Ecodesign and the Clean Air Strategy
Schiedel Chimney Systems provide energy efficient flue systems and liners and always promote, within installation instructions and advice guides, that sweeping and maintaining stove systems is critical for reducing emissions as well as prolonging the life of the chimney system and the appliance.
In January 2019 the UK Clean Air Strategy suggested that the “increase in burning solid fuels (wood and coal) in our homes (domestic burning) is having an impact on our air quality and now makes up the single largest contributor to our national PM emissions at 38%”.
However, the headlines are misleading as the same document also states:
“What people burn and the appliance they use will have a significant impact on emissions.”
Which, within the industry which actively encourages regular maintenance, updating stoves to modern “Ecodesign” models is the way we are going. Something which is also mentioned in the report in the statement about stove/appliance efficiency, acknowledging that inefficient (old) stoves are not comparable in any way to newer stoves.
“Not all forms of domestic burning are equally polluting. The appliance (for example, stove or fireplace), how well it is used and maintained, and what fuels are burnt in it, all make a big difference to how much pollution is produced. Significant air quality benefits can be realised through a new efficient appliance as compared with an old stove or open fire.”
The report also emphasises what the stove and chimney industry have been stating for a number of years. In fact, burning non-standard wood, such as wood with high moisture and also contaminated wood such as old flat pack furniture would invalidate the stove and chimney system warranty, along with not having the chimney regularly swept by a professional.
“There are simple steps that households can take to limit emissions both indoors and out. Using cleaner fuels, in a cleaner appliance which is installed by a competent person, knowing how to operate it efficiently, and ensuring that chimneys are regularly swept, will all make a big difference.”
The true contribution of domestic burning to air pollution remains questionable and surveys and analysis done show that newer, Ecodesign stoves are drastically reducing the amount of particle emissions released within the atmosphere. And to clarify the results of the findings, HETAS, with support from the SIA, has commissioned a review of existing scientific research, literature and methodologies that focus on the contribution of domestic burning to UK air pollution.
SIA’s more comprehensive survey
In early 2019, in response to the BEIS survey, the SIA conducted its own user survey, which was far more comprehensive as 10,620 members of the public, who used wood stoves at home; using the same questions and methodology as applied to the BEIS survey.
The BEIS originally conducted a user survey of 1,206 members of the public, who used wood fuel to heat their homes in 2015 and a 38% particle matter figure quoted in the Clean Air Strategy is based on the assumption that 6m tonnes of wood fuel are burnt each year in the UK.
More accurate figures.
The results of the SIA survey have been independently reviewed and verified by Kiwa UK, who are a world leader in Testing, Inspection and Certification (TIC) in energy supply (as well as other industries).
According to the SIA Survey, the volume of wood burnt each year in the UK is closer to 1.85m tonnes rather than the 6m tonnes in the BEIS survey.
The less tonnage could be down to more education of stove users, who understand that by using low moisture content wood by Woodsure’s Ready to Burn scheme means less logs are needed within Ecodesign stoves.
Applying this more up to date and accurate figure to the calculation used within the Clean Air Strategy the percentage of PM2.5 attributable to domestic wood burning would fall to 14.9% from 38%
The review has been co-authored by:
- Edward J. S. Mitchell PhD
- Joshua Cottom PhD
- Douglas Phillips PhD
- Ben Dooley PhD
And has been subsequently peer reviewed by:
- Professor Alan Williams CBE, FREng University of Leeds
- Professor Jenny Jones FRSC, MEI University of Leeds.
Usage for heating
Stoves are always a focal point for any house and home and are instantly desirable. However, these are not for aesthetic purposes only. People who don’t have a wood burner, automatically assume the purpose if for aesthetics, however, in some cases firing up a stove tends to heat larger rooms far quicker than conventional radiators would.
Ecodesign is the European-wide programme to lower emissions from stoves. It comes into force in the UK in 2022. SIA Ecodesign Ready stoves have been sold for a number of years now and meet the Ecodesign requirements. The PM emissions limit for Ecodesign is 55% lower than for DEFRA exempt stoves.
Particle emissions reduced by up to 90%
Burning wood produces particulate matter (PM) but the amount produced depends on how the wood is burnt. Independent research conducted by Kiwa Gastec on behalf of the SIA has shown that SIA Ecodesign Ready stoves can reduce particulate emissions by 90% compared to an open fire and 80% compared to an old stove
Domestic indoor wood burning emissions significantly lower than previously thought
Domestic indoor wood burning emissions significantly lower than previously thought The UK government latest data shows that the overall percentage of PM2.5 attributable to the domestic indoor burning of wood fuel has been more than halved to 17% thanks to updated and more accurate wood fuel usage data for the domestic combustion sector. Commenting on [...]
Increase the life of your Stove and Chimney with the correct fuel
Clean Air Strategy: Use the correct fuel! As with all appliances, you need to ensure that you follow the correct guidelines in order to make sure that it lasts it’s life span and beyond. Stoves and chimneys are no different. Just as in a car, if you put the wrong, or poor grade fuel or […]
Government launches Clean Air Strategy for UK
Government launches Clean Air Strategy for UK Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Environment, launched what he calls an ambitious new strategy to improve air quality across the UK over the following decades. The document starts with a commitment to end the sale of conventional new diesel and petrol cars and vans from 2040, […]
Heating up that constantly Cold Room
Heating up that Constantly Cold Room As the temperatures drops rapidly, heating your home is more important than ever. However, with modern central heating systems, there is always that extra problem of certain rooms always remaining cold. Getting a plumber in to diagnose problems tends to be one solution. Draught exclusion and insulation is always […]
clearSkies certification for Sirius and Celsius
Certification system explained clearSkies certified appliances meet the minimum performance level for Ecodesign Regulations – the minimum legal requirement for an appliance manufactured in the UK from 1st January 2022. Both Schiedel Sirius and Celsius are fully Ecodesign 2022 compliant the minimum legal requirement for an appliance manufactured in the […]
Stoves Supported by Defra and the Mayor of London.
Stoves are good! And the guidelines prove this. Here’s some information from the Stove Industry Alliance and some common questions they field. Defra has included wood burning stoves in their Clean Air Strategy, and they are recommending installing SIA Ecodesign Ready stoves and using Ready to Burn wood fuel. The Mayor of London has also given […]
Air quality: Using cleaner fuels for domestic burning
Air Quality: Using Cleaner Fuels for Domestic Burning The Government have finally put to bed the rumours circulating that stoves were going to be banned. After consultation with the SIA and other parties, The plan is to introduce the following one year from now: A ban on all pre-packaged traditional bituminous house coal A ban […]
The Importance of a Guarantee with your Chimney System
The Importance of a Guarantee with your Chimney System Guarantee matters We were interested to read a recent survey undertaken by the electric water heating specialists, Redring, which discovered that 86% of installers asked stated that the terms of a guarantee influenced their purchasing choice. 84% believed that the longer the guarantee; the better the […]
Beware of generic flues: cheap deals may be too good to be true
Beware of generic flues: cheap deals may be too good to be true We all like a bargain, but what looks like a great deal online might be putting your customers at risk and it’s easy to lose sight of the intrinsic value of quality and lifespan when comparisons and choices are made purely on […]