Are Log Burners Getting Banned In The UK?

Owning a log burner brings many advantages; coming in from a cold winter walk, your log burner provides you with a cosy and welcoming space to warm up. Not only this, these appliances give a room a wonderful atmosphere and can totally change any room that they are installed in.

However, there has been a lot of speculation recently about the fact that log burners may be getting banned in the UK. If you have a log burner or have been considering getting one, we would completely understand why this might worry you.

But there is hope; log burners are not going to be banned, but the government is planning stricter restrictions on what you can burn and where. But don’t let this get you down, here at EcoStoves, we want our customers to continue enjoying a wood burning stove so we vow to ensure that all of our products meet the government guidelines and will be approved for domestic use.

Certain types of fuel will create more pollution than others and this is one of the main things that the government is now focusing on. The more smoke that you see from a fuel, the more harmful pollutants it is putting out.

According to the government’s Clean Air Strategy, which was updated in 2019, dust particles from the UK can travel as far as the Sahara desert! This means that any pollution released here has a much more significant global effect than many of us might have imagined.

Many wood stove owners have made the mistake, in the past, of burning old wood such as that taken from furniture or DIY projects. While this might seem a great way of getting rid of waste, the treatments that these woods have received could send out toxic gases into the environment and directly into your home.

For this reason, the government only allows burning of wood that is ‘ready to burn’ and this can only be done in a DEFRA approved appliance (more on that later.)

When these toxic fumes and gases are released into the air, it can have devastating effects on our health. According to the British Heart Foundation, air pollution is to blame for around 11,000 deaths every year and this figure only looks set to rise if we don’t take action.

While log burners are considered to be carbon neutral which makes them good for the environment, they are also considered to create a significant amount of air pollution, which is an entirely different thing. The pollution emitted from log burners is thought to be responsible for more than 30% of all the air pollution in London. Since this pollution contains tiny particles of soot, as we move around the country, we are inhaling this directly into our bodies.

If you suffer from a respiratory condition, this air pollution could serve to exacerbate it. Even for people who do not have conditions like these, it can bring on other symptoms including nausea, headaches and dizziness at the less extreme end but, according to National Geographic, it could be responsible for more serious conditions like lung cancer and emphysema. 

So, What Is The Government Doing About Air Pollution?

At the time of writing, it is estimated that more than one and a half million UK homes have a wood burner. It would be vastly unreasonable for the government to expect all of these people to uninstall their equipment. However, the government does have a responsibility to its citizens and as such, they have a Clean Air Strategy and several things in place to ensure the safe use of wood burners.

If you have been concerned that wood burners are going to be banned in the UK, you can rest assured that there will not be a blanket ban in the near future. That being said, there are certain restrictions in place that limit how and where a log burner can be used. As suppliers of this type of equipment, we are more than happy with this as it means a safer and more healthy world for us all. To do our bit, we will only ever supply you with wood burning stoves that meet the government requirements so you can rest assured that your equipment will always be safe and legal.

In order to understand what is expected of you, as a log burner owner, we wanted to simplify what the government expects and take away the shroud of mystery that has so long covered this topic.

  • Over the next few years, the government is aiming to phase out the sale of solid fuels such as coal and wet wood, which are both known to be far more polluting to the environment. However, this doesn’t mean that you can no longer use your burner, it simply means that you have to use the approved types of fuel.
  • The government is using this time to encourage homeowners to begin sourcing less polluting fuels including man made solid fuels and dry wood. In addition to being cleaner, they are more affordable so will benefit you in more ways than one.
  • When having a wood burning stove installed, homeowners should ensure that it is DEFRA approved/exempt. This means that the equipment has undergone rigorous testing by the Department of Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs and is considered a much cleaner piece of equipment that does not emit excessive levels of smoke or pollution.
  • If you purchase wet wood during the phase out period in greater volumes, you will receive advice from the supplier on how to correctly dry it out, making it suitable for burning.
  • The government is also encouraging people to consider how often they light their log burners. While we appreciate that having your stove burning creates warmth and feels great, it is important to think about whether you need to burn it as frequently. Not only will this be a great contribution to protecting the air we breathe, but you will save money on fuel.

What Is A Smoke Control Area?

If you’ve been following the topic of whether wood burners are still allowed in the UK, you will likely have come across the term ‘smoke control area.’ It can be a little confusing, if you aren’t familiar with what it means, but in short, there are many places around the UK that fall into this category.

These smoke control areas are places where emitting smoke from your chimney is forbidden by law. This leaves many homeowners feeling that they are not able to install a wood burner in their home. But the good news is that you can still have this type of equipment, it simply needs to be an approved appliance that is using approved fuels.

In addition to this, many owners may be concerned that their older wood burning stove won’t be allowed in a smoke control area. Fortunately, even if your stove is not DEFRA approved, you may still be able to use it provided that you use any of the pre-approved smokeless fuels, but not wood.

What Is The Best Log Burner To Buy?

If you have been considering purchasing a log burner, then first of all, let us congratulate you on this excellent decision. We may be biased, but we are sure that this is a decision you won’t regret. However, it is important to think about the type of log burner you are going to buy.

Quite simply, you should make sure that you buy a stove that has been approved by either DEFRA or the SIA Ecodesign program. The SIA (stove industry alliance) is an organisation that promotes the benefits of wood burning stoves along with helpful advice on the safest and best way to use this equipment.

At Eco Stoves, we are delighted to offer a range of approved log and multi-fuel burners that are efficient and won’t contribute to pollution. Furthermore, going forward, we aim only to provide DEFRA and SIA approved stoves so you can always feel confident purchasing from us.

Conclusion

Many people are under the illusion that the government is trying to put a blanket ban on the use of wood burning stoves in the UK, but this is not the case. Instead, the UK government is seeking to ensure that all wood burning stove owners use their equipment responsibly and burn fuels that are less harmful to the air. This will not only mean that we are better protected but you will likely save money on fuel.

If you are thinking about purchasing a log burner, you can feel confident that Eco Stoves will only ever supply you with approved equipment.

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