Its national clean air day (www.cleanairday.org.uk). A day dedicated to the very worthy cause of reducing air pollution, particularly in inner city and urban environments where the problem is most serious.
The stove industry as a whole has made great strides in reducing the particulate emissions of wood burning appliances in recent years, and Fireplace Products is proud to stock and promote these innovations in cleaner burning.
Following the great smog of 1952 that claimed the lives of many, caused by unchecked air pollution, the clean air acts of 1956 and 1958 were established. This was a watershed moment in British history, but we didn’t stop there. In 2001 the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs was established to protect our environment from the onslaught of air pollution, they quickly established smoke control zones to curb the rising tide of ‘unclean’ (coal-burning) heating appliances, this pushed the stove industry to design so-called DEFRA exempt appliances that burned wood with particulate emissions low enough to be permitted inside smoke control zones. The current list of DEFRA exempt appliances can be found here, and our list of DEFRA approved stoves can be found here.
Ever since the stove industry as a whole has going to extraordinary lengths to develop increasingly clean and low-emission appliances. As a whole, the nation is waking up to the realities of climate change and air pollution, and the industry has responded by phasing out traditional ‘dirty’ coal burning appliances and open fires, and moved towards the super-efficient clean burning hybrid stoves of tomorrow.
Stoves such as the Rais Bionic: one of the most efficient, least pollutive wood burners ever built. The Bionic reignites its combustion gasses in a secondary chamber below the main chamber for a twice-burnt, twice purified, exceedingly low emissions profile. Rais call this ‘inverse combustion’ and its an absolute game changer.
Pellet stoves have also been a major leap forward in clean burning technology. Burning pellets made from off-cuttings of wood not only reduces the number of trees that are felled each year for firewood, but also makes for a more complete burn with fewer emissions.
Bio-fires are also becoming increasingly popular for obvious reasons. These burn sustainably produced bio-ethanol, giving off nothing but CO2 and water vapour, no chimney or flue required, with all the comfort of an indoor fire.
Looking ahead, the entire industry has its eyes on the Eco2022 legislation, an EU initiative designed to tighten up the designs of wood burners and other appliances to further reduce emissions. How this will work with Brexit is unclear, yet as many manufacturers are based in Europe, and many UK manufacturers will want to sell into Europe, its becomingly increasingly clear that these guidelines will be adopted by everyone regardless of EU membership status. We are already starting to see stoves built to the eco2022 specifications, so keep your eyes peeled for the ‘eco-design ready’ label for the future of wood burning.
That being said, Fireplace Products is proud to have watched these developments unfold. We fully support initiatives such as the National Clean Air Day, DEFRA control zones and Eco2022, and will continue to promote and stock cleaner burning appliances in the future.
Here’s to a cleaner tomorrow!