Once again, the newspapers are misleading people regarding woodburning stoves. Please don’t panic and decide not to have one.
The clean air act is being introduced next year and this actually benefits everybody around the planet!
It means that farmers and factories amongst many other industries have to ensure that anything they put into the air is of a safe standard so that as a planet, we have less pollution.
What this means to you is simply that the people that provide your fuel have got to book their ideas up and make sure that it is dry and safe to burn.
It also means that manufacturers of wood burning stoves have had to re-assess the efficiency of their designs and ensure that they are working for the consumer at the best rate. If you are buying a brand-new stove then you will notice the words SIA approved on their description.
This means that they conform to the new legislation. If you are buying a new stove, it is a good idea to look for it being SIA approved. It will not only benefit the planet but will benefit your pocket as it will be more efficient for you in the long run and your fuel consumption.
If you already have a pre-existing wood burning stove, don’t worry. You can keep your stove and no legislation will affect you other than the fact that fuel manufacturers have to ensure their fuel is efficient.
For many reasons, the clean air act is a brilliant thing. Brilliant for the planet and brilliant for the consumer. Many of us in the solid fuel heating trade often wonder if this negative spin on things is linked to the fact that currently fuel that you burn in a wood burner is not taxable by the government. There are allsorts of theories about this that you can look into.
In the meantime, please ignore the negative headlines as it really has no affect on you,a potential woodburning stove customer, or an existing wood burning stove customer.
If you would like extra reassurance, please have a look at the HETAS website and their response to the negative press.
I came across this image today...
Quirky isn`t it. And I imagine in the right living space it would look really great. It reminded me of something that happened at the end of last summer.
We had a lady who had bought a beautiful, ornate, antique and restored wood burning stove. It was French and really was beautiful.
She asked us if we would install it for her as she didn't like the traditional style of wood burning stove that we tend to see these days.
Unfortunately, the answer was no.... and it would also be no for the picture above.
You see, any HETAS installer worth their salt wouldn't touch it with a barge pole for several reasons.
with quirky fires like the picture above, or unusual, restored or antique fires, there are no manufacturers safety instructions or requirements for the installer to follow. Thus, there is no safe way to determine vital information like for example; distances to combustibles, hearth requirements, clearances. All extremely important for keeping your home safe. There is also no CE mark. A HETAS installer will not be able to fit a fire that doesn't have the CE mark to confirm its safety standard. They are also not going to be DEFRA approved, if you live in a smoke controlled area.
So please.... if you are considering being a little different with your installation then by all means go for it.... just ensure that your fire is safe and complies to what HETAS would require. You can even call HETAS yourself, before you purchase your chosen fire to confirm this, or, speak with your HETAS installer who will advise you. Remember, if you are looking for a bargain on Ebay or an internet site then send the seller a question: Does it have the CE safety mark? can you send me a photograph to prove this? Is it DEFRA approved? Does it come with the relevant paper work for the installer? And, if you don`t get a clear answer then walk away or leave the site and look else where.
Over the years, we really have seen and heard some horror stories regarding stove installations across Nottinghamshire. Many unsuspecting home owners have moved in to a new residence and have assumed that the existing stove was fitted safely. As time passes, it is often revealed that the stove was installed without adhering to the vitally important safety specifications that HETAS insist upon as they weren`t installed by a registered installer.
Over time, we have had to rectify many of these installations, so we thought it wise to share some of this information. Installations that were not only badly put together by the previous non- HETAS installer, but extremely dangerous for the occupants of the house. Most recently, a flue pipe that ran through a wardrobe and a stove that was more like a ticking bomb as it was placed (unknowingly by the occupants) dangerously close to a live gas feed.
Of course, even the best installations of stoves can still be problematic if the occupant is not using them properly. A little maintenance, some common sense and using the best quality wood will keep you problem free.
The room that your stove is placed in should have enough air coming into the room. Any stove over 5KW requires an airbrick to ensure this and reduce the likelihood of airborne particulate within the room. Particulate within the room has the potential to be hazardous to heath, more so for those with a pre-existing respiratory illness.
Carbon Monoxide is produced when fossil fuels burn without a good supply of air. It is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas which is difficult to detect. And If that happens in a room without adequate ventilation, levels can build up dangerously. Tell-tale signs of carbon monoxide emissions included 'black sooty marks' on the wall around the stove, boiler or fire and smoke accumulating in rooms due to faulty flues.
By law, every wood burning stove installed should have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted in the immediate vicinity. Once your HETAS engineer has placed your alarm in a suitable place, please leave it where it is.
Wood burning stoves must be placed on a fire-resistant base. Due to the extreme heat in the fire box, placement on laminate/wooden floors or carpet is forbidden.
The most common causes of chimney fires are:
We certainly wouldn’t be without our wood burner in our home. We rarely use our central heating during the winter as it is so efficient. If you feel that you need your stove looking at or are considering installing one then do get in touch. Used and installed correctly you have no need to worry about its safety and will get hours of comfort and enjoyment.
Articles, news and advice from Morleys of Nottingham Stoves.