Recent poor publicity about air quality - an update

11.102017

The last couple of weeks have seen some bad publicity about woodstoves and their contribution towards poor air quality in London, in particular.

It is important to point out that the majority of wood is being burned on open fires and there is a vast amount of house coal also being burned. A modern woodstove will be up to 90% more efficient than an open fire. House coal should not be burned in any smoke control zone. If all open fires were replaced with a SIA EcoDesign approved woodstove then the difference in air quality would be massively improved. If house coal was prohibited from sale, again the difference this would make to air quality would be great. The larger fuel manufacturers would welcome government to prohibit the sale of housecoal in the UK.

Recent publicity around poor air quality and linking to the increased use of wood stoves has questioned whether casual consumers buying smaller retail bags of woodfuel realise the wood they are burning may not be suitable for immediate use. Its use in wet form would contribute significantly to particulate emissions whilst burning dry wood has significant and demonstrable benefits in greatly reduced emissions. Modern stoves are designed to burn dry wood. By purchasing "Ready to Burn" logs, part of a Woodsure initiative, the consumer can be sure that they are buying the correct logs for their stove and therefore are ensuring that they are not adding to particulate emissions from their modern stoves.