Are Woodburning Stoves Good For The Environment?
With constantly increasing energy prices stoves have become really trendy, the NACS (National Association of Chimney Sweeps) reported a 40% increase in business from 2013-2015. The Clean Air Acts of 1956 and 1968 meant that homes in certain areas could not burn solid fuel for heating and until recently, this made gas and electric stoves popular. Many parts of the country still have smoke control zones, if you live in one of these smoke control zones you need to invest in a DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) approved stove or you can only burn smokeless fuel.
When people think of stoves they usually think of wood burners but many stoves can burn different fuels, if you are not sure what kind of stove you have you can tell by looking to see whether you have a flat bed on which you can only put wood on or a grate, if you have a grate at the bottom of your stove you will be able to burn other fuels such as coal. Coal needs air from below to help it burn efficiently. Wood will burn on a grate but it burns most efficiently when it is sitting on a firebox, a firebox is a bed of ash. So if you only intend to burn wood on your stove you are better off just buying a wood burner as these are often cheaper to buy and they are designed to be more efficient for wood.
Stove Vs Open Fire
If you currently have an open fire you may be wondering why you should install a stove, as already mentioned above if you live in a smoke control zone and want to burn wood or coal you have no choice, you will need a DEFRA approved stove. If you don’t live in a smoke control zone you should still install a stove because they are more efficient and create less mess. Stoves create an upward draft which causes a strong blaze and a strong blaze causes more heat output.
Best Type of Fuel
One benefit of a wood burner or stove is that fuel can be found for free, it is against the law to go out into the woods and chop trees down for firewood but you can pick up fallen branches and sticks for nothing as long as you have the landowners permission. The problem with foraging your firewood is that it has to be seasoned. You can’t burn the foraged wood as soon as you find it or it will blacken the inside of your stove and creosote up your flu, creosote build up in the flu creates a fire risk. The wood has to be free of moisture before you can burn it in your stove.
Wood is Environmentally Friendly
When you burn wood CO2 is released into the atmosphere but if the tree or branches you are burning in your stove had been left to decay naturally they would still have released the same amount of CO2 anyway so foraged wood is environmentally friendly, you are just releasing the CO2 more quickly.
Wood is a carbon-neutral fuel source, fossil fuels like oil and gas are not. As already mentioned above you cannot burn wood as soon as you find it, depending on the species of tree your wood came from it can contain anywhere from 65-90% water so it needs to be seasoned, seasoning your wood properly means keeping it dry for at least a year.
If you don’t have space to store your foraged wood for a year or more (most people wouldn’t) you can buy wood that has already had the moisture dried out of it. You can buy your wood already seasoned or you can buy wood that has been treated in some way to remove the moisture. Certainly wood are a supplier of kiln dried logs which they say, provide the ultimate burn quality and maximum heat output. Certainly wood says, kiln dried logs provide better value for money, kiln dried logs contain very little water so provide a greater output of heat this means you will need to use fewer kiln dried logs than you if you bought seasoned logs or seasoned them yourself.
So to answer the original question, the burning of wood for heat is better for the environment than the burning fossil fuels.
This post was written and supplied on behalf of Certainly Wood suppliers of firewood and kindling, you can find them on Facebook.