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Air quality has been a talking point for the Government recently. Only a few months back there was much coverage on tackling solid fuel burning in London (full article), where the main offenders tended to be open fires. This coverage gave EcoDesign stoves a chance to shine, as a clean and sustainable alternative to open fires.
But it’s not just external air quality, which needs improving. Internal air quality is important too. When it comes to air quality, the majority of focus has fallen on towns and cities. This makes senses as factories and similar, which produces much of this pollution are located in urban areas.
However, air quality in the countryside can never be guaranteed. Weather can have an impact – strong breezes can often push pollution out of the city into the neighbouring countryside. Where pollution can be “trapped” in between buildings, in the countryside pollution can “sit” in valleys and lower lying areas.
The Importance of IAQ:
Good IAQ (Internal Air Quality) is key to our health and can be compromised within the home by anything from cleaning products to the levels of moisture in the air. Properties, which are running off grid are much more common in the countryside than in urban areas, and so will use oil as heating – this can have an impact on a home’s internal air quality if adequate ventilation is not used. It’s certainly not just homes in urban areas, that can have IAQ issues.
Wood Burning Stoves and IAQ:
Old, inefficient wood burning stoves can have a dramatic impact on the IAQ in a home. Below are a few points for consideration to improving IAQ if you burn wood in a stove:
1. Flue – Always ensure the flue is correctly fitted and is a suitable design for your home and stove. A poorly fitted flue will cause significant issues with how gases are removed from your fire. A congested flue, even if it is perfectly fitted, will increase the chances of smoke entering the room, so always ensure a flue is cleaned regularly. This article outlines more about chimney sweeping.
2. Your Stove – A high efficiency wood burning stove will improve the IAQ of your home. The main reason for this, is that a high efficiency stove burns more particular matter – so less pollution will be leaving the stove as gas/smoke whether that be up your flue or accidentally into your room.
3. Seasoned Wood – Burning wet wood will produce a poor heat output, and lots of smoke! It goes without saying, only ever burn seasoned wood. Learn more about the importance of seasoned wood.
4. Using an Active Baffle – An active baffle, used in the Charlton & Jenrick range, is designed to help warm a flue up. They are also very useful when it comes to reducing the amount of smoke entering a room, when refuelling with wood.