New fireplace and log burner rules explained as homeowners urged to use compliant fuel

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There are more than one million wood-burning stoves in the UK, but new rules which came in back in May, are leaving many Britons confused. The Government has banned the use of “polluting fuels” they run on in England.

This is one of the attempts the Government is making to cut air pollution in the UK.

While wood burning stoves and open fires aren’t being banned themselves, the harmful fuels people burn in them has been.

Following the recent rules, a new survey from the Coal Merchants Federations reveals 58 percent of people do not know what fuel can legally burn on their fireplace.

Britons now can’t buy bagged coal and wet wood less than two cubic metres.

Wet wood in larger volumes but also now be sold with advice on how to dry it before burning.

However, there are now other fuels that can be used that are much less harmful to the environment.

Britons do not need to rip out their current fireplaces, but instead know about the new rules.

The Government rule states: “Burning at home, particularly with traditional house coal or wet wood, is a major source of pollutant PM2.5 – which has been identified by the World Health Organisation as the most serious air pollutant for human health.

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“People with log burners and open fires can still use them, but will be required to buy cleaner alternative fuels – if they are not already – such as dry wood and manufactured solid fuels which produce less smoke.

“Both of these cleaner options are just as easy to source and more efficient to burn, making them more cost effective.

“Burning dry wood also produces more heat and less soot than wet wood and can reduce emissions by up to 50 percent.”

All manufactured solid fuels also now need to have a low sulphur content and only emit a small amount of smoke.

A new scheme will now see all products labelled with a “ready to burn” logo by suppliers.

This will make easier to identify, and outlets will only be able to sell fuel that is accompanied by the correct label.

Britons that currently use house coal can continue to buy it from their local Approved Coal Merchant until May 2023 when it will be fully banned.

Julian Martin, Spokesperson for the Coal Merchant’s Federation, said: “Open fireplaces and multi-fuel stoves are traditionally at the heart of the home and play an integral role in bringing together friends and family, as well as being a cost-efficient way to heat a house or supplement your central heating.

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“This good news is there is no need to remove your stove or fireplace this winter, we instead urge anybody who has a multi-fuel stove or open fireplace to use ‘ready to burn’ solid fuel, which is compliant with the Government’s Clean Air strategy.”

The changes could see air quality improve as well as save the lives of millions with chronic lung conditions.

When the rules were announced, Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation’s senior policy and projects manager, Harriet Edwards, said: “It’s vital we tackle all of these sources of air pollution and raise awareness about the dangers of air pollutants so people can make the best choices for their own health as well as the health of others around them.”

The new rules are just one way the Government is trying helping to cut down emissions.

Recently halogen bulbs were banned in the UK, with people being urged to switch to LEDs.

They last five times longer than traditional halogen lightbulbs and produce the same amount of light, but use up to 80 percent less power.

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