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HEATING, VENTILATION & SERVICES


Rural charm without the harm Modern clean-burning


Solid fuel stoves are gaining in popularity in urban areas, but do they contribute to pollution? Phil Lowe of Schiedel Chimney Systems tackles some misconceptions


stoves can cut emissions by up to 90 per cent


75


D


espite the wide variety of heating systems available today, nothing quite compares to the distinct atmosphere and warm ambience created by a solid fuel stove.


Their timeless appeal is fostered by the simple fact that these appliances generate a different kind of heat, one which is more palpable than that produced by gas-fired, oil or electric heating. Offering a real semblance of rural charm in urban settings, stoves are becoming increasingly popular in such areas.


This popularity is further fuelled by the appliances’ contribution to minimising energy bills, since net solid fuel prices are lower and more stable than the cost of electricity, oil heating or natural gas. Securing lower energy bills would in addition mean a property equipped with a stove could benefit from higher market value.


All this has contributed to tackling the scepticism towards certain types of solid


fuel stoves. As demonstrated by the findings of a 2016 government survey, the use of wood as a heating fuel has risen three times higher than previously estimated. The ‘Domestic Wood Use Survey’ revealed that 52 per cent of woodburning appliances are stoves, and 40 per cent are open fires. The average weekly usage for a woodburning stove is 27 hours, down to seven hours in London. The survey also showed that an astonishing 70 per cent of woodburning appliances in London are open fires – the worst way to burn wood because of the material’s low heat generation and high CO2 and particulate emissions.


Myth busting


These figures help to explain the background behind potential concerns around using solid fuel stoves in urban areas. Since the Great Smog of 65 years ago, there has been strong emphasis placed on air quality and stoves are seen as likely


ADF SEPTEMBER 2017


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