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Wood Burner Ban Myth-busting


There is a lot of confusion surrounding the use of log burners in the UK, with some people believing that they are being banned outright. However, the reality is that while there are restrictions in place to limit their environmental impact, there is no ban on log burners. In this article, we'll take a closer look at the regulations and guidelines surrounding the use of log burners in the UK and clear up some of the myths and misconceptions.

Myth #1: Wood burners are being banned in the UK

One of the most pervasive myths about wood burners in the UK is that they are being banned outright. However, this is not the case. While there are regulations and guidelines in place to limit the environmental impact of wood burners, there is no ban on their use.

In fact, wood burners are still a popular choice for heating homes in the UK, with an estimated 1.5 million households using them. However, there are concerns about the emissions from burning wood, particularly if the wood is wet or if the burner is not operated properly.

Myth #2: All fires are the same

Another common misconception about wood burners is that they are all the same, and that any stove or burner will do. However, this is not the case. The efficiency and emissions of a wood burner depend on a number of factors, including the design, the quality of the fuel, and the way it is operated.

In the UK, there are a range of wood burners available, from traditional cast-iron stoves to modern, high-tech appliances. Some wood burners are designed to be more environmentally friendly than others, with advanced combustion technology that minimizes emissions and improves efficiency. Others may be older or less efficient models that produce more emissions and use more fuel.

Closed wood burning appliances are much more efficient than open fires. This is because closed appliances are designed to burn wood more completely and with higher temperatures, which results in a more efficient combustion process and less waste, like soot and harmful gasses. Open fires on the other hand allow a lot of heat to escape up the chimney, and can actually lose up to 80% of their heat this way.

Closed appliances can also be regulated more easily, allowing for greater control over the burning process and reducing the risk of over-firing coming to an efficiency of up to 85% losing only 15% up the chimney. Overall, closed wood burning appliances are a much more efficient and environmentally friendly option than open fires.

Myth #3: You can't have a stove in a smoke control area

The misinterpretation of a wood burner ban in the UK has largely been fueled by a lack of understanding of the regulations and guidelines surrounding their use. The Clean Air Act of 1993 gave local authorities the power to declare smoke control areas, where only certain types of fuels and appliances could be used.

This was put in place to tackle air pollution caused by the burning of fossil fuels and certain types of wood. However, this does not mean that wood burners are banned in these areas.

In fact, wood burners can still be used in smoke control areas, as long as they meet certain emissions standards. For example, the stove must be a DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) approved appliance, which means that it has been tested and found to meet emissions standards. DEFRA also provides a list of approved fuels that can be burned in these appliances, which are generally low in emissions and environmentally friendly.

Myth #4: You can burn any wood

In the UK, an eco stove is designed to burn wood in the most efficient and environmentally friendly way possible. This means that it is important to use the right type of wood to ensure that the stove operates properly and with minimal emissions.

The best wood to burn in an eco stove are kiln-dried logs. Kiln-dried logs have been dried in a kiln to reduce their moisture content between 10-20%, they still have some moisture in for the purpose that they don't burn too hot and warp the stove. This makes them easier to light and burn more efficiently, producing less smoke and emissions than unseasoned logs. Kiln-dried logs are also less likely to cause soot buildup in the chimney, which can reduce the risk of chimney fires.

What you mustn't burn is any treated wood or any off-cuts of building material that will have 0% moisture in.

What can you have?

As registered Hetas engineers we can only install an appliance that is more efficient than the current one in place. And as long as you burn kiln-dried logs you should never have problems with your appliance and no worries about the commonly misinterpreted news on the “Woodburner Ban”.

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