Are wood burning stoves environmentally friendly?

Wood-burning stoves can be perceived as old-fashioned heating devices and unlikely to be environmentally friendly. Concerns have certainly been raised about the dangers of their emissions; however, there are ways to make a wood burner more environmentally friendly than you might have thought.

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Fuel

Regardless of any emissions produced by wood burners, they are at an advantage over electric and gas heaters before they start due to the fuel they use. Gas is a fossil fuel and electricity is most often created by the burning of fossil fuels – either gas, coal or oil. These fuels release long-buried CO2, which becomes trapped in the atmosphere and contributes to climate change.

Wood is a carbon neutral source of fuel. Any CO2 it contains is already part of the natural cycle of carbon in the world. CO2 released when wood is burned can be reabsorbed by other trees and plants that are still growing; therefore, it is not released into the atmosphere. Wood also releases less CO2 than fossil fuels generally.

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Eco-stoves

With modern technology so focused on environmental friendliness, new types of wood burner have been created that are better for the natural world. These produce more heat and less smoke with the help of extra air intakes to keep the fire fully oxygenated. Older wood burners are being phased out to be replaced with these newer models, which have the approval of the Department of Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Stoves that are exempt for government smoke control areas can be found on the DEFRA website.

Retailers around the UK can supply you with modern and eco-friendly stoves; for instance, if you are looking for DEFRA exempt stoves Northern Ireland, you will find specialists such as http://www.stovebay.com/.

Type of wood

There are other ways to make sure even a more old-fashioned wood burner is as efficient as possible. One way is by ensuring you have the best type of wood for your fuel. If your wood is dry and seasoned, the fire will not need to work as hard to set it alight; in turn, this means less smoke will be produced. Briquettes are a type of waste wood that is already dried and seasoned. It is cheaper and contains much less water than standard logs, making your wood burner more efficient for both the environment and your wallet.

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