The nights are still long, the weather remains… well, typically British… and the cost of using your electricity and gas continues to be eye-popping. If you have a wood burner, multifuel stove or an open fire, chances are that you have been using them over the course of the winter. They are warming and cosy, and you don’t get distracted when snuggling up on the sofa by the constant whirring of the electric meter going round at about a hundred miles-per-hour.
But, depending on a host of factors at play, such as the type of fuel you use and the maintenance of your appliance, there are a couple of issues we should all be aware of if heating our homes in this way. We all need to Burn Better. This article tells you what you need to know about burning fuel and the solutions that help you look after the health of your family, neighbours and your wallet!
Issue 1: Air pollution
Burning solid and wood fuel is a major contributor to air pollution. Every time you use your burner, multifuel stove or fire, you’re sending pollutants into the air.
Obviously, as a nation, we burn a lot less solid fuel than we used to, meaning that air pollution levels have vastly improved since the middle of the 20th century, but the popularity of wood burners and multifuel stoves has seen pollution rise in recent times.
This can affect your local environment, and particularly you and your family, as well as your neighbours.
Solution 1: Burn Better
Thankfully, there is a way to reduce the amount of pollutants that your appliance emits. Using the right kind of fuel can make a significant difference to the quality of the air you breath.
For example, using dry wood reduces the amount of smoke generates when you burn it. This, in turn, reduces the pollutants that the fire gives off, making it much better for your family’s health and those who live nearby.
In addition, by choosing the right fuel, you avoid using treated or painted wood, which can emit even more toxins into the air.
The Burn Better campaign asks you to look for the ‘Ready to Burn’ logo on packaging when purchasing fuel for your burner or stove. It means that the fuel has been dried in such a way to ensure it is much less polluting than wet or treated wood.
Issue 2: Inefficiency
So many of us have installed wood burners and multifuel stoves in order to find a more efficient way of heating than using gas or electricity. But if we don’t look after our appliances or we use fuel that is wet or treated, we can end up spending more than we have to.
When fuel burns inefficiently, you use more fuel to create the required heat and that costs you cash over the course of the burning season. And the last thing any of us can afford to do at the moment is spend more than we need to.
Solution 2: Burn Better and maintain
Once again, burning better is the key. Using efficient fuel, such as seasoned wood (which has been dried for at least two years to a moisture level of 20% or less) creates less smoke and burns more efficiently, using less to achieve that cosy feeling.
In addition, make sure a professional comes to clean and maintain your appliance to ensure it is in good working order. This keeps it running efficiently for as long as possible. A chimney sweep should come out every year to keep things running smoothly too.
How to Burn Better
The Burn Better campaign is there to help householders make the best possible choices when using and buying fuel for their appliances. Look out for the Ready to Burn logo and you know that you are choosing a fuel that will work to provide cleaner air and better efficiency than other fuel choices.