‘Burn Better’ is a joint initiative supported by DEFRA, the Solid Fuel Association and HETAS in a bid to help reduce emissions and improve people’s health. The Burn Better campaign is calling on those with a solid fuel appliance to help improve air quality
Current research carried out, which surveyed over 2,000 people showed that two thirds of respondents confessed to burning materials, which will have a negative impact on air quality. These materials included burning wrapping paper, furniture and also some household plastics.
There is clearly a misconception about what materials can be burned on a solid fuel appliance and the harm they are causing by doing so.
Here are a number of things you can do, to help improve the efficiency of your stove, and lower emissions:
Avoid Wet Wood:
When you burn wet wood, you’re greatly increasing the amount of tar forming in your flue, which will increase the chances of a chimney fire. Wood is considered “wet”, when it has a moisture content over 20%. When you burn wet wood, the heat output is far from optimal, wet wood also creates excessive smoke too. When you buy wood, look for the Ready to Burn logo, which confirms the wood is seasoned correctly and is not considered “wet”.
Coal smoke is a carcinogen, which pollutes. When coal is burnt it produces a lot of pollution, which can aggravate breathing conditions. It’s not ideal to use on a stove, and should be discouraged.
Maintain your stove:
Make sure that your stove is kept clean, by not burning wet wood or any material not suitable for a stove. Also make sure your stove is serviced annually and the chimney is swept regularly, particularly at the start and end of the season.
The Burn Better campaign is a commitment as a part of the government’s Clean Air Strategy to improve the air we breathe.