There has been a lot of unsettling information in the news these past few months regarding the governments latest “clean air strategy” here are the facts.
1) Is my solid fuel appliance going to be banned?! – she short answer is NO.
The governements strategy is to lower the harmful deposits that are released into the atmosphere when using low efficiency appliances and/or burning wet or low quality fuels. Generally speaking, it means they will be promoting the use of only the best, efficient, “Defra approved” appliances in new installations. To give you an idea of how efficient these are, a defra approved quality stove will give you upwards of 80% efficiency, whereas a standard open fire will give you around 12%!
This is a good thing for everybody, not only will we be getting more energy from the fuel that we are burning but we will also be realeasing less harmful deposits into the atmosphere.
2) Should I make sure i’m only burning good quality, dry fuels?
YES! As has always been the case, it is important, not only for the planet but for the lifespan of your chimney & appliance that you ONLY burn DRY, good quality fuels at the correct temperatures, wet or damp wood can give off far more pollution & tar build ups. Tar has an extremely detrimental affect on your flue, liner & appliance & can be very expensive when it comes to putting it right.
Buying cheap fuels will inevitably cost you more in the long run when it comes to repairing any damage. Never burn rubbish, plastics etc in your appliance as this will have the same effect.
3) So has the news got it wrong?
Yes, in many circumstances they have, of course they want to give sensational headlines to sell more papers etc.. & many reports have been grossly misleading.
Chimney sweeps have been recommending cleaner, drier fuels to customers for years & giving advise regarding better, more responsible burning practices. Now that the government has decided to push this too, we will hopefully get the message across to ensure solid fuel appliances will be in our homes for many years to come!
Of course, don’t forget that getting your chimney swept at least once a year will ensure your appliance will run at its best, not to mention safest!