has been restricted. Large fuel suppliers such as supermarkets, petrol stations and DIY stores, who sell logs in relatively small quantities (as used by many of our customers) are now only allowed to sell logs which are ‘dry’ (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/selling-wood-for-domestic-use-in-england).
A stove is only as good as the wood it burns and who wouldn’t want to improve the quality of the air we all breath. However, will these changes stop the scare stories in the national media and local Facebook groups, that only a total ban on wood burning stoves will do ?
There is still much debate about the impact of domestic wood burners on the environment. At one end of the scale there are recent studies such as by the University of Sheffield which claim that stoves have a direct and significant impact on air quality.( https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4433/11/12/1326/htm) In contrast stove manufacturers say that when operated properly, there are more unhealthy particulates emitted from the candles on a 10 year olds birthday cake! (Full report can be found here https://burley.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Wood-burning-stoves-and-indoor-air-quality.pdf)
Without getting into the intricacies of this debate, our position has always been that those consumers who use the most efficient stoves, ensure adequate maintenance, burn the best fuels, and are educated in the most effective use of their appliance, can be confident that they are minimising the impact on the environment. With this in mind, there is no one better than your chimney sweep, to know how you are using your stove and provide appropriate guidance.
At Wilkins Chimney Sweep we will continue to always provide expert free advice as part of our service. We support Burnright, the national consumer awareness campaign designed to help you get the most from your fire and fuel, and ‘Ready To Burn’, the government backed scheme which certifies the quality of the wood you buy.
Contact your local Wilkins Chimney Sweep if you would like to discuss any of these issues or to arrange a visit to your home.