A joint initiative has been launched 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
The Burn Better campaign is a commitment as a part of the government’s Clean Air Strategy to improve the air we breathe. Current research carried out, which surveyed over 2,000 people showed that around 66% 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.
A lot of people clearly do not see, or want to acknowledge, the harm they are causing by burning these materials, which should not be burnt on a solid fuel appliance. The current lockdown, which came into force in early January has meant a lot more people are staying at home, which inevitably means the requirement for heating in the home has increased. It’s unfortunate that some will be taking it upon themselves to burn these polluting-causing materials in a bid to stay warm.
What Can You Do?
Here are a number of things you can do, to help improve the efficiency of your stove, and lower emissions:
Don’t Burn Wet Wood:
Burning wet wood greatly increases pollution. 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 assures the wood is seasoned correctly and is not considered “wet”.
Don’t Burn Coal:
Coal is a fossil fuel – polluting and non-renewable. 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.
Slumbering is when you set it to burn at a low output. The reduced burn rate can cause congestion to the stove and the flue, due to condensation and the release of various chemicals. You should always ensure your stove has a visible flame, and remember to use the air vents correctly.
Keep it Clean:
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 chimney is swept regularly when in use, remembering to do so at the start and end of the season.
Here is the Burn Better promotional video provided by DEFRA: