Open fires and wood-burning stoves
Open fires and wood-burning stoves have risen in popularity over recent years. This means we now see more smoke from chimneys which has a negative effect on air quality. Even when no smoke is visible, invisible and dangerous particulates (PM10, 2.5 and smaller) are still being emitted. This can cause breathing problems such as asthma attacks, reduced lung function, cause cancer and ultimately reduce life expectancy. It can also have a negative impact on our environment.
A European Environment Bureau report showed that even Euro-certified ‘Eco-stoves’ produce 750 times more PM2.5 per gigajoule of energy than a modern HGV.
How you can help
Avoid using a fireplace or wood burning stove unless you have no alternative to heating your home.
If you do need to use your fireplace or wood burning stove, The Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs provides simple steps for those that use wood burning stoves or open fires to reduce environmental and health impacts:
Making changes to the way you use wood burning stoves or open fires will also benefit you directly by:
- Maximising efficiency, meaning you burn less fuel
- Reducing maintenance costs
- Keeping chimneys in a better condition