Owners of wood burners, stoves and open fires will no longer be able to buy house coal or wet wood, under a ban to be rolled out from next year.
Sales of the two most polluting fuels will be phased out in England to help cut air pollution, the government says.
In a word, no. The government is not banning wood burning stoves, simply the types of fuel that we shouldn't be burning in the first place.
We should only be burning well seasoned wood in our wood burning stoves, anything else will release too much smoke laden with damaging particulates into the atmosphere.
If you heat your home with wood, you probably spend a lot of time preparing for those cold long winter months. It often involves a years worth of preparation that nedn't be a chore if planned for correctly. This is because firewood requires anywhere from six months to two years to dry out properly, this is referred to as seasoning the wood.
Late winter and early spring are the ideal times to cut and store wood for the following years use. It allows wood to dry over the summer months, seasoning in time for the colder weather.
However, if you happen to be new to burning wood in order to heat your home, you may not have planned so far in advance. Whether you're forced to purchase wood from someone else or are planning to cut your own for future use, it is very important to properly season wood before burning it.
Burning green wood can be dangerous. It creates a lot of smoke and may cause a dangerous creosote buildup over time. It releases lung damaging particulates and the build up of creosote in your chimney may cause chimney fires if not regularly cleaned out. Learn to tell when wood is seasoned. It will help you properly heat your home and keep you safe at the same time.
Over recent years, many peoplehave invested in wood burning stoves to replace their gas central heating. Wood burning stoves are carbon neutral and let's be honest, what is better than a real flame to keep you warm? The mere sight of a fire is enough to make us feel warmer on those cold winter days.
As wood burning solid fuel stoves don't contribute to climate change, why are local authorities and the government apparently attacking their use under their pollution rules? Well, as stated above, it isn't the stove itself, but the type of fuel used. If you stick to well seasoned wood, you will be good to go.
Households in Clean Air zones are banned by law from emitting dense smoke. Strangely enough, bonfires in the garden are not covered by this legislation, although you could still end up in hot water if you repeatedly had smoky bonfires and they were deemed to be a local nuisance.
Some are concerned that by only being allowed to burn thoroughly dried wood, this may put up the cost of the fuel. This is why it is so vital to construct a good shelter for the wood where it can be left to season properly.
A wood shelter can be purchased, but with a little DIY no how, one can be built quite cheaply. You simply want an area that will be protected from direct contact with rain and the wet floor and it must also have a good air flow throughout to facilitate the seasoning process.
If your wood is getting mould spores on it in storage, it is likely to be that too much moisture is being allowed to linger on the wood. The extra air flow will put a stop to this quickly.
There are certain problems with the impending ban on wet wood sales for wood burning stoves. It is pretty unlikely that local authorities will have the manpower to conduct inspections of garage forecourts and corner shops where the offending wet wood is often sold.
Also, many people will continue to burn tree cuttings they have collected and not bothered to season them properly. As there are no powers to inspect homes for the wrong type of fuel, any rules on the use of wet wood will be very difficult to enforce.
However, responsible people should do everything they can to collect the right type of wood, dry it correctly and this is why collecting, storing properly and rotating your firewood stock is so important. So above all, do the right thing and continue to enjoy your solid fuel stove and stay warm and cosy.
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