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UK Air quality improvements 2

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UK Air quality improvements 2
by Sune Nightingale
14 January 2019


Comparing the emissions of open fires and old stoves with modern stoves.

Modern stoves have improved their combustion chambers to burn the fuel much more cleanly. But the vast majority of stoves in Smoke Controlled Areas will be old-tech. Whilst much better than an open fire they are still not on a par with new stoves, like some of our Opus which can be more than 50% under the current particulate ceilings for city centres.

User education is also vital. Stoves are an easily identified and "sexy" target so we see pictures in the press of old stoves or smokey chimneys. When a stove is run right you will get some smoke when you light it and refuel it, but after that there should only be a heat haze at the chimney if its burning right. This is where the chimney sweeps could come into their own if chimney sweeping were mandated (as it is across much of the EU) then that regular visit is a chance to educate stove owners in the proper use of their stoves. Its also a chance to check if an open fire is being used, or a very old stove.

This is also one of the reasons we love these AirSmart automatic stove controllers these control the burning of your stove via a temperature probe. This system is always-on and helps to ensure that your stove burns well at all times, even when you pop out of the room.

So I have been, and will continue, to argue that open fires and old stoves need to be dealt with and that then a meaningful cut in these emissions can easily be made. I hope that once this latest air quality policy has taken effect, and Brexit is a thing of the past, that there will be a focus on continued air quality improvement. I do realise, and give thanks, that the civil service are doing the best they can in a landscape with little appetite for regulation from above.

Interestingly DEFRA consulted in 2016 on the implementation of Clean Air Zones. This was a raft of progressive policy changes which would have dramatically improved air quality, but also modernised our city centres with, for example, plans for full electrification in city centres. Since its publication I have not once seen it mentioned in the press odd since air quality became a much more talked about issue and this consultation had a clear answer laid out. Here is a link to it in case you are interested: CAZ consultation

Part 1 here

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