Emissions From Domestic Wood Burning
There has been a lot of negative, and quite frankly misleading press recently about the emissions associated with your log fire at home. Emissions from wood burning are a concern, but a combination of common sense and good practice should be more than enough to ensure that one is making a positive contribution to the air quality around us.
A frequently misquoted statistic is that ‘domestic wood burning’ accounts for the largest contribution to particulate matter in the air we breathe. This statistic refers to all domestic wood burning, and lumps in Bonfires, Garden Incinerators and Wildfires, among others, to domestic wood burning! Burning Ready to Burn certified wood in a modern ecodesign stove can reduce emissions by as much as 95% - and now, thanks to recent legislation, one is not able to buy or install anything other than fuel or appliances to these standards!
Nevertheless, there are a number of things the consumer can do to ensure that their emissions are as low as possible:
- Ensure your Ready to Burn firewood is stored in a dry and well-ventilated area so that it goes onto your stove at the same low moisture content it was produced at.
- Consider replacing your open fire or old stove with a modern ecodesign stove. Not only will you reduce emissions further, but these stoves are dramatically more efficient – meaning more heat will enter your living room, and less will go up your chimney!
- Ensure your appliance is right sized to the room it is in. Stoves operating at near full capacity emit far less particulate matter than stoves smouldering along at 30%. Not only will you reduce emissions, you’ll ensure you always have a nice bright flame in the stove!
- Avoid using crunched up newspaper to light your fire. While newspaper lights quickly, the ash formed from burning newspaper remains in large fractals that reduce airflow and thus dramatically reduce the speed at which a fire starts. When using slower burning woods (like oak) consider increasing the amount of kindling you use to ensure that you establish a vigorous blaze as swiftly as possible.
In short, fear not, a well-maintained modern stove using Ready to Burn firewood produces extremely low levels of emissions. You’ll not only be helping improve the air quality, but using one of the worlds oldest renewable fuels.